People with heart disease can often find useful information and support through heart disease blogs.
Around 92.1 million adults in the United States are living with some form of cardiovascular disease, including many people with the after-effects of stroke. Every day, around 2,200 U.S. adults die of cardiovascular disease, representing, on average, one death every 40 seconds. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
Receiving a diagnosis of heart disease may make you feel upset, overwhelmed, and frustrated. However, cardiac rehabilitation, support groups, and continued medical checkups are available to help you cope with the disease and improve your condition.
Heart disease blogs are also a valuable form of support. Medical News Today have found the 10 best heart disease blogs that provide useful tips on lifestyle and dietary changes, educational information, and stories from individuals with the disease.
Lisa Nelson RD
Lisa Nelson RD is a registered dietitian who provides step-by-step guidance on how to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and lose weight. Lisa has struggled with borderline high cholesterol since her early 20s.
Despite making healthful diet choices and keeping physically active, Lisa's cholesterol hovered between 200 and 220 milligrams per deciliter, which she blames on poor genetics; her family has a history of heart disease. Through studying to become a registered dietitian and her interests in healthy living and nutrition, Lisa has now managed to lower her cholesterol level to 169 milligrams per deciliter.
Lisa shows you how you can reduce your dependence on medication and achieve good heart health with food and physical activity, through blog posts such as the health benefits of folic acid for the heart, how high salt intake affects more than blood pressure, and steps to counteract metabolic syndrome through weight loss, physical activity, and following a Mediterranean diet.
What Would Cathy Eat?
Cathy Elton's blog What Would Cathy Eat focuses specifically on heart-healthy food. Cathy was introduced to the subject after finding out in her 40s that she had hereditary heart disease.
As "your average barbecue-lovin', pie-bakin' chowhound," Cathy was not about to settle for a menu packed with typical dinner suggestions that included broiled chicken breast and steamed broccoli, so she sought out a new way of eating. She developed heart-healthy vegetarian recipes that were still spicy, satisfying, adventurous, and tasty. Cathy even managed to continue eating apple pie by replacing lard with heart-healthy oils.
The What Would Cathy Eat blog provides delicious alternatives to the processed foods and saturated fats that are typical of the Western diet. Her recipes include leek and wild mushroom tart with cashew cream, baked falafel with berbere spice, and spiced carrot-pecan muffins.
Harvard Health Blog: Heart Health
Harvard Health Publications collate health and wellness information to educate through newsletters, books, video, reports, mobile apps, web-based interactive tools, and their websites.
The Heart Health blog covers a broad range of heart-related topics, including how to stick to a low-salt diet when eating out, over-the-counter pain relievers and your heart, how dietary improvements could help you to live longer, and why you should keep tabs on your alcohol intake.
Support Network Blog
The Support Network is the patient support website of the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association are dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. They fund innovative research, provide tools and information to help save and improve lives, and fight for stronger public health policies.
The Support Network connects people with similar conditions on their forums and provides real stories from real people, offers support videos, and gives answers from health professionals.
Recent blog posts on the Support Network include Catherine's account of her father's stroke survival, Lori's adjustment to life after stroke, Emily's interview with a heart disease researcher, and Melanie's cardiopulmonary resuscitation story.
Collectively, the MyHeart team provides health information about cardiac conditions, healthcare resources for patients, information about disease prevention, and software for patients and medical providers.
Through their blog, MyHeart aim to provide relevant and up-to-date information to patients, with posts such as what it means to have survived a non-STEMI heart attack, cholesterol treatment and atherosclerosis, the treatment of high blood pressure, and whether stem cells can help to improve heart muscle in individuals with congestive heart failure.
The Doc's Opinion is a blog about heart disease, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and disease prevention, and it is written and edited by Axel F. Sigurdsson, M.D. Dr. Sigurdsson's primary interest is the field of coronary heart disease and heart failure.
Dr. Sigurdsson specializes in internal medicine and cardiology. He is a cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology at the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Hjartamidstodin (The Heart Center), a private heart clinic in Reykjavik. Dr. Sigurdsson is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Swedish Society of Cardiology, and the Icelandic Society of Cardiology.
Latest blog posts include 19 important causes of chest pain, who should be taking niacin, why low-density lipoprotein cholesterol might be overestimated on a low-carb, high-fat diet, and what angina is and how to deal with it.
The program is based on the growing body of evidence that suggests that a patient's care experience and medical outcomes can be improved when they are more knowledgeable about, and more involved in, their own health management.
CardioSmart aims to reach its goal of continually improving both care experience and health outcomes in individuals with heart disease through partnership programs, information sharing, patient participation, goal setting, and care collaboration. It also hopes to help bridge the gap between clinician communications and patient understandings of their role in managing heart health.
The blog features stories from heart patients sharing the struggles and accomplishments they have faced, including how they have worked with their cardiologists, healthcare teams, and families to achieve improved heart health.
Posts include Brenda's account of her coronary disease diagnosis, how a heart attack during an event at work changed David's life, and how Kathy is dedicated to living a physically active and healthy lifestyle despite being born with a heart anomaly that contributed to her developing atrial fibrillation (A-fib).
Carolyn Thomas launched the blog Heart Sisters in 2009, after being diagnosed with heart disease. In 2008, Carolyn was hospitalized for a heart attack caused by a 95 percent blocked coronary artery, which is a condition that doctors call the "widowmaker" heart attack.
Through Heart Sisters, Carolyn takes complex questions about heart health and translates them into easy-to-understand terms that everyone can comprehend. Carolyn is also helping to address the gender gap by educating readers about their own heart health. She emphasizes that women are underdiagnosed and undertreated compared with their male counterparts.
The most recent blog posts include eight things you can stop apologizing for, Carolyn's account of a month of adhering to a Mediterranean diet, six important lessons that Emmi learned about having a heart attack, and how European women also face the cardiac gender gap.
Dr. John M
John Mandrola, M.D., is Dr. John M. Dr. Mandrola is a cardiac electrophysiologist specializing in the area of heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Mandrola is also a husband (to a hospice and palliative care specialist), a father, grandfather, and bike racer, who writes two regular columns and produces a weekly podcast.
Dr. Mandrola advocates for lifestyle choices as a means of achieving health. "That said, I worry that prevention efforts can be overdone, sometimes turning healthy people into patients. This hurts my heart because the number one rule of medicine is, 'first, do no harm,'" he said.
The Dr. John M blog was started in 2009. Dr. Mandrola's favorite posts include 13 things to know about A-fib, four crucial questions to ask your doctor, whether running a marathon is really that safe, and whether the Ironman triathlon is heart-healthy.
HeartTalk is the blog of the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA). The ACHA's mission is to improve and extend the lives of those born with heart anomalies through advocacy, education, and research.
The ACHA support individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD) and their families by increasing access to care and providing programs, services, and activities through educational materials, outreach and advocacy efforts, research programs, and fundraising events to raise money and increase awareness.
Bloggers on HeartTalk cover many topics relevant to the CHD community, including habits and lifestyle changes that are faced by people with CHD, the guilt of living with a heart condition, ways to beat the stressors associated with CHD, and how CHD has affected Kelly over the period of a decade.