Medical Treatments And Self-Care That Can Help You Live With Heart Disease
When you have heart disease, proper care and management of your condition is important. Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for testing and treatment, and there are self-care measures you can do on your own to promote heart health. Self-care and medical treatments work together to control your symptoms, improve your quality of life, and ward off a heart attack or stroke. Here are some steps you and your doctor can take to manage your heart disease.
Improve Your General Health
Heart disease is sometimes brought on by lifestyle choices. If you stop smoking, maintain your ideal weight, eat a healthy diet, and get daily exercise, you'll feel better and your heart will be healthier. When you have heart disease, you may want to make some changes, such as taking up exercise, under the supervision of your doctor. You may also want medical advice on the right foods to eat for controlling high blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Have Regular Medical Testing
Monitoring your heart disease is important because it lets the doctor know how well your treatments and lifestyle changes are working. For instance, if your blood pressure continues to be high even with treatment, your doctor might adjust your medication or go over your diet and exercise routine. Your doctor may order blood work regularly and have you make scheduled office visits to monitor your heart health. You may also need occasional medical tests that track the progression of your disease.
There are several heart medications your doctor can prescribe to help the problems you have. You might take high blood pressure medication or drugs for cholesterol or high blood sugar. Some medications help control your heart rate or rhythm. Others prevent blood clots or remove fluid from your body. Your cardiologist may need to change medication or adjust the dosage as your condition changes and your health declines or improves.
Heart surgery is sometimes needed, especially when you have blocked arteries. You may be under the care of a cardiologist for years until it becomes necessary to have surgery. Other times, your first indication of heart problems is when you are rushed to the emergency room with chest pain and you find out you need to have a stent put in right away. Surgeries include a coronary bypass graft, a valve repair, an angioplasty, the insertion of a pacemaker or defibrillator, and even a heart transplant.
Your heart disease care depends on what type of heart problem you have, and it's important to understand every aspect of your care so you can comply with your doctor's orders and recommendations. It's also important to know the symptoms to watch for so you can call your doctor or call an ambulance when you feel like you might be having a heart attack.
To learn more about heart disease care, contact a medical center.