Ischemic heart disease: symptoms and treatment

Ischemic heart disease: do you know what it is and how it manifests itself? In this article you will find everything about this disease, namely the symptoms you need to be aware of.

Ischemic heart


What is ischemic heart disease?

The term heart disease covers all diseases that affect the heart. Some of the common types of heart disease that you are likely to have heard of are: heart disease, congenital heart disease, hypertensive heart disease and ischemic heart disease.

On the other hand, the term ischemia indicates an insufficient supply of blood and oxygen to a particular part of the body. Ischemia can affect any part of the body, such as the heart, brain, bowel, foot, eyes, etc. This problem is usually caused by a narrowing or blockage of the arteries that feed the affected area, indicates the CUF portal. The reduction of the arteries is due to the gradual accumulation of fat in them (a phenomenon known as atherosclerosis).

What the Portuguese Society of Kadiology says

Dr. Luís Negrão draws a very interesting parallel between ischemic heart disease and the engine of a car on the website Portuguese Society of Cardiology. This parallelism helps you better understand the effect of this disease on our body.

The cardiologist explains that this problem occurs in the same way as a car engine.

The engine needs gasoline to run, which is transported there through a pipe. Over time, this pipe will become dirty, which will affect the performance of the engine. It turns out that dirt ends up partially clogging the pipe, causing less gas to reach the engine. Therefore, gasoline is not enough for the needs of the motorcycle. If the engine does not work, it works well. But if you need to make a steep climb, the gasoline carried by the pipe is insufficient, and the engine loses strength and can even go down.

It looks like our heart. In ischemic heart disease, the heart receives insufficient blood flow as the coronary arteries are easily clogged. Thus, if we require more effort from the heart, such as going up stairs, “lose it too” and can even “go down”. Therefore, slight fatigue occurs.

Ischemic heart disease can lead to angina pectoris, but if it is sudden, it can cause a myocardial infarction (what we know as a “heart attack”).

What are the symptoms?

These are some of the symptoms, but there may be others or not all of those mentioned below:

Shortness of breath during physical activities
Lack of air
Irregular heartbeat
Dizziness, dizziness and fainting
Pain or tightness in the breast area

How is ischemic heart disease diagnosed?

In general, therefore, there are three aspects considered in the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease:

Patient clinical history
Presence of coronary risk factors (see below)
Supplementary exams such as:
MRI scan
Overload echocardiography
Perfusion scintigraphy

Risk factors

As we have seen, this disease can have serious consequences. However, measures to ensure a healthier lifestyle can also be prevented and significantly avoided. These measures are therefore on a par with food, physical activity and others. The risk factors for developing ischemic heart disease are therefore as follows:

Advanced Age

Family history of ischemic heart disease

Elevated total cholesterol

Increased bad cholesterol (LDL)

Reduction of good cholesterol (HDL)



Sedentary lifestyle

Arterial hypertension




The treatment of this disease is intended to improve blood flow to the heart. Thus, the patient can:

Have a bypass surgery

Receiving a stent

Reduce risk factors through lifestyle changes, such as:

Lower cholesterol

Embrace a low-fat diet as it lowers cholesterol and/or loses weight

Monitor blood pressure and diabetes

Lose weight

Stop smoking

Practice physical training properly advised by the cardiologist

Taking medication for arrest and platelets


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