Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and millions of Americans suffer from one form or another of this potentially deadly ailment. There are actually a large number of conditions that can adversely affect someone's heart, ranging from genetic defects some are born with to lifestyle-generated cardiovascular issues which generally result in narrowed blood vessels leading to chest pain and increased risk of such events as strokes.
Managing heart disease can entail a wide spectrum of interventions that include such things as improving fitness, to controlling stress, quitting smoking, making dietary changes, as well as the use of a number of therapeutic medications.
Preventing Heart Disease
Most health experts agree, the easiest way to treat non-genetic heart disease is to not get it in the first place. And recognizing that has led health professionals across the country to begin putting a lot of energy into helping their patients acquire the types of lifestyle habits that can give them the best opportunity to avoid encountering preventable heart problems.
These lifestyle changes have been demonstrated to be one of the most effective ways of managing heart disease before it advances too far and requires more serious medical interventions. The types of measures encouraged by health professionals are both effective and simple. They include:
regular exercise – this aids the heart by enhancing heart function and strength, as well as the added benefit of reducing a patient's stress level and weight – two known risk factors leading to heart disease
improved diet – high cholesterol and saturated fat intake has been clinically shown to lead to heart disease, so helping patients learn how to eat heart healthy foods is a key element in preventing the onset of cardio problems
regular check-ups – having a medical professional conduct tests and monitoring that can detect cardio problems early is another important line of defense in battling this dangerous condition
Of course, prevention is just one part of the battle in fighting heart diseases. Once a problem develops though, other considerations come into play on how to best approach managing heart disease.
Handling Heart Disease
Once heart problems have advanced to a certain point, the active and ongoing intervention of medical professionals is usually needed to treat the condition and help patients return to a healthy state. This typically involves the use of medications in combination with a variety other techniques aimed at a holistic approach to reversing the forward progress of any heart condition.
For those who have been diagnosed with advanced stages of heart disease, many heart specialists design a structured treatment program that attacks the underlying condition from a number of different angles. This approach is usually customized to an individual's specific situation, and can involve:
physical therapy – frequently a formal program geared toward rebuilding heart strength
respiratory therapy – implementing various methods of increasing the oxygen supply to the heart
cardiac rehabilitation – an inpatient regime employing a systematic program of supervised techniques aimed at managing heart disease in a clinical atmosphere to maximize the overall effectiveness of each individual therapy
The advantage of a formalized inpatient approach to managing heart disease is that with the expert guidance of trained therapeutic professionals, the cumulative impact of each employed technique is frequently greater than the sum of its parts. Heart patients typically maintain a more disciplined approach to therapies in this type of environment that results in improved results.
In the final analysis, restoring cardiac health often depends upon a conscientious and systematic approach to managing heart disease.