Conventional therapies for the heart diseases

Conventional therapies for the heart diseases

Medical advancements have made it possible to treat and stabilize heart diseases, increasing the life expectancy of a heart patient by several years. The conventional treatment if taken regularly also has the ability to undo the damage to the heart, improve its efficiency and save it from irreversible remodeling that leads to chronic heart failure.

All heart diseases start with this conventional therapy regime:

ACE Inhibitors or ARBs

Beta blockers and Calcium channel blockers

Aspirin

Cholesterol reducing drugs if the person has high blood cholesterol.

Diuretics are used in the later stage of heart disease.

Before starting this conventional therapy, the doctor would take a detailed history from the patient regarding the family, lifestyle, addictions to alcohol and smoking, allergies or asthma.

The doctor will run quite a few tests which will help to check if the patient has diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, hypercholesteremia and a liver that is prone to damage.  This allows the doctor to suggest appropriate life style modifications and start a drug regime with the least number of side effects.

ACE inhibitors and ARBS are the first drugs to be started along with aspirin. These drugs reduce or completely stop the stimulation of receptors that cause contraction of the vessels. This leads to decreased resistance in the arteries and a decreased need for the heart to pump the blood harder.

The overall effect is decreased blood pressure with an overall control on the disease. However, patients with allergic cough or renal disease shouldn’t use ACE inhibitors as this drug may exacerbate the condition. Aspirin is used as a precautionary drug, and should be used by all males in their middle age. Aspirin thins the blood and reduces the turbidity and resistance that causes an increase in blood pressure. People with gastric ulcers should go for a coated aspirin that protects the gastric lining.

Beta blockers block the beta receptor that causes an increase in the heart rate and the pumping of the blood. This simple drug protects the heart from over-exertion and remodeling. However, beta blockers are not suggested for people with a history of asthma.

Calcium channel blockers reduce the contraction of the heart and vessels which leads to a decreased heart rate and dilated vessels. The overall result causes a decrease in the blood pressure.

Cholesterol reducing drugs help in reducing LDL by stopping the production of cholesterol from our diet. These drugs are needed in people with obesity and a genetic predisposition towards high cholesterol levels. These drugs reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Diuretics are needed at a later stage of heart disease. Diuretics help to excrete out excessive fluid volume, so that the heart is able to pump blood better without going through irreversible remodeling that leads to cardiac failure.

Other drugs like Nitroglyceride are strong vasodilators which could reverse angina and stabilize a heart attack at an early stage. Doctors may prescribe this drug to people that are on a high risk of having an angina that could lead to a heart attack.

Angioplasty is a procedure done in people with clogged arteries and unstable angina. This procedure is minimally invasive and involves introducing a stent in the clogged vessel that help to create a passage for the blood and improve the heart’s condition.

This procedure has saved many people from death and serious surgeries. However, angioplasty is a temporary solution and could only last long with proper diet and exercise.

This conventional therapy has saved many lives. However, the alternative medicine trend for heart diseases has picked on too and many people are now considering the use of alternative treatments for hypertension and atherosclerosis.  The next article will discuss alternative medicine options for heart diseases.

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