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What to Do When Recovering From a Heart Attack


January 04, 2018 in: recovering from a heart attack,

Each year, more than 735,000 people suffer from a heart attack with 525,000 of them being first-timers as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A heart attack, even a minor one, can be very traumatic for many especially when it happens without any prior or noticeable symptoms. The process of recovery from a heart attack makes one fearful.

The post-treatment or recovery period is long and varies from individual to individual based on many differentiating factors such as their age, gender, weight and other health conditions. The positive side, however, is that one usually has a lot of love, support, and care from closed ones which make the recovery time less fearful.

The recovery process usually begins before one even leaves the hospital and continues in a number of stages where the condition is monitored and diet plans are implemented. The moment patient’s step out of the hospital, they are on their own along with their immediate family to look after themselves. 

What is expected of the patient at home after being treated and discharged from the hospital, take a look below?

Join a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

A cardiac rehabilitation program is the first thing the cardiologist recommends. Its enrollment can begin right after the incident or after a few weeks time rest. In a cardiac rehabilitation program, 3 to 4 hours long sessions are conducted with the patient over a course of 12 weeks or less where they are made to develop an exercise regime. Their performance is measured throughout the session. Most patients are also suggested dietary plans and coaching in case they are unable to move past it.

Take medications on time

When one leaves the hospital after the treatment for heart attack, they are handed a shopping bag full of medications upon discharge. Some of them keep the stent open while others maintain the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. An important aspect of recovery from any disease involves taking of medications. They must be taken as per the time and amount prescribed until full recovery has been made.

Make lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes are also an essential part of the recovery process after a heart attack. For instance, if an individual was into smoking previously, he/she might have to give it up. Same goes for those who are overweight might be expected to lose weight to prevent the traumatic event to happen again. Fundamentally, an individual is expected to make all such changes that reduce the chances of a heart attack in the future. One can seek advice and support from many healthcare teams including general physicians who will help develop a healthy routine followed by a diet and exercises.

Follow a healthy and balanced diet

Last, but most importantly, one must follow a strict diet that keeps the cholesterol and blood sugar levels under control. Many patients are advised to increase the intake of fish and give up fatty and oily foods for a couple of months to let the heart and body regain its lost strength. Since fish is high in omega -3, it keeps cholesterol levels balanced.

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