An Expert Guide on Living With Cardiovascular Diseases

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Cardiovascular diseases are health conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. It’s associated with the build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries leading to an increased risk of blood clots. Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death around the world, but it can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle, taking proper medication, and regular checkups. If you’re thinking about starting simple, consider adopting a dog. Additionally, here are a few more simple ways on how to live healthily with cardiovascular disease.

Regular exercise

Exercising regularly can greatly help those living with cardiovascular diseases. It’s essential to your health and particularly important if you need to reduce weight. Together with a healthy diet, exercise helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Taking additional medication like Atorvastatin can also help decrease the number of fatty substances like LDL cholesterol and increase the amount of HDL cholesterol in the blood.

By exercising at least 150 minutes per week, you can decrease the chance of contracting heart disease or simply controlling it. Lowering the blood level of cholesterol and fats in your body is very important to preventing heart attacks, strokes, and angina. If you’re a smoker, it would be a good time to stop since this is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and can also harm your ability to exercise.

Eat healthily

Ditch unhealthy foods like fatty, salty, sugary, and high-calorie dishes although they taste good. They’re not good for your heart, and you must control the intake of these types of foods to prevent heart attack or stroke. Salty foods lead to fluid retention which increases blood pressure leading to heart failure. Processed foods, sugary foods, or refined grains can trigger chronic inflammation, contributing to plaque buildup.

Fatty foods like red meat or full-fat dairy products contribute to bad cholesterol levels, and plaque formation in the arteries can reduce or block blood flow. Ask your doctor for an appropriate diet, and start eating healthily immediately. As soon as you start the better chance you’ll have of leading a healthier life.  

Reduce stress

Although stress is sometimes inevitable, it can significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Stress can come from not getting enough sleep, worrying about finances, or pressures and obligations we face every day. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, and high levels of cortisol can increase blood cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

Note that even minor stress can trigger heart problems like poor blood flow to the heart. Long-term stress can create blood clots which lead to an increased risk of stroke. Practice yoga or meditation, or simply do the things that relax you and calm your mind. Learning how to cope with stress can help you reduce the risk of heart disease.

Limit alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol intake can increase cholesterol and blood pressure levels, contributing to weight gain which leads to cardiovascular problems. It can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and in the long term, it can lead to an ongoing increase in heart rate, weakened heart muscle, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.

This can lead to an increased risk of alcohol-caused stroke and heart attack. Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of 2 types of stroke including ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Both result in a disrupted blood flow, also resulting in a loss of motor and sensory functions. Bear in mind that if you have high levels of bad cholesterol, consuming alcohol can increase the risk of clogging arteries which can lead to a heart attack.

Regular checkups and proper therapy

If you’re living with a cardiovascular disease you already know that having regular checkups and sticking to your prescribed therapy is essential. Checkups can help maintain good health and prevent unwanted situations. Once you’ve started taking medication for your disease you must obtain a routine. Remember, missing medication doses can have serious repercussions.

For example, people with a stent must take proper medication to prevent the stent from closing. Not only medication but also proper diet and exercise must be part of your daily routine if you want to continue to be in good health although suffering from heart disease. Consult with your doctor regularly to follow your progress and make treatment adjustments if necessary.

Mental health

People dealing with cardiovascular diseases also need to pay attention to their mental health. Depression, for example, can be a big risk factor for coronary disease the same as smoking or high blood pressure. It can also affect the recovery of people who have had a heart attack and increase the risk of further health problems.

Heart attack patients dealing with depression are often less motivated to follow healthy routines, meaning they may skip important medication, avoid eating healthily or exercise. Sometimes they even continue harming themselves by drinking alcohol and smoking. A recent study shows that anxiety may also be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and should not be treated interchangeably with depression.

Managing cardiovascular disease

People living with heart disease should know that there are ways to manage their health so they’ll live to the fullest. SME (self-management education) programs help educate people on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by managing their symptoms and improving their eating and sleeping habits.

With these programs, you can learn techniques to deal with problems such as pain, fatigue, isolation, and frustration. It can also teach you how to properly take medication and exercise to maintain flexibility and strength. Learning how to deal with depression and make a good decision regarding your health is also very helpful for those living with heart disease. 

In closing

If you want to have a healthier heart although having cardiovascular problems you need to start with changing the way you live your life, meaning healthier food, exercise, less stress, and quitting bad habits like smoking and excess alcohol intake. Also, if you need emotional support don’t hesitate to ask for one. Make sure you have regular checkups and always practice a healthy lifestyle.

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