Advocating for your own health

Symptoms and triggers

Keep a diary of your symptoms and triggers. Avoid any triggers if you can. Be prepared to use your coping strategies when necessary.

Ensure your support person is aware of your triggers and episodes of chest pain. You are not in this alone. Make them aware of how they can help you best.

Medications and side effects

Ensure you take your medication as prescribed and consult your doctor when adding any additional medications or other changes.

Ask about possible side effects of your medications and when you should contact your doctor.

Understanding and recognizing adverse reactions is important! Ask your doctor how and when you should contact them or seek medical advice in an emergency.

Prepare for your appointment

List questions relevant to your care. Read your previous clinic letters and test results before an appointment.

Ask your doctor if there is anything written in a letter you do not understand or do not agree with.

During your appointment

Take notes during the consultation. Provide the doctor with an up-to-date list of your medications, any supplements, or other strategies you are using.

Ensure questions are readily available during phone or face to face consultations.

Ask if you can record the telephone consultation or listen to the call on speaker phone with your support person.

Discuss with your doctor

Ask for copies of your clinic letters and results. Seek a doctor you feel comfortable with. Be prepared to ask to be referred to another doctor for a second opinion.

Talk to clinicians if you do not understand what is being explained; they are there to help.

Get more information

Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn as much as you can about your condition by using the resources on the IHSA website.

Print out information or provide links to websites about your heart condition to share with healthcare professionals.

Printing material

The International Heart Spasms Alliance (IHSA) has prepared some helpful printing material for patients and caregivers to keep on hand. You may print these on your own or have them printed by your local printing shop (i.e. Walmart, Staples).

Business cards (3.5″ x 2″):

These wallet-size business cards are a great tool for emergency situations. We suggest keeping one in your wallet or purse at all times. You may choose to also print out a few extra ones to pass around to family and friends.

Download in PDF format
Flyers (8.5″ x 11″):

Download in PDF format
Infosheets (8.5″ x 11″):

Download in PDF format

Download in PDF format

Get Informed

Learn all about the symptoms, causes and triggers of these heart conditions.

Educate. Inform. Enlighten.

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