What Is a Heart Attack?
Heart attack also called myocardial infarction. This occurs when the blood flow to the heart reduces. This can be due to blockage of the arteries due to clogging by plaques, and sometimes emboli and thrombi (blood clot). The loss of blood supply to the heart muscles means the shortage of blood oxygen. This, if not quickly corrected, can lead to the destruction of the cardiac muscles. This is associated with heart pain, nausea, lightheadedness, and dyspnea.
The most common cause of heart attack is coronary artery disease, an example of which is the buildup of plaques as earlier mentioned. Some of the factors that can precipitate the buildup of plaques in the heart vasculature includes the following:
- Poor nutrition
- Overweight and obesity
- Metabolic diseases
- Sedentary lifestyle with no regular physical activity
- Inappropriate alcohol consumption
Other causes of a heart attack could also be vasospasm. This is when the heart vessels suddenly begin to undergo spasm (contractions). This narrows the vessels, and consequently reduces the blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.
What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women?
There are many symptoms of heart attack. However, the most predominant of them in women is chest discomfort. Below are some of the other common symptoms of a heart attack in women.
- Chest discomfort: This can appear as the tightening of the chest. Some people explain it like “a heavy pressure on their chest”. This kind of pain often times migrates to other parts of the body, such as the neck region, the shoulder, the arm, lower part of the back and sometimes in the abdomen. Patients describe this kind of pain as heartburn. The pain can get very uncomfortable and can last more than 15 minutes.
- Dyspnea: This is a condition in which the patient is short of breath and finds it difficult to breathe. This might be accompanied with chest pain. Dyspnea can be triggered when the individual engages in physical activities, and can also occur during rest.
- Other symptoms of heart attack include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, palpitations, abnormal blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rate and respiratory rate. Syncope can also occur, which is due to the reduction of blood supply to the brain.
What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Men?
Men tend to enjoy a lot of benefits due to their gender, but one of the not so good things about being a man is that they’re more likely to have a heart attack compared to women. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack in men:
- Chest discomfort: This can appear as the tightening of the chest. Some people do explain it like “a heavy pressure on their chest”. This kind of pain often times migrates to other parts of the body, such as the neck region, the shoulder, the arm, lower part of the back and sometimes in the abdomen. Patients describe this kind of pain as heartburn. The pain can get very uncomfortable and can go for more than twenty minutes.
- Shortness of breath: This is a condition in which the patient is short of breath and finds it difficult to breathe. This might be accompanied with chest pain. Dyspnea can be triggered when the individual engages in physical activities, and can also occur during rest.
- Abnormal heart: The patients have a very rapid heartbeat, and sometimes they can actually hear their heart beating. This is quite common in men that have a heart attack.
- Other symptoms of heart attack that occur in men include nausea, vomiting, tiredness palpitations, abnormal blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rate, respiratory rate and abdominal pain. Syncope can also occur, which is due to the reduction of blood supply to the brain. Profuse sweating is also a common occurrence. Generally, the more symptoms a man has, the more the chances that the patient actually has a heart attack.
Diabetic men and women might not have chest pains because of neuropathies. This occurs mostly in older men. Also, patients that have received a transplant might not have symptoms because their heart is not completely innervated. This condition in which patients have a heart attack without any symptoms is known as Silent Myocardial Infarction. Although chest discomfort is common to both men and women, women are more prone to having a myocardial infarction.
What Is The Best Exercise Plan to Regain Heart Health After a Heart Attack?
Engaging in some form of physical activity especially after a heart attack is a crucial part of the management and recovery of patients. To do this, the patient with the assistance of the doctor must come up with a plan. However, the patient must do the following:
- Start gradually: The patient should start with the light exercises, and avoid the intensive routines. Patients can start with walking. This is really helpful for patients suffering from coronary heart diseases. Walking is at no extra financial cost to the patient. The patient can form a group of people that he/she could do the routine with.
- Moderate intensity exercise: The patient can progress from slow exercises to moderate intensity exercise. This is crucial to patients that have coronary heart disease. The moderate intensity exercise helps patient burn fat, thereby reducing their cholesterol level. It also helps them lose weight, boosting their confidence, giving them more energy and consequently increasing their lifespan. Some of the examples of moderate intensity exercise include swimming and fast-paced walking along the street.
Reduce Stress, Heart Disease Risk Through Mindfulness and Exercise
Exercise helps patient burn fat, thereby reducing their cholesterol level. It also helps them lose weight, boosting their confidence, giving them more energy and consequently increasing their lifespan. Some of the examples of the exercise that the patient can involve in include swimming, walking, and some other lightweight exercises. Patient should endeavor to avoid stress, as this can trigger heart attacks.
Is That Chest Pain Stress or a Heart Attack?
