Manage Common Heart and Lung Conditions
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that affects your heart or lungs, it’s important that you take the right steps to manage your condition. Below are examples of common heart and lung conditions and suggestions for taking control of your health.
The major factors causing heart and lung diseases are smoking cigarettes, obesity, and an increase in your cholesterol level. There also are many other factors, which include a lack of sleep, increased level of stress, and improper eating habits. These factors can worsen the conditions of individuals that already have heart and lung diseases. Many varieties of lung problems can cause chest pain, including disorders of the lungs, such as asthma or bronchitis, infection of the lungs (pneumonia), and inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy).
Asthma is a long-term disease of the airways in the lung. It can’t be spread to others and has nothing to do with how you were raised. Sometimes, more than one person in a family suffers from asthma. Understanding how your lungs work will help you understand more about controlling your asthma.
Asthma is a lung disease that makes breathing difficult for nearly 23 million Americans, including 7 million children. Taking control of your asthma begins with working actively with your health-care professional to develop a plan for managing your symptoms. You should identify your asthma triggers and learn simple ways to limit your exposure or avoid them altogether. You should also understand all of your medications or if you can benefit from the use of a peak flow meter.
Control my asthma? Use my inhaled Devices?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common preventable and treatable lung disease that causes problems with breathing. Patients with COPD have trouble pushing used air out of their lungs, making it difficult to take in healthy new air. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Although there is no cure for COPD, symptoms can be controlled to improve a patient’s quality of life. The lung and airway damage cannot be repaired, but all of the symptoms of COPD can be reduced
Improve my condition?
- Stop smoking
- Exercise and good nutrition
- Make sure you get a flu (influenza) and pneumonia vaccination
- Understand your medications and treatment plan
- Reduce stress
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If blood pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
To learn more about HBP, go to:
Lower my blood pressure?
- Eat a better diet which may include reducing salt
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage stress
You can reduce high cholesterol levels by eating healthier, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking. You should also educate yourself on the difference between good and bad fats. Bad fats raise your low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. If lifestyle changes are not enough, speak with your doctor about cholesterol-lowering medications and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. About 1 of every 6 adult Americans has high blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Lower my cholesterol?
- Get a blood test.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don't smoke.
- Treat high cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care provider about the best ways to reduce your heart disease risk.
Sleep apnea affects the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. When untreated, breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow, up to hundreds of times each night. The prevalence of sleep apnea is on par with diabetes and asthma. More than 20 million Americans are estimated to have some degree of obstructive sleep apnea. However, only a fraction have been diagnosed and treated. To treat sleep apnea, you can start with lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding certain foods and sedatives before bedtime, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule. You may also need medical treatment in the form of continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, technology. The CPAP device is a machine that connects to a mask and provides a constant pressure of air to keep your breathing passages open while you sleep.
Sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of automobile crashes. Sleep apnea can be life threatening and you should consult your doctor immediately if you feel you may suffer from it.
ive with sleep apnea?
If you have mild sleep apnea, some changes in daily activities or habits may be all the treatment you need. Avoid alcohol and medicines that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you sleep. Lose weight if you're overweight or obese. Even a little weight loss can improve your symptoms. Sleep on your side instead of your back to help keep your throat open. You can sleep with special pillows or shirts that prevent you from sleeping on your back. Keep your nasal passages open at night with nasal sprays or allergy medicines, if needed. Talk with your doctor about whether these treatments might help you. If you smoke, quit. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking.
Receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer can be overwhelming. You will need to obtain basic information to help you understand your diagnosis and talk with your doctor about your treatment options.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. About 170,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. The greatest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. About 80% of people with lung cancer have smoked. Many of them have smoked for a number of years. Most other risk factors include having a blood relative with lung cancer. People who are exposed to second hand smoke, toxic chemicals, such as radon, diesel fuel exhaust, asbestos, and other chemicals are also at greater risk. There are two major types of lung cancer: Small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.
How Can I Learn More About Lung Cancer Research and Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials offer many advantages to people undergoing cancer treatment. There are also many active clinical research studies currently underway. To learn more about these, you can go to: www.emergingmed.com/networks/CancerCare/