You might be a tough guy but ignoring that radiating pain in your chest could prove fatal. That heavy feeling on your chest, burning or numbness could be a sign of coronary artery disease.
Coronary Artery Disease – or CAD – is a condition where plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle.
Plaque is made up of calcium, cholesterol, fat and other substances in the blood. Buildup is called atherosclerosis and can happen over years.
Untreated, it can lead to blood clots or a heart attack. Men are at greater risk to develop coronary heart disease and more prone to heart attacks—earlier in life—than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When blood flow to your heart muscle is blocked or reduced, angina or a heart attack could happen. Angina is chest pain or discomfort. It could feel like pressure on the chest. Pain may also happen in the arms, back, jaw, neck or shoulder. Shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, weakness, fatigue and dizziness may also occur.
The American Heart Association suggests not smoking, eating better, lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, become more active and reduce stress as well as limiting alcohol to avoid developing the disease.