Heart Problems: How to Keep Yourself from Having a Second Heart Attack
Encountering a first heart attack is generally traumatic, and it is a loud wake up call for those who survive the experience. The thought that a person could experience a second heart attack is equally disturbing. Yet, if a heart attack survivor does not change their exercise and dietary habits, chances are a second heart attack is on its way. Due to all the conflicting health information today, it is sometimes difficult to know what to believe. The following are a few tips to help bring some common sense to the confusion.
You would think that in our modern age people would recognize the dangers of smoking. You would also think they would make every effort to quit. Unfortunately, a large segment of the general population still smokes until they have a heart attack. Some even tempt fate and smoke until their second heart attack. Smoking tends to narrow blood vessels, which restricts blood flow and increases blood pressure. Since diabetes narrows blood vessels also, smoking in conjunction with diabetes doubles a person's risk for a second heart attack. On all accounts, it is simply best to eliminate smoking from one's lifestyle altogether.
Eliminate Refined Sugar and Too Many Carbohydrates from Your Diet
For decades saturated fats and, so-called bad LDL-cholesterol, were blamed for causing heart disease. But these claims have come under major scrutiny in recent years. The real culprit behind obesity, which leads to diabetes and eventually heart disease, appears to be refined sugar and too many carbohydrates in the modern diet. This theory was put to the test by 41-year-old Donal O'Neill in the recent documentary, "Cereal Killers". By removing sugar and grains from his diet, O'Neill showed, over the course of many weeks under doctor's supervision, how he eliminated all his hereditary risk factors for heart disease. To the surprise of the medical staff involved, he accomplished the feat of regaining his health on a diet high in saturated fat.
Another major factor in preventing a second heart attack is exercise. Exercise directly addresses the obesity problem that is at the heart of a vast number of cases of heart disease. As a person trims their waistline with exercise, this also helps them control their blood pressure and reverses insulin resistance. In addition, exercise helps to strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and is generally beneficial for promoting health.
Proper Medical Care
Even if a person dramatically changes their lifestyle for the better, it is always a good idea to receive a regular check-up, after having a heart attack, to rule out further complications. Many modern facilities dealing with cardiac care, such as ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence, make it their mission to provide patient-centric care with compassion to better encourage patient involvement in their own health and well-being. This type of approach to cardiac patient care helps to insure that the patient's concerns will be addressed as well as their medical needs.
The truth is that people who do not make significant lifestyle changes after a first heart attack are likely going to go through the experience a second time. However, in most cases this outcome is reasonably preventable. It begins with a desire to want to take control of one's health and a decision to take action. The power to prevent the next heart attack is well within the hands of most first-time heart attack survivors.
By Lizzie Weakley
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