Friday, December 15

Basic Info For Heart Attack

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HEART ATTACK is a notoriously well known condition.  I am sure anybody can have an impression or an idea regarding the topic.  Try asking your neighbor or the teenager next door and they will probably give a reasonable answer.

Maybe they will tell you some symptoms, some first aid treatment or stories of someone who had the condition.  The term literally means an attack, damage and dysfunction towards the heart, in medical terms it is called myocardial infarction.

The heart as with any other organs of our body, requires sustainance to survive.  It receives its sustainance from the blood that is supplied by blood vessels specific for the heart, these vessels are called coronary arteries.  It is essential that these arteries should be in top shape to cope for the metabolic needs of heart.  If the blood supply fails for whatever reason, a series of events will take place which if left untreated will lead to the demise of the affected area(s) of the heart – a heart attack.

A myriad of condtions can cause this failure of blood supply and I shall only tackle a few which I think is a must know to the layperson.  Atherosclerosis, a notorious disease of major blood vessels, is associated with deposition of cholesterol to the blood vessels affected, in this case, the coronary arteries.  In time if left unchecked can cause restriction of blood flow due to the obstruction of cholesterol deposits in the vessel walls decreasing the size of the lumen.  Some cholesterol plaques may become unstable and rupture causing a cascade of events that will lead to blood clot formation which can cause complete obstruction and hence a heart attack.

Several diseases are closely linked to the condition which greatly increases your risk, hypertension and diabetes are first on the list.  It is important to know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack for early detection and early treatment.  The following are the typical signs and symptoms—– 1) severe crushing chestpain lasting for more than 20 minutes 2) numbness of the left arm.  3) jaw numbness or pain.  4) difficulty breathing.  5) accompanying cold sweats. 

It is important that anyone at risk (hypertensives, diabetics etc.) should be aware of these danger signs and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Prevention is the key with this fatal condition, risk factors should be controlled which includes increased cholesterol levels, hypertension, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and cigarrete smoking.

A well balanced diet of meat, fish and vegetables coupled with regular exercise has been proven time and time again to lower down the risk for heart attack.

Your internist or primary care physician will be more than glad to advise you with this matter, pay them a visit.

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