Treatment and Prevention Tips for Heart Disease
- Posted on: Aug 30 2019
Coronary Heart Disease (also known as atherosclerosis) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. Although the number of deaths attributed to heart disease has decreased over time, this condition still accounts for 1 in 7 deaths among American adults. Because the risk factors for heart disease are alarmingly high, it is necessary to know how this problem may be treated, and also how you can decrease your risks of experiencing a cardiac event.
Treating Heart Disease
The way that a doctor may treat heart disease typically depends on the precise condition a person has as well as the severity of their problem. In many cases, doctors suggest a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions. Medications may be prescribed for some heart conditions, while implantable devices such as a pacemaker may be necessary in some cases. Each treatment plan is developed around the specific needs of the patient.
Lifestyle modifications to manage heart health include reducing salt and fat in the diet, limiting alcohol use, quitting smoking, and exercising several days a week. Medications prescribed for heart disease achieve various objectives. For example:
- Calcium channel blockers may be prescribed to relax the blood vessels and ease the intensity of the heart’s pump-strength.
- Anticoagulant medication can reduce the risk of blood clot formation in the heart or blood vessels.
- Beta-blockers are commonly recommended for patients with high blood pressure.
- Statins may be prescribed to lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
In severe cases of heart disease, surgical intervention may be needed. Heart surgery may involve widening of a blocked coronary artery, the placement of a stent to open an artery or bypass surgery to reroute circulation through functional arteries.
Tips for Preventing Heart Disease
The habits that are recommended for managing heart disease are the same that doctors suggest to patients interested in preventing this condition. Habits that support heart health include:
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco. Alcoholic beverages should be limited to one drink per day for women and two for men. One drink equates to 5 ounces of wine, one beer, or 1 ½ ounces of liquor. Each of these habits contributes to high blood pressure.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes limited amounts of salt, low carbohydrates, and abundant amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Not all fats are bad for the heart. Choose healthy options such as coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Manage weight by knowing how many calories are right for your body and activity level. Choose more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer refined carbs like pasta and bread.
- Manage stress. Stress affects the heart both directly and indirectly. Under stress, we are more likely to smoke, drink, and eat to soothe ourselves. Stress also raises cortisol levels and blood pressure. Stress management may look like sitting on a yoga mat, hitting the gym, or talking with a therapist.
- Manage diabetes. Diabetes and insulin resistance affect weight and also damage the blood vessels throughout the body. A doctor and nutritionist can provide valuable screenings and assistance to keep blood sugar regulated.
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Posted in: Common Symptoms