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Heart disease is the most common cause of death for most Americans every year. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked by something(usually a blood cot), and it lacks an essential amount of oxygen.
Common symptoms of a heart attack include pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone. It can also be discomfort, heaviness, tightness, or pressure. There’s also discomfort in the back, throat, jaw, or arm. Profuse sweating, upset stomach, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, severe weakness, and shortness of breath are also common causes. A very fast or uneven heartbeat is also common.
Symptoms tend to vary from person to person. Age and gender play a factor here. Some heart attacks can occur without any prior symptoms. This is most common with diabetic people.
Causes of Heart Attack
Age: You’re more susceptible to heart attacks as you get older. Men have a higher risk of a heart attack after the age of 45, while women are at higher risk after the age of 55.
Angina: When the heart doesn’t receive enough oxygen-rich blood, you’ll experience chest pains or discomfort called angina. It’ll feel like pressure or squeezing in the chest. Angina isn’t a disease, but a symptom of underlying heart disease. It can be coronary microvascular disease (MVD) or Coronary heart disease (CHD). MVD affects the heart’s smallest coronary artery and is more likely to affect women. In CHD, one or more coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed (also called ischemia)
High-Cholesterol level: Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the blood which is used to build healthy cells. However, high amounts of it can be deadly. High cholesterol can cause high-fat deposition in the blood levels. Over time these deposits grow, making blood flow through arteries difficult. Occasionally these deposits can suddenly break and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
Smoking: 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease are caused by smoking. The nicotine in smoke reduces the amount of oxygen your heart can get. It also increases blood pressure, speeds up heart rate, and harms blood vessels (including ones in the heart). It also makes blood cots more likely, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Diabetes: High blood glucose because of diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels responsible for controlling the heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances of a heart attack. Diabetic people tend to develop heart diseases at a younger age.
Weight: Consumption of large quantities of saturated fats will significantly increase the chances of a heart attack. Being obese puts pressure on the heart, which may cause problems.
Stress and Hypertension: High blood pressure causes a lot of strain on the heart. Stress is also a significant factor when it comes to heart diseases. Stressed out, people tend to overeat, start smoking, and may have higher blood pressure, which are all linked to heart disease.
Other factors that may cause heart diseases are genetics ( higher risk of heart attack can be inherited), heart surgery (can lead to a heart attack later), HIV ( HIV positive people have a 50% greater risk of heart disease).
So how do you prevent a heart attack?
Heart Attack Prevention Measures
A healthy lifestyle is essential to make sure you don’t have a heart attack.
Stop Smoking: Smoking is the worst offender when it comes to causing heart diseases. Encourage people in your house that smoke to quit. We know it isn’t easy, but with enough determination, it’s possible. Take the help of a professional and close one’s to help you quit. It’s easier to quit when you have support.
Healthy diet: A healthy diet is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. Your diet can help you control cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and weight. Consume nutrient-rich food with lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Limit sugar intake and red meat. Make sure your diet consists of lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish, and legumes.
Control blood pressure, stress, and diabetes: Consult your doctor and keep that blood sugar in check. Have proper medicines and reduce salt intake. Keep it at an optimal 120/80 mmHg. Maintain your diet so that your blood glucose level stays at a reasonable level. Get rid of some stress from your life. You only live once, so try to reduce as much stress as possible. There are many guides out there on stress management.
Physical Activity: Lastly, the most crucial tip, stay physically active. Regular exercise will help to keep your weight and diabetes in check. Regular exercise may also help you combat stress and smoking habits. You can boost your workout routines by taking light therapy as well. It’ll also keep cholesterol level low and help maintain proper blood pressure.
Heart disease is the single greatest cause of death in the developed world now. But with some proper lifestyle adjustments and awareness, you can easily combat it for a nice healthy long life.