Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary arteries are the major blood vessels that supply blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart. If any of the arteries got damaged, there will be a blockage of blood flow. This will cause the artery to block completely or  congested. This paves way to Ischemia and finally, heart attack. Coronary artery disease is mainly caused due to the blockage due to the plaque deposits. The plaque build-up will cause narrowing the arteries. As a result, the blood flow decreases and cause issues like chest pain or angina. Chest pain and shortness of breath are the two main symptoms of coronary artery disease. Heart attack comes when the artery gets completely blocked.
Any injury or damage to the inner layer of the coronary artery can cause coronary artery disease. It can also get damaged due to various reasons like:

  • High cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Insulin Resistance.
  • Chest radiation therapy used for certain types of cancers.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Coronary artery disease may stay unnoticed until the patient experience heart attack. If you are having chest pain. Shortness of breath or heart attack, it is time to see a cardiologist. If left untreated, it can lead to:

  • Heart attack
  • Angina or chest pain
  • Heart Failure
  • Arrhythmia (Abnormal heart rhythm)

During the clinical checkup, the doctor will have a thorough physical examination and also examine the medical history. Routine blood tests may be suggested apart from some other diagnostic tests such as:

  • ECG
  • Stress Test
  • Echocardiogram
  • Angiogram or Cardiac Catheterization
  • MRI
  • Echocardiogram etc.(delete)

Some of the most common treatment methods include:

  • Lifestyle changes:
    • Drop out smoking.
    • Follow healthy eating habits.
    • Regular exercise.
    • Weight loss.
    • Stress reducing.
  • Medications:
    • Aspirin
    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers
    • Beta blockers
    • Cholesterol-modifying medications
    • Nitroglycerin etc.
  • Surgery:
    • Coronary Artery bypass surgery
    • Angioplasty and stent placement