Coronary Microvascular Disease (CMD)

Coronary microvascular disease (CMD) is a condition that affects the small blood vessels in the heart. It is a common cause of chest pain and can also lead to heart failure. While CMD is often overlooked, it is a serious condition that can have significant consequences for people who have it.

How is CMD Caused?

CMD is caused by a blockage or damage to the small blood vessels in the heart, which can reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. It can also lead to heart failure, in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

CMD is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions such as angina or heart attack. In addition, traditional tests such as angiography may not be able to detect the blockages or damage in the small blood vessels. As a result, CMD may be misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed for some time.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for CMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. It is also more common in women and people with a family history of heart disease. These risk factors can damage the small blood vessels in the heart and lead to CMD.

Treatment of CMD

The good news is that CMD is a treatable condition. The first step in treatment is to manage any underlying risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. This may involve lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking. In some cases, medications may be necessary to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improve blood flow to the heart.

In addition to managing risk factors, it is important to address any symptoms of CMD. This may involve the use of medications to manage chest pain and improve blood flow to the heart. In some cases, procedures such as angioplasty or stenting may be necessary to open blocked blood vessels.

It is important to regularly consult with the specialist who can develop a treatment plan to manage CMD. This may include regular check-ups, blood pressure monitoring, and medication management. By taking steps to manage CMD, patients can reduce their risk of heart failure and other serious complications.

Conclusion

CMD is a serious condition that affects the small blood vessels in the heart. It can cause chest pain and lead to heart failure if left untreated. Risk factors for CMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes and medications, and in some cases, procedures to open blocked blood vessels.

How can Work Stress Hurt your Heart – and How to Prevent?

Stress is considered to be a normal part of life. Stress under manageable limits increases alertness and performance. However, uncontrolled stress can lead to many health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease.

Common symptoms of stress include anxiety, fatigue, sleep problems, upset stomach, chest pain, etc.

Signs of Work Stress

Working professionals have been experiencing increasing stress in recent times. This is due to the hectic nature of the jobs, long work hours, heavy workload, strict deadlines, job insecurity and other reasons.

Stress related problems in offices have led to many issues like arguments with co-workers, mood swings, loss of motivation and confidence, decreased performance, regular absence due to sickness, high attrition and so on.

Hence, it is very important for employers to assess the impact of work related stress and take appropriate action to protect the employees.

Effect of stress on the heart

In a stressful situation the human body releases a hormone called adrenaline that causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure temporarily. Chronic stress can cause conditions like inflammation, high blood pressure, and low HDL or good cholesterol, which can all impact the heart and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Negative mental health conditions like stress, anxiety and depression can lead to harmful responses from the body such as irregular heart rate and rhythm, reduced blood flow to the heart, etc.

It has been observed that people with positive mental health are at lower risk of developing heart disease as they have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and better glucose control.

Managing Work Stress

Stress can be managed by adopting regular physical activity, consuming a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep. It is also helpful to practice relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing, spending time with family and friends, developing hobbies, etc. to keep stress under control.

Employees suffering from work related stress also need to make some changes in their work environment to reduce their stress levels. It is recommended to organise official tasks in order of priority and take up the difficult tasks in the morning hours when the employee is fresh and active.

Advice and help can be taken from co-workers on how to handle any difficult tasks. Work should not be taken up after office hours preferably and the time should be utilised for relaxation and spending on personal activities.

Any health concerns should be brought to the notice of the human resources department in the organisation, so that they can be addressed immediately. If the symptoms of stress continue to persist over a period of time, it is essential to consult a physician or psychologist and seek their advice.

Role of family; meditation;friend; office sessions from company.

Life after Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery disease occurs due to the hardening of arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. Bypass surgery is performed to restore normal blood flow to the obstructed coronary artery.

Bypass surgery helps the patients by improving the quality of life and decreasing angina and other CAD symptoms. It improves the pumping action of the heart and lowers the risk of a heart attack. Additionally it enables patients to resume a more active lifestyle.

According to Dr. Ramji Mehrotra, who is one of the Best Cardiac Surgeon in India, patients generally exhibit excellent results after bypass surgery. 85% of people have significantly reduced symptoms, with lesser risk of heart attacks in future, and a lesser chance of dying even beyond 10 years.

Recuperating after bypass surgery

Dr. Mehrotra says that patients should definitely follow the doctor’s advice regarding diet, activity and lifestyle changes, to be adopted after surgery and during recovery. They should take medication as per directions and notify the doctor immediately of any concerns like fever, pain, bleeding or problems at the incision site.

It is essential to follow the guidelines below while recovering after the bypass surgery.

