How Can I Prevent Further Heart Damage?
As with any chronic illness, heart failure is best controlled by early diagnosis and prevention. Sometimes, the cause of heart failure is idiopathic (another name for “cause unknown”), but in many cases, lifestyle is a major factor.
One additional note: Claims that women are less vulnerable to heart failure than men are untrue. Heart failure affects women and men equally, so both men and women need to be aware of the condition and how to prevent it from occurring or progressing.
In every effort to prevent more heart damage:
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Reach and maintain your healthy weight.
- Maintain and control high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes.
- Exercise daily.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Consult a doctor if surgery or other procedures to treat your heart failure can be recommended.
It is important to know the names of your medications, what they are used for and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.