Prevention and Causes of Ischemic Heart Disease – Houston Cardiologist

Ischemic heart disease is a condition of recurring chest pain or discomfort that occurs when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. This condition occurs most often during exertion or excitement, when the heart requires greater blood flow. Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary heart disease (CHD).

Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic Heart Disease develops when cholesterol particles in the blood begin to accumulate on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Eventually, deposits called plaques may form. These deposits narrow the arteries and eventually block the flow of blood. This decrease in blood flow reduces the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart muscle.

As the heart is the pump that supplies oxygenated blood to the various organs, any defect in the heart immediately affects the supply of oxygen to the vital organs like the brain, kidneys, liver, etc. This leads to the death of tissue within these organs and their eventual failure.

Coronary Artery Disease

Causes of Ischemic Heart Disease:

Exact cause is unknown. However there are a number of risk factors. Control of these risk factors has been shown to reduce the severity and complications of the disease.

  • Stress is also thought to be a risk factor
  • Genetic and hereditary factors may also be responsible for the disease
  • The major risk factors are smoking, diabetes mellitus and cholesterol levels
  • Hypertension is also a risk factor in the development of Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Those with Hypercholesterolemia have a much higher tendency to develop the disease

Risk Factors of Ischemic Heart Disease:

  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Hypertension
  • Previous heart attack or stroke
  • Poor nutrition, especially too much fat in the diet
  • Elevated cholesterol and/or low level of HDL (high-density lipoprotein)

Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease:

  • Heart failure
  • Angina pectoris
  • Acute chest pain

Prevention of Ischemic Heart Disease:

Fatty diet, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and stress should be avoided, as they are the main causes of Ischemic heart diseases. Avoiding foods rich in saturated fats is important to reduce lipid levels in the blood and to prevent arteriosclerosis. Adequate regular exercise is also essential. Cholesterol and hypertension should be kept under good control with proper treatment.

Types of Heart Disease

Diagnosis of Ischemic Heart Disease:

Diagnosis of angina is a clinical diagnosis based on a characteristic complaint of chest discomfort or chest pain brought on by exertion and relieved by rest. Confirmation may be obtained by observing reversible ischemic changes on ECG during an attack or by giving a test dose of sublingual nitroglycerin that characteristically relieves the pain in 1 to 3 minutes.

Certain tests may help determine the severity of ischemia and the presence and extent of the coronary artery disease. Diagnostic tests may include electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, exercise-tolerance test, thallium stress test, blood studies to measure total fat, cholesterol and lipoproteins, X-rays of the chest and coronary angiogram.

Treatment of Ischemic Heart Disease:

  • Statins
  • Aspirin
  • Beta Blockers
  • Organic Nitrates
  • Calcium Channel Blockers

Potential Complications of Ischemic Heart Disease:

You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

  • Heart damage
  • Chronic angina
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)

Seek counsel from our Heart Specialist in Houston if you suspect you are suffering from Diastolic Dysfunction for the best treatment options for you. Advanced Cardiovascular Care Center…!

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