What was your initial reaction to your Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with AFib about six years ago, and it took me by surprise because at the time I felt pretty good. By that point I’d been living with high cholesterol for decades and had already learned by experience that any condition that impacts my heart health is one I need to talk to my doctor about on a regular basis, instead of just trying to manage on my own. I didn’t really know much about AFib and was surprised by how common it is.
What advice do you have for someone recently diagnosed with AFib who doesn’t know much about it?
In addition to medication, it’s important to avoid potential triggers for AFib. I learned that even moderate alcohol consumption can cause AFib symptoms, so since my diagnosis I’ve really limited my intake. Fatigue is also a trigger, so I make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Lastly, I make it a priority to speak regularly and candidly with my doctor, even when I feel healthy, so that we can make sure my treatment plan is still working for me.
As a person with such a hectic schedule, how have you adjusted your lifestyle to prioritize your heart health?
Despite my crazy schedule, I’ve committed to a heart-healthy routine that keeps my numbers looking good. After initially trying some statins that I felt were causing side effects, I worked with my doctor to find the right statin medication for me. I make sure to take it at the same time every day, no matter where in the world I am. I also try to eat healthy about 80 percent of the time, and be as active as possible every day. When I’m on the road touring I try to stay at hotels that have gyms, but that’s not always possible, so I’ll do exercises like sit-ups and lunges in my room. At my office I don’t have a dedicated desk. I stand for meetings, walk around, play ping pong, or just pace. I pretty much never sit down, and it gives me more energy throughout the day.
What are some best practices for managing high cholesterol?
For me, the key to managing high cholesterol is to make it part of your normal, long-term routine. Don’t think of statin medication and healthy lifestyle changes as optional — they’re both really important for keeping your levels in check. If you aren’t feeling good on the statin you’re currently taking, bring it up to your doctor. There are multiple options out there, and another medication may be a better fit for you. You can learn about your choices at www.TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com.
How does your family help you manage your heart health?
My family is supportive and they live a pretty healthy lifestyle, so they’re great role models. I’m a lucky guy.
Staff, [email protected]