Coronary artery disease
Did you know that around 18 million adults are suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD) in the US? This is a very common heart disease. It is caused when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. In the early stage, coronary artery disease symptoms are not noticeable which increases the risk of complications of heart attack. So, you must know about its symptoms so that you can get an early diagnosis and treatment. Get a consultation with the best cardiologists in Brooklyn.
Learn about coronary artery disease in this article.
Causes and risk factors
The main cause of coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis which is a mixture of cholesterol, waste products, calcium, and fibrin that buildup the plaques in the arteries throughout your body. These plaque deposits in your arteries can slow or block the blood flow. If the plaque deposits in your coronary arteries then you develop coronary artery disease. The more plaque gets deposited in your artery walls, the more narrower or stiff your artery will become.
When plaque builds up in your coronary arteries, your heart muscle stops receiving enough blood. This affects your heart severely as your heart is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients to work properly and this condition is known as myocardial ischemia. This can cause chest discomfort and increase your risk of getting a heart attack.
If plaque build-up happens in your coronary arteries and somewhere else in your body too, then this can lead to conditions such as carotid artery and peripheral artery disease.
Many risk factors can increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Some of them you can’t control while others are manageable by making certain lifestyle changes and taking medications.
Here are the risk factors you can’t manage:
- Age: As you get older, your risk of CAD developing is increased because of damaged or narrowed arteries.
- Sex: Men are more at risk of developing CAD. However, women’s risk of developing CAD increases after menopause.
- Family history: If you have a family history of heart disease, then your risk of getting coronary artery disease increases. This commonly happens if your parents/close relative develops heart disease at an early age. The risk is highest if your dad or a brother developed heart disease before the age of 55 or if your mother and sister develop it before the age of 65.
Here are the risk factors that you can eliminate with lifestyle changes or with treatment.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Lack of physical activity.
- A diet high in saturated fats.
- Smoking, vaping, or other tobacco use.
- Bad cholesterol.
- High blood pressure.
- High triglycerides.
Other medical conditions
- Autoimmune diseases (such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis).
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Overweight or obesity.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea.
In the early stage, you may not notice any symptoms at all. However, if plaque buildup increases and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle, you may notice shortness of breath or fatigue during intense physical activity. The main symptom of this condition is angina, but often people take it as heartburn or indigestion. When you have angina, your chest becomes uncomfortable, you may experience the feeling in your shoulders, arms, back, and jaw. You may feel:
However, if you have any of the symptoms mentioned below, call your local emergency number:
- Chest pain, particularly in the center or left side of the chest, which lasts for some minutes, or goes away or comes back. You may feel squeezing, pressure, pain, or fullness. Some people may take that as a sign of indigestion and heartburn.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest uneasiness.
- Discomfort in any of the upper body parts such as one or both arms, neck, jaw, shoulders, and upper part of the stomach.
- Nausea and vomiting with lightheadedness, dizziness, and cold sweat.
Women usually have different heart attack symptoms than men. The most common is chest pain, and other symptoms include extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and back and jaw pain.
The Cardiologists at Doral Health & Wellness consistently have outstanding patient satisfaction ratings. The professionals at Heart Specialist Brooklyn are able to greatly improve their patient’s health and quality of life because of their vast training and experience. New Yorkers can get the greatest medical, surgical, and cardiovascular care at Doral Health & Wellness Brooklyn. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212. You can reach us at +1-347-384-5690 to schedule a consultation.