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Home >> Medicial Conditions >> Heart Disease

Heart Disease

Healthy arteries carry a steady supply of blood to your heart. Without this blood, your heart can't work properly. But sometimes the arteries become too narrow, which can lead to heart disease. What causes arteries to become narrow? Over time, a fatty substance called plaque can build up on the inside of the artery wall clogging the arteries so that less blood gets to the heart. This can lead to angina or a heart attack. Angina happens when the heart isn't getting enough blood.

Symptoms include pressure and tightness in the chest and arm pain. Sometimes people also feel sweaty or nauseous. These signs mean there may be something wrong with your heart and you need medical help as soon as possible. Angina isn't the same as a heart attack, but it can increase your risk of having one. A heart attack happens if a clot forms in an artery that is already narrowed by plaque and this stops blood getting to the heart. If the blood supply is cut off for long enough it can cause permanent damage to the heart. If someone has a heart attack, the quicker they get to hospital the more they minimize the damage to the heart muscle.

What are the treatments of heart disease? Hospitals have treatments to open up blocked arteries. If the artery can be unblocked quickly, there is less damage to the heart. Your doctor will arrange a special x-ray called an angiogram to see where and how badly the arteries are clogged. Your doctor can then advise you on treatment. Some people with angina may only need medication. But if you have had a heart attack, you will need medication and an angioplasty or surgery. Medications can help dissolve clots blocking arteries; can thin the blood, lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke; can lower high blood pressure; can lower cholesterol (one of the causes of blocked arteries); ease angina symptoms; and help heal the heart muscle if there has been any damage. Angioplasty is a simple operation that improves blood flow to the heart by widening the artery. Bypass surgery creates an alternate way for blood to get to the heart. The doctor borrows another artery from the person's body (from the chest, leg or arm). This healthy artery is then attached to the blocked artery so that it can carry blood around the blockage and into the heart.

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What else is important to treat heart disease? Healthy habits are important to reduce the risk of heart disease. Clogged arteries are usually caused by things we can control like smoking, diet, and being inactive. It's important to: stop smoking (damages and weakens artery walls); avoid unhealthy saturated fat (fat found in fatty meat, full fat dairy products, butter, ghee, lard, solid cooking fat, coconut milk, fried takeaway foods and many biscuits, cakes and pies bought from shops); and be active (regular physical activity such as walking is good for the heart).

 

 


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