What is ischaemic heart disease?
Ischaemia occurs when supply of blood is reduced or stopped. Normally, to function your heart requires 225 ml of blood every minute. As you exert, the requirement for blood goes on increasing.
If the heart doesn’t receive the required amount of blood during exercise, the heart muscles can die due to lack of blood supply. This is called as Ischaemic heart disease. Ischaemic heart disease increases your chances of getting a heart attack. People who have already had a heart attack can have ischaemic heart disease too.
Chest pain or angina is the main symptom of ischaemic heart disease. In some cases, patients may feel no chest pain at all but still have this disease.
Common diagnostic tests
Stress test: A stress test shows how your heart works during intense activities. It involves:
- 15-minute walk on treadmill
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) at rest and after walk: If you have ischaemic heart disease, your ECG will be abnormal.
Angiography/cardiac catheterization: During angiography, a special dye is injected into your blood through a thin tube or catheter which is inserted into a larger artery and then directed to the arteries of the heart. The dye clearly shows any blockages you might have.
Cardiac perfusion scan: This test measures the amount of blood in your heart muscles at rest and during exercise to find any sites which are ischaemic i.e. not receiving enough blood.
A special tracer is injected into your body and a scanner takes images of your heart to see where the tracer is being absorbed. Areas where the tracer is not absorbed show sites of ischaemia.
Echocardiography: In this test, ultrasound waves are directed to the heart through a device called transducer. Different areas bounce off the waves differently these waves are picked up by a recording device to create moving pictures of your heart.
Basics of managing ischaemic heart disease
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step of managing ischaemic heart disease. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Change your cooking oil after every two or three months
- Avoid over heating of oil while cooking food
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week
- Quit smoking
- Lose excess weight
You can call us or drop in for an appointment to learn more about managing ischaemic heart disease and strengthening your heart.