Signs of Coronary Artery Disease and Tips for Protecting Your Heart
Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. They can accumulate plaque and become narrow, just like other arteries in your body. However, if blood flow through the coronary arteries is limited, the heart may not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen and nutrients and may not function properly. The blockage of coronary arteries is called coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease.
Over time, coronary artery disease makes your heart work harder and can weaken the heart muscle. To protect your heart, it is important you to recognize the symptoms of coronary artery disease and do what you can to prevent and lower your risk of disease.
Call 911 if you or anyone you know has these symptoms of coronary artery disease:
- Chest pain
- Pain that radiates down your arm, shoulders, neck, jaw or back
The risk factors for coronary artery disease include high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, smoking, being sedentary, overweight, eating an unhealthy diet and being stressed. To decrease your risk of coronary artery disease, follow these tips:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Quit smoking
- Find time to relax