Heart to Heart: What Causes CHD?

Let’s have a heart-to-heart chat. Have you thought much about your heart health lately? Whether you have a family history of heart problems or not, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy and pumping.

If you don’t, you’re putting yourself at greater risk for CHD, or coronary heart disease. Not sure what causes CHD or what symptoms you should watch for? This guide has you covered.

What Is CHD?

CHD, as stated above, is short for coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease develops due to the narrowing of the coronary arteries. Your coronary arteries are the main ones feeding blood to your heart, so if they can’t do their job, neither can your heart.

What Causes CHD?

Coronary artery narrowing mainly occurs due to a buildup of cholesterol along artery walls. When your body has excess cholesterol, it stores it within your arterial walls. This narrows the passages blood can flow through.

With narrower paths for blood to flow, the heart works harder to ensure proper oxygen delivery to all parts of the body. This elevates your blood pressure and increases the risk for clot formation and clot rupture. If either of the above occurs, you can have a massive heart attack or stroke, which could prove fatal.

Even if you survive, you’ll spend the rest of your life living with heart failure. So, how can you know if what you’re dealing with is CHD?

Symptoms of CHD

The symptoms of heart disease can vary from person to person. However, the most common ones include:

  • Pain — either body-wide or centralized in the heart
  • Feelings of nausea, fatigue, or general unwellness
  • Shortness of breath

If you’re experiencing any of these on a regular basis, contact your physician right away. They may be able to arrange a treatment plan for you.

Can I Reverse CHD?

The unfortunate answer to this question is no, you can’t reverse CHD. However, you can do many things to help prevent it or mitigate its damage. Here are some ideas:

  • Beginning and maintaining an exercise regimen
  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Taking medication for cholesterol levels
  • Surgical intervention, such as an angioplasty

Treatments that work for one patient might not work for another. You should consult with your doctor to help determine which of these treatment options might be right for you.

The Takeaway

CHD, or coronary heart disease, can have fatal consequences if left untreated. However, receiving a diagnosis for it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Now that you know what it is, and what symptoms to look for, you can better protect your health and your heart from long term damage.

If you enjoyed learning more about your heart health and want to keep up to date on the latest health and fitness news, check out our health and fitness section for more content like this!

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