What is the Link Between Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attacks?
Our hearts are the center of our being both physically and metaphorically. Our hearts keep our blood pumping and as such our bodies alive. They have been romanticized until they are the symbol of love, but the reality is that the heart is simply the most crucial internal organ in the human body.
Sadly, like any other part of the human body, the human heart is not flawless. It does an incredible job for most people, however many people suffer from heart related problems. Some of the most severe ones are coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
What is Heart Disease ?
Heart disease is a blanket term for a large number of different diseases that can affect the heart. Typically a person’s heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body through a series of arteries and veins. The heart does so by expanding and contracting (beating) within the chest.
Heart disease affects the heart in two ways. The first way is that it can affect the structure of the heart. The heart is a complex organ with multiple chambers. The second way that heart disease affects people is when it affects the way to heart operates instead of changing it physically.
Coronary artery disease is one of the most severe types of heart disease. It results in narrow arteries. These narrow arteries struggle to pump as much blood through the body and are very easy to clog. These potential clogs of plaque can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal heart attacks.
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
There are a lot of risk factors that cause coronary artery disease. As people age, their arteries will naturally narrow. Men get it more than women. People who smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol are more likely to suffer from CAD. Many times people aren’t sure that they suffer from coronary artery disease. There are some symptoms and hints that can help people determine if they may suffer from CAD.
Chest Pain - The chest pain that comes from CAD can make people feel very uncomfortable. The pain is known as Angina, It’s a high pressure in the chest and many people actually feel like they are having a heart attack when it occurs. Angina tends to be stress related and once the stress is relieved, the pain and pressure goes away.
Shortness of Breath - Trouble breathing is a pretty common problem for a lot illnesses and diseases. These can be heart related, lung related or others. CAD usually means that there isn’t enough blood running through the body. This leads to the shortness of breath and a high amount of fatigue through even minimal physical exertion.
Heart Attack - This is the highest symptom of coronary artery disease. Heart attacks are the full blockage in one of the coronary arteries. Heart attacks are incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Heart attacks are one of the primary ways to know if a person suffers from coronary artery disease. A heart attack is often life threatening. Men tend to suffer from the obvious severe symptoms, whereas women suffering a heart attack may have more of the subtle symptoms. Here are symptoms to look out for if you think you might be having a heart attack:
Chest Pain/Pressure - This is the most common symptom and can be very painful.
Stomach Pain - Not as common as chest pain, but many people will feel pain in their stomach as well.
Neck/Back/Arm Pain - It seems like heart attacks cause a lot of pain. Shooting pains throughout these areas are quite common.
Heavy Sweating - When undergoing a heart attack, the body may start sweating profusely without really seemingly like it should be.