1.What triggers a Heart Attack?
Heart Attacks usually occur when the blood supply to your heart is suddenly reduced or totally interrupted. Your heart is an organ that is responsible for pumping blood to your entire body. However, just like the other organs in your body, your heart also needs a constant supply of blood to meet its oxygen requirement and heart attacks happen when this supply is compromised.
2.What causes Heart Attacks?
Heart attacks are usually a result of a gradual process that is characterized by the buildup of plaques, which are made of cholesterol and fatty material, in the walls of the arteries that supply the heart. Heart attacks are usually triggered when these plaques break off and are then surrounded by blood clots leading to an obstruction in blood flow.
3.What are the warning signs of Heart Attacks?
Heart attacks can cause pain, and the feeling of pressure or discomfort in the chest. There could also be sweating, fainting, and shortness of breath. Pain in the shoulders, neck and jaws are also common. Some symptoms are however gender related. Women often have heartburn, neck or back pain, vomiting, and indigestion. They could also have generalized body weakness, dizziness or light headedness.
4.What to do when there is a Heart Attack?
If you are having the symptoms of a heart attack or someone near you is, it is important that you act fast. This is because early treatment is important in saving the life of the individual. If the person is unconscious, then you can do a hands-only CPR which can significantly raise the chances of survival. Your aim should be to get to the doctor as soon as possible. If you are the one with the symptoms, avoid driving yourself to the hospital.
5.What are the risk factors for a Heart Attack?
There are some things that place you at risk of heart attacks. There are some that cannot be modified such age and sex – the risk of heart attacks increases with age, is more in men and a family history also increases the risk. There are however many other risk factors that can be modified which include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of exercise, stress and depression.
6.How do you prevent a Heart Attack?
Considering the modifiable risk factors, it becomes clearer how to prevent heart attacks. If you are a smoker, you will need to stop. If you a diabetic or hypertensive, you need to see a doctor and follow the medical plan to control your blood pressure and blood sugar. Exercise regularly and eat fruits and vegetables to keep your cholesterol levels in check. For those that are at a high risk, your doctor may recommend drugs like aspirin to prevent it. You should also find ways of managing stress.