What are the Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as coronary heart disease (CHD) or ischemic heart disease (IHD), occurs when the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle (coronary arteries) become narrowed or blocked, usually due to atherosclerosis. Symptoms of coronary artery disease can vary and may include:

  1. Angina:
    • Chest pain or discomfort that may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or a burning sensation. Angina typically occurs during physical exertion or emotional stress and is relieved by rest or medications.
  2. Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea):
    • Breathlessness or difficulty breathing, especially during exertion or when lying down, which may be a sign of heart failure or reduced heart function.
  3. Fatigue:
    • Unusual tiredness or lack of energy, even with minimal physical activity, can be a symptom of reduced blood flow to the heart.
  4. Heartburn or Indigestion-Like Symptoms:
    • Discomfort in the upper abdomen, often mistaken for heartburn, can be a symptom of angina or a heart attack.
  5. Radiating Pain:
    • Pain or discomfort that may radiate to the arms (especially the left arm), jaw, neck, back, or stomach.
  6. Sweating:
    • Profuse sweating, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin, may occur during angina episodes or a heart attack.
  7. Palpitations:
    • Awareness of abnormal or irregular heartbeats, a fluttering sensation, or feeling like the heart is racing.
  8. Nausea or Vomiting:
    • Feeling of nausea or vomiting, particularly in women and sometimes mistaken for gastrointestinal issues.
  9. Dizziness or Lightheadedness:
    • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or as if you might faint, often due to reduced blood flow to the brain.
  10. Jaw or Throat Pain:
    • Pain or discomfort in the jaw or throat, often dismissed or attributed to other causes.
  11. Sleep Disturbances:
    • Insomnia, difficulty falling or staying asleep, or waking up feeling unrested.
  12. Anxiety:
    • Feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or a sense of impending doom, which may be related to heart-related symptoms.

It’s important to note that some individuals, especially older adults, may experience atypical symptoms or even no symptoms at all (silent ischemia). If you suspect you have symptoms of coronary artery disease, especially chest pain or discomfort, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Timely diagnosis and appropriate management are essential for effectively managing and treating coronary artery disease.

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