Moving forward: vital post-SCA health tips
Anyone can experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at any time. Unfortunately, without immediate treatment, a dismal 5-10 percent of people survive this terrible affliction.
But for those who are lucky enough to survive this dreadful condition, it is imperative that we work towards improving our lives to reduce the risk of experiencing it again in the future.
Through setting healthy goals, finding the right support networks and making a few lifestyle changes, we can reduce the risk of experiencing it again:
1. Find support
Alongside purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED), which can help you in the unfortunate event of SCA, it is important to find a support network who can help you regain your life post-experience. Unfortunately, 30,000 Australians will experience SCA each year, and many are just like you, looking for a support network to help them regain their lives.
You can find numerous resources for post-SCA support, and be sure to reach out to loved ones to provide you with the love and support you need to move forward after your SCA.
2. Move towards a healthier lifestyle
Regardless of whether your lifestyle contributed to the SCA or not, there are always ways we can improve our health to ensure we don’t experience something nasty like this again.
Some lifestyle changes we can make include:
- Eat fibre-rich foods like fruit and vegetables whilst keeping animal proteins to a minimum;
- Work towards a healthier weight range if this was a contributing factor;
- Stop smoking;
- Work with your physician to create a healthy fitness routine;
- Get plenty of rest (immediately after the SCA);
- Be sure to consume nutrient-rich foods;
- Avoid calorie-laden foods;
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegies, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains whilst avoiding sugar rich sweets and fatty red meats;
- Join a cardiac rehabilitation program;
- Work with and listen to your cardiac rehab team (after all, they are the experts!). They can be imperative to helping improve your health and wellbeing;
- Understand that it may take some time for you to recover: you have gone through a life-altering event and you shouldn’t rush into thinking you will immediately go back to being the same old you;
- Meet with the survivors through your cardiac rehab program – you can work together towards reaching your healthy objectives;
- Don’t over-exert yourself – you need time to heal. The last thing you should be doing is rushing back towards the things you used to do before your SCA experience;
- You should work towards slowly bringing back your pace, and this includes everything from walking to talking and other basic bodily functions. If you can, have a partner, loved one or carer with you as you work towards getting back on your pace.
- In the future – and after professional help – you can start thinking about engaging in exercise again, being sure to monitor yourself as you go. If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous or generally sick during this period then you should immediately notify your doctor.
If you have recently experienced SCA then you will know that your life has taken on a different course. However, it’s never too late to take a healthier course in life, especially if it means greatly reducing the risk of this unfortunate experience happening again.
Through finding the right support network and working towards a healthier lifestyle, you could see yourself getting back to your routine before the event (but hopefully minus any factors that could contribute to another occurrence!).
Good luck, and be sure to start by finding that all-important support network – it’s the first step in working towards a new feeling of health!