Heart blockage is known as coronary artery disease in medical terms. It is mostly caused by deposition of plaque inside the walls of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This kind of disease takes place gradually over many years. Hence the symptoms do not come in the notice unless there is a significant blockage in the heart. The prime culprit to this is the sedentary lifestyle.
Signs and symptoms
- Shortness of breath - When the blood is not able to pump enough blood to the heart, it leads to tiredness and shortness of breath.
- Chest pain - This is a common symptom manifested as tightness or pressure in the chest. It may be triggered by any mental or physical stress. The pain may also radiate to the neck, back or arm.
- Heart attack - This happens at the terminal stages when there is a complete blockage of the coronary artery. There is an extreme pressure in the chest radiating to the shoulder and the arm.
- Abnormal perspiration
To know more about heart blockage, click here.
Conditions that may occur as a result of heart blockage:
STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) - This happens whenever there is a sudden blockage in the blood vessels, leading to a heart attack. A major area of heart muscles may be affected, which is seen through the changes in the ECG and in the chemical markers.
N STEMI (non ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) - This is not noticed on the ECG or electrocardiogram. However, the chemical markers in the blood may warn you about the damage caused to the heart muscle. The blockage may be complete or partial.
Unstable angina - Angina can be a frequent sign. It can be relieved by taking oral medications instantly. However, unstable angina can lead to a heart attack.
Recommended for you: Top cardiac surgeons in India
How is it treated?
Primarily, the following treatments are most commonly used for coronary artery disease.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- Angioplasty with stent placement
However, there is also heart blockage treatment without surgery which is discussed below.
What is the best treatment for heart blockage?
Some of the most commonly done treatments for heart blockage are surgical. However, there are some conditions which can also be treated non-surgically if the blockage is not too severe. Let’s go through some of the most effective ways to deal with the heart blockage:
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
This is a surgery that involves creating a bypassed way around the blocked artery to facilitate the blood flow to the heart. The graft is taken from a blood vessel in another part of the body. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The techniques used to perform the surgery can be either open-heart surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and off-pump surgery. The open-heart surgery is the traditional form of surgery which is performed in cases where a wide incision needs to be made to gain access to the blocked artery.
However, with the minimally invasive technique, the surgery can be performed with a smaller incision where there is easy access.
Off-pump surgery is quite similar to the open-heart surgery in which the chest bone is opened. But, the heart does not stop functioning during the surgery. Unlike the traditional technique, the heart-lung bypass machine is not used. This is also known as beating
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
This is one of the most recent techniques used by the cardiac surgeons in India, after CABG. PTCA not only enables the normal blood flow to the heart but also helps in diagnosing conditions such as a coronary artery, heart valve disease and other congenital conditions. PTCA is a minimally invasive procedure done under general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision under the skin and a catheter is inserted to the blocked site. Once it reaches the site, the surgeon inflates and deflates the balloon numerous times, which compresses the plaque and opens up the artery.
If needed a stent may also be placed by a procedure called angioplasty. The stents help the blood vessels to stay intact and enable smooth blood flow. These stents may also be coated with medications sometimes. To know about the best cardiac surgery hospitals in India, click here.
Heart blockage removal without surgery
Many cases of heart blockage can be treated even without surgery. Some of the non-surgical treatments are given below:
This is a new technique that uses chemical processes for the removal of toxic metals and minerals from the body. A substance called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is used for the detoxification of the body. The EDTA solution is injected into the patient’s body and it binds with the calcium plaques that cause blockage of the coronary arteries, hence improving the blood flow.
Additional benefits of chelation therapy:
- It is used in treating metal poisoning, including mercury, iron, arsenic, lead, uranium etc.
- It may also be used to treat diseases like sickle-cell disease and thalassemia.
- Moreover, it is used as an antioxidant by reducing the production of free radicals and lower down their negative effect.
- Chelation therapy is also reported to be used for Alzheimer's disease.
You may also click here to read more about chelation therapy.
Lifestyle and dietary changes
A few basic changes in your lifestyle can help you in preventing a heart attack which might happen as a result of heart blockage. Some of these steps:
- Regular exercise - It is important to walk or do any physical activity on an everyday basis. You may contact your doctor or physiotherapist to learn safe ways to do exercise.
- Emotional stress - If you are an overly emotional person or take abnormally high stress, its significant to meditate every day. Excessive stress leads to constriction of blood vessels and may also increase the blood pressure.
- Smoking - Smoking is a major obstacle to recovering from any illness. It should be the first step to be taken when it comes to making lifestyle changes.
