The ever increasing stress in present day hectic life schedule makes it really difficult to take out some time for self care. Heart problems have become very common these days. The rate of heart attacks has increased by almost 80%, if studies are to be believed. But, it is not always obligatory to get a surgery done to treat any heart problem. In many cases, it is possible to treat heart problems even without surgery.
One such non-surgical procedure to treat heart problem is angioplasty. The procedure is performed to open up blocked arteries of the heart. During the procedure of angioplasty, the doc inserts a small balloon in the blocked artery with the help of a catheter which is placed in the narrowed artery, more commonly in the groin. Then, the doctor inflates the balloon to expand the artery. Next, he inserts a small metal tube, known as angioplasty stent, to keep the artery open.
Lifestyle Changes after Angioplasty
An angioplasty procedure requires extreme after-care to prevent infections and maintain good heart health. These lifestyle changes take account of an effective exercise routine along with some dietary changes.
Some essential ones are listed below:
As is known, “Easier said than done.” Similarly it is as difficult to avoid stress as easy to say or suggest anyone to avoid stress. The hectic schedules, competitive job targets, and maintaining the social status – whether you can afford or not. But, it is important that you find effective ways to relax yourself to recover quickly from angioplasty. You can ask your doctors about techniques to reduce stress.
Maintain Healthy Weight
Obesity or being overweight is one of the major causes of any heart problem. Therefore, if you have gone through angioplasty or any other heart treatment, it is important that you work on maintaining healthy body weight. You can speak to your doctor about healthy options to reduce weight.
Be Physically Active
It is a misconception that you need physical rest after angioplasty and avoid extra stress on heart. But, mind you! If you have had angioplasty, it is essential that you stay physically active through light regular exercise or any other physical activity. Regular physical activity helps to strengthen the heart muscles to reduce the risk of heart disease again.
It is wise to consult a doctor before starting any of the exercises you used to do before the procedure. You can begin with mild non-strenuous exercise to avoid unnecessary stress on the already weakened circulatory system.
Some useful tips on exercise after angioplasty are:
- Follow a well-rounded program
- Start slow initially
- Divide your exercise routine into different sections of the day
- Aim at two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical workout
- Find a physical activity that interests you
- Exercise in groups
- Keep a track of your progress
Alter your Diet
Healthy dietary changes are very important after angioplasty. The main changes include reducing the intake of salt, saturated fats, and trans-fat. It is rather better to go for fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products.
Some other recommendations for dietary changes are:
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables make an efficient source of potassium, an essential mineral to mitigate the effects of sodium and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Some must have fruits and veggies include pears, apples, tomatoes, leafy greens, bell peppers, and carrots for being stacked with carotenoids and all essential vitamins.
- Reduce Sodium Intake
In addition to turning to a low-fat diet, it is also important to reduce the intake of sodium. The underlying reason is that sodium causes fluid retention and can build-up around the heart thus causing heart failure. The daily recommendation for sodium intake ranges between 1500 and 2300 mg. Avoid processed foods to avoid sodium intake. Check labels for content of sodium. Another way to reduce sodium intake is by cooking with fresh ingredients.
In addition to the above dietary changes, it is also important to avoid certain foods as a part of dietary changes after angioplasty. These include:
- Avoid Processed Meats
The list of processed meats to avoid after angioplasty includes hot dogs and deli meats. These are stacked with nitrates, sodium, and similar preservatives that are not good for your heart health.
- Avoid Foods and Drinks with Added Sugar
Check labels on drinks to check the intake of extra sugar. Also, try and keep away from candies, jelly and desserts.
- Trans Fats and Saturated Fats
These unhealthy fats may slow down the recovery after angioplasty. Limit saturated fats’ intake through cream, butter, cheese, fatty red meat, and poultry skin.
- Processed and Refined Grains
Processed foods are void of nutrients. Therefore, go for unprocessed and whole grains.