Heart diseases are common and major problems in the health field all over the world. There is no country whose population is free from a cardiovascular disease problem. Not even the United States, considered as the most powerful country in the world, is free from its terror.
As a matter of fact, one heart disease known as ischemic heart disease is quite common in America and is also one of the leading causes of deaths globally. Thus, it is critical for people like us to know the ischemic heart disease symptoms so that we will be able to pinpoint if any of us or members of our family and friends is suffering from it and seek immediate medical treatment.
What Is Ischemic Heart Disease ?
Ischemic Heart Disease Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of ischemic heart disease may develop slowly as the coronary arteries are gradually blocked. In some cases, it will occur suddenly if the blockage is abrupt. Some people with ischemic heart disease may be asymptomatic, which means that they are symptom-free. There are others, too with severe symptoms which may lead to heart attack.
The Signs And Symptoms
Chest Pain Or Angina
This is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease and is often described as aching, burning, heavy, pressure, numb, full or squeezing pain. It may also be confused as heartburn or indigestion. The pain may radiate on other parts of the body such as the left shoulder, jaw, arms, neck and back.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Since ischemic heart disease may ultimately cause heart attack, there is no surprise if you feel heart attack symptoms. Women may less likely experience heart disease symptoms when compared to men. On an average scale, symptoms of a cardiovascular disease appear 10 years later in women. Thus, it is likely that heart attacks will occur 10 years later in women than in men.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Heart palpitations
When To Consult A Doctor?
The best time to ask your doctor is for prevention purposes. This means that you consult your physician even if you do not exhibit any signs and symptoms of an ischemic heart disease. The preventive consultation will assure you of your health status in general, as well as helps in monitoring any risks factors and possible heart problems that may arise.
If it is already too late for a preventive consultation and you feel any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately or call 911. If you do not have any access to an emergency number, seek help from someone to drive you to the nearest hospital. Do not push yourself personally, if possible, as it may lead to vehicular accidents on the way.
What Are The Treatments?
Treatments for ischemic heart disease are usually centered on lifestyle changes. Living a healthy life is one of the best preventive measure and natural treatment for an ischemic heart disease.
- Quit smoking.
- Do not eat processed foods, and avoid foods high in sugar, fat, salt, and cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly to achieve cardiovascular fitness.
- Avoid drugs and excessive alcohol intake.
Medical treatments will include the introduction of medications to help alleviate symptoms, prevent any complications and improve your heart function. There are some drugs that your doctor may prescribe depending on the condition of your heart, the severity of the disease and how well you react to the medication given. Your doctor may choose any from this list of drugs:
- Aldosterone Inhibitor. Prescribed to help lower blood pressure levels and clear excess fluids from the body to minimize swelling and shortness of breath.
- Beta-blockers. Used to reduced blood pressure levels and heart rate.
- Blood thinners. Prevent blood clot formation.
- Calcium-channel blockers. Lowers your blood pressure level, and relaxes and widens your coronary arteries.
- Gets rid of excess body flu
- ids, lowers blood pressure level, and reduces the amount of work your heart muscle needs to do.
- Other medications that help control your heart rate and heart rhythm
Surgery and other medical procedures may also be done to ensure that your heart will still function despite the disease.
Therefore, your doctor may recommend any of the following:
- Implantation of pacemaker or defibrillator (sometimes both) to help normalize the heart rate
- Angioplasty to open arteries that have become narrow
- Atherectomy to remove plaques that have build-up in the artery walls
- Stent insertion to hold arteries open
- Radiation therapy to help maintain an unobstructed artery after angioplasty surgery
- A heart transplant may be recommended for very severe cases. This is only done if the damage to your heart is too harsh or if repair is no longer possible.
Will Complications Develop After Treatment?
Complications may develop. However, you will likely develop complications if you DO NOT:
- Keep and maintain your healthy lifestyle.
- Take your prescribed medications accordingly.
- Seek for appropriate follow-up care.
Some unwelcome complications may also occur if you develop an infection or have any other underlying medical condition that will affect your treatment for ischemic heart disease. It is important to ask and get in contact with your doctor regarding your condition, treatments as well as the total prognosis for you to be able to have a clear view of what your status is like.