Health

Ochsner Recognizes World Heart Day

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Submitted by Ochsner Baton Rouge
Did you know that if someone has a heart attack, then they are at higher risk for another one? According to American Heart Association estimates, 1-in-5 patients age 45-plus will have another heart attack within five years of their first heart attack.  
In anticipation of World Heart Day (Sept. 29), Ochsner cardiologist Pavan Malur, M.D., compiled five important tips for life after a heart attack. “It’s normal to be scared and overwhelmed after having a heart attack,” stated Dr. Malur.  “You probably have a lot of questions about getting back to the things you love.  Follow these simple tips to stay safe and healthy during recovery and beyond.”
Life After a Heart Attack:
1.  Stay Active:  After a heart attack, you might worry that being physically active will bring about another attack. But exercise is an important part of recovery, and key to leading a heart healthy lifestyle — which is more important now than ever before. Talk to your doctor about what level of activity is right for you.
2.  Tell Your Doctor If You’re Having Chest Pain:  Unfortunately, having a heart attack will always put you at risk for having another one. Talk to your doctor if you’re having any recurrent chest pain or pressure.  The symptoms of a second heart attack can be different from the first.  Watch for shortness of breath, pain in the upper body, nausea and fatigue. These can all be indicators of an issue with your heart.
3.   Expect Changes:  Many people go back to work, return to driving and resume the hobbies they enjoy. However, it’s important to remember that the road back to normalcy will be a winding one that takes time. As you and your healthcare team plan for your future heart health, you may need to make some changes to your diet, exercise routine, stress levels and more. Be patience and open to change.
4.  Don’t Skip Rehab:  One of the most important steps you can take in recovery is to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program. During this time, a team of specialists will help you navigate the reality of life after a heart attack. You’ll learn what lifestyle modifications you need to consider making to help your heart.
5.  Listen to Your Feelings:  It’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions after a heart attack. You might feel scared, sad, depressed, angry, anxious or all the above. Don’t bottle up your feelings or assume they’ll go away. Consider joining a support group to learn how others have dealt with similar situations.  Speak candidly with your doctor at follow-up appointments for additional support.
innovationOchsner offers an advanced solution to better manage chronic high blood pressure through its Hypertension Digital Medicine Program. For more information on Hypertension Digital Medicine, please visit https://www.ochsner.org/hypertension-digital-medicine. To schedule an appointment with an Ochsner practitioner, call 225-761-5200 or visit www.Ochsner.org/info to schedule online.
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