Heart Disease Slideshow Pictures: Coronary Artery Disease
Your heart is an amazing powerhouse that pumps and circulates 5 or 6 gallons of blood each minute through your entire body.
Heart disease begins when cholesterol, fatty material, and calcium build up in the arteries, a process known as atherosclerosis.
Blockage of the coronary arteries by plaque may cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or a fatal rhythm disturbance (sudden cardiac arrest).
Some of the risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
Additional heart disease risk factors include lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, stress, and a "type A" personality
Besides chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath, some other common symptoms of heart disease include jaw pain, back pain, and heart palpitations.
Other symptoms of heart disease may include dizziness, weakness, irregular heartbeat, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Doctors use a variety of tests to detect heart disease. One common test is the electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
Sometimes, if an electrocardiogram comes back normal, doctors will use stress tests to detect heart disease.
Computerized tomography (CT) scans are used to show that heart disease is not present and that the coronary arteries are normal.
Coronary angiography via cardiac catheterization is considered the "gold standard" of heart disease tests.
Heart disease is a highly preventable and reversible disease. A healthy diet is a major factor in controlling heart disease.
Other lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent heart disease include drinking alcohol in moderation and quitting smoking.
Exercise, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, and taking daily aspirin are more ways to reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
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