The heart is a fragile organ that needs constant care and protection, especially as one gets older. Someone who’s had a heart attack needs to make radical changes to their lifestyle and dietary habits to avoid a second occurrence.
If you or a loved one has had a heart attack, here are seven precautions you should be taking to minimize the chances of a recurrence.
Prioritize your health
If you survived a heart attack, you need to focus all your efforts on preventing another one. Your aim should be to live a healthy and active life without stressing your heart. Learn to manage stress at work and home, follow your doctor’s dietary guidelines, exercise every day and get plentiful sleep and rest.
Create a lifestyle that supports your cardiac health and recovery rather than jeopardize it.
Attend a cardiac rehab program
Based on your condition, your doctor may advise you to attend outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, a program that helps patients recover after having suffered a cardiac event. If your doctor says you need it, go for it.
Understand your medicines
After your rehab is over, you’ll be on your own to take care of your cardiac and general health. Your doctor would have prescribed medication to protect and heal your heart and to bolster your general health.
To aid recovery, understand all your medications and learn to take them independently on time, as prescribed.
Never miss follow-up appointments with your doctor
As life gets normal, cardiac patients tend to think they no more need to see the doctor. Avoid this mindset and make sure to show up for every single appointment with your physician. It is the only way your doctor can keep track of your progress and determine how your body is responding to medication and rehab.
Consult only the best cardiologist
To receive the best cardiac care, make sure that you’re consulting the best heart specialist who are well versed in the latest developments in cardiac care and can advise the right treatment and recovery path for your long-term wellbeing.
If you feel you need a second opinion, go for it, but be sure to make an informed choice.
Understand your risk factors
A heart attack is a major cardiac event and should be taken seriously. You need to understand the risks posed by any existing health conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, excess body weight or high cholesterol levels) as well as your lifestyle habits (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy food habits).
To lower your risk of a second attack, you’ll need to put in your best efforts to change your lifestyle and adopt healthy habits.
Take care of your psychological health
A heart attack can take a toll on one’s mental health. To avoid feeling over anxious, stressed and irritable after you leave the hospital, learn coping strategies such as listening to calming music, practicing yoga or meditation, developing a destressing hobby such as gardening, or joining support groups in your vicinity.