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Heart Diseases & Beta Blocker

A type of heart disorder that affects the heart or blood vessels. Sometimes the term ‘heart disease’ is also used as a similar name for coronary artery disease. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease in which the coronary arteries get narrowed or blocked, it can lead to chest pain,

Checking blood pressure
Checking blood pressure

A type of heart disorder that affects the heart or blood vessels. Sometimes the term ‘heart disease’ is also used as a similar name for coronary artery disease. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease in which the coronary arteries get narrowed or blocked, it can lead to chest pain, stroke or heart attack.  Unlike cardiovascular disease that affects any part of the circulatory system, heart disease only affects the heart. The risk of having heart disease may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and obesity.

Several different types of heart diseases affect the heart in different ways:

Coronary Artery Disease

Also known as coronary heart disease, it develops when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged with plaque. This causes the arteries to harden and narrow. This results in reduced blood flow that may cause chest pain, a warning sign of possible heart problems such as heart attack. Plaque contains cholesterol and other substances. As a result, the blood supply reduces and the heart receives less oxygen and fewer nutrients. It may also trap small blood clots, entirely blocking the coronary artery that suddenly results in a heart attack. When plaque builds up in the arteries, this is called atherosclerosis.

Congenital Heart Defects

A person with a congenital heart defect is born with a heart problem. It is a defect in the development of the heart as an organ that is usually first noticed at birth although some are not found until adulthood. There are many types of congenital heart defects and a few need no treatment, but others may need surgical repair. Types of congenital heart defects are:

  • Abnormal heart valves: They may not open properly or leak blood.
  • Septal defects: There is a hole in the wall between either the lower chambers of the upper chambers of the heart.
  • Atresia: In this one of the heart valves is missing.

Congenital heart defects put patients at higher risk to develop arrhythmias, heart failure, heart valve infections, and other problems. Congenital heart disease can involve major structural issues, such as the absence of ventricles and problems with the main arteries that leave the heart. Many congenital heart problems do not cause any noticeable symptoms and only become apparent during a routine medical check. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart murmurs often affect children, but only some are due to a defect.


Arrhythmia refers to an irregular heartbeat, patients who are suffering from this have abnormally fast heartbeats or slow heartbeats. Patients may be experiencing irregular electrical impulses. They may also have symptoms of weakness, shortness of breath, and anxiety.

There are various types of arrhythmia

  • Tachycardia: It refers to a rapid heartbeat.
  • Bradycardia: It refers to a slow heartbeat.
  • Premature Contractions: It refers to an early heartbeat.
  • Atrial Fibrillation: It refers to a type of irregular heartbeat.

Arrhythmias can alter, slow or even stop the heart’s ability to pump blood. A person may feel like having a fluttering or a racing heart. Brief changes in a heart are not a cause for concern, but treatment will be necessary if they persist, as this can affect the heart’s function. But, in some cases, arrhythmias can even be life-threatening.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

In this, the heart chambers become dilated which means the heart muscle stretches and becomes thinner. The most common cause of dilated cardiomyopathy is prior heart attacks, arrhythmias and toxins. The heart becomes weaker and cannot pump blood properly. It can result in arrhythmia, blood clots in the heart and heart failure.

Myocardial Infarction

It is also known as a heart attack and involves an interruption of the blood flow to the heart. This can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. The most common cause of heart attack is plaque, a blood clot or both in a coronary artery. It can also occur if an artery suddenly narrows or spasms.

Heart Failure

If a person experiences heart failure then his heart still works but not as well as it should. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that results from untreated coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmias and other conditions. These conditions can affect the ability of the heart to pump properly.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

This condition usually develops when a genetic problem affects the heart muscle. It tends to be an inherited condition. In this, the walls of the muscle thicken and contraction becomes harder. This affects the heart’s ability to pump out blood. In some cases, an obstruction can occur. There may be no symptoms to detect it and many people don’t receive a diagnosis. However hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can worsen over time and lead to various heart problems. Any person with a family history of this condition should ask for screening as receiving treatment can help them prevent any complications. It is the main cause of cardiac

Death among athletes and people aged under 35 years, according to AHA.


Beta-blockers are one of the most widely prescribed classes of drugs to treat hypertension and are the base treatment of congestive heart failure. This is a class of medication used to block the effects of stress hormones such as adrenaline on the heart. It slows the heart rate thereby decreasing the heart’s demand for oxygen. Long-term use of beta-blockers helps manage chronic heart failure.

Beta Blockers are used to treat :

  • Glaucoma
  • Anxiety
  • Certain types of tremors
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Migraine headaches

Often prescribed for these heart conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Angina
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure

Beta-blockers cannot be prescribed to the person having asthma or COPD because they may make breathing symptoms worse. If a person has heart failure and severe lung congestion it will be treated first then only a doctor can prescribe a beta-blocker.

How does a beta-blocker work

Beta-blockers are also called beta-adrenergic blocking substances. Different types of beta-blockers work differently. In general, these medications enhance the heart’s ability to relax. Heartbeat will beat slower and less forcefully when beta-blockers are working. This helps in reducing blood pressure and alleviating irregular heart rhythms. Some beta-blockers only work on the heart, while others affect the heart and blood vessels. Beta-blockers can be prescribed even if you have few symptoms of heart problems or heart failures. These medications improve the heart’s ability to beat.

Benefits of beta-blockers

Beta-blockers even have health benefits outside of helping the heart. They protect bones by preventing the kidneys from excreting calcium into the urine. These drugs block stress hormones that could otherwise cause bone thinning over time. Beta-blockers aren’t the first-line treatment for thinning bones or osteoporosis. Strong bones just maybe an extra benefit of taking these medications.

Side effects of beta-blockers

If a person has asthma and takes these beta-blockers then it can trigger asthma attacks. As beta-blockers may affect the control of blood sugar, they are not usually recommended to people with diabetes. To get the specific medicine for it you can order your online diabetes medication.

Side effects of beta-blockers can vary from person to person. Many people experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Digestive problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Cold hands

In some rare cases people may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Decrease libido
  • Depression

If someone takes a larger dose than recommended, they may experience:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Having changes in vision
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Confusion

Beta-blockers are often taken with meals, though they will come with special instructions. If you take them with the food you may have fewer side effects because your body absorbs the drug slower. Take your medication as prescribed. Never stop taking a beta-blocker without speaking to your doctor first, even if you feel that it’s not working. If stop taking it can worsen angina and cause hearing