WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND DIAGNOSISWHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS

Dear readers, today I going to discuss one of the most important health issues that we have faced or any of our near or dear ones have been facing in our day to day life. 

In today’s world, people who are affected by heart disease are increasing quite frequently. Generally, some different ways or precautions could be taken up to prevent or diagnose it. 

So, here in this post, I am going to highlight what is a heart attack, its causes, the factors leading to it and symptoms and how could one prevent it.


What is a heart attack?

People might know that the heart is an organ that needs oxygen to survive. 

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood which brings oxygen to the heart muscles is blocked. 

This blockage may happen for various reasons most likely due to buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances, which all together form a plaque in the arteries and prevents the follow of blood or reduces it.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

The symptoms of a heart attack may vary in different situations. Not every person who is having a heart attack may go through the same signs or the same severity of pain. Some might have severe pain and some might have a mild one.  

There are also some cases that people get a heart attack without prior intimations and that might be a case of cardiac arrest. 

But here I have tried to bring together some of the major symptoms of a person probable to a heart attack:-
  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw, or back.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain.
  • Fatigue, Lightheadedness, or sudden dizziness.
  • Cold sweat.   
Factors that lead to a heart attack?

High blood pressure, atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries which results: 
WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS


i) Suspensions of blood flow

ii) Radiation therapy

iii) Smoking

iv) Sleeplessness

v) High blood cholesterol 

vi) Diabetes

vii) Obesity
 
viii) Lack of physical activities 

ix) Excess amount of fats in the body

x) Too much consumption of alcohol 

xi) Stress

xii) Pollution

xiii) Even if you have it in the family. 

These are some of the major causes that could lead a person to a heart attack. 

Just for example obesity can lead to high blood pressure, increase the percentage of cholesterol in the blood, and could also lead to diabetes. A person could also have all four problems at the same time.

Causes of heart diseases    

When the coronary arteries get blocked and results in stoppage of blood due to build up of various substance, including cholesterol (atherosclerosis).

Diabetes and other physical conditions like-when the heart gets weak and leads to a very severe pain caused by a viral infection (myocarditis) or if someone has a deficiency by birth also leads to heart diseases.

But in most cases, high blood pressure is one of the major factors in contributing to heart diseases.

How to prevent yourself from a heart attack?

By remaining physically active through regular exercise and try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Below are some of the tips by following which we could improve our day to day lifestyle and stay healthy. 

1)Lose weight: The National Institute of diabetes and Kidney Disorder has suggested that if a person can lose weight 5-10 kg daily he could be less prone to a heart attack.

2)Exercise: A habit of regular exercise is very useful in controlling factors leading to heart attacks such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

3)Food habits: Eating healthy foods will help you in reducing the risk of more heart problems. 

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS

Eating foods like fish containing too much oil, along with fruits and vegetables that have a high amount of fats polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart diseases. 

Avoid adding to much salt to the food and always opt for “low-salt’ or ‘salt reduced’ foods where possible. Try to develop the habit of drinking more water and avoid sugar-sweetened drinks.

4) Say no to tobacco: The root cause of almost all of the heart disease is smoking or consumption of nicotine which exaggerates the chances of heart diseases almost like 70%. 

Yes, it may not easy for a person who is habitual but one could stop following the bad habit it could reduce the chances of heart diseases to a very high extent.

Diagnosis


Your doctor may advise you to perform these tests mentioned below:

1) Electrocardiogram or ECG is the primary test done to monitor electrical activity of the heart and tells how much the heart muscle has been damaged and where.

2)Blood test: There are different level of cardiac enzymes that leaks slowly into your bloodstream after a heart is damaged from a heart attack. 

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS
These enzymes are generally inside the cells of your heart. A doctor takes samples of your blood to test for the presence of these enzymes by which they can determine the severity of a heart attack and when it started. 

The test also measures the troponin level or the proteins inside the heart cells that are released after a heart attack.

3)Echocardiography is a test that is used during or after a heart attack by directing sound waves at your heart from a wandlike device (transducer) held on your chest to learn how your heart is pumping and what are the areas that aren’t pumping the way it usually does.

4)Cardiac catheterization is required if the medication isn’t helping the ischemia or symptoms. 

A liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a long, thin tube (catheter) that's fed through an artery in your heart. The cardiac cath makes the arteries visible and can give an image of the blocked artery.

5)Exercise stress test may require you to walk on a treadmill or pedal, a stationary bike while attached to an ECG machine so that you might also have a stress test to measure how your heart and blood vessels respond to exertion this test may happen in a day or week after your heart attack.

Medication or Drugs to treat a heart attack

Medication or drug therapy is used to break up or prevent blood clotting, stop platelets from collecting and sticking to the plaque and prevent ischemia. Medications given to treat heart attack might include:-

WHAT IS HEART ATTACK? SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS
1) Aspirin reduces blood clotting thus helping in maintaining blood flow through a narrowed artery. This may be the reason most of the people tend to build up a habit of taking an aspirin daily. 

But this habit may also have a side effect because the consumption of aspirin daily may lead to bleeding. Aspirin should be used under doctor’s supervision only.

2) Other antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, prasugrel, or ticagrelor to stop clotting.

3) Thrombolytics helps in dissolving a blood clot that’s blocking blood flow to your heart.

But before opting for any kind of medication or treatment you need to seek a doctor’s consultation for better treatment as your doctor is the best person to know what is his patient going through.  


What are other treatments for a heart attack?

1) Cardiac catheterization in addition to making a picture of your arteries, cardiac cath is also used to open narrowed or blocked arteries (angiography).

2) By Pass surgery is performed to restore the blood supply to your heart.

      An overview

According to World Health Organization many people have lost their lives due to heart attack.

In 2016 almost 17.9 million people have lost their lives out of which 31% have been unnatural deaths caused by a heart attack.

According to World Health Organization 3.6 million people are going to lose their lives till 2030 per year on account of a heart attack.



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