Arrhythmia is a blanket term for a number of conditions that result in the irregular beating of the heart. It can raise the chance of strokes and heart attacks significantly, which makes it a serious concern. Particularly for those who are into exercise and raising their heartbeat. However, it doesn’t make an active healthy lifestyle impossible. Here’s how you cope with it.
You may not be entirely sure yet whether you suffer from arrhythmia. If you have a suspicion, it’s best to get an idea what the symptoms are before getting overly concerned. However, if any of your symptoms include pain in the chest or palpitations, you will need to get yourself to the doctor no matter what. Other ways to test is by finding your pulse and counting your heart rate. A racing or slow heartbeat could also mean you need to get checked out. Shortness of breath, dizziness and sweating can be signs of arrhythmia, but not conclusively. If you faint or suffer near-fainting regularly, you should also get checked out. Again, if any of these symptoms are experienced frequently, you need to see a doctor.
Find out your treatment options
If you are worried that you suffer from arrhythmia, you want to see a specialist quickly to get your treatment options laid out in front of you. You can find one on AbbottEP.com or ask your doctor to recommend you. There are a lot of different kinds of arrhythmia. Some may be relatively tame whereas others can be life threatening without treatment. There are a lot of different treatment options, from lifestyle adjustment to fitting a pacemaker. It’s best to get to a specialist as soon as possible to know what the best foot forward is.
Getting used to doctor visits
If you have an arrhythmia, your doctor will likely tell you that it’s important you visit often. Especially if you feel a change in your condition. Make these trips to your specialist or doctor as effective as possible. Take a list of all medicines you’re on to your doctor. That way, they can better see what to prescribe you and prevent any combination from having harmful interactions. Check with your doctor before getting any over-the-counter medications. Even cold and flu medicines, which can prove a danger to those with arrhythmia. Be candid with any side effects from medication prescribed as well.
Part of a healthy life with arrhythmia is using the right nutrition to build a healthy heart and fight what could be an increased risk of stroke. Sites like Everydayhealth.com have a lot of tips for your diet. As you might expect, one of the most important ways of doing this is by eating a lot less processed foods. Processed foods are one of the leading contributors to a high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are other, specifically, heart healthy foods to look out for. For example, salmon and other fatty fish are rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids but low in the more harmful saturated fats. Every seven ounces of fruit and veg a day can decrease your risk of a stroke by 32%, too.
It will depend on the type and severity of arrhythmia, but it’s likely you will have to adjust how much exercise you get and how you get it. Your doctor will provide more specific details for you. Your doctor can help you organise a fitness exam to see how much stress your body can safely take. If you have to cut out on the intense intervals of training, consider things like walking groups. Spread your exercise over a longer time. Learn to check your pulse for signs of trouble. If you wear a pacemaker, avoid contact sports that can damage the device.
Cut the bad habits
You already know the kind of habits that you should be avoiding. All the ‘vices’ you know are unhealthy are specifically bad for your heart. We’ve mentioned cutting processed foods. Smoking is another that you can fight by using things like e-cigarettes or nicotine patches. You don’t have to abandon the pleasure of a drink, but you do need to do it in moderation. Stick to the safe drinking limit and make it a rarer occurrence. One habit that fewer people consider is not having breakfast. If you want to avoid overeating, it’s an important part of getting your metabolism and blood sugar levels on an even field for the rest of the day. That means fewer cravings.
Some with arrhythmia might get concerned about doing any exercise at all. They might think it safer to sit still entirely. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maintaining a low weight through your diet isn’t enough. Neglecting exercise builds visceral fat around your organs. This can be particularly stressful on your heart. Even if you’re concerned about pushing yourself too hard, you should get up, walk and be more active throughout the day. So long as you’re able to monitor your heart rate and stop at the first symptom of your arrhythmia acting up, you should be fine.
Your emotional health is intrinsically linked to your physical health. That’s especially true when it comes to stress and your heart. So you need to find new ways to deal with the natural stress that happens in everyday life. For example, some might think that ‘letting it all out’ deals with stress, but the opposite is true. It builds it up and even makes aggressive displays of stress a more likely occurrence in future. Helpguide.org recommends avoiding stress and expressing your feelings calmly when you do encounter them. Most importantly, besides the tips above, get your sleep. Staying up too late and getting little sleep makes you produce more cortisol, the stress hormone.
As you can see, the idea that arrhythmia makes a healthy style impossible couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, making healthier choices including exercise is actually good for you. Just make sure you have a specialist who can help you craft your health plans to the condition.