Heart Disease Q&A

Coronary artery disease (CAD) happens when the lining inside an artery is built up with fat and is damaged. The artery wall becomes thick and narrowed and sometimes blocked. It can lower the supply of oxygen-rich to the heart, so you may feel pain in your chest especially when your heart beats faster like exercise.
There are some risk factors that you can not change, like:
  • Being a man
  • Being a woman after menopause
  • Being older
  • Having a family history of heart attack
Other risk factors can be controlled:
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Stress
You can lower your chance with a healthier diet, quit smoking, reduce stress, and exercise. Also, it is better to do regular checks for high blood pressure, plasma glucose, or cholesterol. If you feel discomfort or pain in your chest, have edema in your legs, or feel shortness of breath during exercise of sleep, it is better to do an ECG or echocardiogram and consult with your doctor.
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes
  • Cut saturated fat from your diet.
  • Eat lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, and soy. Avoid red meat
  • Eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and pasta, and limit regular soda, sugar, and sweets.
  • High blood pressure ( Hypertension) is the commonest cardiovascular problem in the world. It is very important to be diagnosed and treated very early. If you feel any discomfort in your chest, shortness of breath, or headache, it is better to check your blood pressure. Hypertension can be diagnosed with 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and we can evaluate its burden on your heart with ECG or echocardiogram.
  • Diabetes is one of the very important risk factors which can have vast deleterious effects on your vessels all over the body. It is important to do a regular health check to make sure about your blood glucose, and if you have diabetes, it is crucial to do regular heart checks through ECG and echocardiogram. Regular aerobic exercise can reduce your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol and relax your vessels and decrease your chance to have CAD.
  • If you feel any palpitation or throbbing in your chest, it is better to be diagnosed and managed. As some irregularities called arrhythmias can put pressure on your heart or increase the risk of stroke. You can use a 24-hour holter monitoring device to check your heartbeat and make the proper treatment if needed.
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