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Things to Know About Coronary Artery Disease

The coronary arteries are those which supply blood, hence oxygen and nutrients to your heart. If they become diseased or damaged, the condition is known as coronary artery disease. The most common cause of coronary artery disease is a plaque, or fat build-up, inside the artery, due to which the blood supply to the heart is disrupted. 

If blood supply is disrupted to an organ, its tissues may get damaged. When your heart does not get enough oxygen and nutrients through blood, it can result in myocardial infarction. If anyone in your family has heart disease, you must take them to the best cardiologist in Lahore

What are the Symptoms of a Coronary Artery Disease?

At the initial stages, coronary artery disease does not cause any symptoms. But as the plaque keeps building up, it may show symptoms, especially when your heart works harder, such as when you exercise. The signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease are;

Chest pain 

Chest pain, also known as angina, is a classic symptom of coronary artery disease. It aggravates upon physical exertion or emotional stress. The pain shows up in the left side or middle of the chest and stops within minutes when physical activity is stopped. 

Shortness of breath

When your heart does get enough blood, it pumps out less blood as compared to your normal needs. Therefore you may get out of breath when you do physical activity with coronary artery disease. 

Heart attack 

When plaque keeps building up in the coronary artery, it results in its complete blockage, hence causing a heart attack. At this stage, your heart is getting too little oxygen to survive, therefore needs prompt medical attention. If treatment is delayed, it can result in damage to heart tissues that can not be repaired. 

What are the Causes of the Coronary Artery Disease?

Damage or injury to the coronary artery can lead to coronary artery disease. It can occur due to reasons, such as;

  • Uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure 
  • High blood cholesterol 
  • Smoking 
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle

If any injury occurs at the innermost layer of the coronary artery, it can lead to fat or plaque buildup- a condition known as atherosclerosis. 

When plaque gets disrupted, platelets aggregate at the site to repair the damaged artery, leading to the formation of a clot. A clot inside the coronary artery can lead to a heart attack because the blood supply to the heart is stopped. 

What are the Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease?

The risk factors for coronary artery disease are;

  • Age- as you age, the risk of CAD increases. 
  • Male gender- they are more prone to heart diseases as compared to women. However, it increases when they reach menopause. 
  • Having a family history of heart diseases. 
  • Smoking 
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • High blood cholesterol levels 
  • Diabetes or uncontrolled high blood sugar levels 
  • Eating a diet rich in saturated, trans fat, or too much salt and sugar
  • Unrelieved stress for a long time

What are the Complications of Coronary Artery Disease?

The complications of coronary artery disease can be;

  • Chest pain or angina as your heart does not get enough oxygen. 
  • A heart attack because the clot may form inside the artery.
  • Heart failure because your heart remains chronically deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Heart failure is a condition when your heart becomes too weak and is unable to meet your body’s needs. 
  • Arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythm can occur due to damage to the heart tissue.

If you have any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, you must visit the cardiologist