- Dietary changes - Prefer to eat foods which are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Increase the number of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You may also include fish or fish oil capsules in your daily diet.
- Weight management - It is important to work on losing weight if you are obese or overweight and also regularly measure your BMI.
Can a heart blockage be treated with medicine?
When you visit a cardiologist after noticing certain signs and symptoms, a detailed cardiac evaluation is conducted. Only after the investigations, the doctor can decide the exact line of treatment for you. The medicinal treatment, however, can be used for multiple purposes such as:
- To reduce the workload on the heart and dilate the arteries, so that the chest pain is relieved.
- To prevent angina and other symptoms that may occur due to coronary artery disease.
- To prevent further narrowing of the coronary arteries.
- To open up the clogged artery.
The most common categories of medicines that are used in such cases are mentioned below:
- Aspirin - Sometimes, the doctor recommends taking a daily aspirin or some other blood thinner to reduce the chances of blood clotting and thus preventing the obstruction of the coronary artery. However, aspirin cannot be used by all. People who have bleeding disorders or already taking blood thinners should not take it or consult a cardiologist before taking aspirin.
- Beta-blockers - These medications are given to reduce the heart rate and hence the blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the oxygen demand by the heart.
- Cholesterol-modifying medications - These drugs help in the reduction of low-density cholesterol.
- Calcium channel blockers - These are most commonly used with beta-blockers if they are unable to work alone. These help in improving chest pain.
- Nitroglycerine - This medication is available in the form of tablets, sprays, patches etc. It is used to control chest pain by temporarily dilating the coronary arteries.
- ACE Inhibitors - These are used to reduce blood pressure and indirectly also help in preventing the progression of coronary artery disease.
Can ECG detect heart blockage?
An electrocardiogram is a diagnostic test to examine heart-related issues by measuring the electrical activity of the heart as it pumps. It may be recommended by the cardiologist if you smoke or you are overweight, have diabetes or high blood pressure. People having symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness or irregular heartbeats may also be advised to get an ECG.
An ECG may help in detecting enlargement of heart, abnormal position of heart, poor blood supply, inflammation of heart, congenital heart defects etc. However, it cannot tell much about blockage in the coronary arteries.
How do you get rid of heart blockage naturally?
Most of us usually prefer to avoid getting treated by surgeries or medicines as these have their own side-effects. Hence, the researchers all over the world continue to find ways to treat such conditions in a natural way. Here are some of the most beneficial and the most commonly used ways to treat heart blockage:
Garlic is grown worldwide, which was originated from Siberia but then spread to other parts of the world in a span of 5000 years. It is often used to treat high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is reported that garlic helps in restricting the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. It has the following effects on the body which ultimately help in preventing and treating the already existing heart blockage. These effects are:
- Garlic has chloroform extracts which promote anti-thrombotic and antiplatelet aggregatory effect, which inhibits the platelets to accumulate and coagulate the blood.
- It also helps in enhancing a process called fibrinolysis, which is carried out to dissolve the clots formed in the blood. This further helps in improving the blood circulation in the body.
- Garlic also helps the management of heart rate and lowering the blood pressure.
- It also helps lowering down the cholesterol levels in the body.
Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
It is a good antioxidant that is naturally produced in our body. The levels are kept reducing with advancing age or those who have heart disease. It is most commonly found in meat, fish and whole grains. Other than this, these days campsure and tablets are also available. It is often used to treat heart conditions as well as migraines.
The flax seeds are mainly composed of phytosterols, omega-3 and lignans, all of which help in boosting the heart health. Especially, phytosterols are the molecules which have a similar structure to cholesterol. These help in preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.Flax seeds also have huge amounts of fibre which is also in maintaining cardiac health.
As mentioned above, the heart blockage may not come into your notice, until it reaches an advanced stage. Therefore it gets essential to get a complete health checkup after every 6 months. Also, one must not ignore even the slightest heart-related symptoms. India has some of the best cardiac surgeons across the world, who not only hold a rich experience but also use world-class technology to diagnose and treat the patients.
How does Vaidam help you in reaching to the right doctor for you?
Vaidam Health an online facilitation company that helps you in getting the treatment in India with a pleasant experience. Right from choosing the best hospital and the best doctor to the drop off to the airport before you leave back to your home, Vaidam is here to assist you for everything. The patients are only required to post a query on the website, and they will receive a call back by a case manager. Thereafter, the case manager will assist in everything.
Other than from accommodation options in the country, we also help in visa application, pick up and drop from the airport and keep a tab of all the recreations that you require on your medical tour to India.