If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, don’t despair. It is a condition you can manage. There are many different FDA-approved ways to manage your condition. Your knowledge and commitment to lifestyle changes now, along with advances in medicine can put you on a path to greater optimism about your future. Below are a few of the methods recommended by Dr. James DeStephens.
If you’re a smoker, you know that now is definitely the time to quit. Not only is it bad for your lungs, it ranks at the top for causes of heart disease. Smoking raises blood pressure, increases the chance of blood clots, and decreases HDL, the good cholesterol. Smoking also makes exercising (more about that later) more difficult.
Watch Your Diet
A balanced diet is a key to good health for everyone, but if you have heart disease, it’s time to bombard your body with foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Omit saturated fats and trans fats; make it a practice to read food labels especially on snack foods, processed foods, and baked goods. Avoid foods with saturated fats and trans fats. The cholesterol in them can clog arteries. Include foods rich in omega 3s in your diet every day.
Salt contributes to factors in heart disease like high blood pressure. Limit your salt intake to 1,500 mg a day. That’s around two-thirds of a teaspoon. This probably means never adding salt on your own. Prepackaged foods, canned soups, and frozen dinners have “hidden” salt. Check packages for sodium content.
Don’t think you should limit physical activity because of heart disease. Stay on an exercise program approved by your doctor. This will also help with weight management.
Consider ECP Therapy
We offer ECP therapy to help our patients monitor and manage their heart disease in a safe and effective manner. ECP stands for External Counterpulsation, and it is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure. It is a treatment that takes about one hour per day for 35 days. If you are interested in this proactive approach to managing heart disease, contact Dr. James B. DeStephens today to schedule your consultation! Our office is conveniently located in Gainseville, FL.