Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep your heart strong. It can also help you feel better and give you more energy. Besides finding a safe way to stay active, healthy habits include:
- Eating healthy: Choose heart-healthy foods, including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
- Managing stress: Find healthy ways to lower stress (deep breathing, listening to music, journaling).
- Watching your alcohol intake: Ask what amount of alcohol is safe. Too much can trigger irregular heart rhythms and make blood flow in the heart worse.
- Keeping up with follow-up appointments and heart tests: Together, these will help you and your care team know if more needs to be done to manage your condition and avoid complications. Remember to ask for a flu shot each year.
It also can be helpful to:
- Talk with other people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Know that in most cases, people can continue work, but if your job involves a lot of strenuous activity and lifting, you should discuss this with your care team
- Find safe ways to stay active
- Ask about vigorous physical activity, including sex; many people are hesitant to talk about this, but you may also be avoiding intimacy, which can affect your relationships
- Remember that you have a whole team behind you to answer questions and help put your mind at ease; you will need ongoing follow-up and tests, but that can also provide reassurance that you are being closely followed
- Talk openly with your family about the condition, as well as about when and how to screen for it in others
- Look into meeting with a genetic counselor to talk about concerns of genetic testing: How might results affect health insurance or life insurance?
- Remember that information on the Internet is not always accurate; talk with your care team about your condition and any worries you have