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Surviving A Heart Attack: The Big One!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore  •  19 years experience
Surviving A Heart Attack: The Big One!

Surviving a heart attack may not be easy and if you’ve had one, it’s not unusual for you to feel worried and overwhelmed at the same time. Quite understandably, you would want to return home to your near and dear ones, and indulge in your usual activities as soon as possible. But in order to make sure you’re in the best of health and spirit, you would need to follow certain guidelines after a heart attack. Although you might start feeling better in a couple of weeks, you should not rush into things or push yourself too soon. Here’s a list post-treatment guidelines on how to maintain a healthy risk-free life so that you don’t have a relapse.

  1. Quit smoking- Smoking tobacco damages the walls of your blood vessels, preventing blood and oxygen from reaching your heart and other organs. It can lead to clotting of blood in your system and thereby increase the chances of another heart attack. So if you’re a smoker, it’s time you quit smoking and even restrain from passive smoking. If you find it difficult to cope with the problem, consult your doctor as he may be able to help you by providing alternatives to tobacco like nicotine gum.
  2. Control the risk factors- High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes- these are some of the most common and probable risk factors for a heart attack. In order to manage these conditions, you will need to change your diet. The food you eat affects the flow of blood in your system, so include food items that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Cut down on processed and fried food, sodium and salt. Consume less high-fat dairy products and red meat, and switch to green veggies and fruits, and fish.
  3. Exercising can help- Although it may sound hectic after a major surgery, but engaging in some sort of exercise actually helps your heart pump blood and delivers oxygen to your body effectively. Since being obese or overweight increases the chances for a heart attack, you must keep your body weight in check. Any sort of exercise such as jogging, walking, running or swimming can help you lose weight, and lower the risk. However, before you start exercising you should consult a doctor so that they can monitor your condition and keep a track of your heart.

Recovering from a heart attack does not end with you surviving one. Heart attacks can be very stressful and upsetting. You will need to fight stress and depression even after the recovery. Go for some therapy or join a cardiac rehab that will arrange for programs run by medical professionals and doctors. Along with lifestyle changes, these programs help control your stress levels.

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