With the spate of celebrity deaths due to heart attacks, the phobia surrounding heart diseases is reaching its peak. How do we prevent such deaths? Most importantly, how do we know that there is a significant obstruction in our heart arteries?
We get a heart attack when the blood vessel supplying heart muscles gets completely blocked. In most cases, this build-up is gradual, and we can effectively prevent heart attacks by paying heed to the warning symptoms.
Notice the red flags before a heart attack strikes:
1. Chest heaviness, increasing on exertion. You may feel pain, heaviness, choking sensation, discomfort, and feeling unwell
2. History of uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension in presence of chest discomfort
3. History of tobacco use
4. Family history of heart problems
How is the diagnosis done?
Patients experiencing these problems should be investigated by a cardiologist. While ECG is important to rule out a heart attack, it is to be remembered that 50 percent of the patients at risk of a heart attack have a normal ECG.
If there is a major heart attack, emergency angioplasty in a well-equipped hospital is the best option. However, no signs of a heart attack after the initial evaluation change things. Most individuals would undergo a workup in which blood tests and echocardiography are done. Stress test is very risky in undiagnosed ongoing chest pain and can cause collapse and death if done in a patient with an impending heart attack. This should be avoided in the first few days. CT coronary angiography is an option when the likelihood of heart blockage is low. However, Coronary Angiography is the best option if there are high chances of heart disease.
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Most patients with less than 70 percent blockage are treated with medicines. Most patients with more than 75 percent blockage in presence of symptoms are treated by either Angioplasty or Bypass Surgery.
Also Read: 5 things to do to keep heart diseases away!
More than treatment, it would be great if patients could take proper measures to prevent a heart attack. The best thing is that it’s possible and not that difficult to achieve. However, very few people follow these simple rules in their daily lives.
1. Stop using tobacco in any form
2. Avoid alcohol.
2. Control risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels. A regular check-up is necessary to identify to treat these disorders.
3. Avoid stress.
4. At least 7-8 hours of sound sleep every day.
5. Try to incorporate healthy eating habits. Avoid salt, high-fat, and sugar-rich foods. Try to steer clear of desserts, junk food and street food.
6. Maintain ideal body weight.
7. Exercise regularly. You can do 35-45 minutes of brisk walking at least 5 days a week to be healthy and fit.
Staying healthy is a choice. Let us all take our lifestyle choices seriously and do all that we can to remain fit for a long and healthy life!