Clinical Contributors To This Story
Iqbal Jafri, M.D. contributes to topics such as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, .
After a heart attack, making healthy lifestyle changes can help you recover faster and reduce your chances of experiencing another cardiac event. However, without professional guidance and support, making lifestyle changes can be challenging especially if you arent sure where to start.
Iqbal Jafri, M.D., Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, shares five guidelines for healthy living after a heart attack, including:
Strategies To Live Aheart
When you choose healthy behaviors, you can lower your heart disease risk while also preventing other serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer.
Know your risks and talkto your family and doctorabout your health history.
Take Medicines as Directed
If you take medicine to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctors instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you dont understand something. Never stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Rethink Your Drink
Substitute water for sugary drinks to reduce calories. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home
Self-measured blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use and your doctor can show you how to use one if you need help.
Learn more about keeping your heart healthy by visiting
Aim For A Healthy Weight
Obesity is highly prevalent in America, not only for adults but also for children. Fad diets and supplements are not the answer. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and physical activity are the only way to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity places you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes the very factors that heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease. Your Body Mass Index can help tell you if your weight is healthy.
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What A Heart Attack Doesnt Feel Like
Not all chest pain is a heart attack symptom. Pain isunlikely to be heart-related when it:
- Is momentary,lasting only for a few seconds.
- Feels like apricking sensation.
- Is in a small,well-localized area of your chest.
- Can bereproduced when you press on your chest or move your arm.
- Radiates belowyour abdomen and into your legs.
The best way to guard yourself from a heart attack is to eat a healthy diet, do regular aerobic activity, avoid smoking, manage diabetes if you have it, have regular checkups with your primary care provider, and know and control your cholesterol levels, says Dr. Menon.
If you notice a sudden changein your ability to perform physical activity, get to a doctor right away.
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Determinants Of Improvement In Ejection Fraction: Previous Studies
Several studies have assessed the sequential changes in global left ventricular function during the acute, subacute, and chronic phases after myocardial infarction. Large thrombolytic trials, using contrast ventriculography or radionuclide angiography to assess ejection fraction, have shown no overall change in global ejection fraction during the first weeks after thrombolytic treatment. Improvement in regional infarct zone function is often counteracted by a decrease in non-infarct zone hyperkinesia. However, despite the absence of large group changes, there is considerable individual improvement.
One of the most important determinants of improvement in the ejection fraction appears to be sustained successful reperfusion. Harrison and colleagues carried out early and one week catheterisations in 542 patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction: acute TIMI grade 3 flow in the infarct related artery was independently associated with improvement in the left ventricular ejection fraction at one week. Meijer and colleagues showed an increase in the ejection fraction from 51 % within 48 hours after thrombolysis to 55 % after three months in 95 patients with sustained reperfusion, compared with no change in 34 patients with reocclusion of the infarct related artery.
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Know Your Sodium Limits And Regulate Fluids
- Check your sodium intake. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, which can result in the body holding excess fluids and create an added strain on the heart.
- Follow your sodium recommendations. For most patients with heart failure, the AHA recommendations of no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day are appropriate, but your treatment plan may have an alternate recommendation. Read labels and follow your treatment plan carefully.
- Discover ways to help you reduce sodium in your diet.
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What Happens With Heart Failure
The term Heart Failure suggests that the heart has stopped working or has failed. This is not the case. What it actually means is that the heart is not working as well as it should, and cannot pump enough blood to meet the bodys needs.
This happens because the heart is weakened by conditions or diseases that damage the heart muscle. Most of these conditions weaken the heart little by little, over a period of time.
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Recognizing Depression And Anxiety
Everyone feels anxious or blue some of the time. But if these feelings persist and they interfere with your ability to do and enjoy daily activities, or if your relationships are affected, you should seek help. People who are depressed often feel tired and have no energy. They may lose interest in sex, have trouble sleeping and lose their appetite. Although fatigue and loss of appetite are also common symptoms of Heart Failure, they are more likely due to depression if accompanied by any of the symptoms listed on the next page. You may be depressed if you have any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Feeling keyed up or always on edge
- Feeling shaky
Many people in our society feel there is some stigma associated with having emotional problems like depression or anxiety. As a result, they may be reluctant to talk to anyone about how they are feeling. However, having emotional problems is nothing to be ashamed about. It is important to recognize and treat depression and anxiety. If you are having difficulty coping with feelings about Heart Failure, you should seek help and support. In other words, if depression and anxiety are interfering with your life or causing distress, it is important for you to seek help from your doctor or nurse.
