Is your body already warning you about a heart condition that might occur? Have a look at the article below and check if you are healthy or you must see a doctor. A heart attack usually occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. The blockage occurs due to the accumulation of fat, cholesterol or other substances, which form a plaque in the arteries that transfer the blood to the heart. The plaque in due course breaks away and forms a clot. The broken blood flow can be very fatal and can even damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
The most common early signs of a heart attack include:
- Heaviness, tightness, a mild pain, or a squeezing sensation in your chest or arms which can also spread in other parts of your body.
- Nausea, digestion issues, acidity or abdominal pain
- Short breath
- Cold sweat
- Sudden dizziness
But not everyone has the same symptoms. The signs may vary from person to person. Some people have mild pain in their chest while others have severe pain. Some people have no symptoms at all and their first sign may be sudden cardiac arrest.
A few people have sudden heart attacks but most of the people have warning signs and symptoms a few hours, days or weeks before the actual breakdown. The earliest warning sign usually is recurrent chest pain or pressure that is activated by exertion and relieved by rest. It is known as Angina, which is caused by a short-term decrease in the blood flow to the heart.
What to do if notice any such sign?
Take the action instantly. A few people wait for too long because they don’t recognize any of the symptoms. If you have a sudden heart attack, take these steps:
- Call for an emergency medical help. If you suspect that you’re having a heart attack, immediately call an ambulance.
- Take aspirin. Taking a tablet of aspirin during a heart attack can reduce the damage to your heart. It doesn’t let your blood form a clot.
Risk factors associated with heart attack
A number of factors contribute to the build-up of plaque which narrows arteries throughout your body. However, you can eliminate many of these risk factors to reduce the chances of a heart attack.
The risk factors include:
- Men above 45 and women above 55 years of age are more likely to have a heart attack. But age is something you can’t avoid.
- Active and passive, both kinds of smoking can put you at the risk of a heart attack.
- High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure most of the times, it can damage arteries that feed your heart
- High blood cholesterol. A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol, plays a vital role in narrowing the arteries. However, a high level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol, lowers the risk of heart attack.
- Obesity is the major factor which is associated with high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. If you lose even 10 per cent of your body weight, you can be at a lower risk.
- Diabetes. If your pancreas is not producing enough insulin, this causes your body’s blood sugar levels to rise, putting you at a major risk of heart attack.
- Family history. If anyone from your family, your siblings, parents or grandparents has had early heart attacks, you can be at a major risk.
- Lack of physical activity. Inactivity also contributes to high blood cholesterol and also obesity. People who exercise regularly have a healthy heart.
- Stress also increases your risk of a heart attack.
How to prevent an attack?
Prevention is better than cure. It’s never too late to take preventive measures in order to avoid a heart attack.
Medications. Taking regular medications can reduce the risk of a heart attack if your heart is damaged. Visit a heart specialist for a regular heart check up and stick to what your doctor prescribes.
Lifestyle changes. Maintain a healthy body weight along with a healthy diet. Quit smoking, exercise regularly and manage your stress levels.