Hello all! My wife had double by-pass surgery in 2007 at the age of 39 because of a 75% blockage in the widow maker. Heart disease runs on her father's side of the family. She never had any indications that some thing was wrong; normal blood pressure and cholesterol. Since the surgery, of course, she has not been the same physically. My wife had always been active (military), not overweight and eats very healthy. Problem is, she is ALWAYS tired. She complains that she is "drained" with flu-like symptoms. She doesn't sleep well, has dizzy spells, can't focus, forgetful... She tries to exercise but makes her feel worse. She does fight the feeling and walk the dog here and there hoping it will make her feel better... Very concerned! We've seen her doctor and have had a lot tests done but nothing... She still has 20% and 50% blockage that the doc said they won't do anything with unless they get to be a bigger blockage. It was a doctor's hunch that they found the blockage even after passing a stress test and still going forward with an angiogram because she was her loosing her breath while exercising. This has been going on since 2007...
"Problem is, she is ALWAYS tired. She complains that she is 'drained' with flu-like symptoms. She doesn't sleep well, has dizzy spells, can't focus, forgetful."
Noteworthy, she should review with her doctor(s) the prescription drugs that she is taking for possible side effects, and, has she ever been checked for depression?
"She never had any indications that something was wrong; normal blood pressure and cholesterol."
As reported, the symptoms of artery-narrowing atherosclerosis are highly variable. Those with mild atherosclerosis may present with clinically important symptoms and signs of disease and heart attack, or absolute worst case scenario, sudden cardiac death (SCD) may be the first and only symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, many individuals with anatomically advanced disease may have no symptoms and experience no functional impairment.
Also as reported, a risk factor merely increases the probability that one will develop cardiovascular disease, BUT doesn't 100% guarantee that one will develop it, nor does its absence (or even the absence of ALL known risk factors) 100% guarantee that one won't have a heart attack or brain attack
"She still has 20% and 50% blockage that the doc said they won't do anything with unless they get to be a bigger blockage."
Doctors typically consider/perform angioplasty, with or without coronary stents on blockages of 70%75% or greater in the right coronary artery (RCA), left anterior descending (LAD), left circumflex (LCX) and some of their respective branches, also taking in consideration present symptoms and the severity thereof.
It has been known for quite some time now that atherosclerosis begins (the process/progression of) at a very early age, even as early as in the pre-teen/teenage years.
Coronary artery bypass is just a clever way of temporarily circumventing the problem, as it does not treat the underlying disease process and what drives the progression.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a life-long unpredictable condition (can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration, and even some regression), requiring a continuum of care,
Best of luck to your wife and you down the road of life.
WebMD member (since 8/99)
Living with Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
CAD is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have coronary artery disease, it is important to take care of your....
This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or......
Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke
Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary and peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second and thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).
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Even 75% blockage is not too significant. 25% and 50% should be unnoticeable.
Being always tired suggests poor blood flow to her lungs for oxygen, and not a strong heart. I had bypass surgery for 99%, 99%, and 80% blockages in each of the three major coronary arteries. When I went to the hospital, they asked how long I had been bedridden and on oxygen. I had not been on either one. I've been slim, healthy and athletic my whole life.
I've carried through a very careful exercise plan and made my diet almost fat free. I am now in great health 7 years later.
Try looking at some of my links under Heart Health Cardiac Rehabilitation here on WebMD. The site featured me and my recovery in the September 2012 WebMD magazine, page 73.
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