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A heart attack does not always have obvious symptoms, such as pain in your chest, shortness of breath and cold sweats. In fact, a heart attack can actually happen without a person knowing it. This condition is known as a ‘silent heart attack’, medically known as ‘silent ischemia’, occurring due to the shortage of oxygen supply to the heart muscle.
The causes of a silent heart attack are similar to that of a heart attack. They include-
Obesity or excess weight
Lack of exercise
Disorders such as diabetes
Age, usually above 65
Consumption of tobacco or smoking
A silent cardiac arrest makes one more vulnerable to another heart attack that could be fatal.
The only method to diagnose if you had a silent heart attack is through imaging tests, such as echocardiogram, electrocardiogram or others. These tests can show certain changes which might be indicative of a heart attack.
An analysis of one’s overall health and the symptoms can aid in deciding whether few more tests are required.
How would you prevent a silent heart attack?
Get your cholesterol and blood pressure count tested regularly.
Refrain from smoking.
- Be aware of your body and call on a doctor if you feel there’s anything which is bothering you. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
You feel your heart begin to beat wildly in your chest as you break into a cold sweat and have trouble catching your breath; is this a heart attack or panic attack? Your first thought is that it's a heart attack since you have an impending feeling of doom which you may even have felt before your attack began. This makes your heart beat even faster and you become so overwhelmed that the feeling gets even worse until you begin to feel light-headed or maybe even pass out. This is a panic attack.
When you suffer from anxiety, the slightest thing can trigger a panic attack and some can be so intense that you can't imagine it being anything other than looming death. It's very common for those having an anxiety attack to mistake it for a heart attack and this fear is enough to just take over and really wreak havoc on your heart rate, but no matter how fast your heart beats or how panicked you feel; you are not having a heart attack and this episode will not kill you.
One thing that will prove helpful in dealing with this is learning the differences between the two:
Signs of a Heart Attack:
Pressure in the Chest (described as feeling like there is an elephant sitting on your chest).
Chest pain - note that this is not always present.
Pain in the right arm.
Pain in the back or shoulder blades for women.
Panic attack symptoms include:
Increased heart rate.
Sharp or stabbing chest pain that lasts only 5 to 10 seconds.
Pain that is localized to one small area.
Pain that usually occurs at rest.
Pain that accompanies anxiety.
Pain that is relieved or worsened when you change positions.
Pain that can be reproduced or worsened by pressing over the area of pain.
The bottom line: Be vigilant and get checked out promptly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
While you may be worried about being affected with coronary diseases just because your forefathers suffered from it, there are various factors that are absolutely in your sole control. With a little change in lifestyle and following a well-regulated routine, you can easily keep your hereditary cardiac diseases at bay.
- Take a Healthy Diet Regularly: Increase the amount of green leafy vegetables and colourful fruits in your regular diet as they are rich in phytonutrients and other anti-oxidants, vitamins, fibres, minerals as well as anti-inflammatory molecules that would increase your immunity.
- Regulate Your Blood-Sugar Level: Studies show that blood sugar is a great contributor to cardiac diseases. So try to replace your high-carb diet with loads of fibre, protein and healthy fats to keep your blood-sugar level in control.
- Increase the Intake of Fibre: Try to increase the amount of fibre in your food chart by having lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and soya so that it amounts up to at least 50 grams a day. You may even include fibre supplements in your diet.
- Stay Away From Processed and Junk Food: We know you are crazy about fast food, but you must also include sodas, processed jams, fruit juices and soft drinks as well, which are the greatest contributors to diabetes and in turn lead to heart diseases.
- Increase the Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Try to include cold-water fish like sardine, salmon and herring along with flax seeds and sea weeds. This 'good' fat would keep your cholesterol level in check and lower down the amount of malicious LDL levels and transform them into harmless LDL particles.
- Get Rid of all Hydrogenated Food: This implies that you should abstain from having cookies, margarine, baked stuff and crackers. Don't be fooled by the label saying, "no trans-fat" and instead look for healthy coconut, olive or sesame oil.
- Abstain from Consuming Alcohol: Alcohol can do no good to any organ of your body. Instead, it triggers the amount of triglycerides, causes fatty liver and creates sugar imbalance in your body. By reducing alcohol consumption you can reduce inflammation, which causes various chronic diseases.
- Have good quality supplements: Along with having a healthy diet and workout, you must try to take in multivitamin and mineral supplements regularly to keep fit and active all around the year.
- Exercise Regularly: Researches report that a minimum of half an hour's exercise is required by our body regularly. After all, the heart is a muscle, and you must work out regularly to keep it healthy for a longer span.
- Manage your Stress Levels: Stress alone can lead to a fatal heart attack without prior signal. Take the time out to indulge in yoga, meditation, tai chi or anything that would keep your stress levels under control and help you to lead a happier, healthier life.
These 10 easy ways will help you to prevent cardiac diseases; but you must consult a responsive cardiologist at the earliest.
Heart Blocks are a result of plaque buildup in your arteries, which blocks blood flow and circulation to the heart, causing heart muscle damage and heightens the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Arteries which have smooth and elastic walls become thick and restrict blood flow from the cholesterol deposits over the years. Blood clots can also block the arteries that supply oxygen rich blood to the heart. These can eventually lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Some warning signs that you may be at risk of heart blockage:
- Have you had a mild stroke: Plaque that accumulates in the carotid artery supplying oxygen rich blood to the brain can cause a stroke. People who have had strokes are more prone to heart attacks.
- Do you often feel fatigue and dizziness: Reduced oxygen from poor circulation and blood flow can result in fatigue and tiredness as well as dizziness.
- Experiencing shortness of breath: Poor blood flow can lead to shortness of breath from even mild forms of exercise or even from carrying out daily chores or walking.
- Sudden chest pain: Chest pain or angina result from reduced supply of blood to the heart. It can be felt as pressure, tightness in the chest, squeezing in the chest, numbness or burning.
- Unexplained lower back pain: This can result from pressure in the spine as a result of pinched nerves due to compressed vertebrae discs as a result of poor blood flow.
- Erectile dysfunction in men: If an erection becomes difficult or impossible, it could be a warning sign of clogged arteries. These arteries supply blood to the pelvis area and help achieve an erection.
- Calf pain: Blocked leg arteries can cause calf pain, especially in smokers . THis is an early sign of possible heart blocks.
- Painful, numb and cold hands and feet: Plaque build up in the arteries of the extremities can cause numbness and coldness in the hands and feet.
Remember early detection is the key to prevent or delay heart attacks. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.