Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you've been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, your doctor will likely suggest that you avoid heavy lifting and vigorous physical activity as these can increase blood pressure, putting additional pressure on your aneurysm.

Stress can raise your blood pressure, so try to avoid conflict and stressful situations as much as possible. If you're going through a particularly emotional time in your life, let your doctor know because your medications may need to be adjusted to keep your blood pressure levels from going too high.

There are no medications you can take to prevent an aortic aneurysm, although taking medications to control your blood pressure may reduce your risk of having complications from an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The most appropriate approach to prevent an aortic aneurysm or keep an aortic aneurysm from worsening is to keep your blood vessels as healthy as possible. That means taking certain steps, including:

  • Don't use tobacco products. Smoking is a risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eat a heart-healthy diet of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. Avoid saturated fat, trans fat and salt.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, take the medications your doctor prescribes and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.
  • Get regular exercise. Aim to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.

If you have some risk factors for an aortic aneurysm, talk to your doctor. If you are at risk, your doctor may recommend additional measures, including medications to lower your blood pressure and relieve stress on weakened arteries. You may also want to consider screening abdominal ultrasounds every few years.

March 23, 2016
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Signs and symptoms. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  3. What is an aneurysm? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  4. Aortic aneurysms. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. http://www.sts.org/patient-information/aneurysm-surgery/aortic-aneurysms. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  5. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/diseases-of-the-aorta-and-its-branches/abdominal-aortic-aneurysms-aaa. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
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  7. Mohler ER. Epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis and natural history of abdominal aortic aneurysm. http:www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
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  10. Collins KA. Overview of abdominal aortic aneurysm. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  11. The American Heart Association's diet and lifestyle recommendations. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.Vk-mAdiFPmI. Accessed Nov. 20, 2015.
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