What are Beta Blockers?

Beta blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, treat a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines. Find out more about this class of medication.
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that reduce your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, the heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure. Beta blockers also help blood vessels open up to improve blood flow.
Examples of beta blockers-
Some beta blockers mainly affect your heart, while others affect both your heart and your blood vessels. Which one is best for you depends on your health and the condition being treated.
Examples of beta blockers include:
-Acebutolol (Sectral)
-Atenolol (Tenormin)
-Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
-Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)
-Nadolol (Corgard)
-Propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran X
Doctors prescribe beta blockers to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:
-High blood pressure
-Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
-Heart failure
-Chest pain (angina)
-Heart attacks
-Glaucoma
-Migraines
-Generalized anxiety disorder
-Hyperthyroidism
-Certain types of tremors






Why an Angioplasty it’s done?

Angioplasty is used to treat a type of heart disease known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the slow buildup of fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. Your doctor might suggest angioplasty as a treatment option when medications or lifestyle changes aren’t enough to improve your heart health, or if you have a heart attack, worsening chest pain (angina) or other symptoms.
Angioplasty isn’t for everyone. If the main artery that brings blood to the left side of your heart is narrow, if your heart muscle is weak or if you have multiple diseased blood vessels, then coronary artery bypass surgery may be a better option than angioplasty. In coronary artery bypass surgery, the blocked part of your artery is bypassed using a blood vessel from another part of your body.
If you have diabetes and multiple blockages, your doctor may suggest coronary artery bypass surgery. The decision of angioplasty versus bypass surgery will depend on the extent of your heart disease and overall medical condition.






Angioplasty or Bypass Surgery?

During cardiac catheterization, your doctor will examine images of the inside of your coronary arteries. If cholesterol plaques in these arteries (coronary artery disease) have caused areas of narrowing, treatment options depend on various factors, including:
-Severity and extent of coronary artery disease
-Symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath
-Overall heart function

Other medical conditions, such as heart valve disease, diabetes, kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, or prior stroke or heart attack.
For some people, medications and lifestyle changes may be the treatment of choice — especially if only one artery is narrowed.
In other cases, angioplasty may be recommended to open the clogged arteries — especially if you are having chest discomfort (angina) due to reduced blood flow that has not responded to medication and lifestyle changes. During angioplasty, a tiny balloon is inserted and expanded at the site of the blockage to widen the narrowed artery. Typically, a small metal coil called a stent is implanted in the clogged artery to help prop the artery open and reduce the risk of it narrowing again. It’s possible you may even have angioplasty during your cardiac catheterization, if your doctor thinks it’s the best treatment option for you.
If your arteries are narrowed or blocked in multiple areas, coronary bypass surgery may be necessary. During bypass surgery, a section of healthy blood vessel — often taken from inside the chest wall or the lower leg — is attached above and below the blocked artery. This allows blood to bypass the blocked area and flow to the heart muscle.






Alternative Medicines for a Healthy Heart

There are several alternative medicines that may be effective in lowering cholesterol and preventing some types of heart disease, including:

-Blond psyllium
-Coenzyme Q10
-Flaxseed
-Oats and oat bran
-Omega-3 fatty acids
-Plant stanols and sterols, such as beta-sitosterol and sitostanol

As with any alternative medicine, talk to your doctor before adding any new supplements to your treatment regimen. Even natural medicines and herbal supplements can interact with medications you’re taking.






