While we’ve advanced medical treatment for heart attacks in the last couple of decades, reducing the amount of deaths, heart attack is still the leading cause of death for men and women, exceeding a combination of the next few most likely causes of death. It is best to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy before you need medical intervention.
Coronary heart disease is characterized by angina, a feeling that can encompass the region between and including your neck to your stomach, and your arms. Angina is a painful feeling that is sometimes mistaken for heartburn, and that may be accompanied by such symptoms as weakness, dizziness, sweating and nausea (all signs similar to a heart attack).
When your arteries become clogged and restricted (narrow) you have atherosclerosis, which can occur in your legs, head (causing a stroke) or your heart. When it occurs in your heart it’s coronary heart disease.
As fat begins to build in the veins that feed your heart oxygen and nutrients, which starts at a young age, the veins become damaged. In healing themselves, they cause the arteries to become Ã¢â‚¬Å“stickyÃ¢â‚¬Â and collect things in your blood (proteins, calcium, etc.) forming plaque, which then blocks the artery. Sometimes the plaque forms in such a combination to cause platelets to build onto it, creating a blood clot and further narrowing the artery. If your heart goes too long without blood, especially if you exert yourself (emotionally or physically), you could have a heart attack.
Risks of Heart Disease and Heart Attacks Include:
- A genetic/hereditary disposition
- Age, generally people 65 years or older are at a higher risk
- Women’s risk also jumps post menopauseÃ¢â‚¬â€further, hormone replacement therapy can increase your chances of a heart attack. Weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor, and note there are other ways to deal with menopausal symptoms such as insomnia.
- Being overweight
- Men are at higher risk, but remember it’s still the leading cause of death in women
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- High level of bad cholesterol
After talking to your doctor about symptoms and risks, there are a number of diagnostic tests your doctor may perform to diagnose coronary heart disease.
How a heart attack feels can vary from person to person. A silent heart attack is one with no symptoms, and is most common in people with Diabetes. Men are more likely than women to feel pain and pressure in their chest during a heart attack. Women, if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel the characteristic chest pain, should note shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue; in the weeks before a heart attack these may even appear as early heart attack symptoms in women. Heart attack symptoms usually last longer than 30 minutes, and may worsen over time.
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE HAVING A HEART ATTACK, CALL 911. The sooner you get help for a heart attack the less damage to your heart will occur.
To Help Prevent a Heart Attack:
- Exercise regularly
- If you are overweight or obese, loose weight. Especially if that weight is
concentrated around your stomach, which increases your risk of a heart attack.
- Even though a glass of alcohol is regularly praised as a way to support heart health, remember it is not nearly a substitute, or even a good addition to, a regular regime of practices designed to protect heart health. If you drink, try to limit it to a serving a day, and try to not drink at all.
- Lower your fat intake, especially saturated fats; stop eating processed foods and trans fats
- Take folate and B vitamins which reduce homocysteine levels and have been connected with lowering your chance of a heart attack. A supplement which not only has these vitamins but has them mixed for optimal effectiveness is Cardio CVS Complete
- Eat whole grains
- Eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables
- Stop Smoking
- Reduce your stress: it will help lower your blood pressure. A good way to de-stress is meditation. It also helps to give your neurotransmitters amino acids that help build, maintain and support them, which can be found in Serenity CALM Welltrients
- Have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked frequently, especially if you have an increased hereditary risk
- Consider natural alternatives that help keep your bad cholesterol low and increases levels of good cholesterol-Cholesterol MGR contains phytosterols that block the absorption of cholesterol
Always consult your doctor when making decisions about your health or if you suspect that you have heart disease .
By Emma Spera
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