What is ischemic heart disease?

How to Get Rid of Ischemic Heart Disease

Based on the statistics, most people die because of IHD or Ischemic heart disease. Learn more about this disease and start protecting yourself from becoming one of its victims.

What is ischemic heart disease (IHD)?

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is known to be a medical term and it pertains to the popular coronary artery disease. This disease can be cured but it tends to be “silent” which means a person who has it may not feel any abnormality within his or her body. On the other hand, it can create some indications which can be uncomfortable but it’s actually better than the other circumstance. This way, the patient can start taking medicines or other procedures to recover.
“Silent” cases of IHD can lead the patient to sudden death. A person who doesn’t experience any of the IHD symptoms may suffer from immense heart attack and fatal arrhythmias. As you can see, IHD is really a serious disease which can result to severe complications if left untreated.
When it comes to a more precise answer for the question “what is IHD”, you should know one more thing. Ischemic heart disease pertains to fat deposits or plaque that has been developed within the walls of your coronary arteries. Since these deposits can hinder the flow of blood going to your heart, there will be different things that may happen.
First of all, your heart will be forced to pump harder so that it will be able to get the exact supply of oxygen it needs. It can cause enlargement of the muscles of your heart and this situation is highly dangerous most especially if you don’t know that you are suffering from IHD already. You may suffer from sudden arrhythmias if your heart becomes bigger and it fails to get enough supply of oxygen. The worst is that total occlusion of your coronary artery can trigger heart attack. IHD is one of the factors that can trigger heart attack and more and more people die every year due to it.


How is ischemic heart disease dangerous?

Ten leading causes of death and disability in the word

Scientists have predicted that more than 16 million Americans may suffer from ischemic heart disease (IHD) and 8 million may have a heart attack. Every year, nearly 1 million will have a new heart attack. Approximately 50% of men and 30% of women more than 40 will develop ischemic heart disease. Ischemia is most commonly due to atherosclerotic occlusion of the coronary arteries. Half of deaths in the developed world and one-fourth of deaths in the developing world are due to cardiovascular diseases caused by atherosclerosis.

What Causes IHD?

There are various factors that can lead you to ischemic heart disease. Please take note of the IHD causes which are as follows:

  • Family history
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Eating foods that are rich in fats

Aside from these, there are other factors that are classified as IHD causes. One of these is stress which can also result to the development of ischemic heart disease. This is usually associated with other signs

The Signs and Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease

Chest pain is the most common symptom of ischemic heart disease

Aside from learning the different IHD causes, you also need to understand and be familiar with IHD symptoms. You may suspect that you have this if you experience any of the following:

Chest Pain

It is one of the most common IHD symptoms. Chest pain is also called angina and it happens when any part of your heart’s muscles is getting inadequate supply of oxygenated blood. You may feel pain in your chest like your heart is squeezed or it is in pressure. For a woman who has IHD, she may feel pain at the back, jaw, arm or shoulder aside from chest pain. That pain that is relevant with chest pain may imitate the feeling related with indigestion.

Fainting and Dizziness

Dizziness is also one of usual IHD symptoms. It can be a stand-alone indication of this disease or it might be correlated with fainting. Reduced heart function like what can be felt with ischemic heart disease is known to be a cardiac-relevant cause of lightheadedness and fainting. A study revealed that a person who experience dizziness might be suffering acute IHD and it can lead him or her to death.


It is the medical term for shortness of breath and it is also one of the IHD symptoms. A woman who has ischemic heart disease is more likely to experience shortness of breath than men. It happens along with back or jaw pain and nausea. Shortness of breath because of IHD happens when the damage of the heart weakens the functioning of the left ventricle which can result to left ventricular failure and pulmonary edema.

Who will be sufferred from ischemic heart disease?

Ischemic heart disease may affect people at any age but occurs significantly more common at progressively older ages, with nearly a triple with each decade of life. Males are affected more often than females.

How can ischemic heart disease be diagnosed?

Symptoms are the most important factors to diagnose IHD. Investigating nature of symptoms (esp. chest pain) may help doctors to make a diagnosis quickly and precisely .


  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) (the most basic and the most important)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac stress tests
  • Coronary angiogram


How can we treat ischemic heart disease ?

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of ischemic heart disease mentioned previously, you should consult your doctor immediately to get help for your condition. He or she will give you any of the medicines that are suitable for you. IHD treatment works efficiently during the initial phase of the disease. Also, you need to follow the instructions of your doctor for your own good.

There are many treatment methods for ischemic heart disease that depend on many factors such as symptoms, degree of narrow artery, patient’s age, heart function and overall health:

About Ischemic Heart Disease Prevention

Taking more fat rich foods, cigarette smoking, stress and unhealthy lifestyle are the main causes of ischemic heart disease. All of these must be avoided so that you will not suffer IHD. You can ask your doctor to learn more about IHD prevention.

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  1. Dan Handy says:

    I had a stent placed in the Lad artery 3 months ago and the VA said I was positive high risk of Ischemia.

    Is CAD considered the same as Ischemia ? Than You Dan

  2. John Henry says:

    Thank you for your useful information. I am 60 years old now and feeling absolutely healthy. May I have any risk of heart attack?
    Thank you

    • Dr.CS says:

      Have you got a family history with heart attack or smoking? You should check up with your doctor annually to check blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol also.

  3. Ms. Love says:

    I was recently diagnosed with the following: I am a 61 year old female-Abnormal Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy-Decreased count rates in the anterior wall, on stress images with reversibility on the delayed images seen on the vertical long axis view. Similar findings are seen on the short axis view but also involve the septum. Quantitative polar map images suggest an area of reversible Ischemia in the anterior septal region. The overall calculated left ventricular global ejection fraction is 64%. I am scheduled to see a cardiologist.

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