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Heart Attack Tips

Cardiac Health Check-Ups! Do You Actually Need It?

Dr. Himanshu Yadav 86% (12 ratings)
DM - Cardiology, MD - Internal Medicine
Cardiologist, Agra

A word about 'cardiac health check-ups'.

Q. Nowadays many hospitals, clinics and path labs have come up with a variety of health check-ups especially cardiac health check-ups. Many corporates doing annual check-ups. So how useful are they, who should get it done and when?

Ans. Doing a variety of unnecessary investigations in healthy individuals without any symptoms is a big no. It should not be done and are totally useless.

Q. 2. What tests do you say are useless as part of cardiac health checkup in apparently healthy individuals.

Ans. Ecg, echo, TMT, stress test, ct angio should not be done at all, do not add any value to your overall health status.

Q3. Why do you say these tests are useless.
Ans. They are useless because many trials around the world over last 20 years have proven beyond doubt, that even if you have underlying blockages in heart, which does not cause any symptoms, then treating them will neither prevent you from a future heart attack nor prolong your life.
It is also possible that today you have ECG, echo normal and still, you develop a heart attack tomorrow. So these tests give a false sense of security which has no value actually.
Also due to this false security, such people with normal reports have a tendency to continue their unhealthy lifestyle

Q4. What are the tests you say are useful?
Ans. Know your blood pressure, blood sugar, lipid profile (cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride and HDL) and body mass index (BMI) as part of your routine health check-up. That's it.
In lipid profile, there is no use of getting unnecessary tests like lp (a), homocysteine, apo (b) and a variety of other scary variables that you commonly see in the report.

Note - in a specific subset of people who have a strong family history of cardiac disease or sudden cardiac death may undergo ECG, echo, TMT as part of routine evaluation

Lastly and most importantly no health check-up can replace a healthy lifestyle and exercise. It is the surest way of avoiding heart ailments.

Cardiac Arrest Versus Heart Attack!

Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Cardiac Arrest Versus Heart Attack!

Usually, cardiac arrest and heart attack are two things which most people use interchangeably, however, there is a big difference between the two. 

Difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack: 
A cardiac arrest is far deadlier considering that it comes without a warning or any prior indication of a problem. Here, the heart just stops beating and immediate first-aid can make a lot of difference between life and death. Electrical shock is the best way to revive a patient and should be given within a few minutes of such an arrest. 

On the other hand, a person suffers a heart attack when there is a blockage in the artery which prevents the smooth flow of oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. It is important to note that unlike a cardiac arrest the signs of heart attack start slow and persists for long.  

A heart attack is one of the common causes of cardiac arrest, but not always it is the case. A cardiac arrest happens most commonly when the heart is receiving more than 300 impulses per minute or due to absent electrical impulses. In the first instance, an electrical shock is a lifesaving technique and in the second, the patient can be treated with certain medications and a temporary pacemaker

Symptoms of cardiac arrest:
The symptoms of cardiac arrest are immediate and extreme.

  • A fainting spell or a sudden collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • No pulse or breathing 

Symptoms of a heart attack 

Prevention of a cardiac arrest:
What makes this a deadly condition is that you cannot tell your risks of having one and therefore the next best thing to do is to lower your risks. 
The best way to do that is to:

  • Follow a diet that is balanced and nutritious
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation 
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active

How can you prevent a heart attack?

  • Keep yourself fit and exercise regularly
  • Keep your cholesterol level under check 
  • Limit your alcohol intake 
  • If you are obese, control your weight
  • Intake a heart-friendly diet.

Now that the distinction is clear between the two, it is recommended that everyone should get themselves screened for potential heart problems on a regular basis.

1554 people found this helpful

Premature Menopause - What Physical Changes Does It Entitle?

Dr. Asha Gavade 87% (797 ratings)
DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Premature Menopause - What Physical Changes Does It Entitle?

