With changing lifestyles, disease patterns have also changed. Cardiac arrest, which was earlier reported in the elderly only, is now affecting people as young as in their 30s. This is attributed to a combination of factors including poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, environmental toxins and pollution, smoking, drinking, caffeine and stress levels. There is also an inevitable risk of family history and advancing age. However, as an individual is affected by cardiac arrest in the 30s, there is a lifestyle change that is required. This is not only to prevent a recurrent cardiac arrest, but also to reduce the pace of damage from the current one.
The change is not unidimensional one needs to change one’s physical, emotional and mental aspects to come up with a revised lifestyle.
- Medications: There are a set of medications to be taken regularly. So learn to identify and take them. A pill box that can contain all the pills for a week, sorted by the time to be taken, can come in handy.
- Diet changes: While it is always advisable to watch what you eat, a cardiac arrest leaves one with no choice. Reduce the intake of sodium and calcium and increase potassium. Avoid processed and packaged foods. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat dairy. Eat more of foods with antioxidants.
- Slow down: After a cardiac arrest, the person tends to slow down the physical pace of life. Lifting heavy weights may be best avoided. If you were a regular workout person, it needs to be modified to avoid excessive stress.
- Constant watch: Be it your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol or other blood tests, these should be periodically monitored and watched for any alarming differences. Keep your doctor updated so you are not caught off guard.
- Work schedule: This will definitely need to be reworked at, especially if your job is a highly demanding one. The idea is not to stop working, but to relook at your schedule so you can contribute and at the same time not risk your health again.
- Emotions: While there is anxiety and depression, there is also a fear to tackle. The new modified lifestyle brings anxiety. The fact that you had a cardiac arrest at such a young age (unexpected in most cases) is depressing. The most prominent one though is of fear—will it happen again? How is it going to be? Will I survive? These questions can be haunting. It is definitely advisable to seek support from a counsellor if you do not have someone in your family or friends’ circle to talk to.
Cardiac arrest in the 30s is not easy. It comes with multiple challenges, but you can definitely overcome it.
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