Acute coronary syndrome is a sudden lack of blood flow to the heart. It is usually caused by arteries that have become dangerously blocked by plaque. People who have this syndrome have symptoms that very much resemble a heart attack. Acute coronary syndrome is a term that covers the entire group of symptoms that are associated with acute myocardial ischemia. The symptoms include chest pains and feelings of light headedness because of the lack of blood flow to the heart and brain. Nausea is also experienced along with the chest pain and light headedness. Some people who have acute coronary syndrome will also experience vomiting along with shortness of breath. Heavy sweating is also another symptom that people with this condition experience.
Plaque buildup in the arteries is most commonly caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise which leads to acute coronary syndrome. As the plaque builds up the symptoms worsen until the person actually does have a heart attack due to blocked blood flow to the heart. People who smoke are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing this condition. Diabetes also puts a person at a higher risk for developing this syndrome. It is very important to monitor blood sugar levels and your blood sugar in balance. People who are sedentary are also at risk so they should participate in a daily exercise routine. Smokers should quit smoking to reduce their risk for developing acute coronary syndrome.
People who experience chest pains, light headedness, shortness of breath and nausea and sweating symptoms should go to their doctor for diagnostic testing to determine if they have acute coronary syndrome. If this syndrome is diagnosed the patient may be put on blood thinning medications like Cumadin or Heparin. The cardiologists may also recommend that they take aspirin therapy as well. Patients may also be given nitroglycerin to help reduce chest pain. Nitroglycerin dilates the blood vessels so that the blood can flow more freely through the veins and the heart will be able to get enough blood. If the arteries are blocked by plaque beyond a certain extent, the patient will have to undergo a procedure called angioplasty. This procedure is done by a catheter that is inserted through the artery in the groin until it reaches the blocked arteries in the heart to open them up more. A stent will then be placed in the artery to keep the blood flowing freely. If this type of surgery is not adequate, the patient will have to undergo bypass surgery. Bypass surgery is a more serious and invasive surgery involving taking a vein from one area of the body and using it to replace the blocked artery.
People who have acute coronary syndrome will be told to reduce their weight, quit smoking and exercise more. Patients are also informed that a better diet needs to be followed to reduce their risk. Patients are also normally given cholesterol medications to take that are called statin drugs.
There are sub-types of acute coronary syndrome. These include unstable angina (UA) and myocardial infarction (MI). When a person goes to the doctor complaining of the symptoms associated with this syndrome the doctor will usually order an ECD/EKG done to determine the type of heart problem that the patient has. Acute coronary syndrome is not he same things as stable angina. Stable angina occurs during or after exertion while UA occurs suddenly for no apparent reason. The ECD/EKG can determine the type of acute coronary syndrome the patient has. Coronary thrombosis is also associated with acute coronary syndrome. This involves blood clots in the arteries. Acute coronary syndrome is also associated with the use of cocaine so the use of this drug must be ruled out.
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