World Health Day: 10 Things You Should Never Do After A Heart Attack

By: Chandana Rao
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'Heart Attack', these two words are enough to give you goosebumps. Yes, that is how much this condition scares us, since it is known as of the most fatal thing that can happen to a person.

Thanks to the unhealthy lifestyle that we lead, heart attacks are on the rise.

Heart attack or a cardiac arrest occurs when the blood flow to the heart is obstructed due to the presence of blood clots in the arteries that supply blood to this organ.

Because of this, the heart muscles fail to receive enough oxygen and get damaged. It could be a very fatal emergency.

Most of us would know someone who would've had a cardiac arrest and we have seen the repercussions of its aftermath.

A person who has been through a cardiac arrest has to go undergo an intensive recovery process, which includes rehabilitation and a lot of lifestyle changes.

A survivor of a heart attack requires special care and a lot of medical attention. A heart attack makes a person weak both physically and mentally.

Depression, anxiety, fatigue, etc, are some of the very common symptoms seen in a heart attack survivor.

If you or your loved ones have been through a heart attack, there are a few things that you must never do in order to avoid fatal emergencies.

Today, on the occasion of the World Health Day, let us learn more about some of the things that must be completely avoided after a heart attack.

Quit Smoking

It is good news if you are a non-smoker, but if you are not, then it is very important to make efforts to completely quit smoking after a cardiac arrest, as this habit directly affects the blood flow to the heart and thickens the arteries as well.

Avoid Saturated/Trans Fats

This might be a difficult one if you are a foodie, but there is no compromise when it comes to fatal conditions. Foods that are high in saturated or trans fats must be completely avoided, as they form a plaque layer on the walls of the arteries and prevent blood flow to the heart.

Avoid Sugar

Pastries, sweets, chocolates, etc, must completely be taken off your diet, as foods high in sugar content can increase the cholesterol levels in your blood, which in turn may result in blood getting clotted or thickened.

Avoid Excess Salt

The American Heart Association recommends that people with a risk of heart attack must limit their consumption of salt per day to below 1500 mg. So, extra attention must be payed to your diet and you must make sure that you are sticking to this limit.

Avoid Cholesterol Build-Up

Experts say that the blood cholesterol level for people with a risk of coronary attacks must be under 180 mg/dL. So, foods such as butter, ghee, oily items, etc, must be avoided strictly, thereby keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

Ignoring Physical Activities

It is very important to have a special exercise plan after a heart attack. After your doctor says you are ready for moderate physical activities, you can start with a 30-minute exercise routine that includes walking, cycling, swimming, etc. Exercise keeps you fit as well as promotes the flow of healthy blood to the heart.

Avoid Weight Gain

After a heart attack, it is very crucial to keep a close eye on your weight. Obesity is also one of the main causes for a coronary attack. Follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine to maintain your weight to prevent further complications. Ideally, your body mass index (BMI) must be between 18.5 and 24.9.

Ignoring Other Health Conditions

Certain disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, depression, hyperthyroidism, etc, directly affect the functioning and health of your heart. So, care must be taken to make sure that you do not have these disorders. If you do have them, then they must be controlled with treatments and lifestyle changes. Also, you must never skip on your medications.

High Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association recommends that the blood pressure of a person with the risk of coronary disorders must be below 140/90 mm/Hg. A heart attack survivor must take extra care to see that he/she does not let his/her BP go above this recommended limit. Stress, heavy exercise, anxiety, etc, can lead the BP to go up.

Ignoring Symptoms

There is a very huge chance of having a heart attack while you are in recovery from your first one. One must not ignore signs like extreme fatigue, chest pain, excess sweating, dizziness, leg swelling, etc, and must seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms may be warning signs of another heart attack that could prove to be fatal!

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Story first published: Thursday, April 7, 2016, 14:52 [IST]
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