Heart Attack: cause, symptoms and prevention

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What is a Heart attack?

A heart attacks happens in a person when the normal blood flow to heart is suddenly stopped or reduced due to some reasons. Since the main function of blood is to supply oxygen to heart, due to decrease in flow of blood to heart, oxygen supply is also reduced. And hence due to less oxygen, heart muscles either are damaged or destroyed.

Main Cause of heart attack

The main cause of heart attack is the accumulation of cholesterol or fatty substances known as plaque in the arteries which supply blood to heart. These build up thus causes the decrease of oxygen supply or permanent block in arteries. The accumulation of fatty substances happen in years.

Most heart attacks happens when the plaque breaks off artery wall causing the formation of blood clot around the broken –off plaque which is major responsible in blocking the artery.

Heart attack symptoms

Men and women may show different symptoms but both suffer from pain, pressure and discomfort in chest. Other symptoms of heart attack includes sweating, fatigue, nausea and difficulty in breathing. Some of them can also experience pain in neck, jaw and shoulders.  

As compared to women, men will show more cold sweat and experience pain in left arm during the heart attack. Whereas women are more likely to get back and neck pain and they also experience symptoms of nausea, vomiting, indigestion and shortness of breathing. Some women may also feel extremely tired, light headed and dizziness. Scientist says, flu-like symptoms and sleep problems may also occur around 2 weeks before a heart attack.

Risk factors associated with heart attack

  • Aging
  • Sex (men have higher risk than women)
  • A family history
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol level
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Depression and stress

Diagnosis of Heart attack

An EKG or ECG (Electrocardiogram) is done to check heart electrical activity which can help doctors whether you are having heart attack or not. It also shows which artery is clogged.

Doctors can also diagnose heart attack with blood tests which is based on the principle of detection of proteins that are released when heart muscles die.

Heart Attack Treatment

Doctors will move you quickly to restore the flow of blood to your hear as soon as possible. They will administered you with drugs that can dissolve blood clots in your arteries. This will be followed by procedure called coronary angiogram. This process include inserting of thin tube called stent with balloon through artery that helps to open the blockage by flattening the plaque in the artery.

Prevention of heart attack

The best remedy for heart attack is the prevention of it such as if you are a smoker, quit smoking. It will immediately cut your chances of getting heart attack. Indulge in regular exercise and incorporate healthy and well balanced food. Include more of fruits and vegetables and cut down on red meat and its products. Find positive ways to manage depression and stress and even after taking care of all these precaution, you still experience above symptoms, visit doctor immediately and get heart check-up.

 

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