New Year and The Heart

***Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute to seek professional alternatives. EDL's aim is to provide useful information that may benefit some. As stated elsewhere we cannot help everybody, unfortunately.***





       2016     2015     2014



New Year and The Heart

    Happy New Year to all. EDL wants to remind you to start off the year in a healthy way. This newsletter will cover the inner workings of the heart, blood pressure medications, how blood pressure medications work. Finally, we will mention some tips on how to lower blood pressure without medication.


 Overall the heart is comprised of four chambers. The upper two chambers are called the "atria." The bottom two chambers are called the "ventricles."* However we are only going to briefly cover  two sides. The left side (oxygenated blood) and the right side (low in oxygen.)*


 The heart receives blood from the body and the heart pumps blood out to the body. This is the main difference between the right side (which receives blood from the body) and the left side (which pumps blood to the body).* You can think of it like this, the right side of the heart gets the old blood after it has traveled throughout the body. The left side of the heart pumps fresh/new blood to the body. Please keep in mind this is not an all inclusive summary of the heart there are other body parts involved with the heart too like the lungs.


 Next we will turn our attention to blood pressure medications. Blood pressure is a big deal because high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Lowering blood pressure can be done through medication. The first medications we will mention are diuretics. These medications include aldactone, esdrix, lasix, lozol, etc.* They work by helping your kidneys remove water and salt from your body. This will result in lower blood volume which means there will be less blood volume in your blood vessels. In turn this will lower your blood pressure because of the lower amount of blood volume.


 The second medications used to lower blood pressure are beta-blockers. These medications are used to make your heartbeat slower. A slower heartbeat means blood goes through your vessels with less force. When blood goes though your vessels with less force the pressure inside those blood vessels goes down too. Thus your blood pressure will lower. Some beta-blocker medications are blocadren, cartrol, coreg, corgard, etc.*


 The third and final blood pressure reducing medications we will mention are ACE Inhibitors. These medications work by preventing your body from producing the hormone called Angioensin II.*  When this hormone is produced it makes your blood vessels constrict. When blood vessels constrict it causes the heart to work harder to force blood through the blood vessels.* ACE Inhibitors prevent this hormone from developing which helps keep your blood vessels open. Open blood vessels will lead to lower blood pressure. These medications include Accupril, Altace, Capoten, Mavik, etc.*


 If you do not want to use medications to lower your blood pressure, you can follow these tips that may help you. It is recommended that you lose excess pounds, exercise often, lower your sodium intake, limit the amount of alcohol and tobacco you have. These are just some of the recommended tips other exist.


*American Heart Association (2014). The Normal Heart and How It Works. American Stroke Association, 2014, 1-2.