Coronary artery disease (CAD): is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries and blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky substance made up of cholesterol, fat, inflammation, calcium, and other elements.
It is the most common type of heart disease and major causes of health conditions such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, or heart attack.
What causes coronary artery disease?
The main cause of coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries or inflammation in damaged inner walls of the arteries.
Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow through.
Other factors of coronary artery disease that can lead to inner wall damage includes: high blood pressure, physical inactivity, high blood cholesterol levels, tobacco use or smoking, diabetes, family history of heart diseases, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, age, and gender.
What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?
Symptoms of coronary artery disease are not noted until the artery is significantly damaged. Severe artery damage decreases blood flow to the heart, and cause the following symptoms:
⦁ Chest pain or angina (that spreads across the chest)
⦁ Shortness of breath
⦁ Palpitations (a feeling of your heart racing or skipping beats)
⦁ Heart attack if the coronary artery is completely blocked
⦁ Other associated symptoms of coronary artery disease include nausea, sweating, fatigue, faster heartbeat, weakness, or dizziness.
Complications of coronary artery disease may include heart attack due to complete blockage of the artery, blood clots in the artery due to a ruptured plaque, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia.
How to prevent of coronary artery disease without medication?
The best way to prevent coronary artery disease is to embrace a healthy lifestyle, which includes quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, staying physically active (through regular exercise), managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and effectively managing stress.
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