Suffering a heart attack is a terrifying ordeal, one that more than one million Americans go through each year. And since more than 90% of people survive a heart attack it’s very important to discuss the recovery process. It is not uncommon for patients with heart disease to suffer multiple heart attacks in their lives, and in order to protect a patient’s heart from future damage there are some important recovery steps to be aware of.
Take Your Medications
After your heart attack, your doctor will prescribe you some medications. Take them. This may seem like an unnecessary reminder, but a Duke University study showed that just six weeks after a heart attack 29% of patients studied were not taking their medications as their doctors had prescribed. These medications are meant to prevent future heart attacks from occurring and should be taken just as your doctor prescribes it. In fact, in the months following your heart event, it’s important to be in regular contact with your cardiologist about your heart health.

Invest In Rehabilitation
Hopefully, this heart attack has been a wake-up call, and perhaps you’re feeling more motivated than ever to start some new healthy habits. These are all great things, however, we urge you to be careful and take one day at a time. In the days following your attack what you need most is rest. It may take 2-3 months to return to your sense of normal. In addition to the physical changes your body has undergone, this whole process can be emotionally taxing as well. Whether you rehabilitate at home under the supervision of your cardiologist or in a cardiac rehabilitation program, the results are very positive.

Change Your Lifestyle
A significant factor in preventing another cardiac event is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is unfortunately all too common for patients with heart disease to experience more than one attack in their lifetime, but you can beat those odds. Factors like bad diet, lack of exercise, the consumption of alcohol, and smoking cigarettes are some of the leading causes of heart disease and should be stopped immediately. In addition to making important lifestyle changes, work with your doctor to monitor cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other factors to ensure that the changes you’re making to your lifestyle are significant enough to fight future damage.

Cardiac events can be prevented, and while there’s nothing you can do now to reverse your past there are important things you can do to protect your future heart health. For more information about keeping your heart healthy, or to meet with one of our cardiologists, contact us today.