Heart disease includes plaque-blocked arteries, congenital conditions, arrhythmia, and diseases of the actual heart muscle. Whether heart disease is detected early or not revealed until after heart failure, doctors have many kinds of remedies and treatments to reduce the risks of further heart disease. Broadly defined, there are three categories of heart disease treatment.
Take Two and Call Me in the Morning
If your heart is beating too quickly, or if the arteries around it contract tightly, the heart will be overtaxed, like revving an engine that’s in park. Doctors prescribe three classes of pills called nitrates, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers to let the heart run efficiently. Each of these types of heart disease treatments help the heart to beat regularly and slowly, or expand the arteries in the area of the heart so that blood flow is more regular.
Everyone has seen TV ads promoting Aspirin to thin the blood and reduce the risk of blood clots causing blocked arteries. While Aspirin does diminish the blood’s ability to form clots, other drugs fight cholesterol, which can form plaque in the arteries and lead to heart failure. These drugs are usually simply called cholesterol reducing drugs or are part of a subcategory called statins.
As always, if your doctor prescribes medicine, remember to ask plenty of questions about what the drug is and what it does.
When clogged cardiac arteries are life threatening, heart disease treatment can mean going into surgery. Some surgeries will clear the plaque in the arteries by cleaning or grinding it away or inflating a balloon in the arteries to break up the plaque. Bypass surgeries take a large blood vessel from elsewhere in the body and graft it to the blocked artery so blood can pass to the heart.
Surgeries for other conditions include implanting a pacemaker into the heart to treat arrhythmia, and doctors can transplant aortic valves into a patient whose valve has stopped functioning properly. In case no heart disease treatment is possible, such as in infants born with heart defects, artificial hearts do exist, though they are only a temporary solution until a heart transplant can be performed.
Treat The Whole System
Of course, before your heart gets desperate enough to need drugs or surgery, look to the risk factors you can control. Don’t smoke; control your cholesterol so that plaque never gets a chance to clog your arteries; and exercise regularly, most days in a week, to keep your heart muscles healthy. Then maybe you might never need to know about heart disease treatment.