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HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential in the management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Eating a nutritious, well balanced diet, avoiding nutrient-poor foods, and regular physical activity are the key components of heart healthy living. 

 

Dieting should be avoided

Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients you need. Fruits and vegetables in their natural state (raw, steamed, boiled or fresh) provide the most benefits.  Nutrient-poor foods such as french fries, donuts and soda should be avoided.

 

A healthy lifestyle should be the goal

While healthy eating is important, physical activity and stress reduction are also key components in the management of HCM. Light to moderate aerobic activity (walking, hiking, biking or light jogging) is a great way to improve blood cholesterol levels, manage high blood pressure, keep weight under control, boost energy and reduce stress.

 

Stay hydrated

It is essential to stay well hydrated. Patients with HCM should always try to maintain a steady fluid balance because dehydration can cause an increase in symptoms.  Patients with HCM must avoid competitive sports, sports that require bursts of activity, and isometric exercise such power weight lifting and bodybuilding. Additionally, exercising in extremes of weather should be avoided.

 

Heart Healthy Food Tips

Natural foods are best. Avoid processed foods.

 
Fruits and Vegetables:

• Eat 6-8 fruits and vegetables a day, most preferable in their fresh, natural state (raw, steamed or boiled).

• The best carbohydrates are from fruits and vegetables.

 
Protein Sources:

• Plant proteins; soy, nuts, beans, legumes

• Fish, tofu, egg whites, organic or omega fortified whole eggs

• Poultry

 
Fats:

• Everyone needs fat.

• Increase unsaturated fats such as small amounts of walnuts or avocado.

• Eliminate trans fats/saturated fats such as potato chips, red meat and margarine.

• Avoid high heat cooking of oils since high temperatures can change good fat into bad fat.

• Canola oil is better than olive oil (olive oil has 15% saturated fat).

• Limit fat from dairy including milk, cheese and yogurt. Make low-fat or non-fat choices.

• Food items with longer shelf lives are more likely to have a higher amount of saturated fat.

 
Healthy snacks:

• Make your own trail mix with dried fruit, nuts and raisins.

• Raw fruits and vegetables like carrot sticks or apple slices.

• Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are also found in red wine, certain fruits, vegetables, and teas.  The recommended dose of 1 ounce per day can increase blood flow in arteries, reduce the chance of blood clots, decrease LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

 

No dieting! A healthy lifestyle is the goal.

Exercise Tips

• Regular physical activity helps maintain weight.

• The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 days a week.  Our physicians recommend 60 minutes of moderate activity 7 days a week. •Begin with 30 minutes of walking and increase by 10 minutes every week with a goal of 1 hour. Walking for 60 minutes at 4 miles per hour every day is ideal exercise that will reduce the chance of developing obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis.

• If diagnosed with HCM, strenuous activity, competitive sports and isometric exercise should be avoided. Talk to your doctor about specific restrictions regarding physical activity.

 

Stress Reduction Tips

• Incorporate quiet time, meditation or prayer into daily routine.

• Adequate sleep for an adult is 7-8 hours while children require more sleep depending on their age.

• Limit light exposure in the room while sleeping or prior to falling asleep since darkness aids melatonin production which helps regulate the sleep and wake cycles.

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Apex: the tip of the heart near the left ventricle

Arrhythmia:an irregular heartbeat

Autosomal dominant: a pattern of inheritance giving individuals a 50/50 chance of inheriting a disease

Bradycardia:a heart rate slower than normal for age

Cardiomyopathy: a disease of the heart muscle

Defibrillator: a small device that is implanted under the skin which can detect life-threatening rhythms and deliver an electrical shock to the heart to return it to a normal rhythm

Endocarditis: aninfection of the heart valves

Fatigue: tiredness that doesn’t resolve with sleep or rest

Heart failure: a condition in which the heart is unable to pump effectively

Heart transplant: an intervention used atend-stage of HCM that requires the removal of the diseased heart replaced by a healthy heart

Hypertrophic:an enlargement

Interventricular septum: tissue separating the left side of the heart from the right side.

Left Atrium: the left upper chamber of the heart

Left ventricle (LV): the left lower chamber of the heart responsible for pumping blood to the body

Left posterior free wall: the outside wall of the left ventricle

Melatonin: a hormone produced by the body

Mitral valve: the valve that separates the left upper and lower chambers of the heart

Mutated gene: a permanent change in the DNA sequence

Myectomy: a procedure that requires removal of thickened tissue

Myocarditis:an inflammation in the heart muscle

Pacemaker: a device implanted under the skin that monitors the rhythm of the heart

Papillary muscle:tiny muscle fibers that help anchor the mitral valve and assist in opening and closing the valve

Palpitation:a single or multiple irregular beat felt by the patient

Pedigree:  a line of ancestors and descendents

Right atrium: the right upper chamber of the heart

Right ventricle (RV):the right upper chamber of the heart responsible for pumping blood to the lungs

Stroke: occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted

Syncope: a temporary loss of consciousness (fainting)

Tachycardia:a heart rate faster than normal for age

Ventricular tachycardia– a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia   

 

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