Arteries are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood away from heart. There are different types of arteries like pulmonary arteries, systematic arteries and aorta. Coronary arteries are the first very first that branches off from the aorta, and they are responsible for supplying oxygenated and nutrient filled blood to the ventricle, septum of the heart and the heart muscle itself. So they play a very important role in maintaining the overall health of the heart. The food we take plays a vital role in keeping the coronary arteries clean and unclogged. Fat and cholesterol tend to accumulate inside the arterial wall over time and the buildup of cholesterol and fat starts from childhood. Eating healthy low fat food right from childhood helps to keep heart diseases at bay.
Coronary artery(In French artères coronaires) disease otherwise called as arterial narrowing or atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. The plaque made of cholesterol, fat and calcium builds inside the walls of the arteries there by reducing the diameter of the artery and restricts free flow of the blood. High fat in blood also tends to cause blood clots which also block the blood flow in the arteries. As the plaque grows over days, it hardens and causes angina or heart attack.
The first symptom of arterial narrowing(In French le rétrécissement artériel) is mild chest pain, which indicates that oxygen rich blood does not flow properly into the heart muscles. As the plaque thickens and grows in size, the chest pain increases gradually. When coronary arteries harden, heart exerts more pressure by squeezing the heart muscle to pump the blood. The pain may also occur in neck, back, shoulder and jaw. Sometimes the coronary arteries worsen over time and remain silent until it is diagnosed for palpitation or sudden heart attack. Arterial narrowing can weaken the heart muscle which in turn can lead to heart failure. Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart muscles completely loose the ability to pump enough blood.
Some of the main causes for arterial hardening are unhealthy cholesterol level, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and obesity. Diabetes patients are more prone to coronary arterial diseases because of high blood sugar level which in turn produces fat. High level of protein and triglycerides are also known to increase the risk. Arterial narrowing also leads to sleep apnea, which is condition where breathing becomes shallow while sleeping. If the condition is left untreated then it can trigger heart attack. Most of the time, immediate physical activity after chest pain should be avoided as it exerts more pressure on the heart muscles and would cause more pain.
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