A heart attack, medically known as myocardial infarction, occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough blood. It is an emergency medical condition caused by the obstruction of blood flow to the heart. Like all other muscles, the heart muscle requires a constant supply of blood.
When there is not enough blood flowing to the heart, the heart tissue is deprived of oxygen and dies. If not treated immediately, the heart muscle weakens and begins to die, and this is a heart attack.
Movies and dramas always show heart attacks as sudden and intense. However, most start slowly, with mild discomfort and chest pain. Symptoms of a heart attack vary between women and men. In men, the first signs include a feeling of tightness in the chest followed by pain in the upper body and dizziness. Women do not usually experience chest pain like men. On the contrary, they feel overwhelmed by fatigue, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Trust your instincts as every heart attack is different.
Heart attacks are not limited to the elderly population. It also affects a significant percentage of young adults. But being physically active and eating a balanced diet keeps your heart in good shape. Additionally, lifestyle plays an important role in defining a longer and healthier life.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack:
You will be able to act quickly if you know more about the risk factors and signs. The better you know, the easier it is to understand what is going on in your heart. So watch out for these common signs of a heart attack.
Discomfort in the center or left side of the chest is the most common symptom of a heart attack. It lasts more than a few minutes, then disappears and reappears. Chest discomfort is characterized by pressure, tightness, and chest pain. Some people say that it looks like an elephant is sitting on them. At the same time, some reported a burning or stinging sensation. Chest discomfort from a heart attack can happen anytime, anywhere, whether you are resting or exercising.
Sometimes it may be the only symptom of a heart attack that occurs. Even performing simple tasks becomes difficult. For example, walking a short distance will leave you tired and you would not be able to catch your breath. Shortness of breath and fatigue are common signs of a heart attack in women.
Upper Body Discomfort:
The pain starts in the chest and spreads to the left side of the upper body. It is a classic symptom of a heart attack. In addition, women are more likely to experience back pain, nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, or indigestion.
Dizziness or lightheadedness makes you lose your balance and feel unstable. You may even sweat cold. If accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pain, see a doctor immediately. It indicates that the blood pressure has dropped and the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, resulting in a heart attack.
A heart attack puts a lot of stress on your heart, leading to excessive exhaustion. Fatigue can start months before a heart attack. If you feel exhausted for no reason, it’s time to see a doctor. It could be chest pain, indigestion, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat can mean you have a heart attack. The heartbeat becomes out of rhythm, creating a feeling of stress and pulse. If the changes in heart rate are followed by chest discomfort, dizziness, and heavy sweating, then it is a confirmation of a heart attack. Heartbeats are often described as a throbbing or throbbing sensation in the neck area.
Other Symptoms and Signs:
Many things happen before and during a heart attack. For example, some may experience a prolonged cough with pink or white mucus. Another sign would be swollen ankles, feet, and legs. Everything shows that the heart does not pump efficiently and lags behind the requirements of the body.
Causes and Risk Factors for Heart Attack:
Coronary Artery Occlusion:
Coronary arteries supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. When these arteries become blocked due to fatty plaque deposits, blood flow to the heart is reduced. Leads to a heart attack. Also, plaque can rupture during a heart attack and form a blood clot. It further blocks the passage of blood to the heart and worsens the condition. A heart attack can occur from a complete or partial occlusion of the coronary artery.
Another reason heart attacks occur is a spasm of the arteries to the heart the coronary arteries. The spasm of the muscles in these blood vessels blocks the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. This triggers the heart muscle cell death itself, also known as a heart attack. The extent of damage to the heart muscle is usually determined by the duration of the seizures of the arteries and the speed and effectiveness of the treatment. Fortunately, coronary spasms are rare and occur mainly due to exposure to illegal substances or tobacco. Drugs that act as stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine are the most common causes of heart attacks caused by seizures.
Heart attack can also be an inherited condition. Look at the family history. If your grandparents, parents, or siblings have had a heart attack, you may be at above-average risk. Familiar genes are important because they control every aspect of your heart and its functions. Additionally, if you have a close relative with diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, you may also have a higher risk of inherited heart disease.
Blockage of the arteries to the heart most often occurs due to the process of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the deposition of cholesterol and fat in the inner layers of the heart, yellowing. High cholesterol levels such as LDL cholesterol (the most common type of deposited cholesterol) are therefore the main risk factors for heart attack. Ldl cholesterol, called bad cholesterol, blocks arteries leading to the deposition of fat, cholesterol, and calcium particles – and disrupts blood flow to the heart. These waxy layers of cholesterol on the inner surface of the coronary arteries stimulate the appearance of blood clots and cause heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol-induced heart attacks are often caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, both diet, and exercise. However, there are genetic causes for high cholesterol.
Age is one of the most obvious risk factors for heart attack. However, this doesn’t mean that young people don’t have to be careful. From the age of 45, men should pay more attention to the possibility of a heart attack, and for women, they should have regular checkups from the age of 55.
