Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) is a cardiovascular disease in which the coronary arteries get narrowed down.
Coronary arteries are network of arteries and capillaries that supply blood to the heart.
CHD tends to develop when cholesterol builds up on the artery walls, creating plaques. Above all, it results in the formation of clots which reduce the blood flow to the heart causing serious health emergencies.
The cramped blood vessels cause shortness in breath, chest pain & in severe cases heart attacks.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF CHD
- Chest pain (Angina) is a pain felt in the left or center of the chest. In addition there are two types, stable Angina and unstable Angina.
- Shortness of Breath.
- Pain in the left side of the body, shoulder, arm, jaw.
- Unexplained Fatigue.
- Unexplained sweat.
CAUSES & RISK FACTORS OF CHD
- High Blood Pressure
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Alcohol use
- Red Meat
- Consuming foods containing high cholesterol
- Depression & stress
- Bad sleep patterns
- Not getting enough exercise
- Rheumatoid Arthritis & Systemic Lupus can be independent factors
- Old age and weakened muscles/immune system
- Familial history
- High levels of LDL
- High level of coagulation factors
COMPLICATIONS OF CHD
- Stable angina can lead to unstable angina.
- Arrhythmia, an abnormal rhythm of the heart.
- A thick cholesterol plaque formed can lead to formation of blood clots.
- These blood clots can completely cut the blood supply to the heart leading to heart attacks & collapse.
- Heart muscle paralysis, rupture of blood vessel.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – Detects the electrical activities and abnormalities in the activities of the heart.
- Echocardiogram – An ultrasound scan that monitors the pumping heart.
- Stress test – A type of test that involves physical activity on a treadmill, or medication that stresses the heart in order to test how it functions when a person is active.
- Cardiac Catheterization – In other words a dye is injected through a catheter into an artery in the leg, that supplies it to the heart. Therefore the dye outlines narrow spots and blockages on the X-ray images.
- CT scans – These help the doctor visualize the arteries, detect calcium within fatty deposits, and characterize any heart anomalies.
TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT FOR CHD
- Beta blockers, drugs like metoprolol, bisoprolol, act by reducing the blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitors & ARBII inhibitors like captopril & Losartan respectively are two more classes of drugs that act by reducing blood pressure.
- Calcium Channel blockers, like Amlodipine, are another class of anti-hypertensive drugs.
- Drugs like nitroglycerin which act by dilating the contracted arteries and improving flow of blood.
- Cholesterol reducing drugs like, statins are used to decrease the LDL and remove fats.
- Aspirin & anti coagulation medicines, are used for preventing clots and blood thinners.
- In more serious cases, surgeries are performed like;
- Angioplasty & stent placement.
- Coronary Bypass surgery.
- Starting with a healthier diet.
- Cutting off consumption of red meat.
- Reduction in consumption of bad cholesterol (LDL).
- Increasing physical activity & exercise, staying fit.
- Limit tobacco intake & cutting off smoking.
- Alcohol in moderation.
- Adopt a diet with less saturated fats, salt & sugar.
- Say no to drug use.
- Stress relieve & clinically dealing with depression.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Regular checking up on your health.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Dietary sources like Omega-3 fatty acids & fish oils.
- Increase your consumption of fruits & green leafy vegetables.