How can I know if heart disease treatment is working?

The results you can expect from treatment depend on how severe your coronary heart disease is, what your symptoms are, and what goals for treatment you and your doctor set.

To keep track of how well your treatment is working, discuss treatment goals with your doctor. Then review those goals together regularly and keep track of how well you are doing. Here are some of the results of treatment you might expect to see.

  • Angina attacks should become less frequent and less disabling.
  • If your blood pressure has been high, it should return to and stay within a normal range.
  • If your cholesterol levels have been high, the overall level of cholesterol in your blood should drop. The level of HDL , known as good cholesterol, should go up. The level of LDL, known as bad cholesterol, should go down.
  • If you have been overweight, your weight should return to and stay within a healthy range.
  • Increased stamina and fitness should lead to a more active lifestyle.
  • Irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmias, should be stabilized.

These are just a few of the ways you can tell that your treatment is having the effect it should. If after several months your treatment doesn't seem to be helping you reach your goals, talk with your healthcare team. You may need to change your treatment or consult a specialist. Or you may need help finding ways to stick with your treatment plan.

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