THE BATTLE CONTINUES
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. The arteries that supply blood to heart muscles become very hard due to buildup of plaque on the inner walls, this in turn makes it difficult for people with the disease to pump enough blood to their hearts.
WHAT ARE Some RISK FACTORS
Risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, drinking excessive alcohol, family history, and depression, even job stress contributes to the risk of getting coronary artery disease.
Ways to greatly reduce the risk include eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Remember smoking just one cigarette a day greatly increases your risk.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, please take your medications as prescribed, this will reduce your chances of getting this condition greatly.
SYMPTOMS OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A total restriction of blood can cause a heart attack.
Coronary artery disease can develop over decades, there’s a chance you might not even notice a problem until you have a significant blockage or a heart attack. There’s plenty you can do to prevent coronary artery disease. A healthy lifestyle can make a big impact.
Chest pain (angina). You may feel pressure or tightness in your chest, as if someone were standing on your chest. This pain, referred to as angina, usually occurs on the middle or left side of the chest. This is usually caused by physical or emotional stress.
The pain usually goes away within minutes after stopping the stressful activity. In some people, especially women, this pain may be fleeting or sharp and felt in the neck, arm or back.
Shortness of breath. If your heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.
Heart attack. A completely blocked coronary artery will cause a heart attack. The classic signs of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating.
Women are more likely than men to experience less typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as neck or jaw pain. Sometimes a heart attack occurs without any apparent signs or symptoms.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE HAVING A HEART ATTACK
if you suspect you’re having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number. If you don’t have access to emergency medical services, please get someone to drive you to the nearest hospital. Only drive yourself as a last resort.
f you have risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes, a strong family history of heart disease or obesity, please talk to your doctor. He or she may give you a check up to get an in depth look into the condition.
There a many things that can be done to head off having to deal with coronary artery disease before it’s too far gone. Most of the things that have to be done only takes a little common sense.