Heart Attack : Causes, Symptoms and Preventive Measures

Heart Attack

Surviving a heart attack is not a joke and many individuals who survive the first attack fail to realise that they have been given a second chance to live.

While most individuals try to maintain a close check on their health after the initial attack, some still fail to understand the severity of the situation and continue on with their life as if nothing happened.

The body becomes weak and less immune with age. And the only way to stay safe from consecutive heart attacks is to sit up and start taking your life and its purpose seriously. .

And while you go about doing that, you can also get a few pointers about heart attacks, the causes of the same, the symptoms involved and the necessary precautions you need to take to stay safe and healthy.

There are several causes and risks that can lead to heart attacks. While some cannot be controlled, others can and need to be taken care of immediately after an attack.

The more common factors that cannot be controlled by individuals include age, sex and family history. It has been proven that more men than women are at risk of contracting heart ailments as they near their 30s. Women are more prone to heart attacks after they reach their menopausal stage (between the age of 40-45).

It was in the earlier days that heart diseases used to affect individuals in their middle ages (60s and 70s). However, lifestyle changes and incessant habits like smoking and drinking have made individuals more vulnerable to these conditions, even in their 30s.

Sometimes, if the entire family has a history of heart related ailments, then there is a strong chance for the offsprings to face similar problems in their adulthood.

While these are factors that cannot be controlled, the other controllable causes of heart diseases include outwardly conditions like an irregular lifestyle, smoking and drinking; and bodily conditions like high cholestrol, high blood pressure, high sugar, obesity and stress.

Individuals with high blood sugar, high cholestrol and high blood pressure face higher chances of contracting heart ailments very early in their lives.

While high sugar levels affect the functioning of the blood vessels in the heart, high cholestrol levels result in fatty deposits that block up the arteries, leading to blood clots. Then again, high blood pressure levels exert a larger load on the heart which in turn can make it stop or beat irregularly.

The body and mind needs rest after every 24 hour interval and erratic work hours prevent some individuals from obtaining adeqaute rest. This can spell trouble for the body in the long run.

With little or no time for sleep, individuals are left with lesser time to exercise. Regular exercises like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are definitely necessary for the normal functioning of the heart.

In addition to all these factors, habits like heavy smoking and drinking can pave the way for an early attack. Both these habits cause irregularities in the functioning of the heart and can cause severe heart attacks in addition to strokes and blood clots.

It is really important to know how to figure out an impending heart attack by correctly deciphering the symptoms as and when they start to occur.

Recognising the symptoms at their onset can prove to be the difference between life and death. Many individuals have the general notion that a pain near the chest area is the only way to decipher an impending heart attack.

However, this is not the case. Even a pain in the jaw, shoulder or back can signal an approaching heart attack. Don’t mistake these pains for gas or other discomforts.

Nausea and sweating are other symptoms as well and if you start to experience all or any of these symptoms, consult a doctor at once.

So how do you go about preventing heart attacks and other related ailments in the future? Here are a few tips on how to stay safe after the first attack.

If you were a chain smoker or an excessive drinker till now, it’s time you showed these habits the door. For your heart would become very vulnerable after the first attack. Continuing these habits will be more dangerous can cause the heart to permanently shut down.

Start noticing what you eat. It doesn’t matter how much you eat but how healthy you eat. Have a chat with a dietician and ask him/her to draw out a diet plan in par with your current body conditions.

Limit the use of white sugar, rice and bread in your meals. Use very little oil for cooking and include lots of nutritious vegetables in your diet. Do not stuff yourself on the pretext of feeling hungry.

Rather, eat smart and opt for foods that will keep you full for longer periods. Avoid road side cafes and eateries, put a stop to junk food and do not eat your meals late in the night.

Start a regular form of exercise routine and stick to it. A 30 minute walk a day can do wonders for your heart and your body. Avoid using elevators and escalators and opt for stairs instead (if your body permits that is).

Maintain an ideal body weight in par with your age. Opt for yoga sessions or other high intensity workout routines in order to maintain a fit and active body.

And finally, do not be careless about the first attack and forget about it. Visit a doctor for regular check ups every month. If your family has a history of heart related ailments, make it a point to do regular medical checkups every month. This would enable you to stay safe and notice the symptoms of heart diseases if any, during the initial stages itself.