• Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is a condition that affects the heart’s blood vessels, caused by plaque buildup.
• It can cause chest pain, heart attacks, and other serious complications.
• Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and a family history of CHD.
• Treatment for CHD includes lifestyle changes, medication, and alternative treatments such as acupuncture and speech therapy.
• Taking steps to reduce risk now can help prevent the complications of CHD.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type, accounting for about half of all heart disease deaths in the United States. Despite its severity, many people do not fully understand what CHD is or how it can be prevented. Here’s a closer look at CHD and provide some prevention tips.
What is Coronary Heart Disease?
CHD happens when the heart is blocked by plaque. Plaque buildup can cause chest pain, heart attacks, and other serious complications. Moreover, sometimes heart diseases like CHD cause vein disease among people. This is because the veins have to work harder to get enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, causing them to become more prone to damage.
Another way CHD can manifest is through angina, a condition characterized by chest pain or discomfort due to reduced oxygen supply to the heart. It can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
Almost anyone can develop CHD. That’s why many Americans have it. However, some people are more susceptible than others. Here are some reasons why:
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a potentially life-threatening condition that increases the risk of CHD. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries. If blood pressure is too high (higher than 130/80 mmHg), it can cause damage to the inner lining of the arteries, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup. To decrease your blood pressure or lower your risk of hypertension, reduce sodium intake, maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you’re overweight, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in the blood. While it’s essential for building healthy cells and producing hormones, high cholesterol levels increase the likelihood of CHD. An excess amount of cholesterol in the blood can build up on artery walls, reducing blood flow to the heart. One can reduce their cholesterol levels by eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, reducing saturated and trans fats, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.
Diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, is a significant risk factor for CHD. If there’s too much glucose in the blood over time, it can cause damage to the arteries and lead to plaque buildup. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating a plant-based diet, exercising regularly, and reducing sugar intake can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Managing your diabetes with medication, regular check-ins with doctors, and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing CHD.
Smoking significantly increases the risk of CHD. It damages the lining of the arteries, triggers inflammation, and raises blood pressure. Additionally, smoking leads to the accumulation of fatty deposits (plaque) in the arteries, which block the blood flow to the heart. Quitting smoking may be very challenging, but it is one of the most effective ways of reducing CHD risks. The health benefits of quitting smoking are rapid and substantial, and the risk of CHD decreases over time with each day without a cigarette.
Family History of CHD
If one or more family members have or have CHD, there’s an increased risk of developing the disease. These risks increase when someone has CHD in their immediate family (parents, siblings) than a distant relative. While this risk factor is beyond control, one can reduce the risk by living a healthy lifestyle and managing other risk factors.
There are various treatments to CHD. Here are some of the most effective:
Watch Your Diet
Observing your diet is one of the most effective ways to treat CHD. Certain foods, such as spicy, acidic, or fried, can contribute to acid reflux, irritating the vocal cords and exacerbating CHD symptoms. Avoid these types of food and opt for a diet high in alkaline and anti-inflammatory properties, such as vegetables and fruits. Drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol and smoking can also help soothe your vocal cords.
Medical treatments for CHD usually depend on the root cause of the disorder. If the cause is ENT-related, such as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), the doctor may prescribe antacids or H2 blockers, which lessen the acid production in the stomach. In cases where allergies or sinusitis are the cause, the treatment will likely be an allergy medication or saline nasal spray. If viral infections cause your CHD, you may be prescribed antibiotics or other antiviral medications to resolve the infection.
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and speech therapy can also significantly improve CHD treatment. Acupuncture can help by unblocking energy channels, promoting blood circulation, and decreasing inflammation. On the other hand, speech therapy can help you strengthen vocal muscles and improve breath support, teaching you techniques to produce sounds using your vocal cords properly.
CHD is a common yet serious condition, and it’s essential to understand what it is and how to prevent it. With proper management, people with CHD can live entire and healthy lives. Recognizing risk factors and making lifestyle changes can reduce their chance of developing this disease. So, be proactive and take steps now to protect your heart!