Preventing and Managing Coronary Artery Disease 

women with heart fingers for the preventing and managing coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major health concern affecting millions globally, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Inspired by the insightful discussion on the me&my health up podcast hosted by Anthony Hartcher, this blog explores the vital aspects of CAD.

We will delve into its causes, risk factors, symptoms, and preventive measures. By understanding the intricacies of CAD, we can better manage and prevent this potentially life-threatening condition. 

Watch the full podcast episode here:

What is Coronary Artery Disease? 

Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease, occurs when the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become narrowed or blocked. This is primarily due to the build-up of atherosclerotic plaques, which consist of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Over time, these plaques harden and narrow the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart muscle. 

Causes and Risk Factors 

Understanding the causes and risk factors of CAD is crucial for effective prevention. Several factors contribute to the development of CAD, including: 

  • Atherosclerosis: This is the primary cause of CAD, involving the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. 
  • High Blood Pressure: Hypertension increases the force against the artery walls, leading to damage and narrowing. 
  • High Cholesterol Levels: Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. 
  • Smoking: Tobacco smoke damages the blood vessels, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. 
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and contribute to atherosclerosis. 
  • Obesity: Excess weight strains the heart and can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity contributes to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. 
  • Unhealthy Diet: Diets high in carbohydrates, sugars, trans fats, and cholesterol can increase the risk of CAD. 

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease 


Recognising the symptoms of CAD is vital for early intervention and management. Common symptoms include: 

  • Chest Pain (Angina): This is the most common symptom, characterised by discomfort or tightness in the chest. 
  • Shortness of Breath: Reduced blood flow to the heart can cause breathlessness, especially during physical activity. 
  • Fatigue: Persistent tiredness may indicate that the heart is not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. 
  • Heart Attack: Severe cases of CAD can lead to a heart attack, characterised by intense chest pain, sweating, and nausea. 

Preventive Measures and Lifestyle Changes 


Preventing CAD involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and managing risk factors effectively. Here are some key preventive measures: 

  • Healthy Diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in healthy fats, vegetables, and proteins. Limit the intake of carbohydrates, trans fats (fried foods), cholesterol, and sodium (processed foods). 
  • Regular Exercise: Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Incorporate muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week. 
  • Quit Smoking: Avoiding tobacco smoke is crucial for heart health. Seek support from healthcare professionals to quit smoking effectively. 
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity. 
  • Manage Stress: Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. 
  • Monitor Health Metrics: Regularly check blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. Work with your healthcare provider to keep these metrics within healthy ranges. 

The Role of Medication and Medical Interventions 


In some cases, lifestyle changes alone may not be sufficient to manage CAD. Medications and medical interventions can play a critical role: 

  • Medications: Various medications can help manage CAD, including statins to lower cholesterol, beta-blockers to reduce blood pressure, and antiplatelet drugs to prevent blood clots. 
  • Angioplasty and Stenting: This procedure involves inserting a balloon-tipped catheter into the narrowed artery and inflating it to widen the artery. A stent (a small mesh tube) is then placed to keep the artery open. 
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG): This surgery involves grafting a healthy artery or vein from another part of the body to bypass the blocked coronary artery, improving blood flow to the heart muscle. 

The Importance of Regular Check-ups 

Middle age hispanic man wearing doctor uniform auscultating heart at clinic

Regular medical check-ups are essential for early detection and management of CAD. During these check-ups, healthcare providers can: 

  • Assess Risk Factors: Evaluate individual risk factors and provide personalised recommendations. 
  • Perform Diagnostic Tests: Conduct tests such as electrocardiograms (ECGs), stress tests, echocardiograms, and coronary angiograms to assess heart health. 
  • Monitor Treatment Progress: Ensure that prescribed medications and lifestyle changes are effectively managing the condition. 


Coronary artery disease is a serious but manageable condition. By understanding its causes, risk factors, symptoms, and preventive measures, we can take proactive steps to protect our heart health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying informed about our health metrics, and seeking regular medical advice are key to preventing and managing CAD. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in our heart health and overall well-being. 

Holistic Health Coaching with me&my wellness 

At me&my wellness, we provide holistic health coaching tailored to your unique health and wellness goals. Our comprehensive approach addresses the root causes of coronary artery disease and supports sustainable lifestyle changes. Book a 15-minute FREE consultation with us today to start your journey towards better heart health and overall well-being. 

By incorporating these lifestyle changes and working with healthcare professionals, you can effectively manage and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Stay informed, stay active, and prioritise your heart health.