How to Prevent Heart Failure
Heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 US deaths every year. The risk of heart failure is exacerbated by certain conditions and lifestyle choices. Many conditions that contribute to heart disease are controllable. By making a few lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of heart failure.
Smoking exposes the body, including the circulatory system, to a deadly cocktail of chemical agents. The body takes defensive measures. In the arteries, this means building up a fatty material along the walls. This is commonly referred to as “hardening” of the arteries. The hardened arteries are less flexible and narrower, putting strain on the heart. When a smoker quits, the effects are nearly immediate. Within 20 minutes of the last cigarette, blood pressure drops to normal. The risk of coronary disease is cut in half within one year. Within 15 years, the smoker’s health is equivalent to that of a non-smoker. While quitting can be a challenge for many, it can be done. Talk to your doctor about options that may help you quit.
Get Fit and Eat Right
Fitness is a strong factor in the strength of your heart. Whatever your body type, moderate aerobic exercise will help strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of heart failure. Reducing cholesterol and making healthy eating choices is important to maintaining overall heart health as well. Good eating choices include restricting the amount of red meat and pork eaten, and including as many fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet as possible. Alcohol intake should be restricted. Sodium intake should be limited to avoid fluid retention. Patients with severe heart failure may be advised to limit their fluid intake as well.
Get Enough Sleep
Reducing stress and getting enough sleep is important. If you’re on diuretics to reduce fluids, talk to your doctor about taking them earlier in the day so that you’re not waking up in the night as often. If you suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about your options. A good night’s sleep helps keep your heart healthy.
Dr. Ciuffo and the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program
Dr. Ciuffo is dedicated to ensuring your heart is healthy. If you are in need of heart surgery and have any questions or how you should prepare for it, feel free to contact us at (330) 588-4676 or visit our contact page online.