How To Prevent Ischemic Heart Disease

When the heart stops receiving the blood it needs to function normally, the diagnosis is ischemic heart disease , a disease caused by atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, which are responsible for providing blood to the heart muscle. These, when narrowed by atherosclerosis, prevent the proper passage of blood, and can cause a heart attack or angina pectoris. But how does this process occur?

As Dr. Petra Sanz Mayordomo explains in this article , atherosclerosis accelerates with age and in patients with risk factors , such as those with diabetes, hypertension, smokers, obesity, or high cholesterol levels. The good news is that by keeping these risk factors in check, we can slow down the process. Otherwise, we will be more likely to suffer from obstructive disease of the coronary arteries and, therefore, more likely to suffer from angina or heart attack, the two manifestations of ischemic heart disease.

In the case of stable angina pectoris , the main symptom is recurrent chest pain that usually lasts between one and 15 minutes and is triggered by physical exertion or emotions, and is relieved in a few minutes with rest or sublingual nitroglycerin. The heart attack also manifests itself through chest pain with characteristics similar to angina, but it lasts for more than 20 minutes and can occur at rest. The final consequence is the death of the territory that supplies the obstructed artery. Therefore, the severity of the myocardial infarction will depend on the amount of heart muscle that is lost.

As for the prognosis, in the case of angina pectoris it is highly variable, since it depends on the extent of the disease and how damaged the heart muscle is. There are patients who are under control and have hardly any symptoms, while others have a short life expectancy. The factor that most influences the prognosis is the good or bad control of coronary risk factors . In the event of a heart attack, the damage increases as time passes and, once the portion of heart muscle dies, it is impossible to recover its function. However, that damage can be interrupted if the heart muscle is restored to blood through procedures that free the blocked artery.. That is why it is key that the person who is suffering from a heart attack be treated as soon as possible. Ideally, you should receive care within the first hour of symptom onset.

How to prevent

According to cardiologists, practically from the moment we are born, our race towards cardiovascular disease (CVD) begins. Hence, from childhood we must lead a healthy life that consists of following a balanced diet with the right nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right proportion, which basically corresponds to the Mediterranean diet); exercise also from an early age and maintain this habit in adulthood; and of course no smoking. To the above must be added from an age the medical check-ups to monitor if any risk factor appears.


by Abdullah Sam
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