Blood Vessel Project: Part 2

Keeley Shoudel

Cardiac Ischemia

Description of Disorder

Cardiac Ischemia is basically when your heart doesn’t get enough blood, therefore doesn’t get enough oxygen. The blood flow is usually restricted or reduced. Cardiac Ischemia can damage your heart and prevent it from pumping blood efficiently in the future. Cardiac Ischemia affects about “3 to 4 million Americans”. People who have a history of heart disease and diabetes are especially at risk for Cardiac Ischemia. “Major risk factors include previous heart attacks, coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery anomalies (CAAs), smoking, obesity, cardiomyopathy, [and] alcohol and drug abuse.”
What Is Ischemic Heart Disease? | Heart Disease
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Symptoms

The symptoms of Cardiac Ischemia can range from chest pains to fatigue. Symptoms depend on age, gender, and previous medical conditions such as heart conditions and diabetes. The most common symptoms are “chest pressure or pain, typically on the left side of the body (angina pectoris).” Other symptoms are found more in elderly people, women, or people with diabetes. These other symptoms include “neck or jaw pain, shoulder or arm pain, a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath when you are physically active, nausea and vomiting, sweating, [and] fatigue.” Palpitations, irregular heart beats or skipped beats, are also symptoms of Cardiac Ischemia. If any of these symptoms are present in yourself or another, call 911. Also, if you have prolonged chest pains, schedule an emergency appointment with your doctor.
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Causes

Cardiac Ischemia is when the blood flow to your heart is restricted or reduced. This can be caused by many things. One main cause is when fatty material and plaque build up in your arteries. This causes the blood flow to slow, causing Cardiac Ischemia. Another main cause is a coronary artery spasm. This is when the “temporary tightening of the muscles in the artery wall can briefly decrease or even prevent blood flow...”. Cardiac Ischemia can develop slowly when the arteries close slowly, or quickly when the arteries are closed suddenly. If Cardiac Ischemia is severe or lasts for too long, it can end up causing a heart attack. This can also end in heart tissue death.
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Treatments

Treatment of Cardiac Ischemia is basically the same as any other heart disease. There isn’t necessarily a treatment, but lifestyle changes can increase your chances. Possible treatments are taking specific medications and going under surgery to open up the arteries.
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Prevention of Symptoms

Prevention of symptoms of Cardiac Ischemia include “seeing your cardiologist for regular checkups”, quitting smoking, limiting the amount of alcohol you consume, adopting healthier eating habits, and starting an exercise program specifically designed by your doctor.
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Sources