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Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), also known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), refers to a condition of recurring chest pain or discomfort that occurs when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. Often, this condition occurs during an exertion or excitement when the heart requires greater blood flow. Ischemic heart disease is common in the United States and it is also the leading cause of death worldwide. When left untreated, the IHD may lead to severe heart damage that can result in a heart attack and shock and may prove life threatening.
Causes of Ischemic Heart Disease:
The ischemic heart disease is caused due to decrease in the blood flow through one or more of the blood vessels which carry oxygen to your heart. When the blood flow is reduced, the heart muscles do not receive the amount of oxygen required to function properly.
Often, it may develop slowly due to plaque accumulation over a period of time or it may occur quickly due to the sudden blockage of an artery. The IHD occurs most frequently in people who have atherosclerosis, coronary artery spasm, blood clots or severe illness that increases the oxygen level required by the heart.
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Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease:
Early stages of ischemic heart disease show no symptoms. Ischemic heart disease reduces the flow of blood to the coronary arteries that carry oxygen to the heart. This will result in a number of symptoms that may vary in intensity among the individuals:
The most common symptom of ischemic heart disease include chest pain or angina, chest pressure or shortness of breath that:
- May feel as if the pain starts in the chest and spreads to the arms, back or other areas
- Is relieved by rest or medicines
- Occurs repeatedly, episodes tend to be alike
- May feel like indigestion or gas (most commonly among women)
- Usually lasts for a shorter time (five minutes or less)
- Occurs when the heart must work harder, usually during the physical exertion
Serious symptoms that might indicate life threatening conditions include the following:
- Pain in the neck or jaw
- Chest pain, typically on the left side of the body, also called as angina pectoris
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Clammy skin
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Rapid breathing (tachypnea) or shortness of breath
Not all people with ischemic heart disease will present with angina. IHD without angina or chest pain is called as a silent ischemia. However, it is not understood why ischemia is sometimes silent.
- Are coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease, atherosclerotic heart disease and ischemic heart disease the same?
- In most instances, ischemic heart disease, i.e., coronary artery disease and/or coronary heart disease, is a result or consequence of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis (fatty deposits within the arteries). When the coronary artery becomes affected by arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis, it may become occluded, causing impaired blood supply to the myocardium (heart muscle). Ischemic heart disease is frequently a forerunner of atrial fibrillation. The term, “ischemic” pertains to one form of cardiomyopathy.
- How do I know if I have ischemic heart disease? When should I see a doctor?
- The common symptoms of ischemic heart disease include:
- Pain or discomfort in the chest, jaw, arm or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Indigestion or gas-like pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- How do I make an appointment with the best cardiologist in India?
- All you have to do is send us your medical report and be rest assured. We will choose the best suitable surgeon for you, after consulting the experts.
- Can I speak with the doctor before I come to India for treatment?
- You can talk to the doctor and satisfy all your medical queries. You can also send us your queries for answers from the top doctors.
- How much can I really save?
- The expenses involved in Valve replacement surgery in India are nearly 25% of that in Western countries. So that means a lot of savings!
- Can I choose my own hotels according to my budget?
- You can most definitely choose hotels as per your convenience to you and your budget.
- How will I get an Indian Medical Visa?
- To know about the procedure of getting an Indian Medical Visa, please go to our website where you will find all the details regarding the initial procedure. You can also send us a query regarding the same.
How Ischemic Heart Disease is Diagnosed?
A clinical diagnosis is based on a characteristic complaint of chest pain or discomfort that is brought on by an exertion and relieved by rest. Confirmation will be obtained by observing a reversible ischemic changes on the ECG during an attack or by giving a test dose of a sublingual nitroglycerin that characteristically relieves the pain in 1 to 3 minutes. Certain tests may help to determine the severity of IHD, its presence and the extent of the coronary artery disease.
The diagnostic tests include the echocardiogram (measures the sound waves), electrocardiogram (measures the electrical activity of the heart), thallium stress test, exercise-tolerance test, blood studies to measure total fat, X-rays of the chest, cholesterol and lipoproteins and coronary angiogram (cardiac catherization).
A number of factors increase the risk of developing the ischemic heart disease. However, not all people with the risk will get IHD. The risk factors for ischemic heart disease include:
- Family history of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood triglycerides
- Smoking and other tobacco use
- Physical inactivity
How is Ischemic Heart Disease Treated?
There are various therapies geared for treating ischemic heart disease. The treatments for ischemic heart disease starts by seeking medical care from your healthcare provider.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat the factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low blood flow and irregular heartbeat. The medicines to treat the angina, heart failure and heart attack will also be prescribed.
The drug therapy for treating ischemic heart disease include:
- Nitrates: It dilates the narrowed coronary arteries. When placed under the tongue, it will help to relieve chest pain in minutes.
- Beta-Blockers: It reduces the demand for oxygen and decreases the heart rate, thereby helps achieve pain relief.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: They help relax the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure.
- Calcium channel antagonists: They help to dilate the constricted blood vessels, lowers the blood pressure, cholesterol levels and excitability of a person.
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs): They help to lower the blood pressure.
- Aspirin: It is known to thin the blood and prevent the platelets from forming into the blood clots.
- Statins: They are used to lower the cholesterol levels.
- Anti-ischemic agents such as ranolazine (Raxena)
Many different medications are available to treat the ischemic heart disease. Consult your doctor to select the appropriate medications, depending on your condition. It is important to follow your treatment plan for ischemic heart disease precisely and to take the medications as instructed.
If all the medical therapy fails, then surgery is recommended to relieve the ischemia symptoms in an individual. Often the surgery is required when an angiogram result reveals a significant level of blockage in the blood vessels. The surgical procedures include:
- Coronary angioplasty: A process of dilating a congested blood vessel by inflating a balloon within the blood vessel itself.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting: It involves replacing a part of a diseased artery with soft tissue grafted from the patient’s body.
Why Choose an Indian Hospital for treating an Ischemic Heart Disease?
India has been recognized globally as a medical tourism destination offering quality medical care and treatments at highly affordable price. Thousands of global patients fly from across the globe to India for treating the ischemic heart disease by the hands of highly qualified surgeons within their budget. Indian hospitals ensure to provide you the best cardiac surgical care. We use state of the art technology that enable our cardiac surgeons to treat the patients more effectively with the highest standard care. Indian cardiac surgeons use advanced medical technology that minimizes the risks with the surgical procedure.
If you are really seeking treatments for the Ischemic Heart Disease in India, kindly fill up the form for a free consultation with our expert cardiologists. You will be provided with thorough analysis and suggestions regarding the treatments for Ischemic Heart Disease you are seeking for.
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