How To Prevent Heart Attacks

How To Prevent Heart Attacks





According to the WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the leading death cause in the world. It takes almost 18 million lives every year.

Heart attack is one of the most common types of cardiovascular issues and a serious medical emergency. It is also known as a myocardial infarction.

Prevent Heart Attacks
Prevent Heart Attacks

When the blood flows to the heart muscles is blocked, and due to insufficient oxygen supply, the heart muscles die.

It causes heart attacks and may result in death in maximum time.

According to the CDC, one heart attack happens every 36 seconds in the USA.

Then the question may arise as to, what are the symptoms of a heart attack! What are the causes? How to prevent a heart attack? Are there any treatment methods?

Heart attacks can be mild (survival), or massive(fatal) and may happen one or more times in life.

The sooner a patient can get medical support that restores enough oxygen, and blood supply to the heart muscles, the better chance of a positive outcome.



The Causes Of Heart Attack


The human heart is an important visceral organ, which pumps blood to the whole body, even to heart muscles.

During blood pumping, the contraction and relaxation of the heart depend upon these heart muscles. So, damage in these muscles leads to heart attacks.

The major cause of heart attack as well as heart muscle damage is coronary artery disease (CAD).

In CAD, plaque builds up in the arteries and blocks the proper blood supply to the heart muscles and the body.

General plaque formation is also known as atherosclerosis.

Coronary artery spasm (CAS) is also responsible for heart attack, but it is less common.



Symptoms Of Heart Attack


To prevent a heart attack, it is necessary to know all the symptoms that a patient may experience.

Sometimes it is quite difficult to differentiate between a heart attack and heartburn.

The signs of heart attack can vary from individual to individual. But the common symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, intense sweat, nausea, and vomiting.

Prevent Heart Attacks
symptoms of heart attck

Sometimes people can have few symptoms and cannot understand that they have had a heart attack.

It can start slowly, the chest pain or discomfort may be mild, and go over several hours. Eventually, the pain becomes intense.

Some people do not have any symptoms. Heart attacks that occur without any symptoms are called silent heart attacks, which are the most dangerous.



The Risk Factors


Several factors can lead to a heart attack. We cannot change some factors, such as family history, age, an autoimmune condition, etc.

However, we can reduce the risk of heart attack by modifying our daily diet, and lifestyle.

So, the common risk factors are:    

1) Those who suffer from lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are more susceptible to a heart attack.

2) People who have a family history of heart disease, are more prone to heart attacks.

3) Age also plays a vital role in a heart attack. Study shows that the risk of heart attack increases when a man is over 45 years and a woman is over 55 years.

4) The heart attack risk is higher for those who smoke a cigarette, drink alcohol too much, and abuse drugs (like cocaine or amphetamines)

Because, cigarette and alcohol reduce the smoothness of the inner lining of blood vessels, and develops atherosclerotic plaque.

Prevent Heart Attacks
heart attack risk factors

5) Those people who follow an unhealthy diet rich in trans fat, junk foods, higher amounts of refined sugar, and fizzy beverages can have a heart attack.

6) In some cases, people with lack physical exercise, are suffering from heart diseases, and are prone to heart attacks.

7) Mental stress and sleep apnea can cause a heart attack.

8) Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus can increase heart attack risk.

To prevent a heart attack, you can control the modifiable risk factors.



Steps To Prevent Heart Attack


Several steps can be taken to prevent a heart attack, these are:

1. Controlling Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases stress on the heart health and cardiovascular system. It promotes CAD, and it is too important to control blood pressure.

Regular screening of blood pressure plays a vital role in heart health.

We can lower blood pressure by limiting salt intake, healthy diet, avoiding stress, regular exercise, etc.


2. Managing Diabetes & Cholesterol

Diabetes is a serious issue for heart patients. It may lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease, and other cardiac problems.

If anyone wants to prevent heart attacks, it is mandatory to reduce high blood sugar, and control diabetes.

On the other hand, it is very important to maintain blood cholesterol at an optimum level.

Because, HDL (Good cholesterol) is healthy for the heart, and improves cardiac functions. But LDL (bad cholesterol) is very harmful to us.


3. Nutrition & Healthy Diet

Proper nutrition and a healthy diet play a significant role in preventing heart disease.

A diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dietary fibers, and omega 3s helps to prevent heart attacks.

