Acute Coronary Syndrome|
A Serious Cardiac Condition That Needs Prompt Treatment
syndrome is a medical term that covers conditions like a
heart attack or unstable angina that causes blood flow to the heart to be reduced.
Your coronary arteries may become blocked due to a clot
or from the build-up of plaque. If acute coronary syndrome is diagnosed and treated quickly, there is a good
chance of a favorable outcome. If left untreated, this condition can be fatal.
The symptoms of acute coronary syndrome are similar to
those of a heart attack. You may have any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, sweating, sudden fatigue,
dizziness, chest pain, chest tightness, chest heaviness, pressure in the chest, burning feeling in the chest,
discomfort in the arms, jaw, shoulders, neck, abdomen, upper back, racing heart, irregular heart rhythm, and
feelings of anxiety.
Because acute coronary syndrome can be fatal if not treated, you should seek medical
help when symptoms strike. Call 911 and take an aspirin if directed by your doctor or emergency personnel. Wait
quietly for help to arrive and don't try to drive yourself to the ER. Once you are at the hospital, your doctor
will run diagnostic tests to determine a diagnosis.
He may order blood tests that detect certain proteins in
your blood that indicate your heart is not getting enough blood flow. He will probably order an EKG to get a
reading of your heart rhythm. He may also order an echocardiogram, x-ray, angiography, or nuclear scan. These tests
will show your doctor if you have a blockage and give him an idea of how well your heart is pumping.
Acute coronary syndrome treatment depends upon what is causing the reduction in blood
flow to your heart. If the cause is angina, you will probably receive nitroglycerin to widen your arteries so blood
flow improves. However, if you are having a heart attack, you might be treated with drugs or a surgical procedure
that corrects the underlying cause of the blockage. No matter what course of treatment you need, your chances of a
successful recovery are much better if you start the treatment as soon as possible after symptoms begin.
Cardiac rehabilitation is an important part of treatment for acute coronary syndrome.
This will teach you how to deal with your medical condition and how to make heart healthy choices so you can reduce
your risk for future cardiac problems. Some of the things you can do to lower your risk of acute coronary syndrome
include stopping smoking, getting regular exercise, lowering stress, lowering high blood pressure, controlling
blood sugar levels, and eating a healthy diet that limits your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
When you have acute coronary syndrome, or any other form of heart disease for that
matter, it is important to keep regular appointments with your doctor so the progression of your condition can be
monitored. Problems caught early are much easier to treat. You'll also want to follow your doctor's recommendations
for treatment and lifestyle changes, even when you are feeling much better, so you can prevent future
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