There are many forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. If you have been diagnosed with some form of CVD, there are changes you can implement now to possibly prevent exacerbation of CVD, such as:
Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Not only can day-to-day stress and unhealthy coping strategies increase your risk for CVD, but your recent diagnosis may only make matters worse. One of the first steps you should take is finding a good support network. If you do not have friends and family or need support from someone neutral, therapy may be helpful. You likely need to address any stressors in your life and if you have unhealthy behaviors you use for coping mechanisms, such as smoking, drinking, or food addiction. Working with a therapist can also help you address any problems you have with your new diagnosis. It is not uncommon to feel anxious or depressed, especially if your CVD was diagnosed after a life-altering stroke or heart attack.
Trash The Bad Food
When people need to change their dietary habits, using the excuse that you will not buy any more bad food after you eat what you currently have, rarely works. Use this opportunity to purge unhealthy foods and take over a new lease on life. To help with making the transition to healthier eating patterns, it is best to speak with a nutritionist who can review your records and help you develop an eating plan that matches your health needs. Some nutritionists are willing to visit your home and will look through your cabinets and refrigerator to show you what should stay.
Additionally, you may want a nutritionist to take a shopping trip with you so you can learn the best ways to shop and prepare better quality food. If you live a busy life or travel frequently, ask your nutritionist about ways to meld your new eating with convenience food. Many people use the excuse that fast food is their only option because they are busy. Fortunately, most fast food locations have healthier options, and your local big box store probably has pre-made salads and rotisserie chicken for a quick meal.
Being more physically active can come with its challenges when you have a history of CVD. Work closely with your doctor to know exactly what types of exercises you can try that will not put an unhealthy strain on your heart. For example, if you recently had any procedure to fix a blockage or other vascular problem, there is likely a recovery period before you can begin exercising. Once you have clearance from your doctor, find simple, low-impact workouts that are challenging enough to make you breathe harder, but do not cause any alarming symptoms. Purchasing a heart rate monitor is ideal because you need to be more cognizant of your heart rate, which could become abnormally high in people with CVD. Doing any form of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week will help your heart grow stronger and shed excess weight that may put unnecessary strain on your heart.
Having CVD is not a death sentence. Once you know there is a serious problem, making strides toward better health may prevent the problem from becoming worse. Contact a medical office like Summit View Clinic for more information and assistance.