Coronary Artery Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Living With Heart Disease
A diagnosis of coronary artery disease can be hard to accept and understand. If you don't have symptoms, it may be especially hard to recognize that heart disease is serious and can lead to other health problems.
It's important to talk with your doctor to learn about the disease and what you can do to help manage it and prevent it from getting worse.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can delay and maybe even reverse heart disease. Quitting smoking, eating a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet, and getting regular exercise are the most important steps you can take to keep your disease from getting worse. For more information, see:
For more information on how to make healthy lifestyle changes, see the Prevention section of this topic.
Most people are able to control angina (chest pain or discomfort) by taking medicines as prescribed and nitroglycerin when needed. To learn more, see the topic Quick Tips: Taking Charge of Your Angina.
Dealing with depression and stress
Depression and heart disease are linked. People with heart disease are more likely to get depressed. And if a person has both depression and heart disease, they may not stay as healthy as possible. This can make depression and heart disease worse.
Stress and anger can also hurt your heart. They might make your symptoms worse. Try different ways to reduce stress such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. For more tips on how to manage stress, see:
Support can help
Whether you are recovering from a heart attack or changing your lifestyle so you can avoid one, emotional support from friends and family is important. Think about joining a heart disease support group. Ask your doctor about the types of support that are available where you live. Meeting other people with the same problems can help you know you're not alone.
A cardiac rehabilitation program can also provide support. The rehab team can help you make new, healthy habits, such as eating right and getting more exercise. For more information, see the topic Cardiac Rehabilitation.
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