Apples Help Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Apples may be effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes in people over 50s, finds new study.
Study leader at Oxford University, Dr Adam Briggs, said that the research shows how effective small changes in diet can be and that drugs and healthier living can make a real difference in preventing heart disease and stroke, the Daily Express reported.
Dr Peter Coleman, of the Stroke Association, said that apples have long been known as a natural source of antioxidants and chemical compounds called flavanoids, all of which are good for our health.
Coleman asserted that study shows that, as part of a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, a daily apple could help to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Coleman added that while it is vital that those who have been prescribed statins continue to take the highly-effective medication, everyone can lower their risk of stroke with simple lifestyle changes, like eating a balanced diet.
Video: Angioplasty






Lifestyle after Angioplasty

For most people, coronary angioplasty greatly increases blood flow through the previously narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Your chest pain should decrease, and you may have a better ability to exercise.
Having angioplasty and stenting doesn’t mean your heart disease goes away. You’ll need to continue healthy lifestyle habits and possibly take medications to ensure your artery doesn’t re-narrow. If your symptoms return, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, or other symptoms similar to those you had before your procedure, contact your doctor. If you have chest pain at rest or pain that doesn’t respond to nitroglycerin, call 911 or emergency medical help.
To keep your heart healthy after angioplasty, you should:
-Quit smoking
-Lower your cholesterol
levels
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Control other conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
-Get regular exercise






Food You Should Eat After an Angioplasty

During the angioplasty recovery phase, choose food with low fat content, and make sure that your diet features cereals, beans, rice, pulses, and grains as they have very low fats in them.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and omega fatty acids are beneficial for you. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids cut down the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and increase the level of ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL- High density lipoproteins) in the blood.
Olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, corn and soya oil are rich in PUFA
You can eat oily fishes like sardines, mackerel, herrings, and pilchards, as they are rich in omega fatty acid
Also, enrich your diet with fruits and green leafy vegetables and take your meals regularly.






Are you at risk for complications during angioplasty and stenting?

Complications to angioplasty and stenting may include reactions to the contrast dye, weakening of the artery wall, bleeding at the access puncture site in the vessel or the angioplasty site, re-blocking of the treated artery, and kidney problems. Additionally, blockages can develop in the arteries downstream from the plaque if plaque particles break free during the angioplasty procedure. If severe, these can lead to worsening of the blood flow.
If you have diabetes or kidney disease, you may have a higher risk of complications from the contrast dye, such as kidney failure. In the case of kidney disease, sometimes pre-treatment with medications or fluids may decrease the impact on your kidneys.
People with blood clotting disorders also may have a higher risk of complications from the procedure. If the plaque deposits in your arteries are especially long, you may have a greater chance of your artery closing up again after angioplasty and stenting.






When it’s time for Angioplasty?

Angioplasty is used to treat a type of heart disease known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the slow buildup of fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. When medications or lifestyle changes aren’t enough to improve your heart health, or if you have a heart attack, worsening chest pain (angina) or other symptoms, your doctor might suggest angioplasty as a treatment option.
Angioplasty isn’t for everyone, though. If the main artery supplying the left side of your heart is narrowed, if your heart muscle is weak or if you have small diseased blood vessels , then coronary artery bypass surgery may be a better option. In coronary artery bypass surgery, the blocked portion of your artery is bypassed using a vein from another part of your body.
In addition, if you have diabetes and multiple blockages, your doctor may suggest coronary artery bypass surgery. The decision of angioplasty versus bypass surgery will depend on the extent of your heart disease and overall medical condition.






Angioplasty or bypass surgery?

Angioplasty or bypass surgery? Which is best when cholesterol-laden plaque narrows a coronary artery and chokes off blood flow to part of the heart muscle?
There’s no simple answer. It depends a lot on your situation: how many arteries are blocked, where the blockages are, your overall health, and your preferences. It also depends on how you define “best” — most durable, shortest recovery, fewest complications, or longest survival.
At first glance, angioplasty with stent placement seems to be a clear winner. It requires a small nick in the groin, local anesthesia, an overnight hospital stay, and a relatively rapid recovery. In comparison, bypass surgery requires opening the chest, general anesthesia, a several-day hospital stay, and weeks of sometimes painful recovery. On the other hand, surgery is the king of the hill when it comes to durability and freedom from chest pain. Far fewer people need a repeat procedure after bypass surgery than angioplasty.