Our coronary arteries facilitate blood flow to the heart. However, when fatty deposits called plaque build up, these arteries get clogged and make blood flow to the heart difficult; this results in coronary heart disease (CAD).
What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?
According to the CDC, about 18.2 million adults suffer from coronary artery disease. The symptoms of coronary heart disease manifest themselves quite noticeably, starting with its most common…
Angina, or ischemic chest pain, is CAD’s most prevalent symptom, due to the arteries being blocked by plaque. This blockage causes pain that is usually described as a combination of tight, heavy, numb, or squeezing sensations.
Having blocked arteries is the root of other symptoms, such as the following…
9. Irregular Heartbeats (Arrhythmias)
Irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias can develop due to a heart weakened by impeded blood flow. Arrhythmia is characterized by rapid heartbeats that can cause palpitations, blood clots. In worst-case scenarios, they can even lead to strokes and heart attacks.
With these conditions considered, it’s no surprise that the following comes along too…
8. Shortness of Breath
When a CAD patient experiences angina and arrhythmia, it’s also common for them to experience some difficulty in breathing, medically known as dyspnea. This is also a result of the limited blood flow to the heart.
This next symptom is not only seen in CAD cases, but in all heart diseases as well…
Blood contains oxygen, and when blood flow is limited or obstructed, it fails to deliver oxygen to the heart and the rest of your body. This causes your body to become weaker, making daily activities like walking or climbing the stairs especially difficult. This added strain causes extra fatigue.
The steady flow of oxygen-filled blood is not only critically vital for the heart, but to other areas of the body as well. Lack of oxygen can lead to the following…
Like the heart, the brain also needs proper blood flow to function well. Otherwise, when it is disrupted, it causes you to feel faint or light-headed.
And as a result, this next symptom usually follows…
Dizziness is nearly always accompanied by the inescapable feeling of nauseousness, which then often leads to vomiting. As a result, most people tend to just sit or lie down to relieve themselves of the sensation.
But not even lying down can stop other symptoms, such as…
4. Acid Reflux
A Chinese study claims that acid refluxes, like angina, are also common in CAD patients. Though both manifest themselves in the chest area, acid reflux pain has more of a burning sensation and can cause regurgitation.
Either way, sometimes these chest pains can move to other parts of the body as well…
3. Upper Body Pain
Patients have also complained of experiencing the same anginal pain travelling from the chest to either the left shoulder, arms, neck, jaw, and the back.
Our penultimate symptom is also present in most heart conditions…
2. Cold Sweat
Cold sweat happens when your body sweats more to keep your body temperature down. This occurs since clogged arteries make pumping blood extremely difficult for the heart. It is also one of the tell-tale signs of a heart attack, so it’s important to take rapid action when this occurs.
The ravages of CAD don’t just take its toll on physical health, though…
1. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders like GAD and PTSD have always been linked with heart ailments. In fact, about 46% of cases of CAD have some form of anxiety order or depression, as one study had discovered. CAD may be a contributing factor to developing or worsening these conditions or be an aftereffect of the experience. Treatments are usually given to remedy these conditions to improve odds of recovery and quality of life.
Being fast and alert saves lives in critical health situations. As soon as any of these CAD symptoms manifest themselves for more than 5 minutes, call 911 immediately to get immediate medical help.