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Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

A heart attack is medically termed as Myocardial Infarction. It is a life-threatening medical emergency where the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked, mostly because of blood clots.

Symptoms :

  • Pain in the chest, severe pressing pain is experienced which radiates towards jaws, neck left arm and sometimes even back.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of anxiety
  • Lightheadedness

In few of the cases, no chest pain is experienced, in some cases, the pain is thought to be associated with indigestion. If any two symptoms suggesting heart attack is seen then you should go to the hospital. The severity of pain is not a determining factor for heart attack.

Causes :

  • Coronary heart disease is the major cause of heart attack. In coronary heart disease, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart is clogged mostly because of atherosclerosis. If the cholesterol plaque is detached forming a clot. These clots can further permanently block the blood supply to the heart.
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Few drugs like cocaine
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Risk factors :

  • Men older than 45 years are more likely to suffer from a heart attack, however, women over 55 years are more prone to have a heart attack.
  • Tobacco smokers
  • People who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes
  • Family history
  • People suffering from uncontrolled hypertension
  • People having high blood cholesterol levels
  • Uncontrolled stress

Complications :

  • Irregular heartbeat usually tachycardia leading to Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Rupture of heart muscles or valves.

The complications have an impact insidiously soon after heart attack leading to death.

The complications are directly proportional to age.

Prevention :

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce your weight if you are obese
  • Exercise regularly, unless you are advised not to do so
  • Eat healthy food, make sure that your food is rich in fibre and low in unhealthy fat
  • Reduce alcohol consumption

When to see a doctor :

When you experience chest discomfort, with Nausea, breathlessness, and anxiety. If you have any two of the symptoms of a heart attack go to the emergency. Tell your doctor about your family history and also your medical history.

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6 thoughts on “Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes and Prevention”

    1. Hey Nirbhay,
      A heart attack is an emergency condition where the blood supply to the heart muscles is affected.
      The following changes we can make to reduce the chances of getting a heart attack are:
      • Exercise regularly
      • Eat healthy food and avoid fatty foods and drinks.
      • Manage the blood pressure so that the blood pressure is within the normal limits
      • Control blood sugar levels.
      • Try to be fit and active. Obese people are at higher.
      • Avoid smoking tobacco
      • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol
      • Do not stress yourself.
      • Get enough sleep.
      • Manage blood cholesterol levels. Make sure they are within the normal limits.

    1. Rohit,
      There is a significant increase in the number of people getting heart attack is mainly because of the blockage of the arteries of the heart.
      The blockage prevents proper blood supply to the heart thus causing the heart not to function properly.
      The following reasons are considered as risk factors for heart attack :
      • Obesity
      • Intake of fatty food and drink.
      • Lack of exercise
      • Uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure
      • Uncontrolled cholesterol levels
      • Smoking tobacco
      • Drinking too much of alcohol
      • Older adults are at higher risk
      • Stress
      • Family history
      • Usage of illegal drugs.
      • Women who had pre-eclampsia during pregnancy are at higher risk

    1. There is a build-up of fat and other substances (plaque) in the arteries, making them narrower. It affects blood flow. Sometimes, this plaque break-off causing a clot to stop the blood flow. This may lead to a powerful contraction of the artery, triggering a heart attack.

      While in case of heart failure, the heart (muscles) becomes weak over a period of time, by tirelessly pushing the blood through narrow blood vessels. Due to insufficient blood supply, it starts failing gradually. There could be other reasons for heart failure like cardiac valve diseases, cardiomyopathy, and irregular heartbeats, etc.

      So, heart Attack happens suddenly while Heart Failure develops gradually. Sometimes, a heart attack causes acute heart failure by weakening the heart’s blood-pumping ability.

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