How to Prevent From Heart Attack
How to prevent heart disease. Now, your heart is a muscle. And just like any other muscle, it needs a supply of oxygen rich blood to work properly. It receives its own blood supply through the coronary arteries and their branches which lie on the surface of the heart.
What happens in heart disease is they silt up. They get these things called plaques in them. Now if they generally silt up, the people can get what’s called angina, chest pain which typically comes on when they walk up a hill or they eat. But occasionally you can get narrowing’s that then burst. Those plaques rupture. And then an artery gets blocked and you have a heart attack.
But what are the things that create and cause and aggravate heart disease? And if we look at them in turn, smoking is probably one of the most significant factors. Absolutely no doubt about that. In fact, when the smoking ban was brought in, in public places, we saw a really significant fall in the incidence of heart attacks. And that happened within six to nine months.
So we know, smoking causes heart disease and can precipitate heart attacks. The next one is blood pressure. The tricky thing about blood pressure is you don’t know you’ve got it. So, it’s a really good idea to get your blood pressure checked. It’s easy to do and now, more and more people are doing it themselves. The other is blood sugar, diabetes. If you have diabetes, you are at much greater risk of heart disease.
And the most important thing here is that you really focus hard and keep your blood sugar under control. You follow your doctor’s advice, you take the medications if you’re on diet, you stick to that diet. It’s rare for people to be put on treatment for cholesterol if they don’t have a family history.
But it’s not unheard of. Because your cholesterol has a lot of bad and very little good, your doctor might decide to put you on cholesterol-lowering tablets known as statins. Then we look at the diet itself. Now those plaques I talked about are formed by cholesterol.
And cholesterol, there are many types but essentially there’s what we call a good type which is called HDL and there’s a bad type, LDL. So, when you get your cholesterol tested, it’s important to know how much good you’ve got because good reduces heart disease and how much bad you’ve got.
Exercise is crucial and it’s interesting isn’t because you think of exercise as oh, I’m losing weight but actually, that’s not the mechanism. So when I exercise I know my good cholesterol goes up and my bad cholesterol goes down. And what we’ve found out is, it actually has a big anti-inflammatory effect. So these little plaques are inflamed and you exercising reduces that inflammation.
Now you don’t need to do a great deal. Three or four times a week, 15 to 30 minutes, brisk walking. You don’t need to be a marathon runner. The other thing is alcohol. Now, we all know alcohol is bad for you in large quantities but there’s no doubt that one or two units day is good for heart disease.
It has a positive effect on reducing heart disease. So, there are lots you can do to prevent heart disease. If you’re at all concerned, go see your doctor and get those tests done. And if you’ve got a family history, really take it seriously.
What Causes Heart Attacks?
Your heart is the engine of your body. It keeps you alive by pushing blood where it’s needed. Like other engines, the heart has a line that feeds it the fuel it needs.
Heart attacks happen when this fuel line gets damaged. Imagine that you are running down the street and you trip, fall, and badly scrape your knee. The knee will become painful, swollen, red, and hot. This is called “inflammation,” and it is your body’s way of repairing itself after it’s been hurt.
If you care for it, it will quickly stop bleeding and the pain will soon fade away. After a while, it crusts over, and the swelling goes down. Soon, the scab falls off, the skin looks pink, but this also gets better, and then it looks like nothing ever happened. The healing was successful.
Now imagine the same example with scraping your knee, but this time, right after the crust forms and things are better, you fall and scrape it again. This time it bleeds more, and the pain is worse. The next day, you scrape it again, and then you continue to scrape it every day for many years.
With time, a bulge of crust and blood would form as the knee tried to heal itself at the same time it continued to get hurt. Cigarettes and eating poorly cause heart attacks, because they scrape the inside of your heart’s fuel line.
After years of scraping, blockages from inside of it. The heart cannot work without fuel, so it keeps fixing the fuel line, while you keep scraping it. Over time, these blockages grow and eventually block the line.
This can result in chest pain that happens when you exercise or walk. Your chest hurts because exercises make your heart work more, but its line is blocked, and it cannot get the fuel it needs.
If these blockages fall apart and clog the line completely, that’s when a heart attack happens. Heart attacks feel like pressure or burning in the center of the chest.
This feeling can be mild or very strong. Together with the pain in the chest, some people can feel achy shoulders or arms, and it can even go up to your neck and jaw. For some women, heart troubles can feel like they are very out of breath, even without any chest pain.
If you ever feel anything like that, do not take any chances and go to the hospital because heart attacks are very common. When you are trying to lower your chances of having a heart attack, there are medications available that can help. But no matter what you do, taking away the things that hurt your heart is the most important step.