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Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD Treatment in North Texas

As the most common type of heart disease nationwide, coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by arterial plaque buildup that causes the arteries to narrow over time, a process called atherosclerosis. To understand CAD, it helps to understand how the coronary arteries work. These arteries carry oxygenated blood to the heart muscle, but if they become damaged, the body reacts by making the inner lining of the arteries thicker. Over time, CAD can lead to heart failure if the heart muscle is significantly damaged and weakened.

CAD Symptoms

The most common symptom of CAD is angina, a type of chest pain that can happen when the arteries are constricted by plaque. These narrowed arteries cause chest pain as they block blood flow from the heart muscle to the rest of the body.

Unfortunately, CAD can have minimal or no symptoms until it is quite advanced, and many people have a heart attack before being diagnosed with CAD. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, weakness, nausea, light-headedness, arm pain, and shortness of breath.

CAD Diagnosis

Your cardiologist can use several tests to diagnose CAD, including:

CAD Treatment

If you have CAD, you must make important lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, losing excess weight, and managing your stress level. There are also various CAD medications your cardiology may prescribe to control your cholesterol, thin the blood, control chest pain, and decrease high blood pressure. If more aggressive CAD treatment is needed, there are other options to restore and improve blood flow to the heart, such as angioplasty and stent placement, or coronary artery bypass surgery.