Whether you had a major cardiac event with or without surgery, what you do after the event can decrease your risk of another emergency and improve your quality of life. There are several approaches medical professionals use to aid in your rehabilitation after a cardiac event.
Understanding your condition and what you can do to lower your future risk of cardiac problems is the most important part of the rehabilitative process. Your cardiac care team members will want to discuss any other diseases you have, especially those that were not adequately controlled. Many people who experience heart problems have high cholesterol, hypertension, and/or diabetes, and often, they were not abiding by their prescribed treatment regimen. In some instances, there may be a strong family history of heart disease, which can warrant further monitoring. Part of your education will include understanding the warning signs of problems. It is important to recognize that signs of heart problems may be different for each person, and they may be different than a previous event.
Your care team may want you to meet with a nutritionist to help you make better nutrition decisions. Although eating a healthy diet is important for heart health, you may face more dietary restrictions after a cardiac event, especially if you have other health problems. For example, your doctors may want you to be more strict about your salt intake or try to avoid salt altogether. Other restrictions can include the amount of dietary fat and cholesterol you consume. Although recent changes in dietary guidelines have suggested dietary cholesterol may not be as detrimental as previously thought, these changes may no longer apply to you once you have heart disease. Major culprits of both fat and cholesterol are dark and red meats, egg yolks, and nuts and seeds. Healthy sources of fats are easy to over-consume and must be monitored closely.
Members of your care team will slowly integrate exercise into your rehabilitation based on the current state of your health, and if you had surgery. After major surgery or significant damage to the heart, just walking around your hospital room may be taxing, but it is a good start. How active you were before your cardiac event will often dictate what exercises you can do and how quickly you can return to those activities. People who were sedentary beforehand should not take on a new, intense exercise regimen since it may overburden their heart. After your doctor clears you to take longer walks, you may be able to increase the intensity with short bursts of running or going up inclines. Whatever exercises you are cleared to do, your team members may want you to wear a heart monitor and be vigilant about noticing symptoms like abnormal shortness of breath or chest pain.
Having a major cardiac event can be a life-altering experience. Being an active part of your rehabilitation process can reduce your future risk of another cardiac event.
I am one of those people who hates going to the doctor. In the past, I have relied on everything from cranberry juice to apple cider vinegar to fix my ails. As I get older though, I find that I need to rely more on traditional medicine than I did in the past. What I found out from my doctor is that I did not have to give up the holistic medicines I used. I could combine them. This blog is designed to help others focus on how to combing holistic treatments with traditional medicine in a safe and fun way.