During the natural course of events, a women's body starts its reproductive phase with menarche and at about 50 years of age, attains menopause. This is when the reproductive function ceases and the ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen and progesterone. In some cases, for various reasons including medical, the ovaries stop functioning earlier, and this is medically termed early or premature menopause. Menopause that occurs before 40 years of age is termed premature menopause; it is due to primary ovarian insufficiency and occurs in 1% of the women.  If it occurs between 45 to 50 years, it is termed early menopause.

Causes: Normal ageing, family history, genetic disorders, autoimmune disorders, toxins, and surgery are some reasons that could lead to premature menopause.

Effects: Estrogen and progesterone have a lot of beneficial effects on a women's body. Reduction in their levels leads to some of the below changes:

-  Emotional changes like mood swings, irritability, and in some cases depression, especially in premature menopause.
- Irregular cycles before complete cessation of the menstrual cycles.
- General mucosal dryness leading to vaginal dryness, dry skin, dry eyes.
- There also would be urinary incontinence and reduced sex drive due to reduced hormone levels.
- For women who still would want to have children, infertility would be a big cause for concern. This could lead to other emotional issues, worsening the depression.
- Osteoporosis - Bones lose their density and get weak and are more prone to fracture.
- Cardiovascular health - Post menopause, women are more prone to heart attacks and stroke. Though not fully proven, this is believed to be true as the good role that estrogen plays on blood vessels is negated with menopause.
- Accelerated ageing - Menopause leads to accelerated damage of genetic structures, thereby leading to faster ageing. This also leaves a feeling in the women of being less attractive and less desirable.

There is also a good news, that after menopause women are at lesser risk of cancer - especially breast and ovarian. 
It is not easy for women to handle premature menopause. The body undergoes some changes much earlier than expected, and it requires a lot of support and caring and comforting to come to terms with it - especially if associated with infertility or chemotherapy for cancer. Emotional issues of not being able to have children and feeling less attractive require frank talks to boost the person's confidence and increase self-worthiness.

It is easier said than done, but one of the key ways to handle premature menopause is an open discussion.

8628 people found this helpful

Eating To Keep The Heart Beating After An Heart Attack!

Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Eating To Keep The Heart Beating After An Heart Attack!

If you had suffered a heart attack recently, it is quite natural to for a patient to feel weak as the heart goes through a tremendous amount of stress during the condition. So, it is very important for a heart patient to know the things that will help you them recover from it. A healthy diet is the first step towards recovery. A proper diet can not only help you recover quickly, but you won’t suffer from a second attack too. If people had followed these dietary habits beforehand, then they wouldn’t have to face a heart attack in the first place. So, to recover and get back to your daily lifestyle, you must keep these foods in your daily diet.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a must and are of paramount importance when it comes to recovering from a heart attack. The most significant advantage is that they have lower calories and at the same time they provide sufficient nutrition. They will keep your blood pressure at a standard level and thus promote the health of your heart. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium can also combat and balance the counter-effects that result from sodium. So, avoid your oily snacks and have fruits instead.
  2. Green Tea: Green tea is highly recommended by doctors for patients that have recently suffered a heart attack. They have been proven to be at risk of heart attack and other health problems related to the heart by 20%. Green tea does not contain any calories and is rich in anti-oxidants which are the main constituents responsible for the recovery.
  3. Nuts: You must have already been aware of the several advantages of consuming almonds. Another addition to its advantages is aiding the process of recovery after a heart attack. However, it is to be noted that nuts are good for a person who has suffered a heart attack only if they are not salted.
  4. Whole Grains: The refined grains tend to lose their nutrients while on the other hand whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients. They will keep your blood pressure in check and promote the well-being of your heart.

What to avoid?
Apart from the items mentioned above, there are several foods that you must avoid at all costs. The first one that comes in this list is the food items that are rich in sugar content. This will lead to an increase in weight and thus aggravate heart problems. You must also avoid salty foods as they will increase your blood pressure. Avoid meats and eggs as much as you can as they are highly rich in cholesterol which is another factor that must be avoided.

