With more than 7 million people in the UK living with a heart condition, you’re not alone if you’re wondering how best to go about your diagnosis.
Here are 14 tips for how you can make your life easier if you’re dealing with a heart problem.
Find The Right Support
Did you know there are various heart support groups you can join in the UK? These groups are for those impacted by a heart condition and are an excellent way for you to talk to others in a similar situation.
Click here to find a group near you.
Talk To Your Doctor
Your doctor should provide you with the support and answers you need to feel better about living with a heart condition. Find a medical professional who makes you feel comfortable and allows you to ask questions.
Look for a doctor who understands you and your health on a deeper level and works to provide the best treatment plan possible.
One of the best things you can do for your heart condition is to be informed about what you’re dealing with. Knowing how to make your life easier and what symptoms to watch for will give you the peace of mind you need to relax.
You can call the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3300 to get answers about heart disease and related conditions or speak with your doctor about any questions you might have. The more you know, the easier it will be to live with your condition.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
Foods high in fats, sugars, and salts will only make your life harder, as these types of foods aren’t suitable for those dealing with a heart condition. Instead, skip processed, packaged foods and try to incorporate more whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, into your diet.
Exercise is essential for good health, especially if you’re living with a heart condition. When it comes to physical activity, though, you’ll want to speak to a medical professional about how much you should be exercising.
Remaining active is a great way to lose weight and keep your heart from being overworked. Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan that will help you manage your heart problem.
Quit Smoking and Drinking
Smoking might be known for causing lung cancer, but it can also wreak havoc on your heart. So if you currently smoke and live with a heart problem, it’s vital for you to quit immediately.
Alcohol can also weaken your heart, so it’s best to swap it for water if you’re an avid drinker. Ask your doctor about things that can help you quit smoking and adjust your current habits.
Chronic stress can harm the heart, so if you find yourself struggling, talk to a medical professional about techniques you can try to reduce stress. This might mean opting for yoga or trying meditation.
When your body relaxes, your heart rate will slow, allowing your heart not to have to work so hard.
Take Your Medications
If you’ve been prescribed medications, don’t forget to take them. Whether this means putting them in a place you won’t forget, using a pill organiser, or setting frequent reminders, find ways to keep your medication top of mind.
Your doctor knows best when it comes to the drugs that will help you live a more normal life, so be sure to ask them any questions you might have regarding what they recommend and stay on top of the doses you’re supposed to take.
Monitor Your Symptoms
Living with heart disease might cause you to worry, but keeping an eye on your symptoms will allow you to stay on top of any changes you might experience
If you think your condition may be worsening, contact your doctor immediately. First, note anything out of the ordinary and how certain activities make you feel, then share them with a medical professional.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for those living with heart conditions. 7-8 hours of sleep is what your body needs to stay energised.
Remember that it’s okay to take breaks and rest if you need to or when you’re exerting more energy than usual.
Ask For Help
Living with a heart problem can be intimidating, so don’t be shy about asking for help. Talk to family and friends about how they can make your life easier and take care of you should you need it.
Your heart condition isn’t something to be embarrassed about, so find the right support system and surround yourself with those who understand and want to help.
Accept the Situation
When you’re diagnosed with a heart condition, things will have to change. You might not be able to do things the way you’ve always done them, and that’s okay. Work on accepting the situation and what your new reality looks like.
Talking to a therapist or your doctor can help ease your apprehension and discuss how you’re feeling about your diagnosis.
Should any symptoms present themselves, or if you’re ever feeling out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to call 999. You should always take your heart condition seriously, so it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible if things change.
Get the Testing You Need
If you're worried about your heart health, or have a history of heart condition in the family, it's important to prioritise taking an ECG test. However, the impact of the pandemic on the NHS means wait times for an ECG test can be as long as 15 months.
Luckily, that's precisely why we created ECG At Home. We believe you should have access to fast, reliable test results that could save your life.
Our highly qualified cardiology team analyses every single heartbeat recorded on your test for up to 7 days and we produce a comprehensive report with recommendations for you to pass on to your GP. You can even upgrade to receive a private cardiology consultation, if you desire.
Order your test, and be sure to send us a message if you have any questions.
If you're looking for more resources for keeping your heart healthy, take a look at our others blog, where we share information that will help you adjust to living with heart disease.
Living with a heart condition can be scary, but know that our team is here to help.
Order your test today and forget having to wait months for an NHS appointment. Instead, use a professional test that will deliver the results you need fast.