Home  >  Health Encyclopedia  >  Health Encyclopedia Home

Health Encyclopedia


Health Encyclopedia Home

Learning to Live with Heart Disease

Learning to Live with Heart Disease

Millions of people diagnosed with heart disease enjoy active, satisfying lives. By using your mind to help your body, obtaining appropriate medical care, and making changes in your lifestyle, you can learn to live life to the fullest despite your condition.

The steps listed below can help you take charge of your heart health and your life.

Learn all you can

Empower yourself. Start thinking and acting proactively. Learn about your condition, treatment options, and the steps you can take to make your therapy a success. Take responsibility for doing all you can to positively affect your health.

Choose the right doctor. This is one of the most important medical decisions you'll make. Ask friends and medical professionals for recommendations, then check the doctor's background. Follow your intuition. Don't go to a doctor if you have doubts about his or her training, track record, or manner.

Make the most of your doctor visits. Write down a list of your concerns before your appointment, then ask your most important questions first. 

Follow your doctor's instructions. For example, your doctor may recommend you quit smoking, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes, eat a low-fat diet, or exercise regularly. Making these lifestyle changes may reverse the progression of heart disease and reduce your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

Plan ahead

Have an emergency plan. Ask your doctor which symptoms you should watch for and what you should do if they appear. Call 911 or your local emergency-response number if you believe you're having a heart attack or stroke.

Involve your family. Heart disease affects your family, too, and having their support can help you make necessary lifestyle changes more easily. Ask family members to learn about your condition. Take them to one of your doctor appointments and let them ask questions about your treatment. You and your family can take a CPR class to prepare in case you or someone in your community has a heart emergency.

Join a support group. Ask your doctor, hospital community service liaison, or your local affiliate of the American Heart Association to recommend a heart patient group in your area. These groups vary in their character and objectives, so plan on visiting a few of them before deciding which one is right for you.



Related Items
Wellness Library
  Making Changes to Avoid Heart Disease
  Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Heart
  Twelve Weeks to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
  A Woman's Guide to Beating Heart Disease
  Stress Can Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease
  Alcohol and Your Heart
  Take Action to Beat Heart Disease
  Diabetes and Heart Disease
Content Type 167
  Antimyocardial Antibody
  Apolipoprotein A
  C-Reactive Protein (Blood)
  Creatine Kinase (Blood)
  HDL Cholesterol
  LDL Cholesterol
  Lipid Panel with Non-HDL Cholesterol
  Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2
  Lipoprotein(a) Cholesterol
  Heart Disease Prevention Quiz
  Heart Disease Risk Quiz
  Heart Health Quiz
  Heart Quiz for Women Only
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Cardiac Rehabilitation
  Cardiovascular Disease Statistics
  Diabetes and Heart Disease
  Risk Factors for Stroke
  Ultrafast CT (Computed Tomography) Scan
  Is Your Sweet Tooth Harming Your Heart?
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  Home Page - Cardiovascular Disorders
  Heart Disease and Pregnancy
  Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
  Anomalous Coronary Artery (ACA)