Heart Attack: Learn About Symptoms, Signs, Risk & Treatment
What is Heart Attack?
In order to pump blood to heart without stopping, heart muscle cells must receive enough oxygen. Two main coronary arteries deliver clean blood to the heart muscles. If one of these two coronary arteries is blocked, then the heart muscle cells cannot get enough oxygen. If this situation lasts for a long time, the cells start to die and a heart attack occurs.
A heart attack usually lasts for a few hours. During the heart attack, the person may start to cough and feel faintness, nausea or short of breath. While in some cases there are no symptoms at all, most heart attacks cause chest pain. Generally people confuse heart attack with angina, as their pain is very similar. However, the angina pain does not last more than 5 minutes while the heart attack pain lasts for a long time.
What Triggers Heart Attack?
We cannot escape from some certain factors such as age, sex, heredity. However, it is our choice to protect from ourselves from heart attacks and diseases.
- Smoking: Although it seems cliché, some facts never change. Smoking increases the risk of heart attack. Moreover, smoking increases the risk of lung diseases and bladder cancers, as well as many cancer types. If you smoke, you need to quit this harmful habit as soon as possible or at least reduce it.
- Obesity: Obesity is a risk factor for deadly heart attacks. If you have too much fat, you're at higher risk for a heart attack. To beat obesity, you should include more vegetable and fruit to your diet and remove fatty food.
- Being a Man: When men and women are compared, men are less fortunate than women. In terms of the risk of a heart attack, women have an advantage of about 10 years. So a 50-year-old man's risk is nearly as much as a 60-year-old woman. The reason for this is the protective effect of estrogen hormone in women.
- Heavy Physical Exercise: The most common problems during sports are usually related to the heart. The increase in blood pressure when doing sports can cause a sudden heart attack even for people who do not have any health problems.
How to Prevent Heart Attack?
- Every Day 30-Minute Exercise: Exercise is a must for a healthy life. For your heart health, do aerobic exercises for five days a week, at least 30 minutes. If aerobic is not your style, then you may walk fast, run slowly, swim, or cycle.
- Limit Salt: You should limit your daily salt intake to 6 grams for your heart health. According to a survey conducted on 3,126 people in the USA; the risk of people suffering from cardiovascular disease decreases by 25 percent when they have reduced daily salt intake.
- Don’t Overdo Alcohol: Alcohol also affects your heart health negatively. If you want to drink alcohol, be careful not to overdo it. You should limit daily alcohol consumption to 150 milliliters to avoid harmful effects.
- Control Your Cholesterol: High cholesterol is one of the biggest enemies of heart health. According to a survey conducted on more than 29,000 people in 52 countries, the reason of two-thirds of heart attacks is high cholesterol. Your cholesterol is considered normal if you are under 200 mmHg. For a healthy life, you should always have a cholesterol measurement once you are over 20.