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British Heart Foundation
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Coronary Heart Disease

Hello everyone I have just joined. This is a new experience for me. I've been diagnosed with Significant Heart Failure Coronary Heart Disease Unstable Angina. This has come as a big shock to me and my family. I'm under 9 stone don't smoke or drink and have always had a healthy diet. I've to be on lots of medication for the rest of my life. What I would like to know, is this condition life limiting? I just can't believe it. Is there anyone else with this diagnosis please? I hope I can find this post again so I can read any help I receive. Many thanks.

23 Replies

Hello hearty1, welcome to the forum. Afraid I can't give you specific advise on your condition but now it's been diagnosed you can be sure the treatment you will get will enable you to control it. What sort of meds have you been prescribed? Have you seen a cardiac specialist yet? If so when is the follow up? write down your questions, even the most obscure and ask. I'm sure there are people on here as well who will be along and try to help


I couldn't believe it myself being the super fit athletic person I once was. I've accepted it and am living with a challenge to understand, yes,.. I have a problem and yes only I can remedy it. It'll take some time but I'm positive mentally and physically to commit. I know we all can do the same.

So happy your able to check out what I've recommended and hopefully discover more information, even something I don't know that'll be helpful.

Also try some breathing techniques which i do to lower my blood pressure and stress etc. YouTube it. You'll be so surprised how effective it is. It works for me and many other people. Meditation is quite key in combination to healing ourselves. I've only discovered this about a year now and I'm benefiting from this.


Hello skid112 thank you for replying and giving me reassurance. It's been a terrible shock and I can't really believe it. I didn't have many symptoms that I noticed so was unaware that something could be wrong with my heart. It was just that at the beginning of the year I started to feel very tired, was having slight chest pains but I though it was indigestion and sometimes I felt breathless. I have had several tests. The first test which was an ECG stress test but it had to be stopped after five minutes as my heart stopped but I didn't realise that had happened. I've been seen by a Consultant Cardiologist who prescribed; Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg 1 daily. Clopidogrel 75mg 1 daily. Isosorbide Mononitrate 10mg 1 twice daily. & Simvastatin 40mg 1 daily. I also take 75mcg Levothyroxine 1 daily and Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate 200mg 1 daily as I have several Autoimmune conditions. So I'm rattling now! I would like to find out from everyone who have been taking these heart meds for years if they are doing ok on them as I want to know if my condition is life limiting. I hope not! I'm being positive as this I feel is the best way.


Hello Hearty1,

Just like you I had a shock when I was diagnosed with unstable angina, I was not overweight or like drink or smoke. I was already taking a blood thinner and a low dose tablet for BP. I had a stent fitted over 2 years ago now and doing fine most of the time.When I go walking in the countryside now I don't get out of breath going uphill like I used too. Just recently had angina again, but only once a week.

I also take levothyroxine like you and feel like i am ratteling. I take 6 tablets a day but if it keeps me going it is worth it. I do not know if it is a life limiting condition, have never asked. Best to keep positive. I go to yoga once a week and that helps with my stress levels.

All the best


Hello anke123 nice to hear from you. I had never taken any blood thinners or BP meds either. When I walk up a slight incline I get out of breath . I feel the beta blocker Bisoprolol is causing this. Yes I do keep positive. Best wishes.


I am afraid I can't make any comment on your condition but as far as your meds are concerned I take daily 1 x 2.5 mg Bisoprotol, 1 x 75 mg Clopidogrel

, 1 x 40 mg Atorvastatin plus Metformin and Sitigliptin as I am diabetic. I only started taking the Clopidogrel in January after having a Stroke. I had a bypass 6 weeks ago and up until then I was taking 2 x 20 mg Isosorbide Mononitrate as well as carrying a GTN spray but both of these have been taken off my repeat prescription list. I know exactly what you mean about rattling but I am afraid whatever is necessary I will take.


