Have you received a heart disease diagnosis from your doctor?
Getting this diagnosis can feel devastating. What heart disease causes contributed to this? How did you not catch on beforehand?
Most of the time, heart disease is manageable through medication and improving heart health with lifestyle changes, but how are you supposed to know how to move forward?
We’re here with some advice. Keep reading for 5 questions that you should ask your doctor after your diagnosis.
1. What Kind of Heart Disease Is It?
Not all types of heart disease are the same. If your doctor hasn’t been specific, don’t be afraid to ask for details.
Different types of heart disease will have different prognoses, different levels of severity, and different recovery plans (which we’ll touch on later). Even if your doctor gives you a specific name, ask what your type of heart disease means for you.
2. How Should I Exercise?
Most doctors will recommend an exercise routine as part of your new lifestyle, but depending on the nature of your heart disease, they may have specific recommendations.
Nearly always, they’ll instruct you to pace yourself. If you have heart disease, you need to make sure that you don’t strain your heart. “Pacing yourself” is different for everyone.
Ask your doctor about both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
3. Do I Need to Change My Diet?
Similar to exercise, a new and improved diet is often part of lifestyle changes that you’ll have to make after a heart disease diagnosis.
If you’ve been eating a lot of sugary and fatty foods, your doctor will likely ask you to limit them. They may suggest that you cut out red meat or excess salt as well.
Your doctor may give you a specific diet plan to follow to help you with your heart disease management journey.
4. How Will This Affect My Daily Life?
You might be wondering how your new diagnosis is going to affect your day-to-day. This is the perfect thing to talk to your doctor about.
Sometimes, heart disease doesn’t have obvious symptoms that will interrupt your daily life. That said, you may need to make some changes to avoid straining your heart.
If your workplace causes you too much stress, you may need to make adjustments. If you have an active sex life, your doctor may ask you to tread with caution.
This may feel like a difficult conversation, but make sure you talk to your doctor about every feature of your life that you think your heart disease can impact.
5. What Is My Treatment Plan?
Most forms of heart disease will require some form of a treatment plan. This may include medication, surgery, rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes (among other things). Remember, heart disease treatments vary.
When you receive your diagnosis, ask your doctor about what steps you need to take to begin treatment. What should you expect in the future? Does treatment lead to complete recovery?
Getting this information ahead of time will prepare you and put you at ease. Learn more about rehabilitation for heart disease now.
Ask These Questions After Your Heart Disease Diagnosis
Your heart disease diagnosis is scary, but don’t be afraid to ask for more information. Your doctor wants you to be in good health and they’ll be happy to provide you with all of the answers you need.
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