Coronary Heart Disease

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Coronary Heart Disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, and claims the lives of millions of Americans every year. There are many different types of coronary heart disease, so this is a very general category in itself! Other examples of Coronary heart disorders include Atherosclerosis, not to be confused with Arteiosclerosis. These diseases occur because materials like Oxygen and nutrients are unable to pass through clearly, and thus, get trapped in Coronary Arteries, where the likelihood of disease occurring becomes likely. As a result, there is a series of symptoms resulting in chest pain, breathing problems, sweating...etc. Usually, the disease can be controlled through the use of medication, however, as of yet, there is no cure available.


Causes

There are many reasons why Coronary Heart disease occurs. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Heredity- If any member of your family has Coronary Heart Disease, you are more likely to get this disease due to genetics.
  • Overly Fat Diet- Too much fast-food, or oil-rich foods in general, can lead to artery blockage rather quickly.
  • Emotional Stress- Usually family deaths or strained relationships can sometimes narrow the blood vessels.
  • Tobacco Use- Chemicals within the tobacco, especially tar, can lead to “dirty” blood, which takes up too much space for the other substances to pass through
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Personality.


Symptoms

  • Angina- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
  • Chest Discomfort (burning, squeezing, pressure)
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular Heartbeat


Diagnosis

  • Coronary Angiography- X-rays that detect how blood moves in your heart. In this process, a small tube is inserted up the right arm or other feasible areas. The tip of the tube is placed near the arteries and a fluid known as contrast medium is put in. This fluid makes the detection of the blood movement possible
  • Electrocardiogram- is used to obtain an “electrical” picture of the heart. This method involves electrical impulses detect whether the heart has proper rhythms (in other words…the heart’s beating “lub…dub”. They can determine where the heart is damaged or not.
  • Exercise Stress Test- Monitors the patient’s heart rhythms, blood pressure and clinical status. This test is responsible for showing whether one’s supply of blood is slowed through strenuous exercise. If it does, the doctor is then able to recommend a proper level of exercise and request for further tests such as the nuclear stress test.


When to Speak to a Health Professional

If the symptoms of these constantly occurring, and home remedies, such as aspirin don’t work effectively to cure pains, it is strongly recommended that you see a health professional to provide you a proper treatment.


Treatment

Medications that are used to lower the negative effects of coronary heart disease and/or prevent the disease from occurring in the first place

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications- These medicines are used to reduce the “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Examples include: Niacin, Fibrates and Bile Acid Sequestrants.
  • Beta-Blockers- These medicines help the blood flow more normally by relaxing the heart. Examples of these include: Metoprolol, Atenelol and Proponolol.
  • Nitroglycerin- This medicine helps reduce angina, chest pain, by opening up the blood vessels which are narrowed.
  • Vitamins- These help decrease homocysteine, a substance which accelerates the blockage of the arteries. Examples include: Folic Acid, B-6 and B-12.


Prevention

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid stress and anxiety
  • Avoid overeating fatty foods
  • Check for blood pressure, proper heart rhythm
  • Exercise






External Links

"Atherosclerosis - Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention." Consumer Health News, Information and Resources Updated Daily. Health Schout. 12 Feb. 2009 <http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/38/main.html>.
"Coronary Artery Disease - Diagnosis and Treatment Options at Mayo Clinic." Mayo Clinic: Medical Treatment and Research Centers. Mayo Foundation. 12 Feb. 2009 <http://www.mayoclinic.org/coronary-artery-disease/>.
"Coronary Heart Disease." EmedinceHealth. WebMD. 12 Feb. 2009 <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/coronary_heart_disease/page7_em.htm#Medical%20Treatment>.
"Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) Test." WebMD - Better information. Better health. WebMD. 14 Feb. 2009 <http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/electrocardiogram>.
"Exercise Stress Test." American Heart Association. American Heart Association. 14 Feb. 2009 <http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4568>.
Kolata, Gina. "Coronary Heart Disease - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease - NY Times Health Information." Health News - New York Times. New York Times. 12 Feb. 2009 <http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/coronary-heart-disease/overview.html>.








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