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 Coronary Artery Disease(CAD)

INDEX of Articles & Links

Diagnosis of CAD
Treatment of CAD
Alternative Treatments of CAD

Angina is chest pain and it's the main symptom of coronary heart disease--but--it is not ALWAYS present. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, and chests heaviness,tightness, pain, a burning sensation, squeezing, or pressure either behind the breastbone or in the arms, neck, or jaws.

It's important to remember that many people have no symptoms of CAD before having a heart attack: 63% of women and 48% of men who died suddenly of CAD had no previous symptoms of the disease according to the American Heart Association.

Links to Angina Sites:

American Heart Association
An informed A to Z Site re angina.

Medscape Cardiology
Another good site regarding Angina.

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 Diagnosis of CAD:
This begins with a visit to a physician who will take medical history, discuss symptoms and perform basic screening tests. (Blood pressure blood lipid levels, and fasting blood glucose levels. ) Other tests include resting and exercise electrocardiogram, echocardiography, radionuclide scans, coronary angiography (cath) and treadmill stress (exercise) test.

Links to Information on Tests:

Heart Help's Test Pages
Information regarding tests listed above (and more!).

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 Treatment of CAD:
The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the disease--they include: lifestyle changes, drug therapy, percutangeous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass surgery. CAD is a chronic disease and requires lifelong care. Angioplasty or bypass surgery is NOT a "cure."

Lifesstyle changes would be a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, weight loss, exercise and not smoking.

Drugs, such as nitraates, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers relieve chest pain and complications of CAD, but they CANNOT clear blocker arteries. Aspirin helps prevent blood clots from forming on plaques, reducing the likelihood of a heart attack. Cholesterol-lowing medications are also indicated in most cases.

Invasive procedures include percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty* and bypass* surgery. Atherectomy is another invastive procedure in which the cardiologist shaves off and removes strips of plaque from the blocked artery. In laser angioplasty*, a catheter with a laser tip is inserted into the affected artery to burn or break down the plaque. A metal coil, called a stent can be implanted permanently to keep a blocked artery open.

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Alternative Treatments of CAD:
Natural therapies may reduce the risk of heart disease, but once symptoms appear, conventional medical attention is necessary. A healthy diet (including cold water fish) and exercise are important.

Herbal medicine has a variety of remedies that MAY have a beneficial effect on CAD. Ginger may help reduce cholesterol. Garlic and hot red or chili peppers are circulatory enhancers that can prevent blood clots.

Yoga, bodywork, massage, relaxation therapies and talking therapies may also help prevent CAD or reverse the progression.

Vitamin and mineral therapy to protect includes chromium, calcium and magnesium, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc.


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Last Modified on February 08, 2002

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