To better health
I know my high cholesterol puts me at risk for a heart attack or stroke. I’m going to talk to my doctor today to see what I can do.
Whether you’re just diagnosed or already being treated for a condition that increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, this guide will give you tools to:
- Talk to your doctor.
- Stick to your treatment plan.
- Make simple changes that can help reduce your risk to having a heart attack or stroke.
Taking to your Doctor
Open up. Be honest about how you feel and what’s going on in your life. What you say will help shape our treatment plan.
- Do you have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease?
- Do your lifestyle choices raise your risk of a heart attack or stroke (smoking not exercising, overeating?
- How well are you managing any other health conditions you might have?
- Have you been having chest pains or feeling tired, dizzy or short of breath?
Share these answer at each visit. What you say cloud be the key to knowing whether your treatment needs to be adjusted.
Inside a heart attack
Coronary artery disease (CAD) usually causes heart attacks.
How it works
- Your arteries become damaged from things like high blood pressure or smoking.
- When arteries are damaged, cholesterol can build up on the artery walls. This is called atherosclerosis. When this buildup hardens, it’s called plaque buildup narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow.
- If plaque cracks or ruptures, a blood clot can form and block blood flow to your heart.
When an artery gets locked by a clot, blood and oxygen can’t get to all the parts of your heart. This causes a heart attack. Without oxygen, your heart tissue dies.
Heart attack Symptoms
Call —– within the first five minutes of noticing any of these symptoms.
- Chest discomfort _ you may feel uncomfortable pressure, pain fullness or squeezing that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes.
- Discomfort in your upper body_ you may feel it in one or both arms, your neck, jaw, back or stomach.
- Being short of breath.
- Feeling lightheaded or nauseous.
Women may have symptoms like unusual heartburn, or feeling tired or anxious weeks before a heart attack.
Follow- up Care
Taking care of your heart means making sure your high blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are where they need to be. Schedules regular appointments with your doctors to make sure your treatment plan is working.
How often do I need to make appointments?
Inside a stroke
The most common stroke happens when an artery that supplies blood and oxygen to your brain becomes blocked.
How it works
- A blood clot forms in a damage artery in your neck or brain
- Or a clot forms near your heart and travels to an artery in your neck or brain, where it gets stuck in a more narrow part of the artery.
If your brain can’t get the blood and oxygen it needs, then never cells begin to die. This is called an ischemic stroke. Visit health advice.com/stroke to learn what happens during the first few minutes of a stroke and what to expect after.
A stroke affects never cells in your brain, so the parts of your body that these nerves control are also affected.
- Numbness or weakness in one side of your face, arm or leg
- Trouble walking or balancing
- Trouble talking or feeling confused
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden, severe headache
Act FAST during a Stroke
Teach your friends and family members to recognize stroke quickly.
Face _ Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms _ Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech _ Ask the person to repeat after you. Are the words slurred?
Time _ time counts! Call 9911 if a person shows any of these signs.
If you act FAST, you may be able to receive a clot- busting medicine that is effective in treating stroke. But you have to take it within 4 1/2 hours after symptoms start.
Treatment to reduce our risk
If you are at risk (see box below) or have already had a heart attack or stroke, your treatment plan will likely include one or more of the following medicines:
- Medicines to treat other health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
- Medicines to help reduce the risk of clots forming
You’ve probably heard that aspirin can help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and it can_ in some people. It’s also sometimes recommended if you’re already had a heart attack or stroke. But take to your doctor to find out if out if aspirin is right for you.
Certain conditions and behaviors increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Not being physically active
Fill & Refill your prescription
Think you don’t need medicine? Or having side effects? Tell your doctor so he can find a solution. Prescription costs too high?
Remember, you can’t get the best care if your doctor thinks you‘re taking your medicine when you’re not.
Take Every Dose
Medicine can be easy to forget
Put a note where you’ll be sure to see it every day o schedule a reminder through your phone or computer’s calendar program.
“Only 50% of patients take their medicine correctly.”
Part of your treatment plan will be to take the bet care of other health conditions you may have.
To improve your symptoms, replace old habits with new and healthy ones. How? Start by changing just one things.
Lower high blood pressure (BP) and high cholesterol. Both increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly, and talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to lower your numbers.
Control diabetes. 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease of stroke, so get your AIC checked. If your AIC is above 7%, talk to your doctor about how diet, exercise and medicine can help lower it.
Ask your doctor how often to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and AIC checked. Record your current numbers and your goals below.
Smoking increase blood pressure and damage your artery walls.
Reduce anxiety and stress.
Stress and anxiety can lead to bad habits like smoking and overeating, and temporarily spike your blood pressure. Start with 10 minutes of deep breathing a day.
Extra weight puts strain on your heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Keep temping, unhealthy foods out of the house. You’re less likely to eat them if you don’t have them nearby.
It can raise blood pressure and increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
- If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
Take to your doctor about getting a flu shot every year. The flu weakens your body and can put a strain on your heart. Getting an annual flu shot can help reduce this risk.
Regular exercise can help you lose weight control diabetes, and lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Partner up. Ask a friend or family member to be your exercise pal and schedule your shared workouts ahead of time.
Heart –Healthy Eating
Start your heart—healthy eating plan with these tips
- Eat more whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
- Practice portion control.
- Use spices, instead of sauce or salt.
- Trim the fat from meat or poultry, or buy lean cuts. And grill or broil instead of frying.
- Eat fish, like salmon, twice a week.
- Rea nutrition labels to check for serving sizes, calories, fat, sodium, fiber and other nutrients. Also check labels for the American heart association check mark- this means the food has been approve as low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Keep a food diary and write down what you eat every day. Share your diary with doctor.