In addition to other treatments, your doctor will likely recommend that you adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. You doctor may advise that you:
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, stop. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation strategies.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can damage the lining of your arteries and increase your risk of developing myocardial ischemia.
- Manage underlying health conditions. Treat diseases or conditions that can increase your risk of myocardial ischemia, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat a healthy diet with limited amounts of saturated fat, lots of whole grains, and many fruits and vegetables. Know your cholesterol numbers and ask your doctor if you've reduced them to the recommended level.
- Exercise. Exercise can improve blood flow to your heart. Talk to your doctor about starting a safe exercise plan.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, talk to your doctor about weight-loss options.
- Decrease stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy techniques for managing stress, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, remember the importance of regular medical checkups. Some of the main risk factors for myocardial ischemia — high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes — have no symptoms in the early stages. Early detection and treatment can set the stage for a lifetime of better heart health.
March 06, 2014
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/PreventionTreatmentofHeartAttack/Silent-Ischemia-and-Ischemic-Heart-Disease_UCM_434092_Article.jsp. Accessed Oct. 17, 2013.
- Fihn SD, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA/ACP/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2012;30:e44.
- Podrid PJ. Pathophysiology and clinical presentation of ischemic chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Fuster V, ed. et al. Hurst's The Heart. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- What are coronary heart disease risk factors? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hd/printall-index.html. Accessed Oct. 17, 2013.
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