Existing Medical Conditions:
There are many other medical conditions that can increase the risk of a heart attack. Some of the most common are obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and metabolic syndrome. These conditions can double or triple a person’s risk of a heart attack. However, losing weight with a healthy diet and moderate exercise can often reverse some of these medical conditions and thus increase cardiovascular health.
Treatment for Heart Attack:
First-line treatment usually includes anticoagulants, nitroglycerin, beta-blockers, and statins. Coagulants are given to dissolve clots that are responsible for blocking blood flow. Doctors use nitroglycerin to treat chest pain associated with a heart attack. Beta-blockers are another important drug. They reduce the pressure on the heart when the blood supply is blocked and thus protect the heart from further damage. It is one of the most effective medicines as it protects you from death now and in the future.
The angioplasty surgery opens the blocked artery by inserting a stent (a special metal tube) into the blocked vessel, thus keeping it open to allow the blood to continue to flow. It is very helpful as angioplasty treats heart attacks without resorting to open-heart surgery.
Doctors may perform emergency bypass surgery during a heart attack. Sometimes, it happens 3-4 days after a heart attack. Bypass surgery restores blood flow to the heart by directing it through a new section around blocked arteries.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs help in the recovery process from a heart attack. Not only does it prevent future heart attacks, but it can also cure related complications.
Will an Attack Cause Further Complications?
Complications depend on how much damage a heart attack has caused.
Following a heart attack, you may develop irregular heartbeats because the muscle damage caused by a heart attack interrupts the heart’s electrical signals. Therefore, this complication is also referred to as electrical short circuits of the heart.
A ruptured heart is a rare complication of a heart attack, but it is extremely serious. This leads to rupture or rupture of heart valves, walls, or muscles.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a complication of a heart attack that occurs without warning. The heart can stop due to electrical disturbances in the heart system. If the extent of the damage from a heart attack is severe, the remaining heart muscle may not be able to pump enough blood to your body.
How to Prevent an Attack?
Be Physically Active:
Monitor your weight by following a consistent exercise program. A physically active lifestyle is the best way to prevent heart attacks. About 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity benefits the elderly. If you are in the younger age group, try to get at least 30 minutes of intense exercise at least 5 times a week. One study found that people with higher levels of physical activity had a 15-45% reduction in the risk of a heart attack.
Manage your Weight:
Control your weight by following a diet rich in leafy vegetables, fruits, fatty fish, whole grains, lean animal proteins, and plant proteins. Cut back on extra calories, added sugar, trans fats, processed carbs, and saturated fat. They increase body weight and fat accumulation, leading to fatty deposits in the artery. Instead, make smarter choices by eating fewer calories and exercising more. Remember, overweight and obese people are more vulnerable to heart attacks.
Everyone knows that tobacco is bad for your entire well-being. Unfortunately, you won’t find anything like safe tobacco products, as tobacco will harm your body for instant gratification. Nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes, puts too much pressure on your heart and your cholesterol levels will spiral out of control as well. Add a profit box because it’s more emotionally effective – their hearts are twice as resistant to heart attacks after they quit smoking.
If you are a person with medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, take all medications as directed. Since these diseases are risk factors for heart attack, controlling them yourself is an important preventive step. However, don’t take aspirin unless your doctor tells you to. In most cases, doctors recommend limiting aspirin intake as it increases the risk of bleeding in minor injuries. Also, if you’ve had a heart attack, taking high doses of aspirin can increase your risk of having another one.
Heart-healthy Foods to Prevent Heart Attack:
Can food make a difference in attack risk? Yes, they do it. In fact, following a heart-healthy diet lowers cholesterol, fat, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for an attack. Here are the top five foods to minimize the chances of having an attack.
1. Whole Grains:
Many studies have shown that adding at least two or three servings of whole grains a day reduces the risk of heart attack by 20%. You can include barley, oats, brown rice, whole wheat, buckwheat, or quinoa in your daily diet. A diet rich in whole grains can reduce heart attacks risk factors, such as high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, fat storage, and diabetes.
Contrary to popular belief, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blackberries are beneficial for heart health. It is rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant that fights stress that damages the heart and inflammation. One study shows that daily intake of strawberries lowers bad cholesterol levels. While the consumption of blueberries was associated with protection against blood clots. The best piece; you can add berries to your snacks or desserts as they are low-calorie and have a sweet taste.
Salmon, a fatty fish, is a heart-healthy superfood because it contains healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides, blood pressure, and heart rate. If these conditions are kept under control, the risk of attack is automatically reduced. Consuming two servings of salmon a week is enough to reap the benefits.
4. Walnuts and Almonds:
Replace these unhealthy fats like potato chips, French fries, and cookies with a handful of walnuts or almonds. Walnuts are high in monounsaturated fats and fiber, which protect the arteries from inflammation. It also lowers cholesterol. If your arteries are protected, it eliminates the main cause of the attack.
Reliable studies have found the cardioprotective nature of avocados. Avocados help lower bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and lipids, which are factors that affect it