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Investigators Tried To Better Characterize The Prevalence Predictors And Prognosis Of Patients With Recovered Ejection Fraction
While some patients are able to recover left ventricular ejection fraction after initially being diagnosed with heart failure with LVEF below 40%1, it has been largely unclear how this translates into clinical outcomes. To help close this gap in knowledge, Ghimire and colleagues conducted a retrospective study with a real-world cohort of patients with HF to better characterize the prevalence, predictors, and prognosis of patients with recovered ejection fraction . Their study was recently published in European Heart Journal. 1
- Earlier studies of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction may have exhibited selection bias.
- This study included a broader spectrum of patients in an effort to better examine the prevalence, predictors, and prognosis of patients with recovered ejection fraction .
- HFrecEF patients tended to be younger, female and more likely to have hypertension, AF, or cancer. HFrecEF patients had a better prognosis than those with persistent HFrEF, and female patients had a lower mortality risk in each subgroup.
The study by Ghimire et al analyzed patients over age 18 with a physician-assigned diagnosis of HF referred to the 2 largest echocardiography centers in Alberta, Canada, between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2016, and who underwent 2 echocardiograms separated by 6 months . A total of 10,641 patients with a diagnosis of HF who had objective measurement of their LVEF on both echocardiograms were included.
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If You Have Fluid Retention
Diuretics. Diuretics such as furosemide and torsemide help the body eliminate excess fluid that can cause swelling or shortness of breath. Although the reasons why heart disease impairs the bodys ability to maintain fluid balance are complex, most people who require a diuretic need it indefinitely. This is one of the most important drugs to individualize, since the optimal dose can vary from 10 milligrams to 400 mg a day, depending on how well the kidneys are working, says Dr. Stevenson.
Heres Exactly What To Expect After A Heart Attack
It can be a scary time, but knowing whats coming can help you feel more in control.
Nobody anticipates suffering a heart attacka cardiac event where part of the heart stops getting enough blood, which can lead to permanent damage or deathbut it happens every 40 seconds to someone in the United States. That adds up to 805,000 people a year. Most survive and go on to enjoy full, active lives. But the road back to normal can be both stressful and surprising. What can make it a little more manageable? Knowing what lies ahead.
Keep reading to see what most heart attack survivors discover in the weeks, months, and years after leaving the hospital.
Youll get to leave the hospital pretty quickly.
People who have severe heart attacks tend to stay in the hospital for a week or longer. However, a fair share of patients are able to go home just a day or two after having their heart attack, according to Briana Costello, MD, an interventional cardiologist with the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. We place a stent in the artery to open up the blocked vessel, and that procedure is pretty well tolerated by most people, she says. As a result, many patients go home really quickly.
Youll start to be able to do normal things almost immediately.
One thing to keep in mind: Youll want to check with your doctor before trying other more strenuous activities . However, many people can start driving within a week and having sex again within a few weeks.
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Ways To Improve Your Health After A Heart Attack
If youve had a heart attack, you may feel like your life as you know it is over. But a heart attack can also motivate you to make the lifestyle changes youve been putting off. If you focus on your physical health and your mental health and you take the medication you need, you could find life after your heart attack is better than it was before.
Many people think that having a heart attack is going to lead to a big limitation or bad change in their lives, said I-Hui Ann Chiang, MD, a cardiologist at Banner University Medicine Heart Institute. Most of the time after a heart attack, people actually do quite well and live fuller lives afterward.
In fact, if the blockage that caused your heart attack is cleared with stents or surgery, you might feel better and have more energy than you did before your heart attack.
Its always important to talk to your doctor before you make any lifestyle changes, and thats especially true if youve had a heart attack. Once your doctor has given you the go-ahead, here are some changes that can improve your post-heart-attack life.
Do These 8 Things Daily To Keep Your Heart Healthy As You Age
Riple Hansalia, M.D. contributes to topics such as Electrophysiology.
