Ischaemic heart disease
What is Ischaemic Heart Disease?
Ischaemic heart disease is a condition of recurring chest pain or discomfort when narrowed arteries prevent a part of the heart does not allow to get sufficient blood supply. Most commonly, this happens due to exertion or excitement when the requirement for blood supply is more than usual.
Ischaemic heart disease is also called coronary heart disease. It usually develops when the cholesterol particles in the blood accumulate on the walls of arteries. Eventually, deposits called plaques may form in the arteries. These deposits may obstruct the normal flow of the blood. This reduction in the blood flow also decreases the amount of oxygen supply to the heart muscles.
The signs and symptoms of ischaemic heart disease may gradually develop as arteries become blocked slowly or develop all of a sudden as the artery promptly becomes blocked. Some people with ischaemic heart disease may experience no signs at all, while others may feel chest tightness or discomfort or pain and shortness of breath.
If left untreated, ischaemic heart disease may pose a threat to the heart. Heart damage can further be linked to a heart attack. It is important to seek immediate medical support and care if you have serious complications, such as breathlessness, tightness in the chest, pale or blue lips, rapid heart rate, etc.
Lifestyle changes can also bring positive results in health. You can also bring down the risk of ischaemic heart disease by following a healthy lifestyle and taking a diet low in fat, sodium, leaving that sedentary lifestyle, not smoking, and keeping a healthy body mass index.
Ischemic heart disease reduces the flow of blood to the coronary arteries, which carry oxygen to the heart. This reduction in blood flow may result in a number of symptoms, which can vary in intensity among individuals.
Signs and symptoms
You may experience signs of ischaemic heart disease on an occasional basis.
Common signs of ischaemic heart disease include pain and pressure in the chest, shortness of breath. Other signs include:
- Pain that radiates in the chest and spreads to the arms, back, or other areas
- May feel like gas or indigestion (more common in women)
- Tightness in the chest
- Signs tend to become worst when you do work hard or do physical exertion
Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms, including:
- Chest pain, especially on the left side of the body (angina pectoris)
- Rapid breathing (tachypnea) or shortness of breath
- Sweaty skin
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Pain in the neck or jaw
- Shoulder or arm pain
You may witness many other signs when the blood flow to the heart is severely restricted. If a blockage cuts blood flow completely, the heart muscles gradually break out, and this is called a heart attack.
The four primary coronary arteries on the surface of the heart supply oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart. When there are problems in the arteries that act as a nourishment to the heart, you may experience ischaemic heart disease.
The most common cause of chronic artery disease is the cholesterol or plaque buildup in arteries, known as atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the heart as one or more arteries become partially or completely blocked.
Causes of atherosclerosis may include:
While some plaque buildup can be a result of ageing, other factors that may cause atherosclerosis may include:
- tobacco chemicals irritate the artery walls and may buildup as plaque in the arteries
- high levels of fat (such as triglycerides) in the blood
- high levels of cholesterol in the blood
- diabetes or high blood sugar
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
Other causes of blockage to these coronary arteries and so does your heart include:
- an embolism (a blood clot that has broken off, resulting in blockage downstream in a blood vessel)
- an aneurysm (an enlargement of the arteries due to weakening of the blood vessels)
- any inflammation of an artery called artery vasculitis
- a spontaneous coronary artery dissection
The risk factors for ischaemic heart disease include:
- people over 65
- men are at a higher risk than women until age 70
- being obese
- uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 but also type 1
- living a sedentary lifestyle
- smoking tobacco
- excessive alcohol consumption
- stress, anxiety, and depression
- family history of heart disease
Ayurvedic treatment for ischaemic heart disease
In Ayurveda, ischaemic heart disease is compared with the Hridya Roga. When the Vata dosha gets aggravated and disturbs Rasa dhatus in the body, there is a blockage in the arteries that leads to the heart. Kapha dosha also plays a role in the manifestation of Hridyaroga as they result in the hardening of the arteries.
Ayurveda describes the following types of Hridya Roga:
- Vataj Hridaroga: It results in acute pain.
- Pittaj Hridaroga: It comes with a burning sensation in the chest.
- Kaphaja Hridaroga: It is characterized by heaviness in the chest, cough, and nausea.
- Tridoshaja Hridaroga: It is a result of the aggravation of all three doshas.
At AyuKarma, we have treatments and procedures to clean the channels associated with the heart. The aim is to restore digestion to calm Rasa Dhatu. With a weak rasa dhatus, the digestive fire also becomes imbalanced, which may result in the release of toxins. Toxins (Ama) from Rasa Dhatu may reach the heart and create blockages in channels. This blockage may trigger ischaemic heart disease.
Herbs used in the treatment are powerful enough to restore digestion and helps the body get rid of waste substances. The use of herbs strengthen the heart and boost the function of the cardiovascular system.
For proper heart function, we also ensure that you get access to a Satvik diet. This will also regulate the digestive power and keep the health optimal.