Coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women. This disease affects over 16 million American citizens. Moreover, the American Heart Association has stated that a heart attack occurs every 40 seconds in the country. In this article, we look at what this disease is and how you can prevent it.
What is coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease at its most basic is when important blood vessels that supply your heart become damaged. Plaque builds up inside your arteries and blood vessels which causes them to become narrow. This plaque is formed from excess cholesterol deposits. Furthermore, your arteries may become inflamed. We have listed the causes below:
- Narrowing of arteries and blood vessels
- Build up of cholesterol within blood vessels
- Inflammation of vessels
All of the above effectively means that your heart becomes damaged. It will not receive the blood and oxygen that it requires to operate effectively. As you can see below, many factors can cause this, which can have severe implications for your health.
Coronary artery disease can be caused by numerous factors, both unavoidable and self-inflicted. The following are factors that you can generally control:
- Inactive lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- High-stress levels
- Poor diet
Aside from controllable factors, CAD can also be caused by issues out of our control:
- A family history of coronary artery disease and heart complications
- Old age
If other members of your family have experienced artery disease or heart conditions, this could put you at as greater risk. Furthermore, those suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes could also be at a greater risk. Moreover, as we age, our arteries naturally take damage and can narrow as time progresses.
The symptoms for coronary artery disease are actually few. The main physical symptom is a narrowing of your arteries – obviously, you can’t see this. Symptoms that you can physically see or feel include:
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Extreme Fatigue
How can coronary artery disease be diagnosed and treated?
Now that you understand what coronary artery disease is, we can look at treatment and diagnosis.
Diagnosing the condition
Diagnosing CAD can involve an interview with a doctor and various medical tests. The following are some of the common diagnosing processes:
- Heart Scan
- Stress Test
This disease can be prevented in some instances simply by living a healthy lifestyle. Medical treatment and surgery are only used in serve cases – drugs and lifestyle changes usually take precedent.
- Healthy eating
- Lose weight
- Reduce stress levels
- Beta Blockers
- Cholesterol medication
- Calcium channel blockers
Coronary Artery Disease can be severe if you continue to damage your body. By living a healthy lifestyle, you greatly reduce the chance of contracting this disease. Furthermore, your health should benefit in general.