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Heart Disease

Gateway also has a Lifestyle Management Program to help members who have heart problems.  If you are a Gateway member age 21 or older who has congestive heart failure, had a heart attack, had stents put into your heart, or had heart bypass surgery, please talk with a Case Manager about our Cardiac Program.  In this program, Case Managers can call you and help you understand how best to take care of your heart.  They can talk about how to eat healthy, be physically active and take medicines the right way.  They can help you recognize the warning signs that mean you may be headed for more trouble with your heart.

Here are a few tips to help you manage heart problems:

  • Take your medicines the way your doctor ordered.  If you cannot take them for some reason, call the doctor’s office.  Tell them what problems you are having.  Wait to hear back from the doctor’s office before you stop taking your pills.
  • Some heart medicines have to be stopped over several days.  Do not just stop taking a pill. You could have serious problems if you do.
  • Most heart and blood pressure medicines must be taken for life.  When you run out of refills, call your doctor for another prescription.
  • Make sure you visit your doctor at least twice a year for a checkup.  If you are admitted to the hospital, make an appointment to see your doctor within 2 weeks of getting out of the hospital.
  • Ask your doctor which lab tests you may need to have done to monitor your heart disease.
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried beans, whole grains and foods low in salt.
  • Have your blood pressure checked as prescribed by your physician. You should maintain your blood pressure of less than 140/90 unless your doctor helps you set a different goal.
  • Do not smoke.  If you need help to quit smoking or using tobacco, call the toll-free Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 or 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Do not be around tobacco smoke.  If someone in your family smokes, ask them to smoke outside.