ExecutiveChronicles | Awareness and Prevention Of A Heart Attack | Heart attacks can have an impact on many people’s lives. Whether they unfortunately experience one, or their loved ones do, this health problem is common and one of the biggest killers. Looking after your heart is something that we all need to do, but sometimes you can’t avoid issues occurring. Having heart surgery might be the only option for some people, and previously it was performed very invasively and even meant having your breastbone split in order to access your heart. One London heart clinic is now offering keyhole heart surgery to allow you a quicker recovery, but the same end result. If you want to know more about heart attacks and how to prevent them, keep reading…
What Is A Heart Attack?
Heart attacks happen when your blood flow becomes restricted and can’t reach your heart. Typically, your blood flow becomes blocked by things like fat and cholesterol that have built up over time. This build-up then turns into plaque and stops the blood from being able to reach your heart, causing it to go into cardiac arrest. If you ever think that you or someone close to you is having a heart attack, it’s essential that you call the emergency services immediately, as it could save their life.
There are a few common symptoms of a heart attack that you need to be aware of. If you notice them in yourself or someone mentions them to you, make sure you call the emergency services straight away. Symptoms often include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, pressure, or a tight feeling in the chest, arms, neck, jaw, and back
- Breaking out into a cold sweat
Not everyone who has a heart attack will have all of these symptoms or feel them as intensely as the next person. However, it’s important to know what the most common ones are so that you know what to do if you come face to face with them yourself.
Some people may think that because other people in their family have had heart attacks, they’re destined for one too. But this isn’t always the case. A family history of heart attacks is just one factor that can increase the risk, it’s not a deciding factor. Other things will increase your risk of having a heart attack just as much, such as high cholesterol or blood pressure so don’t feel that you’re definitely going to suffer from one just because you’re a close family member did.
Sometimes people suffer from heart attacks for no apparent reason. They could be seemingly fit and healthy on the outside, and not have any obvious markers that they could be a victim of one. Although it’s not entirely possible to completely irradicate your risk of a heart attack, there are things you can do to try your best to prevent them.
Knowing your body is essential if you want to try to avoid heart attacks. Make sure you schedule regular appointments with your doctor so that they can monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. If high levels of these are detected early, it can be possible to reverse them and lower your risk of a heart attack. Typically, if you have any of these, you may be required to take medication or make changes to your lifestyle to help bring them back to a healthier level.
One major lifestyle change that you should make if you want to prevent a heart attack, is to stop smoking. Studies have shown that the chemicals in tobacco and cigarettes damage your heart. Smoke also depletes the amount of oxygen within your blood which in turn increases your blood pressure, putting you at a higher risk of a heart attack.
Eat For Nourishment
Having a healthy diet is also essential to looking after your heart. Your diet will directly affect your cholesterol levels and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You want to try to eat whole foods like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. You should try to avoid an excess of salt, foods high in saturated fat, alcohol, and sugar. Eating too many of these foods can lead to high cholesterol and diabetes which can increase the likelihood of a heart attack.
Although you may not enjoy it, exercise is necessary for looking after your heart. You should aim to do some sort of physical activity every day. You don’t need to go all out and start training at the gym. Going for afternoon walks or completing household chores can be enough to get your heart pumping. Regular exercise has been shown to help keep your weight at a healthy level, significantly reducing the risk of developing conditions that lead to possible heart attacks.
Plenty Of Sleep
Clinical studies have shown that not getting enough sleep each night can be at a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. All of these are linked to heart attacks, so you want to ensure that you get the correct amount of sleep as often as you can. If you’re struggling to sleep, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor as you could have an underlying condition that’s causing your insomnia.
Stress is often seen as the cause of heart attacks in movies. While this isn’t strictly true, it’s the way we cope with the stress that can increase the risk of a heart attack. For example, if you deal with a bad day at work by drinking alcohol or eating fatty foods, doing so on a regular basis will take its toll on your heart. Try looking at alternative ways to cope with stress, such as gentle exercise or reading a book. By processing your stress in a healthy way, you could help lower the chances of a heart attack in the future.
Heart attacks can sometimes happen out of the blue, but when you know their risk factors, it can suddenly all make sense. Leading a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for your body and mind while also helping to reduce your risk of having a heart attack. If you’re concerned about the health of your body and heart, do speak with your doctor so that they can provide you with expert advice.