Living with Heart Disease? Things to Keep in Mind

Posted on July 11, 2022

A heart disease diagnosis comes with certain lifestyle changes as you might have already realized by now. Managing heart disease isn’t a simple pill-taking affair. It requires constant care and the implementation of various best practices, depending on your trigger factors. It may also mean having to switch to a lifestyle of support by heart health monitoring devices, which also brings with it other concerns. Living with heart disease can be daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few important things to consider to live with heart disease better.

How to Manage Your Heart Disease

Don’t let stress get to you

Stress can cause high blood pressure, and lead to poor sleep quality, among other factors that directly and indirectly affect your heart condition. So make more time for hobbies that keep you relaxed, and identify and eliminate stress triggers from your life.

Keep an eye on your weight

Shoot for a BMI of below 25 to be on the safe side, although your doctor may advise otherwise so check in first. Being overweight means your heart has to work harder than it has to, so gaining weight increases stress on the heart which may worsen your condition. With your doctor’s approval, prioritize 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity at least once every other day of the week.

Practice good oral hygiene

The relationship between oral hygiene and heart disease is clear today. When you fail to brush your teeth regularly (at least 2 times each day), your blood could get a bacterial infection that could find its way to your heart. So oral and general personal hygiene should be of increased importance when living with heart disease.

Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Heart

Ditch a sedentary lifestyle

If you’re managing heart failure, aerobic training can improve your quality of life. Of course, you may not be able to train at a similar intensity to other people, but about half an hour of aerobic training a week should keep your heart in shape. Be sure not to over-exert yourself, heavy lifting is ill-advised. Advisably, get the green light from your physician first on which exercises are safe and right for you.

Be more cautious about your diet

It’s time to be extra cautious and watch what you eat if you’re living with heart disease. The wrong dietary choices can have devastating effects on your symptoms. There’s no one-fit-all diet when it comes to heart disease and your doctor will help advise on what you should incorporate more of and what you should be waving out the door. However, the general rule of thumb is to limit your cholesterol and fat intake.

Cut back on smoking and drinking

When you smoke, your heart has to work a little harder to execute normal function, which will only add to the strain on an already frail heart. So it’s best to ditch smoking and the same goes as well for drinking. Alcohol consumption can:

  • Weaken your heart
  • Increase the severity of your symptoms
  • Cause bad reactions or interfere with the effectiveness of your heart medication
  • Follow-up Cares & Monitoring

    Routine assessments

    You’ll need to check in with your doctor from time to time. If your physician of choice has partnered with cardiac remote monitoring companies, then you’ll be able to carry out appointments virtually for the most part.

    During checkups, you’re likely to receive questions about your:

  • Lifestyle
  • Symptoms
  • Well being
  • All these will enable your physician to gauge how your initial drug treatments are working out for you.

    Hospital assessments

    In addition to routine assessments, an in-person hospital assessment may be part of your follow-up care and it may encompass:

  • Annual blood tests
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • An electrocardiogram, among other tests
  • An ECG test will help your doctor determine if your heart condition is improving, and will influence the next course of action in case it isn’t.

    Remote device monitoring

    To better keep tabs on critical vitals regardless of time and distance differences, your doctor may set you up with heart rate monitoring devices. That’s particularly because they:

  • Have been shown to lower atrial arrhythmia hospitalizations by up to 65%
  • Can increase clinical event detection turnaround time by 80%
  • Increase survival rates by 200%, compared to patients who aren’t on remote heart monitors
  • Treatment Options at Emergencies

    Treatment options for a heart emergency can vary drastically depending on a few different factors, but your first line of treatment may be an external defibrillator or CPR administered by friends or family members. Your doctor may suggest training programs for those you live with, so they know what to do before help arrives.

    If you’re living alone, a heart health monitor becomes even more crucial, as it can notify your physicians when the early signs of a clinical event kick in, so you can get prompt care. Additionally, your doctor can prescribe medication such as nitroglycerin to take if you feel a heart attack setting in. Aspirin can also help reduce heart damage during an attack, but be sure to check with your doctor ahead of time so you have the approval to take any of these medications.

    Some of the factors that will influence immediate treatment options during heart emergencies include:

    • The exact nature of your heart condition
    • The extent of your symptoms
    • The extent of the damage caused by your heart emergency

    Surgery may also be on the cards, if your heart failure, for example, was brought on by the constricting of vessels, which is among the most common causes. Some options include:

  • Heart valve surgery to improve blood flow within your heart chambers
  • Heart bypass surgery to get around blockages
  • Angioplasty and stent placement to open clogged vessels
  • Stent placement & angioplasty procedures
  • Takeaways

    You can live a long and healthy life despite your heart disease. With over 75% of heart failure victims pulling through, it goes to show that heart disease isn’t a death sentence. However, while your doctor has his part to play, you need to be more proactive about managing your condition and taking responsibility. Avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, take your medication on time and without fail, and whenever something feels off, be quick to get it to your physician’s attention. Cardiac Rhythm can also help you manage your heart disease in near real-time with our service by providing heart monitoring at home. Get in touch today for more information.

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