Coronary Artery Disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply to heart become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaques) in coronary arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.
The coronary arteries supply blood, oxygen and nutrients to heart. A buildup of plaque can narrow these arteries, decreasing blood flow to heart. Eventually, the reduced blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.
SYMPTOMS OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
If coronary arteries narrow, they can't supply enough oxygen-rich blood to heart — especially when it's beating hard, such as during exercise. At first, the decreased blood flow may not cause any symptoms. As plaque continues to build up in coronary arteries,following coronary artery disease signs and symptoms may develop
- Chest pain (angina).
- Shortness of breath.
- Heart attack.
CAUSES OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
Coronary Artery Disease is thought to begin with damage or injury to the inner layer of a coronary artery, sometimes as early as childhood. The damage may be caused by various factors, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diabetes or insulin resistance
- Not being active (sedentary lifestyle)
Once the inner wall of an artery is damaged, fatty deposits (plaque) made of cholesterol and other cellular waste products tend to collect at the site of injury. This process is called atherosclerosis. If the plaque surface breaks or ruptures, blood cells called platelets clump together at the site to try to repair the artery. This clump can block the artery, leading to a heart attack.
RISK FACTORS OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
Risk factors for coronary artery disease include:
- Age. Getting older increases the risk of damaged and narrowed arteries.
- Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of coronary artery disease. However, the risk for women increases after menopause.
- Family history. A family history of heart disease is associated with a higher risk of coronary artery disease, e
- Smoking. People who smoke have a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Breathing in secondhand smoke also increases a person's risk of coronary artery disease.
- High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the channel through which blood can flow.
- High blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaque and atherosclerosis. High cholesterol can be caused by a high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as the "bad" cholesterol. A low level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as the "good" cholesterol, can also contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
- Diabetes. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
- Overweight or obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
- Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise also is associated with coronary artery disease and some of its risk factors, as well.
- High stress. Unrelieved stress in your life may damage your arteries as well as worsen other risk factors for coronary artery disease.
- Unhealthy diet. Eating too much food that has high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, salt and sugar can increase your risk of coronary artery disease.
Sometimes coronary artery disease develops without any classic risk factors. Researchers are studying other possible risk factors, including:
- Sleep apnea. This disorder causes repeatedly stop and start breathing while sleeping. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system, possibly leading to coronary artery disease.
- High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). This protein appears in higher-than-normal amounts when there is inflammation somewhere in the body. High hs-CRP levels may be a risk factor for heart disease. It is thought that as coronary arteries narrow,one will have more hs-CRP in blood.
- High triglycerides. This is a type of fat (lipid) in blood. High levels may raise the risk of coronary artery disease, especially for women.
- Homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid body uses to make protein and to build and maintain tissue. But high levels of homocysteine may increase risk of coronary artery disease.
- Preeclampsia. This condition that can develop in women during pregnancy causes high blood pressure and a higher amount of protein in urine. It can lead to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
- Alcohol use. Heavy alcohol use can lead to heart muscle damage. It can also worsen other risk factors of coronary artery disease.
- Autoimmune diseases. People who have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (and other inflammatory conditions) have an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
COMPLICATIONS OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
Coronary artery disease can lead to:
- Chest pain (angina).
- Heart attack.
- Heart failure.
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
PREVENTION OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
The same lifestyle habits used to help treat coronary artery disease can also help prevent it. A healthy lifestyle can help keep our arteries strong and clear of plaque. To improve your heart health, follow these tips:
- Quit smoking.
- Control conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Stay physically active.
- Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce and manage stress.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
ACONITE - Very usefull when there is attacks of intense pain extending from the heart down the left arm, with numbness and tingling of fingers and fear and anxiety that he will drop dead in the street. There is nervous and confused in a crowd.Helpful medicine for palpitations with anxiety, cardiac oppression, and syncope which aggravate when walking, lancinating stitches prevent the patient from assuming the erect position or taking a deep breath.Also useful for Panic attacks.
ARNICA : Useful when therte is strain to the heart muscle which produces uncomplicated hypertrophy.There is swelling of hand from any exertion, hands turn red when hanging down.Indicated when heart feels as if tightly grasped by the hand the whole chest feels sore and bruised and cannot bear the clothing to touch it.There is full and strong pulse.Very useful especially when the heart attack has been brought on by exertion.
CACTUS : Useful when there is sensation of constriction of the heart, feels as if it were compressed or squeezed by an iron hand.Mostly indicated when heart pains come on slowly, gradually increase then gradually subside.Useful for Angina pectoris, with suffocation, cold sweat and ever-present iron band feeling.There is feeble, irregular quick pulse without strength.Useful for Melancholic, taciturn, sad, and ill humored patient.
DIGITALIS- Useful when there is sudden sensation that the heart stood still.There is very small, slow, feeble pulse which intermitts every third, fifth and seventh beat. Feels as if the heart would stop beating if she moved. There is blueness, coldness and suffocation.
KALMIA : There is sharp, severe pains about heart taking way the breath which is shooting down into stomach and abdomen with slow pulse and numb feelings in left arm.Useful for Pains which often travel downward in heart attacks. There is Rapid and visible beating of the heat, paroxysms of anguish with great breathlessness, pains in limbs, stitching lower part of chest, right sided face ache.
LACHESIS -There is great loquacity jumps from one subject to another.There is fits of suffocation and fainting, especially when moving.There is weak, intermittent pulse stitches in left side of chest.Patient can’t bear anything tight around the neck or waist.There is smothering feeling about the heart awaking him from sleep and compelling him to leave the bed, dread of going to sleep on account of marked aggravation.Useful for pain begins on the left and extends to the right. The face is purple, mottled puffed. looks swollen and bloated.
NAJA- There is sense of oppression in chest, as if a hot iron had been run into it and a big weight put upon it. Angina, threatened paralysis of the heart, body cold, pulse slow, weak, irregular and tremulous. Angina pains extending to the nape of neck, left shoulder and arm with anxiety and fear of death Can not lie on left side, but has great > relief of pain and breathlessness when lying on right side.
Worse < from stimulants.
Better > walking of riding in open air.
SPIGELIA : Useful for great breathlessness at every change of position. Breathlessness, must lie on right side with head high.There is Sharp, shooting pains from the heart to the back, radiating form the heart down the arm, over the chest, and down the spine.There is great weakness of the body after walking, Great oppression or anxiety about the heart. Craving for hot water which > ameliorates. Fear of sharp pointed things such as needle and pins, afraid of injections and acupuncture.
Worse < from touch, motion, noise, turning , washing , concussion.
Better > lying on right side with head high, inspiring.
TARENTULA - Recommended when heart suddenly ceases to beat, with fear of death and constant want of air. There is trembling and thumbing of the heart as from a fright. Useful for Palpitation with praecordial anguish, There is sensation as if heart were twisted and turned around. Heart attack from seeing others in trouble.