Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you're diagnosed with Eisenmenger syndrome, you can still lead an active life with proper treatment and precautions.

  • Check with your doctor about exercise restrictions. While you shouldn't perform strenuous exercise or sports, you may be able to do less intense physical activities. Talk to your doctor about what type of physical activity is appropriate for you.
  • Avoid high altitudes. Because of the low oxygen levels at high altitudes, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend against living at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) or higher above sea level. Discuss travel by airplane or to high altitudes with your cardiologist for specific recommendations.
  • Avoid situations that can excessively lower blood pressure. These include sitting in a hot tub or sauna or taking long hot baths or showers. These activities lower your blood pressure and cause fainting or even death. You should also avoid activities that cause prolonged straining, such as lifting heavy objects or weights.
  • Be cautious with any medications and supplements. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications or supplements may increase or decrease blood pressure, increase risk of bleeding or blood clots, or affect kidney function in patients who have Eisenmenger syndrome. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or medications.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke and quit using tobacco products. Cigarette smoke and other tobacco products can cause further damage to your lungs' arteries and increase your risk of developing complications.

Coping and support

Whether you or your child has been diagnosed with Eisenmenger syndrome, it's natural to worry about health concerns, even after treatment. Although treatments can help your symptoms and improve your prognosis, you may feel stressed or nervous about your condition.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you cope with an Eisenmenger syndrome diagnosis and treatment:

  • Emotional difficulties. Being diagnosed with Eisenmenger syndrome is life-changing. You may need to alter your plans to have a family, and you may find yourself nervous that your condition will worsen.

    If your child has been diagnosed with Eisenmenger syndrome, he or she may feel insecure and may have emotional difficulties as he or she reaches school age. Talk to your doctor or your child's doctor about ways you can cope with these problems, which may include support groups, or a visit to a therapist or psychologist.

  • Developmental difficulties for children. Because some children who have congenital heart defects and Eisenmenger syndrome may have had a long recovery time from surgeries or procedures, they may developmentally lag behind other children their age. Some children's difficulties may last into their school years, and they may have difficulties learning to read or write, as well.

    Talk to your child's doctor about ways to help your child through his or her developmental difficulties.

  • Support groups. A serious medical problem for you or your child isn't easy and, depending on the severity of your condition, may be very difficult and frightening. You may find that talking with others who've been through the same situation brings you comfort and encouragement. Ask your doctor or your child's doctor if there are any local support groups.
Jan. 26, 2016
References
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