ACE Inhibitors and Heart Disease

Heart disease and other health related issues can be caused by a number of different factors. One of the common causes of heart problems is the narrowing of the arteries. When the blood does not have as much area to push through to get to the rest of your body, your blood pressure rises. This is due to the fact that your heart is working overtime in order to get the oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the body organs and extremities.

When your arteries and other blood vessels stiffen up, this can hinder blood flow and put a strain on your heart so medications are necessary to help relax those blood vessels. ACE inhibitors are a type of doctor-prescribed medication that can loosen up the tension in those blood vessels and lower blood pressure at the same time.

ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme, and an ACE inhibitor represents the prevention of said enzyme. Angiotensin II is the enzyme culprit your body produces which affects your body in a number of ways, one in particularly being the narrowing of the arteries within your cardiovascular system. The theory is the medicine inhibits the production of this enzyme so that your arteries remain elastic enough for proper blood flow to the rest of the body.

Types of ACE Inhibitors

There are a number of ACE inhibitors on the market today and you may recognize some of them by their generic or even brand names. Of course, not all of them are created equal so your particular health condition will dictate which medication you are prescribed.

Lotensin has the generic name Benazepril while Vasotec’s generic equivalent is Enalapril. Zestril and Prinivil can both be found under the Lisinopril generic name.

ACE inhibitors are often prescribed for a number of ailments beyond heart issues. Migraine pain is alleviated by these inhibitors as is the pain from Scleroderma. Some organs are affected by improper blood flow so the ACE inhibitor can help restore normal blood flow in parts of the body such as the liver and kidneys. Of course, heart ailments do lead the pack with ACE inhibitors working their magic on heart attacks, hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

Side Effects

Just as with any other medication, there are some side effects and precautions you should consider when it comes to the ACE inhibitor. First of all, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon, this medication is out as it can cause side effects in a fetus.

You can also expect raised potassium levels in the blood and even changes in your appetite as well as how food tastes. Developing a rash is rather common and sometimes prolonged use of ACE inhibitors also causes dizziness or lightheadedness. Dry cough occurs as does some swelling (fluid retention) in certain areas of the body.

Remember, this prescription treatment is not for everyone; it could also take up to a few months for it to fully work. In the meantime, you should adopt healthier eating practices and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Quit smoking and lay off the booze. ACE inhibitors are not miracle drugs; you must take some responsibility yourself for your health.