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The Importance of Managing Vascular Disease
If you have the clogged or narrowed arteries that are typical of heart disease, then lifestyle changes — not to mention working closely with your doctor — are the keys to healing.
Hearing that you have atherosclerosis, or clogged or narrowed arteries, from your doctor can be quite frightening. Atherosclerosis puts you at risk for more serious heart problems like heart attack and stroke.
Fortunately, there is some good news about vascular disease, said Charles Stephens, MD, a family medicine physician at the New Ulm Medical Center: There are a lot of steps that you can take on your own to control the disease and reverse your risks. These include simple changes to your diet, your exercise routine and more.
“Keeping the condition under control slows, stops and even reverses the build-up of this plaque and is the best way we know of preventing heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and peripheral artery disease,” said Stephens.
Having a close, open relationship with your doctor is also critical to your long-term health when facing a diagnosis of vascular disease. “Treatment with medications means working with your health care provider,” said Stephens. “The more you know and trust him or her, the better you can work out how best to treat and monitor your treatments. Jumping around to different doctors increases the chance of having too many medications prescribed and not dealing with possible side effects well.”
For other tips for managing vascular disease, check out the simple strategies outlined below:
Know the Types
Step number one in protecting yourself against vascular disease is to know the diseases involved. Some common, but very serious, cardiovascular diseases include:
Recognize the Warning Signs
You might have a vascular problem if you have:
Take Steps to Protect Your Health
Of course, the best way to fight potentially deadly vascular diseases is to prevent them in the first place. Here’s how:
Source: Health Edition September 2011
Reviewed by: Charles Stephens, MD
First Published: 09/09/2011
Last Reviewed: 09/09/2011