My selection of recommendations for those affected
Even if it may seem so for the first time sufferers, a heart attack is only in very rare cases actually an unpredictable event that occurs suddenly. Rather, the vascular congestion at heart is preceded by a year-to-decade disease process involving several factors. This process is by no means complete with a recent infarction - on the contrary. Now it is time for you to draw the right conclusions from this event and to take the necessary measures. So those who turn your (heart) distress to good. The following tips may help you.
My 10 tips
- 1. Avoid the second heart attack! Prevention of the so-called re-infarction is from a health point of view, the most important task. Because the causes of the vascular occlusion in the heart are usually still present. Therefore, make a list of your personal risk factors that you can influence yourself. Start making the necessary changes and gradually tick off the list. The most important measures for infarct prophylaxis are:
- stop smoking
- Lower elevated blood lipid levels
- Lower elevated blood pressure
- more exercise, exercise regularly
- Change diet to healthy
- drink only a little alcohol
- Reduce stress and avoid stress
- Remove excess weight
- Treat diabetes well, keep blood sugar levels under control
- 2. Do not rely solely on your stents. They may have saved your life and that's great. Nevertheless, the stents are not a cure, because they do not remedy the causes of vascular blockage in the heart. In one study, every eleven patients died four years after a heart attack, regardless of whether or not a stent had been used to him or her. The rate of reinfarction did not decrease despite the stents.
Inflammatory processes are responsible for the deposition in the arteries, which continue without medical treatment and healthier behavior even after the operation. On the one hand, new vascular blockages may develop, on the other hand, the stents may become clogged over time. Of course, this also applies to bypasses.
- 3. Take the prescribed medication to protect your heart. Presumably, you've been given a small arsenal of medications to protect your damaged heart. These usually include blood thinners, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and cholesterol-lowering agents. You should not just drop these medications under the table. Poor compliance does not only increase the risk of re-congestion but also the development of late complications such as chronic heart failure or cardiac arrhythmias. After an infarct, it is only gradually apparent after the acute phase has passed and the scarring has been completed, how much working myocardial tissue is still preserved.
Talk to your doctor if you have any adverse side effects to switch to an alternative medicine. If, for example, you constantly get nosebleeds and bruises under the blood thinner Clopidogrel, switching to an enteric-coated aspirin preparation may make sense. Or the other way around.
- 4. Check your values regularly and reduce the pill intake. In the long run, the more you boost your body's health, the less you need it. This not only reduces the second-infarct risk and slows the progression of vascular disease. There are also good chances that already incurred damages will shrink again.
The success of healthier behavior is measurable and you should always keep the relevant readings in view: v.a. Weight, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar, cardiac output. If these values and other studies on the heart, vascular and metabolic situation give you the green light, you can begin to delete the prescribed medication from the list and from your life in consultation with your doctor. Of course, after that, regular monitoring is important to make sure that it stays at good levels after stopping the medicine.
- 5. Do not become inactive, but do not take over. After a heart attack, there is a risk of falling into one of two extreme behaviors.Some of those concerned avoid any effort to care for the diseased heart, while others soon feel themselves under stress as if nothing had happened. Both are unhealthy in the long run. Go the golden middle way. Of course that's easier said than done. Strong fears of further threats are as understandable as the desire to simply hide them. Take the incisive experience and the successful heart surgery as an opportunity and a reason for a new beginning. Namely, where the duration and quality of your life is concerned.
- 6. Take a break and prepare for the rest of your life in the spa. Why? Because after a heart attack, it's not about taking a break and then continuing like before. Sooner or later this will probably lead to the next infarction. In addition to the rest, the recovery, the accumulation of strength and physical training, it is especially important to learn how your own life can be organized healthier. This is closely related to your attitudes, behaviors and habits, and especially concerns the areas covered in these tips.
Since something to hear or read, is not enough, of course. On the contrary, the intensive instruction, training, practice, repetition and, above all, the consistent continuation when you are back home are really promising. It may also help to visit a cardiac school following rehabilitation, to stay tuned to the lifestyle change and not fall back into the old patterns.
- 7. No more cigarettes after that - say "no" to your nicotine addiction. If you do not want to stop smoking after your first heart attack, then when? Of course, it makes sense later. But you should use the horrors of events or the "favor of the hour" to do it now. Incidentally, many people, even without aids, are now able to do this easier than they previously thought. But to keep it that way, you'll probably have to change your attitudes and behaviors a bit. It's definitely worth it, as you should do so anyway, given the other risk factors.
- 8. Make yourself a tasty salad every day. People who consume fruits and vegetables daily reduce their risk of heart attack by 30% according to the study data. Especially after a heart attack is expected from an increased need for vital substances. Everyone has the time to prepare a salad once a day. At least anyone with a healthy daily schedule and the necessary time management. For more information on the hearty diet and the recommended Mediterranean diet, for example, seein this book.
Highly recommended is the additional intake herbal active ingredients in the form of dietary supplements.
- 9. Join a heart sports group.Being active is good, targeted physical training is even better. Of course you can do it alone, with friends or in the gym. However, a cardio-sports group offers some advantages for the resumption or initial admission of sports activities after the infarction event. In addition to a qualified instructor there is always a doctor present. The holistic training program includes further health-building measures beyond exercise. The weekly appointments act as a motivational support and offer opportunities for exchange with other stakeholders. There are several thousand heart sports groups in Germany. Participation is medically prescribed and paid by the health or pension insurance depending on the disease over one to two years, possibly even longer, financially. Here you will find information aboutHeart sports groups in your area.
In any case, continue with the physical training on a regular basis. Anyone who does regular sports and does not smoke in addition to the healthier diet lowers his risk of infarction by as much as 80%.
- 10. Rejoice at least once a day about your life and all the beautiful things you have experienced today. Do not just think about your heart. Also take care of your sleep, your mind and your soul. The fact that a relevant part of those affected is struggling with depression after a heart attack is known. The mental derailment not only reduces the quality of life, but also increases the risk of another infarction by two to three times. Discover the special in the everyday. That can be learned and practiced. Nothing is self-evident, this knowledge may have given you probably your heart attack.
One more tip: Many people find it very difficult to eat a balanced and balanced diet in everyday life. Even if nothing is healthy about a healthy diet, we often recommend a special supplementHealth juicewhose effect has been scientifically proven. One spoon per day covers all important nutrients and phytochemicals, one bottle will last for about 50 days.
Author: Dr. Hubertus Glaser