...if one is lucky enough to survive, the most important thing for the patient to realize is that "there is something unhealthy about my arteries."
The next question he or she should begin to ask is "how can I enhance the healthiness of my arteries?"
Here are three answers which you might pass along to those you love:
1. BE AWARE of the main risk factors to brain and heart vessel health. Typically, the main risk factors we are able to manage are sub-optimally controlled blood pressure, sub-optimally controlled diabetes, and tobacco exposure. One of these factors, alone, in extreme, provides enough threat to vessel health. Adding them together, in the same person sets the stage for undesirable possibilities - they're all controllable.
For example, when we expose our arteries to extremely high blood pressures, we increase our risk of (brain & heart) vessel attacks, even with ideal blood glucose levels and no tobacco exposure. Commonly (daily), we come across patients with new strokes and heart attacks, who are taking medicines for diabetes and blood pressure, however, are not regularly checking or documenting the effectiveness of these medicines and doses. "Oh, I just get it checked, when I go see the doctor," many people say...
But, when sudden chest pains or weakness develop, patients start to wonder why... Again, much of this is controllable... Undoubtedly, if we are more aware of what the main offenders to artery health, we can take steps to enhance future wellbeing.
2. TAKE ACTION to mitigate the risks brought about by blood pressure, which is too high, blood sugars (glucose) which are too high, and tobacco exposure. Stroke is 90% preventable! I suggest raise your level of ambition, on these matters. If your primary care clinician suggests ideal blood pressure value ranges of 115-125/70-80, then keep monitoring your blood pressures at home daily, until your reach your targets. What about your blood glucose, you ask? Shoot for ideal values, and your vessels will love it!
3. PROMOTE YOUR HEALTH. By mitigating the risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, and tobacco exposure, you are effectively performing the duties of a preventionist, and your efforts should be applauded. However, there's more you can do...
Enhance the health of your arteries, by enhancing the health of the foods you eat. Enjoy more vegetables and fruits, steamed or raw, early and often. Blend in some nuts. Mix in some fish. The combinations of omega-3's and antioxidants will produce qualitatively the kinds of health benefits which reach far beyond the health of your cardiovascular system; all ten of your bodily systems will thank you.
How about some moderate forms of aerobic exercise? Get started with a walk around the block or through the neighborhood. You don't need fancy memberships or equipment. Some comfy shoes, an occasional partner, or earbuds should be all you need create the healthy routine your heart desires.
In summary, surviving a health crisis can bring about some health benefits, if we study what has occurred and learn from the experience. During and immediately after the crisis, medicines and surgery may play the largest role in our well-being. I suggest the hospitalization as one of the best places to meditate on each and every type of therapy there is available. However, any time after hospital discharge seems a great time to get started to make healthy adjustments to enhance your vessel health. Keep the move forward and #keepwinning