Heart disease impacts millions of people nationwide and it is one of the leading causes of death in the US and world. However, despite this somewhat bleak reality, it is nevertheless absolutely possible to live with heart disease and even thrive. Heart disease is a serious problem that requires attentive care and major lifestyle changes, but it can be managed. Here at Golden Triangle Emergency Center we are committed to improving quality of life for all our patients. That’s why we put together this short guide to living a happy and healthy life with heart disease.
Heart Disease and Diet
The health of your heart is greatly impacted by your diet, and after receiving a diagnosis of heart disease, it is necessary that you eat the healthiest foods available. Lean meats such as seafood and poultry should be steadily added into your diet, while fatty foods high in cholesterol should be steadily phased out. Whole grains, such as oatmeal, are also believed to have a positive impact on heart health, while processed carbohydrates should generally be avoided or minimized. Above all when it comes to diet, it should be noted that moderation is key. It is generally still possible to have occasional treats as long as they are a part of a balanced, heart healthy diet.
Heart Disease and Physical Activity
Exercise is another extremely important component of managing heart disease. Cardiovascular exercise is essential for maintaining good heart health and you should work closely with your physician to establish a regular exercise program. By starting small and working with medical professionals, you can create a tangible exercise plan that will combat the illness. Staying active will also help stave off other diseases, improve or maintain mobility, and improve overall life quality.
Heart Disease and Stress Reduction
No one enjoys stressful situations, but for those individuals who have recently been diagnosed with heart disease, stress can be especially hazardous to health. Stress is a normal biological response that prepares the body to enter fight or flight mode by releasing a cocktail of complex hormones. However, over time chronic stress puts a strain on nearly every body system, especially your heart.
Stress also typically raises blood pressure, forcing the heart to beat faster. In order to avoid this heightened state of arousal, patients should do everything in their power to reduce their stress levels. Effective strategies for coping with stress include removing yourself from the stressful situation, going for a walk, meditating, learning relaxation techniques, or enjoying a favorite, calming activity. Medication may also be prescribed to help combat stress, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Heart Disease and Medication
Adhering to your medication regimen is another crucial element of successfully managing heart disease. You should take any prescribed medicines on a regular schedule and keep your physician informed of any noticeable changes. It is always best to consult your physicians before making any major lifestyle changes. Remember to be vigilant for drug interactions between your heart medication and other prescription, or even non-prescription drugs, and be aware of and avoid any dangerous foods or beverages that may interact with your medication. Avoid skipping doses or doubling up on doses.
You should also remember to schedule regular appointments with both your cardiologist and primary care physician. These responsibilities may seem daunting and often people who have heart disease may also suffer from other medical conditions that make things more challenging. Some heart disease sufferers are also elderly and may be beginning to experience memory loss. It is thus important for people in these situations to receive help from a trusted family member or caregiver who can keep them on track.
Final Thoughts on Heart Disease
In short, being diagnosed with heart disease isn’t the end of the world. With the right amount of knowledge and self-care, you can live a long and healthy life. Finally, in the event of a serious cardiac event like a heart attack prompt, immediate medical treatment is crucial, Golden Triangle Emergency Center is on hand 24/7 to provide state-of-the-art emergency medical care.