All About Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease is a disease wherein small blood vessels (also known as coronary arteries) which supply blood and oxygen to the heart become narrow or blocked. The hardening or clogging of the arteries (Atherosclerosis) is a buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) on the inner walls of the arteries. Atherosclerosis causes an inadequate supply of blood to the heart and the lack of oxygen starves the heart of vital nutrients it needs to function properly. Inevitably, the heart slows down or stops.
What Causes Coronary Heart Disease
There is no clear cause to CHD. Instead, the risk for its occurrence simply goes up depending on a person’s risk factors.
There are some risk factors that cannot be avoided such as age, gender (men are at higher risk, women’s risk increases after menopause), genes and race.
Certain kinds of lifestyles and activities may also increase the risk for CHD. Activities such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and substance abuse can all increase the risk for a heart problem. However, certain conditions can also increase the risk.
Conditions like hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, stroke, depression and the inability to manage stress and hyperlipidermia (an abnormal elevation in the levels of any/all lipids and lipoproteins found in the blood) are all examples of what can raise a person’s risk factor.
Persons undergoing radiotherapy of the chest are also at an increased risk.
Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease
The manifestation of symptoms can actually vary on a case to case basis. Some may have very obvious symptoms, while other people may not get any symptoms at all.
One of the most common symptoms is angina (chest discomfort or pain). This happens because the heart may not be getting enough oxygen or blood. The pain levels may vary from person to person, but the pain usually occurs during activity (exertion) or emotion. Shortness of breath and fatigue is also common with this issue. It is usually treated with a medication called nitroglycerin.
Remedies Review for Coronary Heart Disease
Commonly, the main treatment or remedy for this condition are healthy lifestyle changes (that address the CHD symptoms) which may reduce and/or reverse the disease.
However, some medications are also prescribed depending on a case to case basis.
ACE inhibitors are prescribed to lower blood pressure and protect heart and kidneys, aspirin is to help prevent blood clots from forming in arteries, beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers lower heart rate, blood pressure and the oxygen use of the heart. It also relaxes arteries, lowers blood pressure and reduces strain on the heart.
Diuretics or water pills can lower blood pressure.
Nitrates stop chest pain and improve blood flow to the heart.
Lastly, statins are prescribed to lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
In dire cases and if medications are not enough, surgical Intervention such as Angioplasty, Coronary Artery Bipass, Stents and Heart Transplant may be necessary.