HomeHEALTH & WELLNESSHow To Prevent Obstruction Of The Coronary Arteries

How To Prevent Obstruction Of The Coronary Arteries

What Are Coronary Arteries?

The coronary arteries are those small arterial vessels of the heart responsible for carrying oxygenated blood and all nutrients to the heart cells. Despite their small size, they are extremely important vessels : if they were blocked they would cause a reduction in the blood supply to our heart and a heart attack.

  • Complete obstruction of the coronary arteries therefore implies total blockage of the blood supply which, in turn, can cause the death of the heart’s muscle cells ( infarction or myocardial ischemia ).
  • The more the blockage occurs at the beginning of the path of the arteries, the more serious the damage can be because the greater the amount of heart muscle that lacks blood and its nutrients. Even when the obstruction occurs further downstream, the reduced blood flow to the heart can damage cells and cause them to die.
  • The progressive reduction of blood supply can cause the inability of the heart to continue pumping all the blood (heart failure) and/or arrhythmias (disturbances of the normal heartbeat).

Why Do Coronary Arteries Get Blocked?

The coronary arteries become obstructed due to the progressive thickening of their walls and the reduction of their internal cavity due to the deposition of substances , mostly fats . This process is called atherosclerosis , a degenerative disease, and the fat deposit is called atheroma or atherosclerotic plaque , which progressively in flames and narrows the artery . This pathology is mainly caused by high levels of cholesterol , in particular the ” bad ” LDL cholesterol .

  • Atherosclerosis is particularly dangerous because, as blood flows more slowly and an inflammatory process is underway, a thrombus or clot can form which, in turn, can cause a sudden stop in blood flow (myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest).
  • Furthermore, the atherosclerotic plaque can break and automatically trigger a repair mechanism whose aim is to close the fractures that have formed, but the clot that is created can act as a plug and completely occlude the artery.

Here you can find a free diet to lower LDL cholesterol levels , with a list of recommended and not recommended foods and many useful tips. Here , however, you can find the specific diet for atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of Obstructed Coronary Arteries

Depending on the rate at which vessel narrowing forms and its severity, the symptoms of coronary artery occlusion may vary.

Chest pain ( angina pectoris ) is the main warning sign . Typically, it is an oppressive pain , a feeling of weight in the chest or tightness that can also radiate to the jugulus (the antero-inferior region of the neck). The pain can occur in the back (commonly between the shoulder blades) or in the upper limbs (more generally affecting the left arm ). Other times it can be a more subtle pain, almost an annoyance or a burning sensation in the stomach . In most cases, angina occurs during exertion or following strong emotional stress, more rarely it can also occur at rest. It may be accompanied by nausea, tiredness, profuse sweating and/or shortness of breath .

If you feel severe chest pain, the most important thing to do is to call an ambulance immediately , an instruction to follow even if the pain is not severe but continues for more than 20 minutes. Better not to go to the emergency room yourself: if you were to feel ill during the journey, no one would be able to help you in time. Instead, the emergency number is recommended, so that someone can come to the rescue immediately and, while you wait, the operator can assist you on the phone.

Also Read: Heartburn: Causes And Remedies

Lifestyle And Risk Factors

It has been shown that having a healthy lifestyle , made up above all of a good diet and regular physical activity, is a real elixir of long life that protects us from obstruction of the coronary arteries. The main risk factors for coronary heart disease that we can modify are :

  • high levels of LDL cholesterol;
  • high blood pressure;
  • cigarette smoking;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • excessive consumption of sugary drinks ( simple sugars );
  • overweight.

What To Eat To Have Healthy Coronary Arteries

The Mediterranean diet is recommended to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease . In general, the recent European guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases also recommend:

Prefer Unsaturated Fats To Saturated Fats As Much As Possible

Saturated fats are found mainly in butter, margarine, lard, lard, palm oil, coconut oil, in the white parts of meat (visible fat) and in processed and processed meats such as sausages (sausage, bacon, salami, cotechino, etc.), in some milk derivatives, such as mascarpone and double or triple cream cheeses, gorgonzola, etc., in sauces and fried foods, but also in many packaged products ( trans or hydrogenated fats ) such as brioches or croissants, snacks ready both sweet and savory. Unsaturated fats, however, are found for example in olives and extra virgin olive oil , in dried fruit ( walnuts , almonds , hazelnuts) and seeds, in oily fish (anchovies, herring, sardines, mackerel, etc.) and in salmon. Therefore it is advisable to eat fish rich in unsaturated fats at least once a week and reduce the consumption of processed meat , as fish reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 16%, while the consumption of processed meat increases the risk by 7%.

Grana Padano DOP, thanks to the skimming and the quality of the milk with which it is made, stands out from other mature cheeses for the variety of its fats; of these, 68% is represented by saturated fats, but 28% are monounsaturated fats (the same ones found in olive oil) and 4% polyunsaturated fats (like those in fish). Due to these peculiarities, adequate portions of this cheese can be part of the diet of those suffering from hypercholesterolemia.

Reduce Salt Consumption

It is recommended not to exceed 5 grams (one teaspoon) of salt per day , as excess salt increases the risk of hypertension . It is important to remember that daily salt consumption does not only include what we use in the kitchen or on the table, for example to season salads, but also hidden sources of salt , such as bread and even sweet products such as biscuits and breakfast cereals. . To season first courses, soups and vegetable purées, you can use a spoonful of grated Grana Padano DOP instead of salt. This cheese is naturally lactose-free , contains the largest quantity of calcium among the most commonly consumed cheeses, and also provides many proteins with high biological value (with the 9 essential amino acids), important vitamins such as B2 and B12 and antioxidants such as vitamin A, zinc and selenium .

In a 50 g portion of Grana Padano DOP there is 0.75 g of salt, which is the average quantity found in 100 g of bread. Furthermore, a clinical study carried out by the Hypertension Operating Unit of the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Piacenza demonstrated that the consumption of 30 grams of Grana Padano PDO aged for 12 months for 60 days, in subjects with normal or moderately high blood pressure, it did not increase blood pressure levels, on the contrary, in some subjects there was a tendency towards its reduction .

Increase your fiber consumption

It is a good habit to regularly consume fresh fruit and vegetables, possibly in season, whole grains , legumes and dried nuts. Eating 7 grams more fiber every day is associated with a 9% reduction in risk of atherosclerotic disease. A serving of legumes a day reduces bad cholesterol and is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Consuming 30 grams of nuts (and mixed dried fruit) per day reduces the risk of atherosclerotic disease by 30%.

The Importance Of Physical Activity

Physical activity has numerous beneficial effects on our heart and on the body in general.

  • The European Society of Cardiology guidelines recommend practicing 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.
  • The important thing is to never stay still: the ideal would be to move at least 3 times a week , better if you can reach 5 times a week. You need to minimize your sedentary lifestyle and try to do at least a little physical activity every day.
  • Here you can find a specific workout to lower high cholesterol levels.

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