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Living with a heart condition

Whether you’ve had a lifelong heart condition or are newly diagnosed, life with a heart condition can sometimes feel difficult to navigate. Learning to manage your condition can be challenge, but with the right support, resources and information, you can live life to the full.
We’re here to help you get the support you need to enjoy life and get back to doing the things you love.

Managing heart condition symptoms

There are lots of different ways to manage the symptoms of different heart conditions, from lifestyle changes to medication. You doctor or healthcare team should have given you information about the best treatment for you – make sure you follow these instructions carefully to keep your condition under control.
As well as this, ensure that you’re monitoring your day-to-day health. If you notice anything is exacerbating your symptoms, keep note of this and keep your doctor in the loop too.
Take a look at our Common Heart Conditions page to find out more about your condition and how you can manage your symptoms.

Common Heart Conditions

Live a healthier life

Taking the steps to live a healthier life can initially seem tough, but small changes can make a big difference. Take manageable, gradual steps that will lead to long-term lifestyle improvements instead of burning yourself out by trying to do too much, too quickly.
By living a healthier life, you’ll help to control your day-to-day symptoms while also reducing your risk of developing a future heart condition.
To find more tips and information, visit our Living Well section.
Living Well

Some small changes that you can start today:

  • If you are a smoker, consider cutting down smoking with an eventual goal of giving up entirely.
  • Make sure that you walk every day. Ideally for at least 30 minutes but if you don’t feel up to that, just a walk around the block is good for your brain and body.
  • Eat a more balanced diet and try to integrate greens wherever possible. Whether this means having spinach with your eggs at breakfast or broccoli with your evening meal, greens have great health benefits.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to the recommended amount of 14 units per week, or less if you can.

Once you are comfortable with these initial steps and you are forming great habits, you can slowly challenge yourself a little more where possible. Do this at your own pace, within your own comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

How can Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland help you?

Living with a chronic condition can often feel isolating, but we’re here to make sure you don’t feel alone. At Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, we have a range of resources and services to help you manage your heart condition. We want to help you do more than survive – we’ll help you really live.
To find out more about the services we offer, access support and learn more about how to manage your condition, get in touch with our Advice Line nurses for free, confidential support. You can also download Your Heart Toolkit, a range of resources and information to help you live well at home.

“When these things happen to you, you’re more vulnerable than you ever really know.”

Just ask Euan

Euan had a ‘silent’ heart attack while on a cycling holiday in Spain. At first he didn’t realise what had happened – he had always been fit and active and health issues hadn’t ever crossed his mind.

“When these things happen to you, you’re more vulnerable than you ever really know. I had concerns about my recovery and at one point was feeling quite down,” he explains.

“I called the Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Advice Line and said I was worried about my health.

“The nurse was absolutely amazing. I felt like she really listened to me and answered all of my questions. I was quite emotional about it all but she made me feel at ease.

I’m starting to feel good about myself and I’ve been getting more and more active too. I’ve also started volunteering at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s charity shop in Edinburgh which I’m really enjoying. It’s a nice way to give back.”

Read Euan’s story

Heart condition support groups

Join one of our 140+ affiliated Peer Support Groups across Scotland to get support, socialise and meet people who understand what you’re going through.
Whether you’re looking for weekly or monthly support, big groups or small, our groups can pair you with people who are experiencing your condition. You’ll also be able to find out more about your condition, get tips for managing your symptoms and enjoy activities that work for you.

Find your local group

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