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6 Side Effects Your Loved One Might Experience After a Heart Attack

February 24th, 2016

Elder Care in Loxahatchee FL

Elder Care in Loxahatchee FLHaving a heart attack is scary for your loved one, but there might be some side effects afterward that might be frightening, too. Every heart attack is different, of course, so your loved one might not experience all of these symptoms. It helps to know what to expect, though.
Tiredness and Weakness

Your loved one's body has been through quite an ordeal, so it's natural for him to be extremely tired and maybe even an little weakened after a heart attack. Rest is essential, but your loved one's doctor will likely also recommend some light exercise. This helps your loved one's body to recover and can help him to sleep better at night.
Shortness of Breath

Your loved one's circulatory system is closely tied in with his lungs. As a result, he's likely to be short of breath quite often until his body heals some. Your loved one's doctor may prescribe exercise to help build up your loved one's pulmonary strength. If your loved one experiences sudden shortness of breath or has difficulty breathing for longer than a few weeks, your loved one's doctor may need to run additional tests.
Edema in the Legs

Swelling in the legs, also called edema, often happens after a heart attack because circulation isn't all that great. Your loved one's doctor may prescribe medication, compression socks, or other treatments. It can help to prop his feet up when he's sitting and exercise can be helpful as well.
Unusual Heart Rhythms

A heart attack causes your loved one's usual heart rhythms to change, and some of that might stick around for a little while after the heart attack is officially over. Your loved one might feel these as palpitations or he might not notice them at all. Your loved one might also think he feels his heart changing rhythms, even if it isn't. If you or your loved one are worried at all about any arrhythmia, be sure to mention it to his doctor so that tests can be run.
Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are also common after a heart attack. Your loved one might be worried that he'll have another heart attack or that he won't be able to do any of the activities that he loves anymore. Journaling is a good way to work through these feelings, but he may need more than that. Keep his doctor apprised in case there are other treatments that your loved one might benefit from.
Sleep Problems

Your loved one might have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep after having had a heart attack. Part of the problem can be lingering pain and discomfort or your loved one might be stressed out about the idea of sleeping. Sleeping is essential in order to heal properly, though, so work with your loved one's doctor to find the right solution to any sleep problems.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Loxahatchee, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.

Topics: Heart Health