What Is Myocardial Ischemia?

Myocardial ischemia is a medical condition that develops due to reduced blood flow to the heart. The flow of blood to the heart decreases when the coronary arteries get partially or fully occluded due to the deposition of cholesterol plaques. A decrease in the blood flow results in reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscles, consequently damaging them. When the heart muscles get impaired, they do not function optimally. Over a period of time, the person develops myocardial infarct or heart attack.

Myocardial Ischemia Causes

Myocardial ischemia is a multi-factorial disease. A host of factors is responsible for the development of the condition:

Elevated levels of serum cholesterol due to faulty diet, irregular lifestyle and no exercise.
Atherosclerosis or deposition of cholesterol plaques within the arterial walls.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary spasm
Blood clots
Stress
Smoking
Infection
Bleeding

Myocardial Ischemia Symptoms

Clinical manifestations of myocardial ischemia are:

Left sided chest pain
Pain radiating down to the left arm
Shoulder pain
Neck pain
Jaw pain
Breathlessness, gasping
Nausea and vomiting
Cough
Sweaty palms
Giddiness
Palpitations and irregular pulse
Occasionally, there may not be any presenting symptoms; such a condition is called silent ischemia.

Prevention of Myocardial Ischemia

Lifestyle changes: following a consistent and regular lifestyle is essential; eating a nutritious, wholesome and low fat diet, exercising regularly and combating stress optimally helps stay fit and healthy, and wards off cardiovascular disorders.

Diet: salt restriction, steering clear of fatty, greasy foods and eliminating processed foods from the diet is recommended by all health care experts.

Regular exercise: physicians say that you should exercise at least 3 times a week. It builds stamina and boosts cardiovascular health tremendously.

Home remedies and food prescriptions: incorporating garlic, onions, flax seeds, vitamin C rich foods (bell peppers, kiwis, oranges, limes, guava, cherries, papayas, etc.), and potassium rich foods (bananas, kiwis, berries, plums, etc.) is advocated by all nutritionists. These foods help keep the blood pressure level normal, prevent B.P. oscillations, check formation of plaques within the arteries, ward off atherosclerosis, maintain normal serum cholesterol levels and prevent oxidative damage to the cells.

Stress management: equally important is optimum stress management. Integrate Yoga, Pranayama, Tai Chi, meditation, aerobics, pilates, or any other form of stress busting techniques in to your daily life. These techniques exert profound physical as well as mental health benefits.

Early medical intervention helps prevent myocardial infraction and permanent damage to the heart tissue. In case of myocardial ischemia, the physician will advocate bypass surgery. Those diagnosed with elevated levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure will be put on to drugs to help diminish the blood cholesterol level, prevent fluctuations in B.P. and check blood clotting. Regular check ups are very essential to stave off a cardiac arrest.