Living with Coronary Heart Disease–Maintaining Good Health

Coronary Heart Disease

When plaque builds up,  it narrows the coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients this causes the coronary arteries to become diseased.

The plaque is caused by deposits containing cholesterol and this along with inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

The decreased 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.

Coronary artery disease often develops over a long time and this may cause the problem to go unnoticed until you have a significant blockage or a heart attack. But there’s plenty you can do to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. A healthy lifestyle can have  a big impact on heart health

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  • Development of atherosclerosis       (plaques of fatty material on their inner walls)

Damage or injury to the inner layer of a coronary artery can start the process  of Coronary artery disease, The damage may be caused by various factors, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Plaque is made of cholesterol and other cellular waste products that accumulate at the site of an injury to a blood vessel in a process called atherosclerosis. If the surface of the plaque breaks or ruptures, blood cells called platelets (the functions of these platelets is to react to bleeding from blood vessels so they will clump at the site to try to repair the artery.) This clump can block the artery, leading to a heart attack.

Risk factors

There are many things that make one at risk these include:

Ones age getting older increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries.

  • Gender. Men are usually at greater risk of coronary artery disease. women’s risk increases after menopause.
  • Family history. If a close relative developed heart disease at an early age. Your risk is highest if your father or a brother was diagnosed with heart disease before age 55 or if your mother or a sister developed it before age 65.
  • Smoking. People who smoke have an increased risk of heart disease, and exposing others to secondhand smoke also increases their risk of coronary artery disease.
  • High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries and this causes the narrowing of the channel through which blood can flow.
  • High blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of formation of plaque, (made up of fatty material on their inner walls also known as 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 also associated with a high risk of coronary artery disease. Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease have similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure being obese increases the chances of coronary heart disease.
  • Physical inactivity. A sedentary lifestyle is also associated with coronary artery disease and some of its risk factors, as well.

High stress. Being in a constant stressful state in one’s life may damage the 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.

Risk factors often occur together and may build on one another, such as obesity leading to type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. When they occur together, certain risk factors put you at an even greater risk of coronary artery disease. For example, a metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, elevated insulin levels and excess body fat around the waist, these conditions increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

There are some other disorders that can cause coronary artery disease that is not apart of the classic risk factors. These are :

Sleep apnea. This disorder causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing while you’re sleeping. This causes sudden drops in blood oxygen levels, and this increases blood pressure and strains the cardiovascular system, possibly leading to coronary artery disease.

  • High triglycerides. Is a type of fat (lipid) that is found in the blood at high levels and may increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.
  • Homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid and is important to the body for the use of making protein, and to build and maintain tissue. But high levels of homocysteine may also increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Preeclampsia. This condition that usually develops in women during pregnancy it causes high blood pressure and a higher amount of protein in the urine. This condition can lead to a higher risk of heart disease later in life.
  • Alcohol use. Heavy alcohol use is generally not good for one’s health and can lead to heart muscle damage. It can also worsen other risk factors of coronary artery disease.
  • Autoimmune diseases. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (and other inflammatory rheumatologic conditions) persons who have these conditions have an increased risk of atherosclerosis.

Complications

Coronary artery disease can lead to Chest pain (angina), Heart attack. Heart failure. Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)

The same lifestyle habits that can help treat coronary artery disease can also help prevent it, and other diseases from developing in the first place. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help keep your arteries strong and clear of plaque. To improve your overall health, you should:

  • 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

I would like to introduce to you the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet The DASH diet is shown to reduces the risk of many diseases, including some kinds of cancer, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones, and diabetes. It has been proven to be an effective way not only to lose weight but become healthier at the same time.

The diet is made up of

grains and grain products

(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)

Fruits

Vegetables

Low fat or non-fat dairy foods

Lean meats, fish, poultry

Nuts, seeds, and legumes

Fats and sweets in very small quantities

For those of us who have a sedentary lifestyle here is a link to some easy exercise from Silver Sneakers hope you enjoy them.

Fix Your Pain: Knees

Most knee pain is caused by muscle imbalances above and below it. Here’s the fix.

Posted by SilverSneakers on Monday, September 24, 2018

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