Your heart is just like any other muscle in your body. Arteries are part of the circulatory system, and deliver blood rich in oxygen to every cell in the body. When a muscle lacks oxygen supply, it can’t function properly. In the complete absence of oxygen, the muscle begins to die. This condition is termed as heart attack and it’s also known as a myocardial infarction or MI.
Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations or anxiety, and many more.
Heart Attack – Prevention Tips
While you can’t control your family history and genetics, you can decrease the risk factors associated with heart attack. A heart-healthy lifestyle in your daily routine is the best way to prevent a heart attack. Here are 5 heart attack prevention tips to help you get started:
Get Good Quality Sleep – Sleep deprivation can greatly harm your heart’s health. Your lack of sleep can place you at a huge risk of ailments including obesity, diabetes and depression high blood pressure, and heart attack. Fix a sleep schedule and always stick to it to prevent the conditions that favor heart attacks.
Maintain a Healthy Weight – Overweight or obesity can enhance your heart attack risk because they are linked to various other heart disease risk components, like cholesterol and triglyceride levels, diabetes, and high blood pressure. By keeping a check on your weight through right diet and exercises, you can lower all such risks.
Eat a Healthy Diet – Include lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, unsaturated fat, good protein and all the high omega-3 fatty acids containing foods to your diet. Reduce the intake of salt, saturated fats, sugars, and red meats. Having a variety in your diet is an ideal way to get all your required nutrients.
Manage Your Stress – Stress is connected to heart disease in many ways. Finding the most suitable relaxation method for yourself like yoga, meditation, and more can help you to positively manage your stress levels. Stressful emotions like regression may also induce heart attack risk, so remain calm and composed.
Avoid Smoking/Tobacco – Quit smoking or using tobacco products as they pose one of the major risks for developing heart diseases. Chemicals in tobacco can hurt your heart and blood vessels, by constricting your arteries due to a buildup of plaque or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to a heart attack.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack
- What Causes a Heart Attack?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common factor responsible for heart attacks. With CAD, there is a cholesterol or plaque deposition that occurs on the inner walls of the arteries, over a period of time. This is called atherosclerosis. Ultimately, when a portion of plaque tears off (break open), a blood clot can develop around the plaque and clog the artery. If a blood clot completely blocks the artery, the heart muscle turns oxygen deficient. Within a brief moment, the heart muscles collapse, causing a permanent damage. This is referred to as a heart attack.
- Are Women at a Greater Risk for Heart Disease Compared to Men?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in leading cause of adult death across both genders in the United States. But, the general perception among the medical community remains that women are less likely to develop heart disease before the age of 55 years, while, men can undergo heart disease at a much younger age. There are a number of reasons contributing to this knowledge that is still under investigation.
- What Happens If I Have Another Heart Attack?
If you have already had a heart attack, you are at a bigger risk of getting another one. Acknowledging indications of heart attack and taking proactive steps will help minimize damage to your heart and help you save your life. You can include some healthy steps in your lifestyle to decrease the chance of getting another heart attack.
- What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor?
Below are a few questions you may wish to ask your doctor after a heart attack to help you take good care of yourself:
- What can I do to lessen my risk of a heart attack?
- What is a heart-healthy diet?
- What activities can I do and what do I need to avoid?
- What can my family, friends, and colleagues do to help?
- Do you recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program?
Newport Family Medicine, located in Newport Beach, CA, offers full-service family practice from pregnancy through childhood and adulthood to maturity. We provide comprehensive health care for people of all age groups.