A huge number of people die due to heart attack on daily basis. The reason is not knowing about the basic symptoms. Most people feel the symptoms & name them as Heartburn, Muscular Pain, Digestion Problem, etc. due to lack of awareness. It is important that people should at least be aware of the basic symptoms, which are if observed then a person should immediately be taken to the hospital for proper treatment so that their life could be saved.
“Damage to an area of the heart muscle that is deprived of oxygen, usually due to blockage of a diseased coronary artery, typically accompanied by chest pain radiating down one or both arms, the severity of the attack varying with the extent & location of the damage; myocardial infarction.”
UNDERSTANDING HEART ATTACK
Heart & blood vessel disease is known as heart disease, includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called as plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Most people survive their first heart attack & return to their normal lives to enjoy many more years of productive activity. But having a heart attack does mean you have to make some changes. The doctor will advise you of medications & lifestyle changes according to how badly the heart was damaged & what degree of heart disease caused the heart attack.
- High LDL (Bad Cholesterol)& Low HDL (Good Cholesterol)
- Uncontrolled hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Physical inactivity
- Obesity (More than 20% over one’s ideal body weight)
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High C-Reactive protein
- Uncontrolled stress & anger
- Alcohol abuse
2. NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS
- Genetic Makeup
- Heredity (Positive family history)
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS OF A HEART ATTACK?
If you are suffering from a heart attack, you first need to be able to identify its symptoms.
Classical symptoms of a heart attack include:
- SEVERE CHEST PAIN: Chest pain like squeezing, heaviness or pressing at the central or left part of the chest. The pain may also radiate to the left upper arm, neck or jaw.
- PROFUSE SWEATING: A feeling of impending doom.
About 90% of heart attack sufferers experience the classical symptoms. However, the elders, females & those suffering from diabetes may develop non-classical heart attack symptoms. These include shortness of breath, mild chest pain, nausea, vomiting & pain in the epigastric region (upper central portion of the abdomen).
- Shortness of breath.
- Floating heart
- Aura (Sometimes people do not feel any symptoms except for having a feeling that something is wrong in the chest)
- Flushing of face (Redness of face)
- Loss of consciousness
- Mood swings
- Light headedness
- Extreme fatigue
- Pressure in the upper back
Once you identify that the symptoms are of a heart attack, this is what you need to do next.
STEPS TO TAKE
Call for the medical emergency to a hospital or ambulance as soon as possible or take the person to the hospital.
While waiting for an approach of a medical emergency team you should do:
- Posture – Put the person in a seated position, with knees raised.
- Chew a regular dose aspirin to help prevent blood clots.
- Initiate CPR if the person stops breathing (if you are lucky enough that you have a person nearby who knows how to perform CPR).
- Take with a glass of water.
- If you have been prescribed nitroglycerin tablets or spray for angina, take 1-3 doses to see whether symptoms are relieved.
- Lie down, breathe deeply and slowly, and try to stay calm.
- Take deep breaths
- According to Gilbert Renaud apply ice directly above each ear.
- According to Norman Walker, author of Colon Health, apply intense pressure with your thumb directly on the heart access point on the bottom of your left foot. (*See image)
Remember, exertion can strain your heart & can worsen the damage caused by a heart attacker.
1. GARLIC: Several studies have found garlic to be beneficial for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol & coronary heart disease. It helps slow the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Plus, garlic improves circulation & has antithrombotic & antiplatelet aggregatory effects.
- Eat one or two freshly crushed garlic cloves daily as you wake up in the morning (before having breakfast).
Note: Garlic may interfere with certain medications due to its blood-thinning properties. Consult your doctor before taking this herb.
2. HAWTHORN: In western herbalism, hawthorn is a well-known herb for heart conditions because it is excellent for the cardiovascular system. It helps increase blood flow to the heart & improves cardiac muscle contractions, thus leading to a stronger pumping action. It also helps increase cardiac performance &reduces the heart’s workload. Plus, it has an anti-arrhythmic effect that helps steady the heartbeat.
Note: Though this herb is safe to use, consult your doctor before taking this or any other herbal remedy.
3. ARJUNA: Terminalia arjuna is an important Ayurvedic herb for heart conditions. It is considered a natural cardio-tonic & cardiac restorative. The herb strengthens the cardiac muscle, reduces arterial congestion & lowers blood pressure.
A study by researchers at Kasturba Medical College in India found that this herb helped reduce angina attacks by 30%. Moreover, prolonged use of this herb did not have any adverse effects.
- Add one-half teaspoon of arjuna tree bark powder & a little honey to a glass of warm water. Drink this three times daily for a few months.
4. CHINESE HIBUSCUS: Researchers from Taiwan found that an extract of hibiscus flowers had anti-atherosclerosis activity. They believe that hibiscus contains antioxidant compounds that help prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, which contributes to atherosclerosis & heart disease. An infusion prepared from this herb is also believed to help regulate high blood pressure.
- Boil two petals of a hibiscus flower in one cup of water.
- Strain & add one teaspoon of raw honey.
- Drink this once daily for a few weeks.
5. TURMERIC: Studies indicate that turmeric can help prevent atherosclerosis. Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin that helps maintains heart health by reducing cholesterol oxidation, plaque buildup & clot formation.
Plus, it helps lower LDL & provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Being a potent antioxidant, it also neutralizes free radicals that contribute to aging & several chronic diseases.
- Use turmeric regularly in your cooking.
- You can also boil one teaspoon of turmeric powder in one cup of water or milk. Drink it once or twice daily for several weeks to a few months.
6. CAYENNE: Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin that is beneficial for treating heart & circulatory problems. It also helps reduce the risk of irregular heart rhythms & lowers cholesterol levels. The phytochemicals present in this spice also purify the blood & enhances immunity.
- Add one-half to one teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water. Stir well & drink it. Repeat two or three times daily for a few weeks. You can follow up with a cup of hibiscus tea to heal the burning sensation & promote heart health.
“Keep a healthy heart, so we won’t be apart!”
– With love from The Words Craft.