Heart disease is on the rise in the UK, with more people diagnosed with it each year. The term ‘heart disease’ is an umbrella term for a wide range of cardiovascular issues including heart failure, coronary artery disease, and angina. Each of these conditions make it difficult for the heart to function properly.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the UK, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper care, management, and prevention, heart disease risks can be reduced across the general population.
Common Types of Heart Disease
● Coronary Heart Disease (CAD): A condition that causes the heart’s blood vessels to become narrowed and blocked. This prevents adequate blood flow to the heart.
● Angina: Angina occurs when the blood supply to the heart becomes restricted, resulting in a pain in your chest, arm, stomach, or jaw. Angina is often a sign of CAD so you should always seek medical advice if you’re experiencing chest pain.
● Heart attack: A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is completely blocked.
● Heart failure: Due to the stress of having to work harder to pump blood, your heart muscle becomes damaged and struggles to perform. Essentially, your heart is failing to work efficiently.
● Arrhythmia: An abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, can make your heart beat irregular or make it beat too quickly or too slowly.
● Valve disease: Your heart has valves on it that open and cose to allow blood to flow to it. If your valves aren’t functioning properly, your heart will be put under extra strain.
In addition to these common heart conditions, some people are born with heart defects and problems. Known as ‘congenital heart conditions,’ these defects usually form as a foetus is developing in its mother’s womb.
Some heart conditions can be caused by genetics. If heart problems run in your family, there’s a higher risk that you’ll inherit the same or similar conditions.
Although it may seem that something so serious should have warning signs, it’s possible to develop heart disease without knowing it as you go about your daily life. Know the early signs of heart disease — as well as risk factors — so you can get treatment early and prevent more serious health problems.
Causes of Heart Disease
Both men and women are at risk of developing some form of heart disease in their lives. Common risk factors include:
● Being overweight or obese
● Smoking cigarettes
● High blood pressure
● High cholesterol
● Excessive alcohol consumption
● Eating a poor diet, especially one high in saturated fats and sodium
● A family history of heart disease
Early Signs of Heart Disease
Sometimes there are no noticeable signs or symptoms that you’re suffering from heart disease. Your first indication may not be until you have a heart attack or other cardiac event. This is why it’s important to have regular checks with your GP or pharmacist so that they can monitor for indicators of heart disease.
There are some early signs you should keep an eye on, including:
● Changes in your heart beat
● A tightness or discomfort in your chest that lasts 30 minutes or longer
● Trouble catching your breath after physical activity
● Dizziness or fainting
● Unexplained pain in your neck, jaw, arm, and upper torso
● Numbness, pain, swelling, or tingling in your extremities
● Severe tiredness
● Feeling cold or weak
Heart Disease in Women
While these early signs of heart disease appear in males, they may not always happen in females with heart disease. In fact, it’s not unusual for women to experience different signs of heart problems, which accounts for why their condition can easily be missed or mistaken for other ailments. Women also tend to have symptoms more often during periods of inactivity.
Another reason heart disease in women may not be initially recognized is that women are more likely than men to have heart disease and heart attack symptoms that don’t include chest pain. Some commonly reported symptoms of heart blockage in females are a pain in one or both arms, nausea or vomiting, heartburn, and sweating.
In addition to the traditional risk factors for heart disease ( high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking), women are more susceptible to risk factors that are different to mens, including:
● Lack of physical activity
● Inflammatory conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
● Complications during pregnancy
How to Prevent Heart Disease
Taking better care of yourself is the first step in reducing your chances of developing a heart problem. The healthier your habits are, the less likely you’ll be to experience a serious cardiac event. No matter how old you are or what your level of fitness and health are, it’s never too late to take the following steps:
● Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol
● Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
● Maintain a healthy weight
● Reduce your salt, sugar, and saturated fat content
● Eat a balanced diet full of whole foods
● Have treats in moderation
● Get enough sleep at night
● Find ways to reduce stress
● Get support for any mental health concerns
● Have regular health screenings that include blood pressure and cholesterol checks
● Correctly manage your health conditions
● Take any medications you’ve been prescribed
Chronic Heart Disease Treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, it’s important to follow your health care provider’s advice on how to manage it. Untreated cardiac issues can easily lead to serious and even fatal complications.
Commonly prescribed medications for heart disease are blood thinners, statins, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and nitrates like Isosorbide.
● Isosorbide Mononitrate: A nitrate that widens the blood vessels to make it easier for blood to flow. This reduces stress on the heart and artery walls.
● Isosorbide Dinitrate: An organic nitrate of medium-long duration that is used to treat chest pain caused by angina. In some cases it can be used to treat acute angina attacks.
You can buy Isosorbide online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet. Visit our website today to buy prescription medication to help keep your heart healthy.