If you are at risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) or you have recently been diagnosed with this condition, it’s crucial to take actionable steps that will improve your heart health. One of the first steps you should take is to speak with your cardiologist about immediate and long-term solutions for your health. Together, you and your heart doctor can create achievable strategies to protect yourself against the life-threatening effects of this disease.
During your conversation with your heart doctor, it’s wise to ask lots of questions, including:
1. Am I in Danger of Experiencing a Heart Attack?
The nature of coronary artery disease means that you run some level of risk of experiencing a heart attack. Your coronary arteries supply blood to your heart. With CAD, plaque buildup causes your arteries to narrow and reduce blood flow. If there is too much buildup, it could completely block the blood flow and cause a heart attack.
2. What Should I Do if I Experience Periodic Chest Pain?
Chest pain, or angina, can occur when your heart fails to receive enough blood and oxygen. While a person without coronary artery disease can experience chest pain, it is often a one-off sensation due to unrelated factors, such as intense exercise or acid reflux. However, CAD-induced chest pain is often frequent or periodic since this condition hinders healthy blood flow to the heart.
If you experience periodic chest pain due to coronary artery disease, your cardiologist may suggest a medication regimen that includes nitroglycerin to help you find relief.
3. What Are My Treatment Options if I Have Coronary Artery Disease?
Depending on the severity of your condition, your cardiologist may suggest treatments like:
- Lifestyle changes
Your heart doctor will likely suggest a combination of treatments. A lifestyle change is vital to improving your health with coronary artery disease, no matter what additional treatment options your cardiologist suggests.
Lifestyle changes can mean:
- Maintaining a healthier diet
- Staying active daily
- Lowering cholesterol
- Managing diabetes (if applicable)
- Quitting smoking (if applicable)
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Reducing stress
Speak with your cardiologist about the changes that could benefit your heart.
4. Can I Regain a Healthy Heart or Improve My Heart’s Health?
No matter how severe your condition is with coronary artery disease, it is possible to improve your health through certain lifestyle changes. As mentioned, lifestyle changes can include healthier dieting and daily activity. Such improvements can significantly benefit your artery health and prevent dangerous health events such as a stroke or heart attack.
Speak with your heart doctor to create a safe, effective plan to begin improving your heart health.
Coronary artery disease is a serious condition the cardiologists at Middle Georgia Heart can help treat and manage.
Our team can help you maintain long-lasting heart health, whether you develop CAD or any other cardiovascular complication. We perform thorough diagnostic testing and create patient-centered treatment plans that benefit your heart. Schedule an appointment with our team today: 478-207-5224