Coronary heart disease symptoms

The coronary arteries are the main blood vessels that bring oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the heart. However, these arteries can become diseased, blocked, or damaged over time or because of specific conditions. When this occurs, the umbrella term for any type of damage or other issue with the coronary arteries is coronary heart disease. As the deposits of fat, known as plaques, build up on the arteries, it becomes harder and harder for the heart to receive all of the blood it truly needs. Eventually, this could cause angina (chest pains), shortness of breath, and more. If one of the coronary arteries becomes completely blocked by accumulated plaques or if the artery ruptures, it can lead to a heart attack. One of the biggest dangers of coronary heart disease is that it often builds up very slowly over the years so that a person may not even be aware that they have a blockage until it becomes so bad that it causes a heart attack. To avoid this, one needs to live a healthy lifestyle complete with a good diet and exercise.

There are a number of causes of coronary artery disease. It usually begins when the inner layer of one of the coronary arteries becomes damaged. This can happen at any time, even during early childhood. The damage can be caused by several things, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. If you’ve been treated for cancer by having radiation therapy, you may also be at risk for coronary heart disease. Once this damage occurs, plaques made of cholesterol and other waste can start to accumulate at the site of the damage. This process, called atherosclerosis, can continue until the artery is completely blocked. However, it’s also possible that the fatty deposits will rupture. This will lead to the body sending platelets to repair the damage to the artery. However, what often happens in this case is that the platelets clump up and block the artery, causing a heart attack.

If you have coronary artery disease, you may suffer from a number of different symptoms. Because the heart cannot get enough oxygenated blood, it will have to beat much harder to get what it needs. In the beginning, when the blockage isn’t too bad, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all. However, as the deposits build up and the blockage increases, you may develop some of the symptoms mentioned above. The first is chest pain, or angina. This manifests itself as a tightness or pressure in the chest, like you have something heavy on it. Often, this tightness is only felt when you are feeling emotional or physical stress. Often, once the stress is gone, the tightness vanishes, too. In some cases, the pain is sharp or very fleeting, and in others it appears in the arm, back, or abdomen instead of the chest.

Another issue is shortness of breath. Because the heart can’t get enough blood pumped through the body, it is easy to become very fatigued doing very little. If you notice that even the smallest of tasks makes you breathe heavily and feel very tired, you may have coronary artery disease.

The final symptom of coronary artery disease is heart attack. This occurs when the artery is completely blocked. Sometimes, a heart attack begins with severe angina. This crushing pressure often comes with a shortness of breathe and sweating, although sometimes a heart attack occurs with no signs at all. If you believe you’re having a heart attack, it is important that you call for medical help right away. You should also talk to your doctor if you believe your have coronary artery disease.

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Last updated on Mar 24th, 2010 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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