People turn to alternative treatments — which can really be defined as anything other than modern medicine — for all sorts of medical conditions. Heart attacks are no exception.
A word on natural therapies
Are natural and alternative treatments potentially as good as modern medicine, or perhaps even better? There is not that much evidence in this direction, but that doesn't mean that alternative treatments to help you recover from a heart attack haven't been studied at all.
For example, a research review conducted back in 2004 found that yoga as part of heart attack recovery might help promote a healthier body and mind. Other evidence has suggested that meditation reduces stress as well as heart-related pain.
All-natural lifestyle changes to help you recover faster and better after a heart attack
You can try a variety of different things to help you recover after a heart attack:
- Stress management is one of the most important natural therapies that you should consider because stress is one of the risk factors for a heart attack that plenty of people neglect. Stress indirectly contributes to heart attacks in a number of ways. It’s not uncommon mentally-exhausted people to turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking too much alcohol, taking drugs, having irregular and unhealthy sleeping schedules, developing eating disorders, or not being in the mood to work out. Stress management techniques can take many different forms, such as meditation, yoga, and seeing a therapist.
- Eating properly is a to-do on every heart attack survivor’s list. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you get your cholesterol and weight levels back on track. A diet that revolves around heart health doesn't necessarily have to be a tasteless one — contrary to what some people may think, a heart-healthy diet involves replacing a few dangerous foods with healthier versions. For instance, you can choose lean cuts instead of meat that’s rich in fat, you can replace fast food treats with tasty home-cooked meals, regular pasta with whole grain, sunflower oil with olive oil, and sugar with fruit.
- If you are overweight, you will first have to follow a strict diet to you lose a few pounds. Then, you can switch to a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to maintain that ideal weight. But, at first, you might have to give up some of the foods you like to stay healthy. Just a few pounds less can reduce the risk of a heart attack by about 10 percent.
- Regular exercise is also considered a natural therapy for people who have suffered a heart attack. There are plenty of benefits to exercising: it can help lower your blood pressure, fight overweight and obesity, and lower cholesterol levels. The best part is that exercise for a healthier heart doesn’t even have to be tiring. If you can exercise for 30 minutes per day, five times per week, you are already making a difference in your heart’s health. However, you need to make sure that your heart can handle the challenge, so either talk to your doctor about safe exercises or join a cardiac rehabilitation program where you learn exactly how to tackle life after a heart attack.
What about natural remedies after a heart attack?
Some people try natural remedies to improve their healthy after a heart attack, to cut their bad cholesterol levels and improve their good cholesterol intake for instance.
Some examples of natural remedies (some of which have some scientific evidence to suggest they can really lead to a healthier heart) include:
- Coenzyme Q-10. This is an antioxidant that doctors believe might be worth a shot. Coenzyme Q-10 is native to your body’s tissue and can help with energy growth. Different studies into the efficiency of CoQ10 have led to different results, with some finding that CoQ10 can make the blood vessels more flexible, which can improve blood flow and blood pressure to the heart.
- Vitamin K2. According to a study conducted in 2014, it turns out that diets rich in this vitamin can reduce death in people who are at great risk for heart disease. Specifically, Vitamin K2 is believed to stop bloodstream calcium from creating deposits on the inner lining of the coronary artery walls. Research suggests that people who lack K2 are more likely to have higher amounts of calcium in their arteries, which leads to narrow blood vessels.
- Red yeast rice. Quite the controversial supplement, red yeast rice is now popular for its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. In fact, some people say that this is a natural statin drug.
While integrating different therapies and natural treatments into your recovery after a heart attack isn’t a bad idea, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders, and not shun modern medicine completely. To make sure everything goes as planned, talk to your doctor to make sure your heart isn’t too vulnerable for whatever you are hoping to try.