Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the development of fatty plague that builds along walls of the coronary arteries over a long period of time. Although CAD is a disease that affects your entire vascular system, the coronary arteries are significant because these are the pathways that deliver the essential oxygenated blood fueling the heart muscle. Slow progression of this hard substance building on the walls of your coronaries arteries can restrict blood flow to a point where your heart is screaming for more oxygen causing symptoms of chest pain known as Angina Pectoris.
Understanding Coronary Artery Disease is really quite simple. Much like your home, your heart works on two primary functions: The electrical component and the pluming. Both are essential factors required for a healthy performing heart. The electrical impulse create in your heart is what triggers the mechanical function where adequate plumbing is essential.
Now that we understand the function of the coronary arteries, we now discuss how CAD develops. Have you ever seen fat dry in a from frying bacon? The fat turn hard and evolves into a sold. This hardening process is similar to what occurs in your on a vascular systems but on a molecular level. This cholesterol type fat is compressed overtime causing the plague to “petrify” or harden much like a rock. The process of the hardening of this fatty substance is called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis represents a significant risk because this plaque can harden to a point where it can break off and cause a clot completely restricting blood to parts of the heart and brain causing a heart attack or stroke.
Coronary Artery Disease develops over the period of many years usually from a combination of genetics, diet and exercise (or lack thereof). There is some debate as to which of these factors are more significant but almost all agree that these factors contribute more or less to the development of the disease. Other factors include family history of CAD, age, weight control, and diet high in cholesterol (fat) & sodium (salt). If you control these factors, the experts say you will significantly reduce your risk of progression of CAD and the adverse events that can come with CAD.
If you are reading this, chances are you already have evidence of CAD or you are concerned about your heart health. It is interesting to note, but most experts do not discuss the additional impact that CAD (development of plaque) has on the other organs in the body. In other words, if you have CAD, you also have plaque build up in your entire vascular system restricting your hearts ability to deliver essential nutrients through blood flow to all the body’s organs. That means that the health and performance of your kidney’s lungs, brain, pancreas, and your extremities are also compromised by fatty plaque that builds in the vascular system. For more information about how to treat Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), please visit “Treatment Options for Coronary Artery Disease”.
External Counterpulsation Therapy is proven to be a safe & non-surgical Cardiac Therapy for patients that live a lifestyle limited by Coronary Artery Disease. ECP Therapy (or also known as EECP) is procedure that acts as an external ‘cardiac assist’ device that squeezes blood back to the heart on each heart cycle. The mechanical process of returning oxygenated blood back to the heart with great force creates ‘Collateralization‘ or development of new blood vessels and helps restore vessel function of existing vessels.
Click Here for an Overview of External Counterpulsation Therapy