10 Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack

10 Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack
A heart attack is referred to in the medical arena, as a myocardial infarction. This coronary event follows after the heart muscle has been deprived of oxygen, due a blocked artery or arteries. Many cardiac problems are related to partially blocked coronary arteries that nourish the heart muscle itself. The formation and buildup of plaque in the internal walls of the arteries may make them more inelastic, and increasing the risk of total blockage and the resultant heart attack.
Very often, it is quite difficult to differentiate between a heart attack and heartburn. Ignoring the signs of a heart attack increases the possibility of permanent heart-muscle damage, by the minute.
The common signs of a heart attack are a tightness, pain or discomfort in the chest. Sweating, nausea and vomiting that are accompanied by intense pressure in the chest, as well as, a radiating and intense chest pain, that extends to the left arm are classic signs of heart attack.
Shortness-of-breath for more than a few minutes may also signal an imminent problem. Pain may also manifest itself, almost anywhere above the waist, from the jaw and neck to the shoulders.
If you experience any of the above, seek immediate medical attention. Do not write the discomfort off, to heartburn.
Remember, if you even think you are having a heart attack, you must call an ambulance, and place an aspirin under your tongue, unless you’re allergic. Time is of the essence, as every minute increases the likelihood of permanent heart damage. Today, it’s very likely that upon your arrival at the emergency department, the medical professionals will administer intravenous clot-busting medications, in an attempt to restore blood flow to the heart. These medications have proven to be extremely effective, when administered as soon as possible, following the event.
Risk Factors
The risk factors, that may predispose you for the development of coronary artery disease and heart attack include: smoking, diabetes, elevates cholesterol levels, hypertension, family history of heart disease, lack of exercise, obesity, and a high-fat diet regimen.
Reducing Risks
1. Quitting smoking – nicotine is vasoconstrictor, which narrows the arteries and elevates blood pressure.
2. Eating healthy – avoid fatty foods, excess salt and red meat, each of which, contributes to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
3. Controlling high blood pressure – your blood pressure should be carefully and regularly monitored, as the pressure can easily be controlled with medication.
4. Cardiovascular exercise of 30 minutes duration, daily. Studies have shown that regular exercise of this duration has proven to have very positive effects on one’s health.
5. Preventing obesity – As obesity nears epidemic proportions in this country, it’s very important to maintain a body weight that is correct for your height and bone structure.
6. Choosing a healthy lifestyle – a personal wellness program encompasses a number of factors interacting together.
7. Practicing relaxation techniques – stress can take a terrible toll on your body.
8. Performing regular deep-breathing exercises – studies have shown that humans generally use only about 20 – 25% of their lung capacity.
9. Undergoing periodic cardiac evaluations. Since coronary artery disease remains the #1 killer of adults, and in 50% of those deaths, the initial symptom was sudden death, regular cardiac evaluations are a must.
10. Including anti-oxidant rich foods in your diet. Recent research suggests that ingesting foods rich in antioxidants has a positive effect on overall health.
A killer disease, according to the American Heart Association, approximately 58 million Americans suffer from heart disease. Heart disease and death resulting from it can oft-times be prevented by reducing your risks, as outlined above.
Find a balance in life between work and leisure activities, abandon the couch for the outdoors, don’t watch sports on television, play sports instead, and you can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.