Experiencing a heart attack is undeniably a traumatic event, impacting both you and your loved ones profoundly. The fear of going through such an ordeal again is undoubtedly something you want to avoid at all costs. In this article, we will explore essential questions concerning your health and lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce the risk of a future heart attack.
During a heart attack, the area that lacks blood supply gets injured and damaged. A heart attack's damage depends on the location of the blocked arteries and the time between the attack and its treatment. But the heart will start healing soon after you seek treatment.
Soon after the heart attack, the heart starts healing by forming scar tissue. However, it usually takes several weeks, depending on the extent of your injury. The heart is a strong organ; even if a part is damaged, it continues to work.
But the scar tissue doesn't contract as well as the healthy heart muscles. So, depending upon the extent and area of damage to the heart muscles, it may adversely affect the heart's pumping action.
But lifestyle changes and medications can prevent you from getting another heart attack and hopefully help you live a fulfilling life.
It is not necessary that you will feel chest pain after a heart attack. Nevertheless, if you feel it, it should be a dull pain or pressure that goes away quickly. You may experience it during physical exertion, intense emotions, and eating a heavy meal. But still, if you have chest pain, you should inform your doctor.
Here are some lifestyle modifications that you must start making right away.
Smoking can cause your heart's blood vessels to clump and become sticky. Each puff of nicotine can temporarily increase the heart rate and blood pressure. However, once you quit smoking, your heart failure symptoms will improve.
Losing and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in maintaining cardiovascular health.
If you are suddenly gaining weight, it can be a sign of developing or progressing heart failure. Therefore, you should weigh yourself every morning after urinating and before breakfast. You should contact your doctor immediately if you gain more than 1.3 Kg in one day or more than 2.3 kilograms in a week.
Preferably, you should stop drinking alcohol, but if you can't, you should do it in moderation. It means less than two drinks per day for men and less than one drink per day for women. Nevertheless, you should consult your doctor to determine whether it is okay for you to drink alcohol.
Coffee and other drinks contain caffeine, which can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Do not consume more than a cup or two of coffee daily if you have recently suffered a heart attack.
You should start eating a healthy diet consisting of various vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes, whole grains, skinless poultry and fish, and non-tropical vegetable oils. You should also avoid having foods with high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, trans fat, red meat, cholesterol, sweets, and sugary drinks.
You should consult your doctor about starting an exercise routine. Then, practice this daily routine until it becomes a regular part of your life.
To manage stress better, you can learn yoga or breathing exercises to help you relax on stressful days.
You should avoid tight socks or stockings that can slow the blood flow to the legs and cause clots. You should also ensure that your clothes do not make you feel extremely hot or cold. To do this, you can dress in layers so that you can add or remove your garment as needed.
Embracing new habits and initiating lifestyle changes can undoubtedly present considerable challenges. However, it's essential to recognize the significance of taking these steps, not just for your well-being but also for the peace of mind it brings to your family. A heart attack is a stark reminder from your body that change is imperative.
The good news is that by adhering to prescribed medications and adopting these positive lifestyle choices, you're not only on the path to recovery but also to a life filled with fulfillment and improved cardiovascular health. Your journey towards a healthier you can strengthen the bonds within your family and bring about lasting positive change.