Many heart diseases like congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation can be caught early and treated, and patients can continue to lead an active and rewarding life.
So its important to stay on top of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can be warnings of potential heart disease development. For most men and women in this country, cardiovascular disease is still a leading cause of death, says Riple Hansalia, M.D., who specializes in cardiology and electrophysiology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Keeping in contact with your doctor is an important step. Together you and your doctor can set goals for your health, and staying in touch motivates you to keep making progress toward your health goals.
Jesus Leandro Almendral, M.D., medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, adds that there are many small things we can do every day that add up to better heart health over the years.
He offers eight tips to maintain heart health as you age:
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Stay At A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or have obesity are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.If youre overweight or have obesity, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of heart disease. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, that would mean losing 10 to 20 pounds. Find out how to control your weight.
Lifestyle Changes To Protect Your Heart
There are many risk factors for heart disease, and making healthy choices can help you protect your heart. Here’s what you can do.
Heart health is something every American should be concerned about heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States. Fortunately, a healthy heart is often within your control. Certain risk factors for heart disease, such as age and family history, cant be changed. But you can help limit hereditary risks as well as minimize other risk factors for heart disease with the right lifestyle choices. And theres a big bonus: With every action you take to protect your heart, your overall health will get a boost, too. Heres how:
Wondering how to make sure you stick with a newfound activity? Enlist a friend or co-worker to take a walk with you each day during your lunch break or after you take your kids to school. A fitness buddy may be just what you need to keep your commitment to staying active.
2. Kick the habit. Smoking cigarettes is tied to a number of potentially fatal health problems, including cancer, lung disease, stroke, and heart disease. Even if you have no other risk factors, smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease by two to four times, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking causes plaque buildup and hardened arteries, both of which make your heart work harder.
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Important Points For Healthy Diet Chart After Heart Attack
Avoid fried and high-fat foods. instead of frying choose healthier options like baking, grilling, steaming. limit your salt intake. Avoid containing high sodium like papads, pickles, jams, and other ready-to-eat foods. avoid bad fats like dalda that is vanaspati ghee., egg yolk, margarine, butter. be active.
Do thirty minutes of exercise five days a week to maintain your weight in the normal range and to keep your heart healthy. so making your diet well balanced with regular timings and healthy food will keep your heart healthy.
so take care of your heart health and lead a healthier life. these are the basic guidelines. so take an individualized diet plan from your nutritionist. just for hearts offers specialized diet consultations and diet plans for you.
Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Strawberries are best fruits for heart.
See Your Doctor For Regular Heart Checkups
Make a doctor’s appointment four to six weeks after you leave the hospital. Your doctor will want to check the progress of your recovery.
Your doctor may ask you to undergo diagnostic tests at regular intervals. These tests can help the doctor to diagnose the presence or progression of blockages in your coronary arteries and to plan treatment.
- Angina that becomes more frequent, increases in intensity, lasts longer, or spreads to other areas
- Shortness of breath, especially at rest
- Irregular heartbeats
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Control Your Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
High cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause heart disease and heart attack. If your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers are high, you can take steps to lower them.
Get your cholesterol checked.
Its important to get your cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. Some people will need to get it checked more or less often. Learn more about cholesterol testing.
Get your blood pressure checked.
Starting at age 18, get your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure has no signs or symptoms. Get the facts about blood pressure testing.
Use the MyHealthfinder tool to get personalized recommendations for screening tests and vaccines.
Improving Heart Health Naturally4
Did you know that in the U.S. alone, tobacco kills the equivalent of three jumbo jets full of people crashing every day, with no survivors.
Here is a sampling of the serious, life-threatening conditions that are the direct result of smoking:
- Heart disease
- Kidney cancer
Moreover, the science is strong and consistent that when you smoke, the people around you, especially children, are at risk for developing serious health problems.
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Signs Of Heart Attack That You Shouldnt Ignore
About every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the US. Most people imagine that having a heart attack is always intense. But the truth is that sometimes you may be unsure if your are suffering from a heart attack because the signs can be subtle and different from what you may typically think of.
This makes heart attacks very dangerous. In fact, 1 in 5 heart attacks goes unnoticed, meaning the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood supply but the person is not aware of that this has occurred.
So what are the signs of a heart attack both subtle and not-so-subtle? Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for: