Understanding Your Heart Disease Treatment Options: What You Should Know

When you go to the doctor for a routine checkup, you probably do not expect to find out that you are having cardiovascular problems and have heart disease. However, this diagnosis does not have to be the end of the world. Instead, you can and should focus on improving your condition rather than focusing on the negatives. Get to know some of the heart disease treatment options available to you for your heart disease and begin the process of taking care of your cardiac health. With proper care, you will be able to overcome your heart disease and be healthy for many years to come.

Lifestyle Changes and Medications

Oftentimes, before a doctor will move to more aggressive and invasive treatments, they will recommend that a person with heart disease make changes to their lifestyle and even begin taking prescription medications to help improve blood pressure, manage cholesterol, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

The changes that a person with heart disease will need to make include altering the foods that they consume and their physical activity habits and routines. Dietary changes may include consuming less sodium, reducing unhealthy fats, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Safely increasing physical activity can also help to reduce the symptoms and severity of heart disease. Getting up and going for a walk for 30 minutes to an hour every day can be enough to get the ball rolling and get a person with heart disease on the path to a long and healthy life.

Minor Medical Procedures

Beyond these basic lifestyle changes, a person may require more extensive treatments for their heart disease. Smaller and minimally invasive surgical procedures may be the next step up in this process. This can involve having a stent put in to keep arteries more open as well as procedures to clear out the blockages in your arteries.

These procedures are done using a cardiac catheterization. This involves running a tube with a small camera into your arteries to explore where the blockages are and the extent of the damage as well as to provide immediate treatments.

Major Treatments

Sometimes, when a doctor runs the cardiac catheter through a person's arteries, the damage found is extensive enough that a stent or simple cleaning of the arteries through the catheter will not be sufficient treatment. In these cases, a person will require further surgeries to ensure that they avoid heart attacks and heart failure.

These procedures require larger incisions and hospital stays (catheterization usually is an awake outpatient procedure). These treatments may include installing a pacemaker or performing coronary artery bypass grafts to reroute the flow of blood around arteries that are completely blocked.

Now that you have a better idea of the heart disease treatment options available to you, you can get started in your treatment process and regain control of your health and well-being.