Coronary Artery Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Coronary Artery Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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By Dr. Rajashekhar, General Physician

Coronary artery diseases occur because of the damage to the blood vessels supplying the requisite amount of nutrients and oxygen to the heart. Inflammation and fatty deposits (plaque formation) in the arteries are usually responsible for coronary artery diseases. Plaque formation narrows the coronary arteries limiting the blood flow to the heart, thereby causing shortness of breath, chest pain (angina) or even a heart attack in case of a complete blockage. Since a coronary heart disease takes a considerable amount of time to develop, one might not realize the problem until it has aggravated into a heart attack or a blockage.

Causes and Risk Factors:

  1. Smoking
  2. High blood pressure count
  3. High cholesterol level
  4. Insulin resistance or diabetes
  5. Sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity
  6. Old age
  7. Women are more vulnerable to coronary artery diseases than men
  8. Family history
  9. Obesity
  10. Increased stress levels

Treatments-

  1. Committing to a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in keeping these diseases at bay; that includes refraining from smoking, consuming healthy foods and exercising regularly.
  2. A number of drugs may be administered for curing coronary artery diseases by treating the risk factors, for instance,
    • Cholesterol-modifying medications (for reducing blood cholesterol level)
    • Aspirin (to prevent blood clotting)
    • Beta blockers (to slow down the heart rate and regulate blood pressure)
    • Nitroglycerin (to control chest pain)
    • Angiotensin II receptor and Angiotensin-converting enzyme (to lower blood pressure)
  3. Alternative medicines: Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids present in fish, flaxseed, soya beans and their oils reduce inflammation throughout your body, which otherwise would have contributed to coronary artery diseases.
  4. Other supplements which help reduce high blood cholesterol and hypertension include barley, cocoa, garlic, oat bran, etc.