yourself. Think and act proactively. Learn about your condition, treatment
options, and the steps you can take to make your therapy a success. Take responsibility
for doing all you can to positively affect your health.
the right healthcare provider. This is one of the most important health decisions
you'll make. Ask friends and health providers for recommendations. Check the healthcare
provider's background. Follow your intuition. Don't go to a healthcare provider if you
have doubts about his or her training, track record, or manner. What's most important is
that you communicate well and that he or she understands you and your concerns. This may
become a lifelong relationship.
most of your healthcare visits. Write down a list of your concerns before your
appointment. Ask your most important questions first. Make sure you fully understand the
answers given. Ask for explanations if needed.
your healthcare provider's instructions. For example, your provider may advise
you to quit smoking or stop using other tobacco products. Or they may advise you to
lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and control diabetes. You may be advised to
eat a low-fat diet and get to a healthy weight. You may need to limit alcohol, reduce
stress, and exercise regularly. Making these lifestyle changes may help make your heart
disease better. These may lower your chances of a heart attack or stroke. It's important
to work with your provider to figure out changes that you can make to your life.
Know your medicines. Heart disease is a long-term
(chronic) condition that's treated with different medicines. These medicines keep your
blood pressure and cholesterol under control. The medicines also prevent or ease
symptoms. It's important that you know what medicines you are taking. Know the doses and
how often you take them. Also know the side effects that are common with certain
medicines. Ask your healthcare provider what to do if you miss a dose. Ask when you
should not take certain medicines. Ask these same questions any time you are prescribed
a new medicine. Some heart disease medicines can have serious interactions with other
medicines. This could cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Or it could cause your
heart medicine s not to work as well.