Managing Symptoms of Heart Disease With Prescription Medications: Preventing Misuse

Blood pressure machine used for heart disease

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Heart disease or cardiovascular diseases are a group of conditions that affect that heart and/or blood vessels. Some of the conditions that are included in cardiovascular disease include cardiomyopathy, heart arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease, valvular heart disease, stroke, myocardial infarction, venous thrombosis and more. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, including environmental factors, such as diet and exercise, and biological factors, such as genetics, sex, and age.

Understanding the Impact of Cardiovascular Disease

Older man with heart disease sitting with wife and dog.On a global basis, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, with stroke and coronary artery disease accounting for seventy-five percent of cardiovascular disease in females and approximately eighty percent of cardiovascular disease deaths in males [1]. Because of the severity of these diseases and overall impact on the body, aggressive and proactive treatments are necessary for disease management and for prevention of more harmful consequences. Early detection is helpful for treatment and prevention as well.

There are currently many effective strategies that are evidenced-based for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and include nutrition and dietary interventions, increasing exercise and activity levels, weight control and medication management. If you or a loved one has been affected by a cardiovascular disease, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medication to target a specific symptom or condition associated with the disease.

For example, Statin medications are used to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, which can be a preventative measure for strokes and heart attacks. Other medications may be prescribed for regulating blood pressure, relaxing blood vessels, or preventing fluid-build up in the body.

Following Your Doctor’s Recommendations For Effective Treatment

Women exercising to prevent hear disease.Effectively treating cardiovascular disease will likely involve the combination of many therapeutic approaches, including diet and exercise changes and the implementation of an effective medication regiment. Be sure to work closely with your physician to determine what treatment might be most beneficial for you. If you are prescribed medications, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for your treatment course to prevent misuse.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you or a loved one have been in treatment for a cardiovascular disease, what resources were helpful to your recovery and treatment management?


[1]: Shanthi Mendis; Pekka Puska; Bo Norrving; World Health Organization (2011). Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control (PDF). World Health Organization in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and the World Stroke Organization. pp. 3–18. ISBN 978-92-4-156437-3.

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 21, 2016
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