Think of your arteries as a freeway system between your heart and the rest of your body. Coronary artery disease, or CAD, develops when cholesterol builds up and keeps oxygen-rich blood from flowing normally to your heart. This condition increases the risk of serious injuries that are sometimes fatal.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, more people develop coronary artery disease than any other type of heart disease. It’s also the leading cause of death in women and men.
While there’s no known cure for CAD, you can take steps to slow its progression and significantly lower your risk of complications. Early diagnosis and treatment can help save your life and Dr. Samuel Fink, in Tarzana, California, has extensive experience helping patients protect their health after the disease develops.
Preventing coronary artery disease complications
Coronary artery disease, like all forms of heart disease, damage your heart. This damage can’t be reversed, which is why CAD isn’t considered reversible. But there’s still plenty of reason for hope and optimism.
Some evidence shows that lowering high cholesterol, and blood pressure, can partially reverse plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. This leads to a far lower risk of complications, such as:
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Other arterial diseases, such as aneurysm
- Sudden death
Diagnosis typically involves a comprehensive physical exam and tests, such as an EKG, stress test, or heart scan. If you're diagnosed with CAD, Dr. Fink will help you decide on an effective treatment plan. Your medical treatments may include:
- Angioplasty and stent placement, to keep your arteries open
- Coronary artery bypass surgery, which promotes normal blood flow with a graft, using a vessel from another part of your body
- Medications, such as aspirin, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or nitroglycerin
Lifestyle changes are often the first line of defense in protecting yourself from complications of coronary artery disease. Even with any recommended medication or procedure, shifting toward a heart-healthier lifestyle is important. Effective steps include:
- Eating primarily nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish
- Exercising regularly
- Losing any excess weight
- Managing or minimizing emotional stress
- Quitting (or never starting) smoking
To get the support you need, schedule an appointment with Dr. Samuel Fink. You can call our office at 818-609-0700 or visit our website. Dr. Fink and our team are here to improve your cardiovascular health. Come see us.