all about heart attack
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Heart attacks have been a major reason for death in many young as well as old folks. They have taken a lot of people from their families, friends, and even themselves. The heart attack causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment- Heart attacks are a big deal, one in five people will have one at some point in their lives. In fact, heart attacks can happen to anyone, regardless of age or gender. The fact is that heart attacks begin quietly, then quickly grow into something incredibly malignant. Let’s talk about the heart attack causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment –

Causes of Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that supplies oxygen to the heart muscle is significantly reduced or completely cut off.

This occurs because the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle can become narrowed due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances known as plaque. This slow process is referred to as atherosclerosis. 

When a heart attack occurs, the heart muscle that has been deprived of blood begins to suffer damage. The extent of heart muscle damage is determined by the size of the area supplied by the blocked artery and the time between injury and treatment. 

Also Read: Understanding Diabetes: What are Diabetes, Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Management

Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest Discomfort

Most heart attacks are characterized by discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and returns. It may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. 

Discomfort In Other Areas Of The Upper Body

Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach can be symptoms. 

Shortness Of Breath With Or Without Chest Pain

Other Symptoms May Include A Cold Sweat, Nausea, Or Lightheadedness.

ther symptoms may include a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

As with men, the most common symptom of a heart attack in women is chest pain (angina) or discomfort. Women are slightly more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Heart Attack Diagnosis 

A heart attack is diagnosed by checking blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Tests are performed to determine how the heart is beating and to assess overall heart health. 

Heart Attack Diagnosis
  • An ECG can detect whether you are having or have had a heart attack. ECG also known as Electrocardiogram shows electrical signals as they pass through the heart.
  • After a heart attack, certain heart proteins slowly leak into the bloodstream. These proteins can be detected through blood tests.
  • A chest X-ray reveals the health and size of the heart and lungs.
  • An echocardiogram can help determine whether your heart has been damaged in any way. It makes images of the beating heart. 
  • Angiography is a type of X-ray that is used to examine blood vessels. This draws attention to your blood vessels, allowing your doctor to detect any problems. Angiograms are X-ray images produced during angiography.
  • X-rays are used in cardiac CT scans. Cardiac MRI creates images of your heart using a magnetic field and radio waves.

Heart Attack Treatment

Heart Attack Treatment

The following medications may be used to treat a heart attack:

  • Aspirin inhibits blood clotting.
  • Clot dissolvers (thrombolytics or fibrinolytics). These medications aid in the dissolution of blood clots that are impeding blood flow to the heart.
  • Other anti-clotting medications Heparin may be administered via IV or injection. Heparin makes the blood less sticky and less prone to clotting.

If you’ve had a heart attack, a surgery or procedure may be done to open a blocked artery. 

  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting are two procedures used to treat a heart attack. This procedure is used to clear blocked heart arteries.
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). This is an open-heart operation. A healthy blood vessel from another part of the body is used by a surgeon to create a new path for blood in the heart.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation is a customised exercise and education programme that teaches people how to improve their heart health after having heart surgery.

Nutrition and Diet After Heart Attack

A heart-healthy diet may include:

  • vegetables and fruits
  • seeds and nuts
  • legumes and beans
  • whole grains, fish and seafood
  • Olive oil and other plant-based oils (you can eat up to six per week)
  • lean cuts of meat
  • poultry without skin

These options have low levels of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. A diet high in these ingredients may increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Foods To Avoid 

A partial list of foods to limit or avoid is as follows:

Food to avoid
  • Fast food
  • food that is fried
  • canned food (with the exception of vegetables and beans, as long as there is no added salt)
  • candy\schips
  • frozen processed meals
  • cakes and cookies
  • biscuits
  • condiments for ice cream such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and packaged dressing
  • meat that is red (enjoy in limited quantities only)
  • vegetable oils containing alcohol (these contain trans fats)
  • pizza with deli meat, burgers, and hot dogs

Reference and Source: MayoClinic, Heart.org