Coronary Heart Disease is a disease very prominent in women in which plaque builds up in your coronary arteries causing them to become narrowed or blocked. In turn, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart is reduced.
- However, in some cases, plaque can rupture which will abruptly and completely block blood flow. This is usually the main cause of:
- Heart Attacks
- Heart Failure
- Heart Rhythm Problems
What Are The Symptoms?
- Angina: Chest pain or discomfort that may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest. The pain tends to get worse with activity and go away with rest.
- Shortness of Breath: This occurs when your heart cannot pump enough blood to fulfill your body’s needs causing fluid to build up in your lungs making it hard to breathe.
- NOTE: Some people who have CHD show no signs or symptoms – a condition called Silent CHD. Therefore, the disease might not be diagnosed until the person experiences symptoms of a Heart Attack, Heart Failure or Arrhythmia.
- Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to a section of heart muscle is caught off. The symptoms of a heart attack include, chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea or fatigue.
- Heart Failure: Heart failure is when your heart cannot pump enough blood throughout your body. The symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, stomach and veins in neck.
- Arrhythmia: An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heart beat. The symptoms of arrhythmia include palpitations or feeling that your heart is beating too fast/skipping beats.
How is Coronary Heart Disease Diagnosed?
- Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to a section of heart muscle is caught off. The symptoms of a heart attack include, chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea or fatigue.Your doctor will diagnose Coronary Heart Disease based on your medical history, family history, present risk factors, physical exams and several tests. Some of the tests a doctor may recommend if they think you have CHD is:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Stress Testing
- Electrocardiography (Echo)
- Chest X-ray
- Blood Tests
- Coronary Angiography/Cardiac Catherization