Rosey Gilliam, MD
If you have or are at risk for heart disease, you don’t have to become a health guru to manage your condition. There are small steps you can take toward protecting your heart and managing heart disease. Rosey Gilliam, MD, Palmetto Heart, offers these tips:
- Check your blood pressure and weight daily and record them. Keeping a daily record of these numbers allows you to see when they are fluctuating, which is important to talk to your doctor about. Also, keeping these records yourself rather than waiting to go to the doctor before you check them can help catch problems sooner.
- Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. Physical activity can work wonders for your overall health, not just your heart! Find an activity that you love to do to make exercise feel more like fun and less like a chore.
- Do not smoke. If you currently smoke, get help to quit smoking. You can talk to your doctor about how to quit, or attend one of Prisma Health’s smoking cessation programs.
- If you are diabetic, control your blood sugars. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health complications, including heart attacks. You can control your blood sugar levels by testing your blood sugar regularly, taking your prescribed medication to treat high blood sugars, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.
- Prepare for doctor’s appointments by bringing your medications and a list of questions. Together, you and your doctor create a personalized plan to prevent or treat heart disease. If there is something in this plan that you don’t understand, or you are unsure about when you should be taking prescribed medication, it’s important that you ask your doctor. A miscommunication can hurt your health, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
The best part about following this advice is it can also reduce your risk for other diseases, such as cancer or diabetes. Heart disease may be one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., but you do not have to accept this as your fate. Listen to your doctor, take medications as directed and take these steps toward protecting your heart from heart disease.
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