Ischemic Heart Disease: The Silent Killer

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There are a plethora of diseases and conditions associated with our cardiovascular system, more specifically the heart. Many of these conditions give rise to signs and symptoms like sharp and shooting chest pain, constant and irritating cough, body weakness and sweating. However, in one certain heart disease—experiencing these signs and symptoms are infrequent…in fact, you’ll never have any idea that you are suffering from this condition until it becomes full blown. This is what we call Ischemic Heart Disease.

Causes of Ischemic Heart Disease

Arteriosclerosis is a common cause of Aneurisms. It is characterized by fatty plaques inside the walls of the artery. Arteriosclerosis is mostly caused by physical inactivity, diet and other lifestyle related causes. When a lot of plaques are inside the arteries, blood can be hampered from flowing smoothly. This leads to the disruption of blood supply especially to the vital parts of the myocardium.

Aneurisms are also common causes of Ischemic Heart Disease. When specific parts of the arteries weaken, blood may pool in that certain area, causing the part to balloon and unable to allow blood to pass through.

Signs and Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease

Noticing the signs and symptoms of an ischemic heart disease is hard because many of its signs and symptoms start appearing when the blockage becomes significant. Once the blockage becomes difficult to pass through, signs and symptoms like angina (chest pain) may happen especially when exerting effort or during emotional stress.

Shortness of breath may also occur most especially when performing physical activities. This difficulty in breathing is commonly accompanied with fatigue and generalized body weakness. Abnormal heartbeats may occur because of the compensation that the heart gives in order to keep up with the adequate supply of blood to the heart muscles.

Diagnosis of Ischemic Heart Disease

Once you have consulted your cardiologist for these signs and symptoms, you may be advised to undergo some laboratory and radiologic exams like ECG, echocardiography or MRI. These tests will determine whether there is a blockage in your coronary arteries, and its extent.

Treatment of Ischemic Heart Disease

Once you have been confirmed to have this condition, your physician will first employ drug therapy which can help in minimizing further clotting like anti-platelet medications (Clopidogrel). Nitrate drugs can help a person with Ischemic Heart Disease by dilating the arteries providing a more efficient flow of blood to the heart. On the other hand, drugs that affect cardiac output and heart rate can also be given in order to lessen the heart demands in times of stress and physical exertion.

There are also surgical methods of treating Ischemic Heart Disease but these are not the priority method for treatment since it may pose certain risks, depending on the person’s age, risk factors, etc. Ischemic heart disease is a silent killer—make sure you catch it before it starts to ticking its clock on you.

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