By Dr. Bipin Dubey
With the change in lifestyle, heart problems are now a growing concern in different parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 17.9 million people die due to some type of cardiovascular disease. This problem is now also affecting the younger generation due to the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, poor food habits, and increased stress.
People who are diagnosed or have recently experienced an episode of heart condition have to make major changes in their lives. People like close family members of those who have suffered from a heart attack or heart failure, find a lot of challenges initially to provide the best caregiving. Here are a few important things that must be kept in mind while taking care of a critical heart patient:
- Diet: The diet of a critical heart patient must be closely monitored and customized as per the patient’s current condition. The patient must not be given any processed, saturated or fried food item as it directly contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries and causes a heart attack. Moreover, it is recommended to add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. One must also avoid salted meat and food high in sodium
- Regular monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar: A frequent blood pressure and blood sugar check by a health expert is an important approach to keep a track of your heart health. Even if a patient already has high blood pressure, some people may not show symptoms, which might cause cardiac damage. If a person has hypertension or diabetes, they must take their prescriptions on a regular basis
- Weight management: Overweight and obesity are described as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. Increased abdominal fat is a sign of obesity and is linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If the patient is overweight, one must reduce calories from their daily diet to achieve an average weight loss
- Physical exercise: It is also advised to be engaged in some exercise than none. The length, frequency, and intensity of physical activity can be gradually increased in inactive people by beginning with little amounts. Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, such as brisk walking, stair climbing, dancing, gardening, or domestic duties that may cause a little increase in heart rate. Improved cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, improved blood pressure, and weight management are all benefits of exercise.
- Quit smoking and alcohol: It is strictly important to keep tobacco out of the reach of heart patients. Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are harmful to heart patients. At the same time, alcohol consumption is also responsible to deteriorate heart health and must be kept out of reach from heart patients.
(The author is a Consultant Cardiologist, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)