What are the signs and symptoms of artery blockage?
Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood along with nutrients from the heart throughout the body. Arteries are considered healthy when blood flows smoothly through them. A buildup of cholesterol, fat, and calcium in the inner walls of the arteries can slow down blood flow, blocking it altogether leading to artery blockage!
Clogged or Blocked arteries can result in hypertension, strokes, or even death, thus it is vital to understand the signs and symptoms of blocked arteries.
We, at EMC Group of Hospitals, have medical services and quality treatments under the department of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic, Nephrology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Urology, ENT, Medical Oncology, and many more. Our efficient staff at Amritsar includes heart specialist doctors.
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Symptoms of Blocked Arteries
Blocked arteries become too narrow and hardened to function properly. While there may be no early signs, symptoms can develop in the arteries. The hardening and narrowing of the arteries can lead to peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and arms. Initially, PAD may cause pain and even make walking difficult.
This disease develops with different symptoms. While resting those who are still suffering or going through this condition may feel pain in their toes, cold or numbness in their legs. If the arterial blockages remain untreated, loss of blood circulation to the legs and feet can occur.
Other symptoms of blocked arteries can be visualized as shortness of breath and excessive fatigue after physical activity.
Symptoms of artery blockage
- Back pain
- Jaw pain
- Shortness of breath without feeling chest pain
Men have a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women by age 70 face the same risk as men.
These symptoms can be experienced when your blood flow is more restricted. If a blockage in the artery cuts off blood flow completely, your heart muscle will start to die if not restored. This is a heart attack.
Do not ignore any of these mentioned symptoms, especially if they last longer than five minutes. Immediate medical treatment is necessary.
Risk Factors for Blocked Arteries
Understanding the risk factors for blocked arteries can help with your plan to prevent or decrease the likelihood of developing artery blockage.
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Tobacco smoking
- Insulin resistance/hyperglycemia/diabetes mellitus
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Emotional stress
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Having even one of these risk factors increases your chances of developing blocked arteries. For example, if you do not exercise, you may become overweight or obese, which increases your chances of developing diabetes or high blood pressure.
Based on the age factor, men have a greater risk for the disease beginning at age 45 and women have a greater risk beginning at age 55.
Treatment for Blocked Arteries
It is important to control your risk factors and seek treatment to lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke if you are diagnosed with Blocked Arteries. Treatment also depends on your current health condition and risk factors.
For example, your heart specialist doctor may prescribe medication therapy to treat high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or you may also receive medication to control blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Lifestyle changes can also reduce your risk of blocked arteries. For example:
- Quit smoking tobacco
- Reduce or stop your consumption of alcohol
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight to a healthy level
- Eat a healthy diet that consists of low fat, and low sodium.
If your condition does not improve with lifestyle changes and medication, your heart specialist in Amritsar may recommend a procedure to increase blood flow to your heart. The following procedures can be –
- Balloon angioplasty or PTCA
To widen blocked arteries, balloon angioplasty is usually performed by inserting a stent to help keep the lumen open after the procedure.
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
To restore blood flow to the heart in open-chest surgery.
Consult the dedicated Heart Specialists at EMC Group of Hospitals
We at EMC Hospitals have a specialized and highly experienced team of heart specialist doctors and assistant staff that work effortlessly 24×7 keeping the patient’s health a priority. Heart Conditions such as congenital heart defects, valvular heart diseases, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and electrophysiology are all diagnosed and treated by our expert heart specialists in Amritsar
After you are diagnosed with artery blockage, our cardiologist will help you build a treatment plan. He or she will also decide if you need to start taking medicines or if you need certain procedures to diagnose how severe your artery blockage is. For this reason, it is important that you are open with the doctor. Make sure that he or she knows of any changes in your symptoms.
Our cardiologist will be your main point of contact in treating and managing your blockage. In some cases, the cardiologist can do a cardiac catheterization. This is a procedure used to take X-rays of your arteries and diagnose any narrowed areas in your arteries. An interventional cardiologist can also do an angioplasty and place stents during a cardiac catheterization to open narrowed or blocked arteries.
We also have the latest technology and pieces of equipment to support and sustain the needs of every patient visiting our hospitals. We are equipped with the most advanced technology which assists our heart specialist doctors to reach an accurate diagnosis and carry out precise, safe and cutting edge minimally invasive surgical/interventional procedures.