Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. Heart disease is a number of conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart, and can be caused by a number of factors. Early detection and healthy lifestyle behaviors such as, healthy eating and physical activity can help you reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you have heart failure, remember to weigh yourself daily and record your weight. It’s important to check your weight every day to watch for rapid changes. This can be an indicator that you need to get in touch with your primary care provider or health team.
If you have heart failure, limit your fluids to what has been recommended for you. Record how much fluid you drink every day.
Limit the amount of sodium in your diet
Try to avoid foods that are higher in sodium and cook most of your meals at home. Here’s some helpful information on sodium:
Limit alcohol consumption
If you drink alcohol, limit to one standard drink/day.
Eat 2-3 servings of fish high in omega-3 fats per week, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, or trout. Include other food sources of omega-3 fats. For more information on food sources of omega-3 fats, check out:
Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to prevent and manage your heart/cardiovascular condition. For more information on the benefits of physical activity and tips on what you can do, check out the following websites:
Take medications as prescribed
There are several types of heart medications and each works in different ways to decrease the strain on your heart and blood vessels, and to keep blood flowing as it should to allow you to live your best life. When you have questions about your medications, reach out to your primary care provider or pharmacist.
Know who to contact
Call your primary care provider, health team, or 811 to speak with a registered nurse. 811 has information on 500+ health topics.
Stress and heart disease
Stress can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Prolonged stress can result in increased blood pressure, and can also increase the levels of sugar and unhealthy fats in the blood. Stress management is an important part of taking care of heart disease.
Know your signs and symptoms of stress and how you react to it.
Do recognize when you feel stressed and have learned to slow down to improve your self-care?
For more information on stress and other aspects of mental wellness: