Each year approximately one million Americans suffer from heart attacks. The survival rate is steadily improving thanks to increased heart health awareness. Much attention and focus has been spent on educating and assisting heart attack survivors in preventing subsequent heart attacks. There has also been increased emphasis placed on knowing your risk factor for heart attacks and taking the appropriate medical action.
Heart attack prevention techniques are designed to reduce the risk of developing initial and subsequent heart attacks. You should consult your doctor before beginning any treatment regimen. Your doctor will assess your heart health and be able to recommend the appropriate prevention measures. Several factors such as you age and medical history will play a part in your individualized heart attack prevention plan.
There are several medications that your doctor may prescribe to help with prevention of initial and subsequent heart attacks. These medications act in different ways to help your heart function more effectively. It is important to note that medication therapy is usually indicated for people who have already suffered from a heart attack or, are at a great risk of having one. The dosage and frequency of prescribed medications will be based on an individual medical assessment. You should always take medications as instructed by your doctor to ensure medication effectiveness and to prevent related complications.
- Ace Inhibitors may be prescribed to help your heart pump blood more easily. Some commonly prescribed ACE Inhibitors are Captopril and Lisinopril.
- Beta Blockers may be prescribed to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate. Some commonly prescribed Beta blockers are Atenolol and Propanolol.
- Blood-thinning medications may be prescribed to ensure that your blood does not clot easily. Aspirin is often the medication of choice. Stronger mediations may be given in more sever cases.
- Cholesterol-reducing medications may also be prescribed. There are a variety of these medications available including statins and fibrates. These medications are usually prescribed to people who have already suffered from heart attacks.
Lifestyle changes may also be indicated to prevent heart attacks. You will need to do an honest assessment of your lifestyle to determine where changes should be made. These changes can be made at any stage of life but do require commitment in order to have the best results.
- Reduce you overall stress level. This can be done in many ways. Whether you just need to talk to someone or need help with an everyday task, it is important to remain open to receive the help you need. Don't be afraid to request the assistance of loved ones in your heart attack prevention efforts. If this is not a viable option, consider joining local support groups or coworkers in a combined effort. There really is strength in numbers. You may consider taking on a new hobby or even reducing your hours at work.
- Plan regular medical checkups. Many symptoms of heart disease are not easily recognized. Having the appropriate medical care will enable you to be proactive in your healthcare. Your doctor may be able to prescribe the needed medications and changes before problems occur. Regular medical checkups will also allow your doctor to monitor medication and lifestyle change effectiveness.
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise helps your heart stay healthy and function more effectively. The amount and type of exercise that is right for your will be determined by an individual assessment. There are countless exercise options ranging from yoga to cardio-kickboxing. Your doctor will be able to help you choose an option that is right for you. Exercise also helps you to maintain a suitable weight. You doctor will be able to guide you to your weight maintenance goals.
- Stop smoking. Smoking greatly increases your heart attack risk. It is very important to stop completely. Nicotine is very addictive and you may not be able to quit easily. Don't be afraid to ask for family for support. You may need to take medications to help you quit. Your doctor will be able to recommend or prescribe these medications.
- Eat heart healthy foods. Foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium can greatly increase your risk for a heart attack. These foods need to be consumed with caution. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is an important step in preventing damage to your coronary arteries. Fish is also a helpful food. The fatty acids found in fish help to reduce your cholesterol and also prevents blood clots. Your doctor or dietician will be able to recommend a diet plan that fits your individual assessment. Remember to pay attention to food labels including serving size and nutritional information. Changing your diet may be difficult. Seek the support of family members and local organizations.