Known to be one of the most common types of heart disease out there, coronary artery disease, also known as CAD, is registered by the Cleveland Clinic to being the leading cause of death in the United States.
CAD is said to occur if the main coronary arteries struggle sending over a sufficient amount of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, causing inflammation throughout the body.
Let us discuss more on this, and talk about what CAD is in its entirety, what symptoms might point to the fact that you may have coronary artery disease, and how you can prevent it.
What is CAD?
Scientifically speaking, CAD is more commonly caused by the plaque in your body, which eventually builds up within the walls of your arteries that are responsible for supplying a sufficient amount of blood to your heart.
Since the plaque which builds up in the artery walls mainly consists of cholesterol deposits, this causes all of the insides of the arteries to narrow down with time, causing coronary artery disease.
CAD is a heart disease that takes a considerable amount of time to develop in your body, usually taking decades.
This disease is considered so fatal because its symptoms easily go unnoticed until a significant amount of plaque has caused noticeable damage to your arteries, and this excess blockage can lead to a heart attack.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease
The most challenging aspect of this heart disease is its early-stage symptoms easily go unnoticed. In some cases, symptoms might not be present until a considerable amount of plaque buildup has progressed.
As the plaque progresses within your arteries and the cholesterol deposits begin to build up and curb your overall blood flow, one of the most noticeable early-stage symptoms is that you may feel fatigued and observe that you become short of breath much easier than normal.
In addition, another symptom, which is prevalent in anyone with CAD, is if you start to suffer from chest pain.
Some people may mistake this stinging sensation in your chest as a sign of indigestion or possible heartburn. Still, it is likely due to Coronary Artery Disease developing in your body.
In addition to that, there are many other types of pain that you may feel within your chest, which may be a sign of possible coronary artery disease:
Although these were some of the more minor and manageable symptoms, some notable symptoms must be addressed at the earliest possible.
As discussed earlier, if you feel any sudden chest pain, especially in the center or the left side of your chest, you should visit a medical professional as soon as possible.
An identifiable feature of chest pain related to this heart disease is that it may last for a few minutes before the pain is eventually alleviated. However, this stinging pain does not go back for good, as it seems to fade in and out with time.
The sensation which you might feel can be due to chest pain can feel like your chest is under immense pressure or being squeezed.
Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Another notable feature that can signify that you may have coronary artery disease is noticing heart palpitations and an irregular heart rhythm.
Although there may be other reasons why you might be suffering from these symptoms, the possibility that they may be due to CAD cannot be ruled out due to their link with this disease.
Due to this, it is advised to consult with your nearest doctor or general practitioner in case you might be suffering from any arrhythmia-related symptoms, such as a racing or fluttering heartbeat.
Hands and Feet Swelling
Probably one of the most noticeable symptoms of coronary artery disease, having swollen feet and hands is one of the most common signs of suffering from this heart disease.
Research suggests that heart failure can often cause a considerable amount of fluid buildup in your body, which is the primary cause of swollen feet and hands.
Therefore, consider visiting your nearest medical if facing a similar predicament and get some basic diagnostic tests done just in case.
How To Prevent Coronary Artery Disease
Although coronary artery disease is considered one of the most fatal heart diseases out there, that does not mean that this cannot be prevented.
Here are some ways and lifestyle changes you can adopt to reduce the risk of developing CAD, which include lowering your blood pressure and keeping a watch on your cholesterol levels.
- Follow a Balanced Diet
Preventing cholesterol buildup within your arteries is the best way to make you less susceptible to CAD. Due to this, it is essential to follow a low-fat, fiber-rich diet to avoid consuming foods containing saturated fats.
- Be More Active
Medical research has proven that exercising is directly related to reducing your overall cholesterol levels.
Additionally, it is important to keep your weight in check because maintaining a healthy weight also makes you less susceptible to developing high blood pressure.
This was a condensed guide that indicated some of the ways you can prevent CAD from occurring within you. In addition, this also explained what heart disease entails and some of the symptoms which might help you determine if you are facing this heart disease.
Although the symptoms of CAD are difficult to pinpoint in the early stages, adopting some lifestyle changes, such as following a balanced diet and staying active, can considerably lower your chances of developing coronary artery disease.