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Chest Pain OverviewChest pain has a variety of noncardiac and cardiac causes, some of which can be very serious. Signs and symptoms of chest pain may include burning, squeezing, or heaviness in the chest. Atherosclerosis, angina, lung tumors, chest trauma, abdominal pain, and gastric reflux are just a few potential causes of chest pain. Chest pain is diagnosed by taking the patient history and performing a physical exam. Blood work, imaging tests, and an exercise stress test may be ordered. The treatment and prognosis of chest pain depends on the underlying cause.
Understanding Your Cholesterol LevelBlood cholesterol levels are measured by a simple blood test. Elevated LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), and low levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) levels, and high triglyceride levels puts a person at an increased risk for heart attack or stroke. The primary goal for a person with high triglycerides or cholesterol levels is to lower them with lifestyle changes like exercise, weight loss and diet changes to include more fiber, fruits and vegetables.
Cholesterol TestsCholesterol tests measure the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. The test is also referred to as a lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. The test measures total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels in the blood. Few risks are associated with cholesterol tests.
Congestive Heart FailureCongestive heart failure, or CHF, is a condition in which a person's heart is failing and it can't pump enough blood and oxygen to the body's tissues. Sometimes people with CHF don't know they have it. Early signs and symptoms symptoms are cough, shortness of breath, and having problems breathing; especially when lying down. And, if you have breathing problems like asthma, COPD, or emphysema and you think your condition is worsening. There are four stages of CHF. There's no cure for CHF, but treatments include drug therapy, diet, and lifestyle changes to relive symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Life expectancy depends on existing medical problems, age, and overall health.
Electrocardiogram (ECG)An electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) is a tool used to assist in diagnosing heart diseases and conditions, for example, atrial and ventricular fibrillation, heart attacks, and heart failure.
Hardening of the ArteriesAtherosclerosis is the term referring to a hardening of the arteries caused by buildup of fat and cholesterol on the artery walls. The deposits, called plaque, can eventually block blood flow. Obesity, high cholesterol, age and a number of other factors put people at risk for atherosclerosis. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, surgery, and medication.
Heart AttackA heart attack is an interruption in blood flow to the heart muscle. Arterial plaque rupture is often the cause of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea. Emergency heart catheterization and thrombolytic therapy may be used to treat a heart attack.
Coronary Heart DiseaseCoronary heart disease (CHD) is a group of different types of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease depend on the cause and inclue chest pain or angina, shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. Many conditions causes heart disease, for example, genetics, obesity, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for heart disease depend on the cause and include diet and other lifestyle changes, medications, procedures, and surgery. The prognosis (outlook) and life span for someone with heart disease varies depending on the cause.
High Blood PressureHigh blood pressure (hypertension) may be present in an individual, without any symptoms. Thus, it is called the "silent killer." Causes of high blood pressure include heart disease, kidney disease, tumors, birth control, alcohol, thyroid dysfunction, and birth control pills.Treatment of high blood pressure is generally through diet, exercise, and medication if necessary.
High CholesterolHigh cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease, stroke, angina, blood clot formation, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Causes of high cholesterol include heredity, age, gender, stress, and lifestyle choices. Cholesterol levels can be reduced with lifestyle changes and medication if necessary (statins, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants, or niacin).
Lifestyle Cholesterol ManagementLifestyle cholesterol management is important to lower your risk for heart disease, which includes: heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Cholesterol management with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can effectively lower blood cholesterol levels in some individuals.
Understanding Cholesterol-Lowering MedicationsCholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance that your body needs to function normally. If a person has too much cholesterol in their bloodstream, it can lead to heart disease. Cholesterol lowering medications include statins (Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altocor, Pravachol, Zocor, and Crestor), bile acid sequestrants (Questran, Colestid, WelChol), nicotinic acid agents (niacin, Niacor, Slo-Niacin), and fibrates (Lopid, Tricor). Side effects, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking these medications.
Cholesterol FAQsCholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is naturally present in the body. Diets high in fat, inactivity, and obesity contribute to high cholesterol. Some factors such as genetics are uncontrollable for having high cholesterol. You can lower your cholesterol levels naturally with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and control, exercise, diet, and quitting smoking. If these measures don't lower cholesterol enough a person may need to take cholesterol medications.
Statins and CholesterolStatins are a class of drug prescribed for reducing blood cholesterol levels in individuals with high cholesterol. Examples of statins available include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), pitavastatin (Livalo), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor). Common side effects include brown, discolored urine, vomiting, muscle weakness, leg pain, muscle soreness, and stomach cramps. Drug and food interactions, warnings and precautions, and serious side effects should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Angina (Ischemic Chest Pain) Topic Guide - Visuals
Angina (Ischemic Chest Pain) Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Ranolazine is used to treat chronic angina (chest pain). Ranolazine is not for use during an acute (emergency) attack of angina.learn more »
Amlodipine and atorvastatin is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), chest pain (angina), and coronary artery disease (clo...learn more »
Nitroglycerin transdermal (skin patch) is used to prevent attacks of chest pain (angina). This medicine will not treat an angina attack that has already ...learn more »
Nitroglycerin is used to prevent attacks of chest pain (angina)...learn more »
Nitroglycerin is used to treat or prevent attacks of chest pain (angina)...learn more »
Nicardipine is a calcium channel blocker that relaxes (widens) your blood vessels, which makes it easier for the heart to pump and reduces its workload...learn more »
Isosorbide mononitrate is a nitrate that dilates (widens) blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through them and easier for the heart to pump......learn more »
Isosorbide dinitrate is a nitrate that dilates (widens) blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through them and easier for the heart to pump...learn more »
Aspirin is a salicylate (sa-LIS-il-ate). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation...learn more »
Metoprolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins)...learn more »
Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker that is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) or angina (chest pain)...learn more »
Verapamil is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders...learn more »
Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker that is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) or angina (chest pain)...learn more »
Propranolol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins)...learn more »
Nadolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins)...learn more »