Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic Heart Disease - A Risky Affliction

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States and throughout the world. It is a type of coronary artery disease and occurs when not enough blood and oxygen is reaching the heart. Over time, plaque builds up inside the arteries and eventually forms blockages, making it harder for blood flow to reach the heart. This can lead to chest pain, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, and potentially death.

IHD is highly preventable, but to prevent it, you need to understand its risk factors. Some of the most important risk factors for IHD include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Physical inactivity
  • Low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Family history of IHD

Unfortunately, some risk factors are out of your control. For example, you can’t change your age, gender, or family history. But you can take steps to lower the other risk factors.

If you are at risk for IHD, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking can all help reduce your risk of developing IHD. In certain cases, surgery may be recommended.

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of IHD and to seek medical help if you experience any of them. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitations, and fatigue. If you are diagnosed with IHD, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is best suited for you.

Keeping your risk factors under control is the best way to prevent IHD. Talk to your doctor to determine the best way for you to lower your risk and keep your heart healthy. Early diagnosis and treatment can be key in averting serious complications.