What do I need to know about managing heart disease?

Changes You Can Make for a Healthier Heart

Here are some important changes you can make for the sake of your heart.

  • Stop smoking.
  • Reduce your high blood cholesterol and trigylceride levels.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Become more physically active, if approved by your doctor.
  • Lose any excess weight.
  • If you are diabetic, keep your blood glucose under control.
  • Avoid drinking excess alcohol.
  • Learn healthy ways to respond to stress.
  • Review your medicines with your doctor to find out whether any may be harmful to your heart.

The first step you need to take to effectively treat your coronary heart disease is to make healthy choices each day. Along with these, your doctor will probably prescribe medicines as part of your treatment. Your doctor may also recommend surgery or another kind of procedure. Regardless of your other treatment, your doctor will tell you that you need to make healthy choices for the sake of your heart.

What if I don't think I can make these changes?

Your doctor and other professionals on your healthcare team can help you make the changes you need to make. Making changes in what you eat or how much you exercise can be hard because it means changing habits you may have had for a long time. You might also be afraid to make changes if you have already had a heart attack. Or you might think it's too late to make changes and undo damage that's already been done to your heart. But you needn't be afraid. Making changes now can still give you a healthier life.

Let your healthcare team work with you to recommend methods you can use to help make the changes you need. Ask them for guidance, and let them know when you are having a hard time. But remember, you are the only one who can actually make the changes and develop new habits. To learn more about making any of the changes that are listed above, see am I doing all I can to lower my blood pressure?

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