Hello Heather 1957. Thank you for your reply. Sorry you've had a stroke. I was having T I A's etc before all the investigations and then the medications. Fortunately they didn't develop into something worse. I had my carotid arteries checked and fortunately they are not too bad. I've had a lucky escape and hope all the medication will keep everything in check. I'm going to the hospital next month to have a monitor fitted for 24 hours to check if my heart is behaving itself. I hope you are keeping well. Best wishes.


Thanks, with all that has happened medically I should be a shriveled wreck but I am not thank goodness. I was taking Asprin prior to the stroke which I think helped as obviously it had thinned the blood. Yes I have had a bypass operation but I was out of hospital and home 4 days after the op straight from ITU. Granted they needed the bed but medically I was fit enough to recuperate from home. Whether I was emotionally ready is another matter.

I am not ready to run a marathon but on my walks there has been no sign of the angina pain (dare I hope it has been sorted???)

Everyone tells me how well I look and I agree, I do need to start straightening up when I walk as I tend to hunch up but I think this is an automatic protection mechanism.

I am retired but do some work as a contractor, I have accepted some work in mid September so am aiming for then as a marker.

I don't sleep in the day (unless I doze off in the chair) and generally feel okay.

I definitely feel one of the lucky ones. I was told by one of the Stroke nurses that some of recovery can be a positive frame of mind and I try and remember that.

There is no doubt that lots of people on here are so much worse than I am which is why I am happy to help share my limited knowledge and experience.

Let's be honest when you are told there is an issue with your heart it is a very worrying time and you need all the help and support you can get.


Heather great you're doing fine. Being positive is the way to go. I have a positive attitude too. I did get a shock when I got the diagnoses which I didn't expect. It just confirms that even although I have led a very healthy lifestyle it hasn't helped much. But I know I could be worse. Why were you taking Aspirin prior to the stroke? I have never taken it. What problems has the stroke left you? My goodness home in four days after a by pass operation. You must have lots of help at home.

I'm still having a bit of pain and dizzy briefly at times. Like you people say I'm looking fine and don't look like there is anything wrong with me at all. Well long may that last! I certainly don't feel my age so being positive seems to help.

Thank you for your help and support, yes it's good to hear from others that have similar problems it helps to put things into perspective.

Terrible weather here and this is supposed to be the summertime!


I was taking the Asprin because of the Angina which is what my GP told me to take (soooo lucky). Before the bypass I had a bit of a 'wooly' feeling left by the Stroke but that seems to have gone now and initially I couldn't write properly with my right hand but having worked at it that seems to be back to normal,

When I had the Stroke it was most odd as it was like a headachless migraine, I couldn't walk in a straight line I kept wandering off to the left and my eyes were doing their own thing - most odd - all seems back to normal now.

I have 'written off' 2017 as a bad bad year and although I am 60 in September I am going to wait till next year before I officially celebrate!! LOL.


Hi Heather.Here I am at last. I'm typing this just before dinner. I will try to catch up with the posts and answer more posts tomorrow. I've not been too well. I suffer from Coeliac so have several food intolerances and my tummy hasn't been behaving itself. I think it's settled now but I've to be very careful in case I manage to upset it again. I noticed if I rest a bit as the medication seems to be making me so tired, especially after I take the first lot at breakfast time I get pains in my chest. But if I try to get on with things and try not to rest much I don't get the chest pains. I suppose this is the Unstable Angina that the Consultant said I had. Oh the joys. Hope you are doing ok. It's been a lovely day here with wall to wall sunshine. Hope it lasts.


PS I actually live alone and a friend moved in for 2 weeks on my discharge just to help me out. Since then I have been on my own with family visits but apart from putting the bins out I have done most things myself. I haven't been silly but I have looked for options for doing things alone. The only thing I have put off is getting in the bath (I do shower!) as I am worried about not having the strength to pull myself out. My niece has suggested I do a dummy run while she is here and get in the empty bath fully clothed - makes sense to me as I do miss my bath!!!!



I'd stay away from bathing until your chest has completely healed. It's been advised not to stress the chest muscle from bathing so stick to showers. It'll take a few months 12 weeks plus as an average to heal. Everyone different but only you will know when the time is right. I've just 2 weeks ago been home after open heart surgery and going through the motions.

It's not easy and I'm experiencing good and bad days but trying to keep my mind and body relaxed throughout the metamorphic healing process.


Thanks I think I may wait a bit longer before trying out the bath!

I think most of us will understand where you are coming from. I was feeling quite depressed when I had my surgery, I still get those feelings but they are getting less.

In many ways the ball is in your court as far as healing is concerned, I mentally gave myself realistic mile stones as I didn't (still don't) have any support from the medical team and am doing okay. I am looking forward to starting the physical side of my therapy as I still have a lots of aches and pains.

Good luck to you on your recovery, please expect there to be good and bad days and on a bad day remember that is normal.

Any questions ask away, hopefully someone will have the answer.


I am sure there are natural medicines to help but I have to say that personally I feel happier with prescription medication than hoping I have got the doses right on natural medications.

It s horses for courses and as long as you are happy with your routine and feel it is helping then keep at it!



Please have a look at my post on PAD/CAD treatment. Best of wishes, W


Yes sounds interesting. I have never taken so much medication in my life. I will research more but don't want to go against the Doctors who have been so understanding and trying to help me. I certainly don't have all the symptoms I had before diagnosis.


Hi there - there are some great benefits to following a plant based diet all or at least some of the time. You can read a little more here: bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma... and get some top tips on how to make sure you're still getting all your nutrients too.

While a plant based diet can help to reduce your risk of heart disease overall, there is no reliable or conclusive evidence that you can reverse it so I'd be cautious when reading these sorts of books or watching videos online etc.

I would also never recommend replacing prescribed medications with foods or food supplements without speaking to your doctor or pharmacist first. Medications go through a very rigorous process both before and after they're licensed to make sure they're safe and effective, and we want to give you the best possible chance of having a good quality of life for as long as possible.

I hope this helps,


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No of course I will not replace the medication that has been prescribed to me. I don't want to go back to all the things that were going wrong with me at the beginning of the year. I was terrified. I thought my end had come and I wasn't wanting to depart. I am very positive and want to live!

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Just read your post and hope things are progressing well. I am on a cocktail of drugs after a heart attack. I also have been getting dizzy spells and wondered if they had put it down to a particular drug in your case


Hi barniecroft, good to hear from you. That's a pity you are on a cocktail of drugs after a heart attack. I hope your dizzy spells are getting less and you are making progress. I had an appointment with the Cardiologist last week and I mentioned the occasional dizzy spells. He didn't say much, but I'm waiting on an appointment to have a 24 hour Holter ECG monitor. The last time I has it, it showed up the Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. I thought I would ask him again what I was diagnosed with. To my surprise he said I have a leaking mitral valve. This wasn't mentioned when I saw him last year. So my diagnosis is; Coronary Heart Disease, Significant Heart Failure, Leaking Mitral Valve, Unstable Angina, Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. The meds I'm taking for all this are; Apixaban 5mg twice per day, he said this is the best med available, Bisoprolol Fumerate 2.5mg once per day, Isosorbide Mononitrate 10mg twice per day, Simvastatin 40mg once per day. He said he's trying to train my heart to cope with the medication, it will take time. I have improved from what I was like before the diagnosis and with all the medication. Hope you're making some progressing too.


Good to hear things have improved and may they continue. It seems a common thing for Drs/specialists to mention something new further down the line, I'm never sure if this is something that has just been not mentioned previously due to an oversight or has been deemed something to 'attend to later'


That's interesting, I didn't know that it seems a common thing for Drs/ Specialists to mention something new further down the line. I just don't understand why I wasn't told at the time. I'm a positive person and I want to know everything, after all it's my body. Now I'm wondering if there's something else they have kept from me. Hope you're feeling a bit better and improving too.


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