Coronary heart disease is one of the most common heart diseases in the world. It can lead to heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias and other serious consequences. We are talking about coronary heart disease (CHD for short) - a disease in which the heart is no longer supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Older people are particularly affected. But the good news right at the start is that this heart disease can be treated well by changing one's lifestyle and taking medication regularly.
The older we get, the more calcium deposits are found in our arteries and vessels. If the heart arteries become narrowed by deposits (arteriosclerosis), the heart no longer receives enough blood - and therefore not enough oxygen and nutrients. The most common symptom of CHD is sudden, severe pain behind the breastbone. This pain is also known as "angina pectoris".
Who is particularly affected and what can be done to minimize the risk?
Primarily older people are affected, men about twice as often as women. However, age and gender are not the only risk factors. Similar to other diseases, personal lifestyle as well as family predisposition play a major role here. Anyone who knows that there are cases of coronary heart disease in the family should exercise regularly, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid stress as far as possible. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and being highly overweight also promote heart disease.
Symptoms: Recognizing coronary heart disease
The dangerous thing about coronary heart disease is that it is not always noticed immediately. Not until the vessels are already severely constricted and significantly less blood reaches the heart compared to healthy people are symptoms experienced. And severe chest pain is not the only symptom; sweating, shortness of breath and feelings of panic can also be signs of coronary heart disease. The above symptoms are often triggered by high physical or mental stress or by cold. Complaints can also occur after a particularly sumptuous meal. Important to know: If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call the emergency services immediately as a precaution.
Diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease
Diagnosis is often made rather quickly based on a description of the symptoms experienced. In most cases, however, a comprehensive examination, by means of resting ECG, stress ECG and cardiac ultrasound examination is necessary. Only in this way is it possible to determine the extent to which the heart and coronary arteries are already impaired in their work. Based on the results of the examination, CHD patients are given an individually tailored treatment plan, with the aim of widening the narrowed coronary arteries again and thus improving blood flow and supply to the heart muscle. Typical risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are also treated with medication.
Medications commonly used for long-term treatment are listed below:
- ACE inhibitors: they prevent the production of the hormone that leads to narrowing of the arteries (angiotensin II). They also ensure that the aorta is better supplied with blood.
- Angiotensin II inhibitors: They prevent the action of the hormone angiotensin II, which narrows the arteries.
- Beta-blockers: They ensure that stress hormones do not take effect on the heart muscle and blood vessels. As a result, the heart beats slower and improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Diuretics: These help the body eliminate excess fluid stored in the tissues. This also relieves the heart.
Keeping coronary heart disease under control: with the TOM app.
It is vital to take medications for coronary artery disease regularly. If you have trouble keeping track of the different medications or sometimes forget to take them, the TOM app can help. The app tells you every day which medication you need to take and when. You can also easily add or remove medications in the app's virtual medicine cabinet. Download the TOM app now and manage your coronary artery disease safely!