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Blocked Artery in Heart

Blocked Artery in Heart

In today's world, it is very important to educate oneself about how the heart functions and the problems that may arise in this vital organ, especially due to blockage in the arteries. Even one blocked artery in heart can lead to many fatal consequences. This HealthHearty article discusses the symptoms, causes, and treatment for blocked arteries.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
A healthy heart equals a healthy life, which is why most of the healthcare specialists encourage us all to keep our heart as healthy and active as possible by leading a healthy lifestyle! Even a single blocked artery in heart can result in severe heart issues, which if not taken care of immediately, may prove to be fatal. The condition wherein the arteries of the heart become hard and narrow, resulting in blockage, is known as atherosclerosis. It is the main cause of cardiovascular diseases, and as per statistics, the main reason for deaths due to heart attacks in the United States!
Causes
The arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body parts. They consist of a layer of cells which is known as endothelium, which helps in smooth flow of blood through the arteries. Many times, due to accumulation of fatty and cholesterol rich substances, one or more arteries may get blocked resulting in reduced blood supply. Not only this, the accumulated plaque can also damage or cause death of the blood vessels in the heart, resulting in a heart disease.
Mentioned below are the causes and risk factors associated with arterial blockage.
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diet rich in high fat and cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Family history of heart diseases
  • Being middle aged or elderly
  • High blood pressure
  • Too much stress
  • Too much nicotine in the body
Symptoms
This condition develops over a period of time. Therefore, there are no symptoms observed during the initial stage. However, with the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, some serious signs and symptoms may occur with time. These are mentioned as follows.
  • Kidney problems and diseases
  • Hypertension
  • Severe pain in the chest, also known as angina pectoris.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Paleness in the skin
  • Cold flashes
  • Weakness in the body
  • Numbness in legs and arms
  • Drooping face muscles
  • Pain in legs while walking
  • Choking sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Breathing problems
  • Cardiac arrest
Treatment
The treatment depends upon the causal factors and the severity of the condition. A thorough medical checkup needs to be done by your healthcare provider in order to start with the correct treatment. Many times, a blocked artery is opened via surgery by adding a stent into it, but this happens in extreme cases only. Tests including ECG, CT scan, angiogram, ultrasound, and blood examination, will be conducted in order to determine the exact condition of the blockage. Depending on the condition, the doctor will suggest various medications which may include cholesterol medications, beta blocker medications, diuretics, and the like. In extreme cases, surgical procedures may be used for treatment, which may include a bypass surgery, angioplasty, endarterectomy, and thrombolytic therapy.
It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent arterial blockage, thereby reducing the chances of being affected by heart issues. To begin with, one must start by exercising regularly and shedding those extra pounds, managing stress, consuming a high-fiber diet, and cutting down on the fat intake. It is also important to quit drinking and smoking completely. So, take care of your heart and allow it to make you live a healthy and longer life. Have a safe tomorrow.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.