In some cases, inflammation and narrowed arteries caused by underlying heart disease can cause sick sinus syndrome. Your doctor may suggest that, in addition to other treatments, you make lifestyle changes that will keep your heart as healthy as possible.
Take the following steps to treat or eliminate risk factors that may lead to heart disease:
May 13, 2014
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Live a heart-healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a healthy, low-fat diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease.
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol.
- Don't smoke. If you smoke and can't quit on your own, talk to your doctor about strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit.
- If you drink, do so in moderation. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. For some conditions it's recommended that you completely avoid alcohol. Ask your doctor for advice specific to your condition. If you can't control your alcohol use, talk to your doctor about a program to quit drinking and manage other behaviors related to alcohol abuse.
- Don't use illegal drugs. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate program for you if you need help ending illegal drug use.
- Control stress. Avoid unnecessary stress and learn coping techniques to handle normal stress in a healthy way.
- Go to scheduled checkups. Have regular physical exams and report any signs or symptoms to your doctor.
- Zipes DP, et al. Cardiac Elecrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Sinus node dysfunction. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/arrhythmias_and_conduction_disorders/sinus_node_dysfunction.html. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Lau CP, et al. Prospective randomized study to assess the efficacy of site and rate of atrial pacing on long-term progression of atrial fibrillation in sick sinus syndrome: Septal pacing for atrial fibrillation suppression evaluation (SAFE) study. Circulation. 2013;128:687.
- Cheng A. Diagnosis and evaluation of the sick sinus syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Cheng A. Manifestations and causes of the sick sinus syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Semelka M, et al. Sick sinus syndrome: A review. American Family Physician. 2013;87:691.
- What is a pacemaker? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pace/. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Tracy CM, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused update incorporated into the ACCF/AHA/HRS 2008 guidelines for device-based therapy of cardiac rhythm abnormalities. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013;61:e6.
- Non-surgical procedures for atrial fibrillation (Fib or AF). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Non-surgical-Procedures-for-Atrial-Fibrillation-Fib-or-AF_UCM_423782_Article.jsp. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.
- Your guide to a healthy heart. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/your_guide/yg_hh.htm. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.