Did you know about every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack? If you or someone you love has recently had a heart attack, you may be feeling emotional and overwhelmed by facing the road to recovery.
Why Do Heart Attacks Occur?
A heart attack happens when blood flow is restricted. Because your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive, the restriction of oxygen to the heart muscle causes a heart attack. The buildup of fat, cholesterol and plaque can cut off the flow of blood. When plaque within a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the artery to the heart muscle.
Heart attacks typically don’t present early symptoms until they are occuring. When a coronary artery narrows and constricts blood flow, other nearby blood vessels that serve the heart sometimes expand to compensate, which may explain why there are no warning signs.
Recovering From A Heart Attack
Rest is key—get enough of it. A good night’s rest is especially important for heart attack patients. And if you feel tired during the day, take a nap or a short rest. Heart patients should rest before they get too tired. Your doctor will tell you what’s best for your specific situation, but most heart attack patients find they have plenty of energy for both work and leisure activities.
Make lifestyle changes. I’s just as important for you to participate in recreation and social events and to begin making physical activity a part of your daily life. In many cases doctors will recommend that survivors get more physical activity than they got before their heart attack. Adequately treating and recovering from a heart attack may mean taking medications, getting ready to adjust to a new diet or lifestyle and, in some cases, even surgery when necessary.
Go back to work when you’re ready. Most heart attack patients go back to work within two weeks to three months depending on the severity of the heart attack. Your doctor will determine when you can go back and if your current job is suitable for a person who has had a heart attack.
Take part in cardiac rehabilitation. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get into a cardiac rehabilitation program where everything you need to get and stay healthy is in one convenient location. Rehabilitation programs are medically supervised to help you improve your health and well-being and change your lifestyle habits through exercise training, education and counseling to reduce stress. These programs often take place at a hospital with a rehabilitation team or with the help of your doctor, nurse, dietitian or other healthcare professionals. Ask your doctor whether cardiac rehab can help you improve your health.
Talk To A Heart Specialist
A heart attack is a frightening experience. If you have experienced a heart attack, or are close with someone who has, you should know this: You are not alone. In fact, tens of thousands of people survive heart attacks and go on to lead productive, enjoyable lives.
If you are recovering from a heart attack, book a consultation with Dr. Naim Al-Adli to see what your next steps are!