Heart ailments are presently a matter of great concern given their occurrence in a wider percentage of the population. A number of factors affect the health of the heart, two of them being the blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol levels of a person.
High BP is a very common condition found in a lot of people. In this condition, the blood exerts a very high force on the walls of the arteries for a long duration. This force, further, leads to other disorders and diseases, such as heart diseases.
Facts and fiction about BP medication
There are a lot of myths surrounding blood pressure medications. A few of them are:
The myth – BP medicines lead to impotency in male patients.
The fact – This is false. However, the sexual performance of men suffering from high blood pressure is affected. This is because the increased pressure of blood causes damage to the linings of blood vessels. This, in turn, leads to narrow and hardened arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which reduces the flow of blood via these arteries. Since less blood reaches the penis, it becomes difficult for the man to achieve and maintain an erection. This condition is known as erectile dysfunction and it often affects one’s sexual pleasure. High blood pressure has also been found to affect the process of ejaculation.
Thus, those suffering from high blood pressure for a long time often experience a drop in their sexual drive due to the above reasons.
The myth – Certain medications for blood pressure make the problem worse.
The fact – Water pills or diuretics can decrease the flow of blood to the penis in a forceful manner, making it difficult to achieve an erection. Also, these medications affect the zinc content of the body, by depleting the mineral that is required for the sex hormone, testosterone. Apart from diuretics, beta blockers medication has also been found to cause sexual dysfunction. But, these medicines, when taken as prescribed, do not always have such severe side effects.
Facts and fiction about cholesterol and its medication
Cholesterol is the fat found in the body and can be obtained externally from certain food types.
The myth – Cholesterol acts as a villain for the heart.
The fact – In fact, it is actually vital for the body. Cholesterol allows proper functioning of the membranes of the cells and provides cellular rigidity and strength. Cholesterol in limited quantities is good, but a high level of cholesterol in the body is a sign of future problems, such as blocked arteries and heart conditions.
Cholesterol is divided into two types—LDL and HDL. LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins and is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. This is because too much of LDL found in the blood can lead to a buildup of cholesterol and eventually block the arteries. HDL or high-density lipoproteins, on the other hand, is referred to as the “good” cholesterol because it aids in transporting cholesterol from the different parts of the body to the liver where the liver will function to remove it from the body. Thus, HDL prevents a piling up of cholesterol and blockages whereas LDL is believed to cause heart problems.
Facts about cholesterol medication
Medications given for cholesterol, on the other hand, have a number of side effects. Statins are effective in keeping cholesterol levels under control, but have a number of side effects, mainly muscle pain. Simple tasks, such as walking or climbing the stairs, become uncomfortable due to statins. This is because statins inhibit the production of Coenzyme q10 (CoQ10), which is beneficial for the health of the heart and muscle function. Therefore, depletion of CoQ10 might eventually lead to heart failure. Other side effects of statins include cognitive impairment or loss of memory, muscle damage, damage to the liver, and diabetes.
Thus, the truth about cholesterol is that in itself it will not cause heart disorders, but the cholesterol-limiting medications can surely lead to serious side effects.