What’s Causing My Left Arm Numbness

What Is Heart Attack And How Can You Prevent It?

Heart attack is a disease caused by blockage of coronary arteries (the main blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to all parts of your body). When there are blocked arteries, it results in sudden death. There are many possible reasons why someone might develop heart attack such as: Smoking, high cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, obesity and other diseases. If any one of these conditions are present, then it could cause heart attack. Some common symptoms include: Shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath and dizziness. These symptoms may not necessarily indicate that you have had a heart attack but they do mean that you need to seek medical attention immediately.

How To Avoid A Heart Attack?

There are certain things that you can do to prevent heart attack. Here are some tips: Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps keep your heart healthy and prevents cardiovascular disease (CVD) . Your doctor will usually recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Be physically active during your leisure time. Being physically inactive increases your risk of developing CVD and other health problems like cancer, stroke, osteoporosis , kidney failure and others. Stop smoking. If you smoke, make an effort to stop smoking now. If you can’t stop on your own, seek help from your doctor or try nicotine replacement therapy like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc. You can also try seeking help from a mental health professional to help with quitting the habit. Be mindful of what you eat. Eat a low fat and low sodium diet. The less fat and sodium you eat, the lower your risk of developing heart disease. You should also eat more foods that are high in fiber. Eating habits like these can also reduce your chances of developing other diseases and conditions as well.

Your doctor may also prescribe certain medication for you to take on a regular basis in order to prevent heart disease from occurring. Please follow all medical advice carefully and report any change in your body immediately.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of A Heart Attack?

As mentioned above, there are several common symptoms that occur just before a heart attack or an acute coronary syndrome. The most important one is chest pain or discomfort which is often described as a sensation of severe tightness, pressure or squeezing in the center of the chest . This discomfort radiates to different parts of the upper body and sometimes into the arms, back, neck and jaw. Other signs and symptoms include:

Shortness of breath

Nausea and vomiting

Fatigue and weakness

Cold Sweats

Dizziness

Blurred vision

Other complications that can occur are:

Breathing difficulties leading to respiratory arrest

Low blood pressure causing dizziness and fainting spell.

Please seek immediate medical attention if any of the above signs or symptoms present themselves.

Tests And Exams

When you seek medical attention immediately after the onset of heart attack symptoms, doctors often perform a medical evaluation to determine if immediate treatment is required. This evaluation involves some simple tests such as checking your blood pressure, listening to heart and lungs with a stethoscope, taking your pulse and asking you questions about your medical history. Other tests may be performed to check for blood clots in the arteries supplying blood to the heart (coronary arteries). These tests may include:

ECG (electrocardiogram)

Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)

Blood tests which check for the presence of cholesterol and triglycerides

These tests help your physician arrive at a definitive diagnosis as well as determine the seriousness of your condition and treatment required. Your doctor will also decide if you need to be admitted to the hospital immediately. If this is the case, you will undergo more tests and exams in the hospital to determine the cause of your heart attack.

Treatment

Immediate treatment of a heart attack usually involves emergency open heart surgery to clear the blockage causing the heart attack. If this is not an option, then a less invasive catheter procedure may be performed to unblock the artery. In addition to this, your physician may also administer certain drugs to try and remedy the situation. These drugs may include clot-busting medications (such as streptokinase and tissue plasminogen activator) to help clear the blocked artery.

Anti-anginal drugs and anti-arrhythmic drugs may also be given to remedy chest pain, slow or stop an irregular heart beat.

Drug treatment is usually necessary for a period of time after your open heart surgery or catheter procedure to help prevent further complications or another heart attack.

Treatment for heart attacks depend on the type of heart attack, whether it is a minor attack or a major one. In case of a minor heart attack, you may require medication to dissolve cholesterol build-up and resolve damage caused by the heart attack. In major heart attacks, a combination of drugs and surgery is used depending on the severity of the condition.

In cases where blood flow to the heart has been completely blocked, doctors may perform an angioplasty or stent procedure, using a tiny wire that is inserted into an artery in the groin and then guided to the heart. A tiny balloon at the tip of the wire is inflated to push the blockage against the wall of the artery so that a mesh netting, called a stent, can be placed across it to keep it open.

These days, most heart attack patients can be treated with medication and do not require any form of surgery. More often than not, angioplasty and stenting is used to help keep the artery clear of further blockage and medication helps resolve damage caused by the heart attack. It all depends on the type and severity of your condition.

Risks

The main risk in undergoing treatment for a heart attack is that you may suffer another heart attack or even die during the treatment. In some cases it is safer not to undergo certain types of treatment for a heart attack.

The only other major risk is that the blocked artery may not be successfully reopened or may re-block, causing you to suffer a second heart attack.

If you have suffered a heart attack, it is very important that you try and adopt a healthy lifestyle by lowering your cholesterol, quitting smoking, losing weight if you are overweight and engaging in regular physical activity.

More Info:

Heart disease is the most common cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

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