Coronary artery disease is a condition where the major blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients become damaged or diseased. Deposits that contain cholesterol or plaque in the arteries and inflammation are caused by coronary artery disease.
Buildup of plaque causes narrowing of the coronary arteries which lessens the flow of blood to the heart. Over time, the reduced flow of blood will result to chest pain or angina, shortness of breath and other symptoms. A complete blockage can result to a heart attack.
Symptoms of coronary artery disease
- Chest pain or angina. There is a feeling of pressure or tightness in the chest. The pain can be felt on the middle left side of the chest and caused by physical and emotional stress.
- Shortness of breath
- Heart attack which is complete blockage of the coronary artery.
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Diabetes or insulin resistance
- High cholesterol
- Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Nicotine causes constriction of the blood vessels which makes the heart work harder while carbon monoxide lessens the oxygen in the blood and cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels. Quit smoking to prevent the risk of a heart attack.
- Control the blood pressure level.
- Maintain the cholesterol level.
- Maintain the normal level of blood sugar in the body to prevent the risk of heart disease.
- Perform regular exercises to maintain a healthy weight and control health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and diabetes. Perform at least 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity at least every day.
- Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and foods low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol to maintain weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Eat at least one serving of fish every week.
- Avoid being overweight to reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Cutting down a few pounds can lower the blood pressure and lessen the risk of coronary artery disease.
- Minimize stress as much as possible. Perform healthy techniques of minimizing stress such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
- Stop smoking to lessen the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
- Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight. Perform regular exercises for proper functioning of the heart and increase circulation of blood in the body.
- Eat foods low in fat and salt.
- Minimize consumption of alcohol.
The details posted on this page on coronary artery disease is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage heart diseases including coronary artery disease, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.