Healthy diet – The patient should consume a healthy diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated and trans-fats. This can stop the build-up of plaque on artery walls.

Medications – Doctors prescribe the medications for promoting comfortable healing from the surgery and reducing the risk of future heart attacks. The medications generally prescribed include:

  • medicines to reduce cholesterol,
  • aspirin and antiplatelets to prevent blood clots,
  • ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers to regulate blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac remodelling.

Physical Activity – Physical activity should be gradually resumed by the patient and the advice of the physiotherapist may help gradual increase in exercise tolerance. For the first six weeks after surgery, the patient should not lift anything that is over 5 kg as the sternum (chest bone) will need time to heal. Walking is a good option for gradually increasing the activity level.

Cardiac Rehabilitation – Through Cardiac rehabilitation or rehab the patient can take up exercise under the supervision of a medical professional. It also involves psychological counselling, nutritional counselling, etc.

Diabetes Management – Patients with diabetes need to carefully manage their recovery in coordination with their doctors as diabetes contributes to cardiovascular disease.

Stress Management – Chronic stress is a risk factor leading to heart disease and hence must be managed carefully with a healthy lifestyle.

Improvement in Life – Improvement in quality of life after bypass gives the patient positive reinforcement towards life and patients are more receptive towards life style changes. Many quit smoking, alcohol and sedentary life style and start exercises and healthy dietary habits. 

Conclusion

As a leading arterial bypass Surgeon based in Delhi, Dr. Ramji Mehrotra is of the opinion that long-term recovery from bypass surgery involves managing the risk factors contributing to the cardiovascular disease. Though some risk factors like family history cannot be changed, others like healthy diet, medications, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes must be adopted for faster recovery and maintenance of good health.

Effect of a Positive Mental State on Heart

Mental health is an important component of the overall health of an individual. It involves a combination of psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Benefits of good mental health include reduction in stress and anxiety, clearer thinking, improvement in moods and inner peace, reduced chances of depression, etc.

Relation between Mental Health and Heart

Research has shown that mental health is related to the health of the heart. According to Dr Ramji Mehrotra, cardiovascular health is negatively affected by negative psychological factors and mental health disorders, while positive attributes make a positive impact and can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

Negative psychological conditions like chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can cause harmful biological responses such as irregularities of heart rate, increased blood pressure, and reduced blood flow to the heart. Smoking, unhealthy diet, obesity, lower levels of physical activity, etc. all negatively impact psychological health apart from directly influencing the heart negatively which in turn is connected to heart disease. To improve mental and psychological health, stress reduction therapy, meditation and exercise are recommended.

On the other hand, people with positive psychological health are likely to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Consequently, they are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Health behavior that is likely to increase positive psychological health includes consuming healthy food, physical activity, regular health screening, and check-ups, etc. apart from stress reduction therapy including meditation.

Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle for Healthy Mind and Heart

While the risk of developing cardiovascular and heart diseases is high if a person has a mental health condition, the positive news is that it can be reduced with appropriate changes to one’s lifestyle. These steps towards improving both the body and mind include:

  • Be physically active: Physical activity boosts mental health by releasing chemicals into the brain that reduces depression and anxiety. It also ensures better sleep, less stress, and higher energy levels, etc.
  • Consume a healthy balanced diet: Eating a balanced and healthy diet is essential for mental health along with physical health. A healthy diet controls not only weight but also BP and cholesterol levels which reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Stop smoking: Though smokers may think that smoking reduces their stress, in reality it increases stress, tension, and anxiety. It also leads to a high risk of lung cancer and all other cancers as well as heart and circulatory diseases. Hence, it is essential to cut down on smoking and eventually stop it altogether. Infect tobacco in any form is injurious and should be avoided.
  • Reduce alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant and affects the mood and mental state of a person. People consuming large amounts of alcohol lose control of their feelings and can become angry, aggressive, anxious and depressed. It can also cause several other health issues.
  • Other activities: Mental health can also be improved by taking up several activities such as adopting spirituality and meditation, improving social relationships, expressing gratitude, practicing kindness, cultivating optimism, etc.

Conclusion

It has been observed that people with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression may experience physiological effects like increased cardiac activity and reduced blood flow to the heart. This may lead to abnormal calcium build-up in the arteries and heart disease. Hence, it is very important to maintain positive mental health by adopting a healthy lifestyle with physical activity, proper diet, stress reducing activities, meditation, cultivating hobbies, feeling good and avoiding smoking, tobacco etc.

Dr. Mehrotra’ says that along with taking care of physical conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol levels, etc., the negative aspects of mental health must be monitored and addressed regularly to reduce the incidence of heart disease in patients.