What is Ischaemic Heart Disease?

What is Ischaemic Heart disease? This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions in relation to heart diseases. Ischaemic or Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) is a type of heart disease characterized by lack of sufficient oxygenated blood supply to the heart. This inadequate supply of blood and oxygen damages heart muscles thereby affecting the normal functioning of the heart.

This lack of blood supply to the heart is caused by accumulation of fatty deposits (atheroma) on the walls of the coronary arteries present in the heart. The accumulation of fatty deposits causes Atherosclerosis by narrowing and blocking the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles.

Ischaemic Heart Disease is considered as a silent disease in case of diabetes because the symptoms and warning signs of this disease are not perceived properly due to diabetes. Angina or chest pain is one of the most important symptoms of Ischaemic Heart Disease.

When the heart muscles weaken progressively, their ability to pump blood also reduces thereby causing heart failure. Heart attack is another serious complication of Ischemic Heart Disease. The exact cause of this heart disease is not known. Still, there are a number of risk factors associated with it.

Risk Factors of Ishchaemic Heart Disease

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The risk of developing Ischaemic Heart Disease increases with increasing age. Moreover, individuals suffering from coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes are also susceptible to this disease. Individuals who have had a previous heart attack or stroke are also at an increased risk of developing this serious disease.

Other risk factors associated with Ischemic heart disease are hereditary factors, obesity, stress, faulty lifestyle with lack of adequate physical activity, diet high in fats and low in nutrients etc. The habit of smoking causes Atherosclerosis which in turn increases the chances of developing Ischaemic Heart Disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ischaemic Heart Disease

The diagnosis of Ischaemic Heart Disease requires the determination of the Ejection fraction that indicates the level of pumping function of the heart. Ejection fraction of 55-65% is usually considered normal.

Electrocardiogram (ECG), MRI of the chest, gated SPECT, Echocardiogram etc. It can also be determined by performing Ventriculogram during cardiac catheterization. Cholesterol and blood tests may also be required in order to analyze the level of cholesterol, lipoproteins and fats.

Avoiding and reducing the risk factors is one of the most significant aspects of prevention as well as treatment of Ischaemic heart disease. Natural home remedies and a number of conventional drugs like nitrates, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and other such medicines are used to cure this disease. Treatments like balloon angioplasty and bypass surgery may also be needed in severe cases.

 

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