Some foods that are really dangerous to our hearts such as salt, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils, processed carbs, trans-fat, etc.

Read more topic: Top 9 Foods For Your Better Health


4. Weight Management & Exercise

Being overweight put the heart at high risk. So, weight management is very important to prevent a heart attack.

Patients suffering from heart disease, have to balance regular calorie intake.

On the other hand, regular exercise of at least 30 minutes a day is most beneficial to our heart health.

Prevent Heart Attacks
steps to prevent heart attacks

Exercise can increase blood circulation in the body, maintain blood pressure, sugar levels, and cholesterol at an optimum level.

Additionally, exercise reduces excess body fat and maintains a healthy body weight.

However, exercise should not be intense. Important is to stay active.

Know more topic: Top 10 Breakfast Foods For Weight Loss


5. Managing Mental Stress

According to research, there is a link between heart disease and high amounts of mental stress.

Stress can cause hypertension, sleep loss, exhaustion, and promote the risk of a heart attack. Chronic stress creates a load on our hearts.

So, it is very important to adopt several stress-reducing habits to prevent heart attacks.

Physical activities, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and breathing exercise are very helpful to manage stress.


6. Quitting Smoking & Alcohol Abuse

Smoking and alcohol abuse are very harmful to cardiac health. Both are the major risk factors for CAD, heart attack, stroke, etc.

Smoking causes plaque formation in the artery, hardens them, promotes atherosclerosis, and lowers the blood flow even in the cardiac muscles.

Quitting smoking has been proven to reduce cardiac issues.

On the other hand, chronic alcohol drinkers have a higher risk of heart attacks. Alcohol abuse weakens heart muscles and triggers cardiomyopathy.

So, try to avoid excess alcohol consumption for a healthy heart.



Heart Attack Treatment

Certain tests and medicines are recommended by physicians or registered medical practitioners during heart attack treatment.

These are electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, angiogram, cardiac CT scan, chest X-ray, and certain blood tests.

On the other hand, each second after a heart attack, heart muscles die, and restoring blood flow as soon as possible helps to prevent further damage.

So, the medications used to treat heart attacks are:

1) Aspirin. Administration of aspirin immediately after a heart attack can prevent platelets gathering, and stop unwanted blood clotting in the artery.

Aspirin improves blood flow even through a narrow artery.

2) Nitroglycerin. It reduces the workload of the heart and improves blood flow to the cardiac muscles by dilating blood vessels.

3) Statins. These classes of medicines control, and lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and prevent heart attacks.

4) ACE Inhibitors. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is responsible for increasing blood pressure.

So, ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and decrease stress on the heart.

5) Beta-Blockers. These medicines also reduce the workload of the heart, relax heart muscles, slow your heartbeat, and relieve chest pain or discomfort.

So, the beta-blockers prevent heart attacks as well as are used to treat arrhythmias.

6) Other Medicines. Other medicines, such as thrombolytic agents (clot busters), blood thinners (like heparin), antiplatelet agents, and pain relievers are also used for heart attacks.

Prevent Heart Attacks
heart attack medicines

The surgical processes are coronary angioplasty, stenting, coronary artery bypass surgery, etc.

However, all medical procedures should be done under the supervision of physicians or registered medical practitioners. Self-medication is strictly prohibited; it can be fatal.



Now, The Conclusion


Heart attack is very dangerous for our overall health. It can hamper the brain and kidneys also.

However, it is a serious medical emergency and can turn into a fatal condition, but it can be prevented in several ways.

The risk of a heart attack can be reduced by routine check-ups and a physician’s advice.

On the other hand, treatment and medicines are important in heart attack, but their effects can be promoted with a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is beneficial to everyone, but it is more important for those who suffer from various comorbidities.

Besides medicine, diet also plays a vital role to prevent a heart attack. A healthy diet can reduce your heart attack risk.

Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, and barley contain several nutrients and dietary fiber and act as heart-healthy foods.

Leafy green veggies and fruits are also important to a healthy heart.

Nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats which maintain heart health.

Antioxidant-rich foods reduce the oxidation of HDL and prevent the conversion of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.

Stress management through meditation, and yoga is also important.

Refined sugars, junk foods, smoking, and alcohol abuse multiply the heart attack risk.

Finally, cardiac patients who have had a heart attack can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation.


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