Don’t Let a Heart Attack Take Your Heart and Your Life
Article by Robert Langtry
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart is blocked. Unless unblocked, that part of the heart may suffer permanent damage and the person may not survive heart attack. This blockage can be caused by a plaque buildup in the coronary artery that breaks loose. Another cause is spasms of the coronary artery which restricts the flow of blood and oxygen. Stress and kidney disease are also causes. Women taking birth control pills are also at a high risk of heart attack.
Men suffer heart attack more than women and also suffer more symptoms than women. The signs of a heart attack for men include pain and pressure in the chest similar to indigestion or heartburn and achyness in one or both arms, back, neck, and jaw bone. They also experience a fast or irregular heartbeat, hard to breathe, stomach pain, coughing, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, heavy perspiration, and even fainting. The signs of a heart attack for women include non-stop upset stomach and vomiting, difficulty breathing, sudden weak feeling, indigestion, and fainting. A silent heart attack is when a person experiences no symptoms, but tests show they did suffer a heart attack.
Upon feeling the first signs of a heart attack, an ambulance should be called instead of waiting for the symptoms to subside which could be fatal. At the hospital, the patient will be given oxygen, aspirin, nitroglycerin, and medication for the pain. The doctor will also take xrays, perform blood tests to check for heart damage, and perform an EKG to check heart rhythms.
Once a person suffers a heart attack, they are at a higher risk to suffer a second attack. The symptoms of a second attack may be completely different from the first attack. It is important to take steps to prevent a second happening of this scary and possibly fatal occurrence.
Those who are more likely to suffer a heart attack are people who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are overweight, do not exercise, are diabetics, and have a family history of heart problems and heart attacks. Men age 45 and over and women age 55 and over who have gone through menopause are also at high risk.
Over one million people in the United States suffer from heart attacks each year. Approximately half die or have permanent damage to their heart. The risk of heart attack can be decreased by eating healthy foods that are low in fat and salt as well as vegetables and fruits. They should also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight, become a nonsmoker, exercise, and stay active. It is also important for diabetics to control their diabetes under a doctor’s care.
It is important for people to know the warning signs of a heart attack. Living a healthy lifestyle will greatly decrease the chances of this happening. Those living an unhealthy life need to change their habits before it is too late and they don’t survive heart attack. Waiting until next week to diet, quit smoking, start exercising, and generally take care of themselves may be too late. Sometimes the potential sufferer will be given warning signs of lower scale symptoms of heart attack. They should take heed of these signs and take the necessary steps to lessen the risk of heart attack. It is possible for the person who has never had heart trouble to have a massive heart attack without warning. That is why it is important for those feeling the warning signs to do something before something is done to them that they have no control over.