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Is Non Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease Dangerous?

Written by: Jennifer

If you have been diagnosed with non obstructive CAD, you may wonder, “Is non obstructive coronary artery disease dangerous?”, and the answer is yes. Non obstructive coronary heart disease, like other coronary artery diseases, isn’t without its risks or complications.

Non obstructive CAD is a form of heart disease that often goes undetected. People with non obstructive CAD complain of symptoms like chest pain and light-headedness even with a clear heart ultrasound. Although non coronary artery disease is twice as common in women as in men, both are at risk for complications such as heart attack or death if not treated.

This article will explore what non obstructive coronary artery disease is and why it could be potentially dangerous when left untreated. We’ll also discuss Flow therapy and why it is an effective treatment option for those who have non obstructive coronary artery disease.

What is Non Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease?

Non obstructive coronary artery disease is one of three types of heart disease. Unlike obstructive coronary artery disease, where the blood vessels are significantly narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup, non obstructive coronary artery disease displays less than a 50% blockage. Damaged endothelial lining (endothelial dysfunction), coronary spasms (vasospasm), and microvascular dysfunction are often seen in people with non obstructive coronary heart disease. 

According to Stanford Health Care, at least one in five people with nonobstructive coronary artery disease have clear arteries but still experience symptoms like chest pain. Although the cause of non obstructive CAD is unknown, there is an increased risk of developing this condition in people with excessive weight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Like other forms of heart disease, smoking is one of the significant risk factors in developing non obstructive coronary heart disease.

Nonobstructive CAD, is a severe condition that could develop into obstructive CAD if not treated.

What are the Symptoms of Non Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease?

Non obstructive CAD is marked by chest pain – angina – or chest discomfort. This symptom stems from the arteries narrowing, making blood flow difficult. People with non obstructive coronary artery disease may notice this symptom more prominently during stress, heightened anxiety, or increased physical activity. Coronary vasospasms also trigger chest pain with non obstructive CAD, which happens during rest.

Other symptoms of nonobstructive CAD include:

  • Back, arm, abdomen, or jaw pain: When your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood flow, it can cause chest pain. This pain can radiate away from the chest and into your back, arm, jaw, or abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath: A lack of oxygen-rich blood flow to your lungs can cause you to feel short of breath while walking or participating in non-strenuous activities.
  • Fatigue: With non obstructive coronary artery disease, your heart may work harder than usual, which causes a feeling of fatigue.
  • Light-headedness: When the heart fails to push oxygen-rich blood through the body, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Heart Palpitations: A heart palpitation is a sensation of the heart skipping a beat, beating out of synch, or a hard beat. These are described as atopic beats. 

Some non coronary heart disease symptoms mimic heart attack symptoms. So, if you are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, or pain that radiates into your arm or jaw, seek medical attention right away – even if it’s happened before with nonobstructive coronary artery disease.

Is Non Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease Dangerous?

Some believe that non obstructive CAD is not dangerous. They believe this because most people with non obstructive CAD don’t have blocked blood vessels. But this is far from the truth. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, approximately 11% of people with heart attacks– myocardial infarction – do not have obstructive heart disease. Therefore, making heart attack or death from non obstructive coronary heart disease a genuine risk.

The seriousness of non obstructive coronary artery disease increases if a health care provider doesn’t properly manage it. If you are experiencing symptoms, a physician will give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan that include lifestyle modifications to stop non obstructive coronary artery disease from progressing.

How Do You Manage Non Obstructive Artery Disease?

If you were wondering, “Is non obstructive coronary artery disease dangerous?” the answer may seem grim at first, but there are treatment options. With a few lifestyle modifications and health care options, you can improve your non obstructive coronary artery disease. This can reduce the risk of complications such as heart attack or death.

  • Lifestyle modifications: Passing up foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar can help reduce the risk of complications with non obstructive CAD.
  • Medications: A doctor can prescribe medication to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure – all contributing factors to nonobstructive coronary artery disease.
  • Blood Thinners: An aspirin a day or a prescribed blood thinner reduces the risk of blood clots and helps the blood flow easily.
  • Flow Therapy: Flow Therapy is a great alternative to exercise for non obstructive heart disease patients who cannot work out. Flow Therapy benefits non obstructive CAD patients by using a non-invasive, natural therapy that mimics passive exercise. This way, the patient receives the heart-healthy benefits of working out without exercising. Flow Therapy is mentioned in more than 400 clinical publications for its benefits and ease of treatment.
  • Stop Smoking: Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and further complications with nonobstructive CAD. If you’re having difficulty quitting, speak with your doctor about entering a smoking cessation program.

Get Started with Flow Therapy

EECP Flow Therapy imitates real exercise without causing pain or straining the heart of those with non obstructive heart disease. Flow therapy uses compression cuffs to apply gentle synchronized pumps that mimic your heartbeat. Patients with non obstructive coronary heart disease receive a reduction in symptoms with Flow Therapy.

Since it is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment for nonobstructive coronary heart disease, Flow Therapy is a safe way to improve your health without complications. If you are interested in receiving Flow Therapy for non obstructive heart disease, find a location near you.


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