The top health problem faced by Malaysians today is coronary heart disease. Known in short as CHD, it happens to the person mainly when the coronary arteries starts to narrow or become blocked caused by atherosclerosis, which in layman terms means clogging or hardening of the arteries. This is usually caused by the building up of cholesterol and fatty deposits around the arteries’ inner walls and spaces which in a long run will restrict blood flow to the heart muscle.
To understand this simply, the arteries leading to the heart must be clear and smooth at all times. Over time, when too much cholesterol or fatty deposits are consumed, they will cause something like a layer along the walls which will eventually make the pathway smaller or in worse conditions, clogged them. If that happens, the person will have difficulty breathing and other repository problems. Once that happens, the heart is not getting its supply of oxygen efficiently which will cause angina, which is pain in the chest. If that problem persists, the heart needs to work harder to pump in the blood and when supply is low; it will result in a heart attack.
Malaysia is a place known for its food. There is a wide variety of cuisine found in the country which attracts people from all walks of life. Tourists, locals and just about anyone loves Malaysian food as they are spicy, tasty and very delicious. On top of that, they have so many choices to choose from. However, too much of something might not be good for you, or so they say.
This means that you must be careful with what you eat although no one is asking you to stop everything immediately. It is common that Malaysian food tastes very good and to do this, some vendors might use too much salt, sugar or oil which will result in cholesterol and fats. Any Malaysian will tell you that they like their ‘Telur Mata Kerbau’ which is the sunny-side-up eggs. The egg yolk is the food which is known to have the highest cholesterol level while other food like shell-fish, liver and shrimp too are among the top 10. Coronary heart disease does not only result from food intake as it can stem from other common risk factors like hereditary, hypertension, smoking, lack of exercise and obesity. In fact, smoking is known to be one of the major causes, raking in 54% of cases linked with coronary heart diseases.
The biggest cause of coronary heart diseases is due to the narrowing of arteries leading to the heart. This is most commonly known to be caused by the long-term effects of food which accumulated fats around these pathways. As such, the best prevention is to ensure that you practice a healthy diet for as long as possible. Ensure that you reduce intake of poultry, meat and food with saturated fats and consume more nutritious food like fruits and beans.
Apart from that, prevention from coronary heart disease can be done by exercising regularly. It must be noted here that a person with high cholesterol in the blood has a higher risk than one whose cholesterol levels are checked. This means that it would be most ideal to check the blood and if it is found to be higher than normal, then preventive measures must be taken.
In most cases, you will know that you have a heart problem when you start experiencing irregular or sudden chest pains. This is a sure sign to have it checked as soon as possible as you never know when a heart attack could occur. When you have such experiences, you will need to consult a cardiologist who is very much the expert in treating heart diseases. In most cases, the cardiologist will be the doctor who will be treating you for your CHD if it is found that you do have this problem. If there are problems in your blood vessel such as clogging and such, the vascular specialist will be the best expert to consult.
There are several methods that are carried out to determine the extent of the CHD where a physical examination is the most common. Blood tests are usually carried out to check the levels of fats, sugar and other minerals while standard scans like CT and MRI are usually involved as well.
Among all the many types of diseases, CHD or coronary heart disease is the top killer in Malaysia. In the world, Malaysia is ranked 57 in terms of deaths reported from CHD. This shows that it is a serious disease which must be reduced where possible. CHD is most common among people above 40 years and this risk gets higher at the older age groups although there is a rising reported cases of such problems occurring among those between 20 to 30 years of age in recent years.
If you have Coronary Heart Disease, you must be treated by a specialist who is an expert in the heart-related systems. Your family physician will be the first level of medical support in terms of diagnosis and observation. Once it has been determined that you need special care, the cardiologist is the person you must see who will be monitoring the medication and recovery process. You might be monitored by a cardiac rehabilitation team of medical specialists who will be helping you with the rehabilitation programme after you are treated while a dietician could be involved to monitor your diet and food consumption to avoid further complications.
The earliest symptoms of a coronary heart disease is pain in the chest called angina. This is when the muscles around your heart are not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood supply. Angina can occur at any time and at any age. When you feel a strong pressure on your heart and chest which is uncommon, then it could be an early sign of a heart attack. This pain can sometimes be spread to other parts of your body including your arms and your legs. Besides that, other signs like sudden sweating or cold sweat, headaches that are unusual, difficulty in breathing and nausea could be indications of this condition.
Medication is prescribed by the doctor for coronary heart disease patients to help regulate better blood flow in the body, particularly to the heart. This includes cholesterol-modifying medications like niacin, fibrates and statins which are used to decrease the level of bad cholesteroal (LDL) in the blood. Aspirin can be used to thin the blood for better flow while you could be prescribed with beta blockers used to reduce the heart rate. Medication to clear the coronary arteries like Nitroglycerin is used as well while you might have to take Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) that are used to reduce your blood pressure level.
Patients with coronary heart disease must first change the lifestyle, practicing a good diet programme and exercising. This is to help ensure better blood flow in the body. Minerals that are known to help patients to recover and prevent future attacks include CoQ10 enzyme which facilitates the production of energy for the muscles, particularly around the heart areas. Green Tea meanwhile is known for its antioxidant properties that can help in preventing heart attacks while magnesium can aid in the healing process too.