It can be quite difficult and confusing for people to know if they are having a random chest pain stress or a heart attack. In fact, there are a lot of things that can be responsible for chest pain stress. A typical example of this is anxiety. One of the most feared symptoms of anxiety is chest pain. There is no definite standard to differentiate between chest pain stress or heart attack. However, there are some dissimilarities between them. Some of the differences include:
- Heart attack pain lasts longer than 15 minutes in most cases, while chest pain stress lasts for a shorter amount of time.
- Heart pain tends to migrate to other parts of the body such as the arm, neck and even the lower back.
- Cardiac attack pain is always more dull, like a heavy pressure is being applied on the chest.
The best step, however, is to visit a doctor to have them fully examine and give a diagnosis.
Can Stress Cause Stroke or Heart Attack?
Persistent stress has been recorded to cause increased activity in a section of the brain that is associated with processing emotions, and an upsurge in the chances of having cardiovascular diseases. According to a study that was done by a group of researchers at Harvard University, it was discovered that stress is as important as hypertension, obesity, and smoking.
The study was made up of two groups. The first group was made up of 290 individuals. After their brain scans were examined, they realized that a component of the basal ganglia (the amygdala) stimulates the production of white blood cells. This triggers an inflammation in the arteries, consequently leading to myocardial infarction, heart pain and eventually a stroke.
When an individual is stressed, the amygdala initiates a signal to the hypothalamus, that then sends information to the rest of the body to prepare to defend itself. It was concluded that there is a link between stress, the amygdala and the heart condition that follows, including stroke.
In the first group, the researchers found that the link between activity in the amygdala and later heart events and stroke was due to increased bone-marrow activity and arterial inflammation. Studies from the second group showed that there is a direct connection between the inflammation of the arteries and increased activity in the amygdala of consistently stressed folks. In addition to this, they found a link between arterial inflammation and stress. In conclusion, they realized that stress cannot just cause a stroke or a heart attack, but is an important factor.
Is Yoga Effective for Preventing Heart Disease?
Yoga is set of physical, psychological and spiritual practices. This practice started from India before it spread to other parts of the world. Yoga exercise involves getting the body into different positions. This puts tension on and exercises the muscles. This is good for the blood vessels and the muscles. The yoga exercise has to deal with a lot of breath control. This regulates the respiratory rate, also reduces the blood pressure and suppresses the sympathetic nervous system. The body positioning and the very well controlled breathing offers a physical meditation that unclogs the mind, and help focus. Yoga has been proved to help patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Is it GERD, a Panic Attack, or a Heart Attack?
GERD stands for Gastro-esophageal reflux disease. It’s a condition in which the contents of the stomach move back to the esophagus. This results in what is known as heartburn, as is associated with bad mouth odor, chest discomfort. It has symptoms that are similar to heart attack. However, there are few ways to differentiate between the two:
- Heartburn worsens immediately after having a meal
- The condition improves after taking antacids
- It’s not associated with dyspnea, as it occurs in heart attack
- Heartburn causes bloating, but this does not occur in heart attack
Heart attack and panic attack also have similar symptoms, these symptoms include chest discomfort, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, profuse cold sweating, abdominal pain, tiredness, stomach pain. However, there are some differences between the two
- The panic attack has symptoms that affect the entire body, while a heart attack is localized to the upper body, abdomen and the lower back.
- Panic attacks do not cause syncope, while people often lose consciousness in heart attack due to low oxygen supply to the brain.
- Panic attacks usually come with hyperventilation, and this can be resolved by just remaining calm and control of breathing. This is not the case with heart attacks.
- The heart attack pain can go on for as long as 15 minutes. This is not the case in panic attack, as it only lasts for about 5-10 seconds.
- Heart attack pain is migratory in nature, it does spread to the neck, lower back, the stomach, while a panic attack is localized to the chest.
What Does GERD Stand For and What Is GERD?
GERD stands for Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s a condition in which the contents of the stomach move back to the esophagus. It occurs when the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach is weakened. This results in what is known as heartburn, as is associated with bad mouth odor, chest discomfort.
The symptoms associated with GERD can be improved by totally avoiding alcohol and food that contains acid. In addition, eating 3 hours before bedtime is another efficient way of preventing the symptoms. Also, the patient should try to shed his/her weight.
What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety or Panic Attack?
The panic attack has symptoms similar to heart attack, but there are also some big differences. Below are some of the symptoms of panic attack:
- Increased heart rate
- Fear and anxiety
- Chest discomfort
What to Do If Someone Is Having a Heart Attack
A heart attack is a condition that needs urgent treatment. The goal of the treatment is to keep the cardiac muscles alive and to prevent further worsening of the situation. Since vessel clogging due to plaques is the most common cause of heart attack, the first step is for the doctor to administer a thrombolytic. A thrombolytic essentially breaks down whatever clot that may be obstructing the normal flow of blood. Nitroglycerine can also be administered to relieve the patient of the pains. Morphine can also be used for this purpose. Aspirin, an anticoagulant, can also be given to decrease the clot and prevent any form of clotting in the artery.
You can relieve your heart attack with a good diet and proper training routine. If you have any unusual symptoms, you should contact the nearest doctor.
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