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Calcific Valvular Heart Disease

What is Calcification?

There are a number of factors, which lead to heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, gender, smoking etc. However these are only some of the factors taken into account which is a risk to heart disease, but it is evident that most of the heart attacks occur in the middle risk group as currently defined.

Coronary calcification score is a better way of knowing, and assessing yourself with a risk of heart disease. This results in the rupture of coronary arteries, and the build up of fatty gooey plaque, which leads to these ruptures, and this can happen several times without a notice of a heart attack occurring and resulting in calcification of the arteries.

It can be measured by taking a X-ray imaging system called a CT scanner. It is a test which, involves lying in the scanner for approximately 10 minutes. The patient does not need to remove the clothing it is done with the clothes on. During the test the doctor will request you to hold your breathe for 10-30 secs.

Calcification, is nothing but the build up of calcium or salts in the tissues where it does not belong, therefore results in hardening of the tissue, which can have unpleasant or dangerous results. This is the most common form of calcification to occur in the breast tissue, in the aortic valve of the hear, and in the coronary arteries. Tissues which are dead or have degenerated can be affected by calcification.

What is the treatment for Calcified arteries?

Calcium build up in the calcified arteries is also known as coronary arteriosclerosis,in the condition of arteriosclerosis, the arteries become hardened and narrowed, when this happens it restricts the flow of blood to the heart , limiting the amount of work it can perform, making it difficult for the person to walk,having chest pain or shortness of breath. This can be dangerous, as it can result to lack of blood supply to the heart supplied by the arteries and result in an heart attack. Changes in lifestyle and interventional treatments for coronary artery disease can relieve symptoms and help you live longer.

Lifestyle Modifications

Certain lifestyle modifications, have shown that, refraining from smoking or being a passive smoker should be stopped. Maintain a healthy, diet taking help of a healthcare professional, also maintaining a low fat diet, can help lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and also grains which are usually beneficial. It is also important to exercise , and maintain your weight which is beneficial, Coping with stress is also an added advantage. All in all meet a healthcare professional who, can guide to a healthy lifestyle.

Medical Management

It depends how you manage the medication prescribed, to treat calcified arteries in the heart. One of the most common medication is Aspirin. Aspirin is suggested by the cardiologist, as it helps the platelets, and this helps the blood to clot , in such a case when the person is bleeding, but it can be adverse when the blood vessels in the heart are constricted and hard, which can result in a heart attack. The other drugs are given to lower the cholesterol in the body , as well as blood pressure. The cardiologist would suggest nitrates, to dilate the blood vessels temporarily if these symptoms are interfering with day to day life. Other medications include beta-blocker and calcium channel blockers to decrease the amount of work the heart needs to do.

Interventional Treatments

These treatments include procedures, which are done by radiologists or cardiologists, and surgeons. The radiologist, or the cardiologist inserts a small catheter into the blood vessel through the leg, and then thread it all the way to the heart. The catheter is then pushed into the narrowed artery , and a balloon is inflated to increase the diameter of the vessels. A stent, or even a metal mesh tube, which is inserted to help keep the artery open. If this procedure is not successful, the cardiac surgeon will perform a CABG. With this procedure , veins or arteries elsewhere in the body which are implanted into the heart, and some people may be candidates for minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting, in which the surgeon makes a small incision. There is another option which is used if CABG does not work, which is known as laser resurfacing of the heart which may be an available option. In this procedure the laser, makes channels through the heart muscle to supply the blood flow through the vessels.