Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup along the walls of the coronary arteries, which are responsible for supplying blood to your heart. Over time, the plaque buildup could cause narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries and lead to serious complications such as a heart attack. This build-up is called atherosclerosis. As atherosclerosis progresses, it will become more and more difficult for your blood to deliver oxygen to vital organs of the body, and it can also lead to issues with blood clotting.
What Are My Risk Factors?
As with most medical conditions, there are certain things that can influence your likelihood of developing coronary artery disease. These influential factors include:
- Being overweight
- Unhealthy eating
- Lack of physical activity
- High blood pressure
- Family history of heart disease
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
Coronary artery disease will gradually worsen over time, and often leads to other complications and conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Some general symptoms include:
- Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach
- Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, light-headedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat
- Sleep problems, fatigue (tiredness), or lack of energy
The following conditions have also been linked to coronary artery disease:
- Heart Failure – When the heart fails to pump the proper amount of blood that your body needs. You may notice more fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles and legs.
- Arrhythmia – When there is an issue with the rate and rhythm of your heart. It tends to “skip beats”.
- Heart Attack – When oxygen is entirely cut off to a section of the heart due to blockage.
Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease in Houston, TX
If diagnosed early on, you may be able to manage the effects of coronary artery disease through lifestyle changes and prescribed medications. If the disease has become quite advanced, patients are at an increased risk for severe complications such as a heart attack. To limit this risk, your cardiologist will likely perform a type of coronary intervention, which may include an angioplasty or stent placement to widen the narrowed arteries.
Consult with your cardiologist if you think you have symptoms of heart disease, and contact ICA Cardiology for more information about surgeries we commonly perform for the treatment of coronary artery disease. To schedule a consultation with one of our many talented cardiovascular specialists, please call (713) 790-9125 today!