Follow a diet chart that incorporates the do’s and don’ts to have a speedy recovery and get back to the normal routine.

1410 people found this helpful

Diabetes & Heart - How Can Former Help Latter?

Dr. Jayita Chattopadhyay 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Kolkata
Diabetes & Heart - How Can Former Help Latter?

Why should people with diabetes be extra careful of their Heart Health? What’s the connection? Diabetes is considered as one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease

A Study conducted shows that around 65% of diabetic patients die from heart disease or stroke. The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. With continued high blood sugar levels i.e. high glucose in the bloodstream, the arteries gets damaged and become hard and stiff. Fatty material that builds up on the inside of these blood vessels can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to a possible heart attack or stroke.

People with the below listed condition and lifestyle are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)

  1. High blood pressure(hypertension)
  2. Abnormal cholesterol
  3. Obesity
  4. Lack of physical activity
  5. Poorly controlled blood sugars(too high) or out of normal range
  6. Regular Smoking

What is Diabetes?
It's is a disorder in which your body doesn’t produce insulin in the required quantity because of too much sugar in the blood or high blood glucose. 

Symptoms
Frequent urination, Intense thirst and hunger, Weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, vaginal Infection in females, numbness, tingling in hands and feet. 

Connection with Heart-related diseases i.e. What can diabetes do to the person's healthy heart?

  1. A diabetic who has had a previous heart attack has a much greater risk of having another.
  2. Diabetics develop cardiovascular disease at a much earlier age than others.
  3. Diabetics who have suffered a heart attack are more apt to die as a result. 

Prevention: More of a lifestyle change followed by medication under supervision of a doctor and a nutritionist is possible. The best way to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease is to prevent diabetes itself. General nutrition recommendations:

  1. Control your portion size
  2. Limit your consumption of saturated and trans fats and cholesterol
  3. Setting reasonable goals for your total amount of carbohydrates.

There is no certain way to avoid heart disease and circulation problems, but there are a lot of things to do to cut your risk.

  1. You smoke? Put a full stop.
  2. Do weight management and lose some extra pounds.
  3. Check your sugar levels regularly and keep your blood pressure in the proper range.
  4. Get regular physical activity
  5. Keep your blood fats and cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
  6. Keep your blood glucose under control live a healthy life with a healthy heart. Stay Healthy!
1636 people found this helpful

Did Your Heart Miss A Beat? - Know How Complicated Can It Be!

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Raipur
Did Your Heart Miss A Beat? - Know How Complicated Can It Be!

As the nomenclature appears to indicate, Arrhythmia is a condition where the heartbeat of the affected person does not conform to the rhythm it is designed for. But there are cases of Arrhythmia where the normal heartbeat is available as well. The underlying causes of the condition can be many, including a disorder in the coronary artery and the person having suffered a heart attack or undergone heart surgery. The irregular heartbeat is medically referred to as fibrillation.

The fact is Arrhythmia manifests itself in different types. They are as below:

  1. Atrial fibrillation: This is one of the most common forms of Arrhythmia and the condition is described as the irregular beating of the arterial chambers. Atrial fibrillation is observed more in older people than the younger ones. The quivering of the chambers while contracting is described as fibrillation. There are cases where the heartbeat rate reaches 350 per minute.
  2. Atrial flutter: There is actually a fine difference between Atrial flutter and Atrial fibrillation. While in the former, the quivering appears to follow a pattern, in the latter, it is random and sporadic. In both the conditions, the pumping of blood through the arteries is irregular, which is a risky condition for the patient. The rate of heartbeat in the case of patients suffering from Atrial flutter can be as high as 250 to 350 per minute. There can be rare instances of people having both these conditions.
  3. Supraventricular and Ventricular tachycardia: In both these cases, the person suffers a rapid heartbeat. In the case of the ventricular tachycardia, the underlying cause is said to be some abnormal electrical impulse and could be triggered by a scar suffered from an already occurred heart attack. In the case of the Supraventricular tachycardia, the heartbeats can be accelerated at rates of 200 beats per minute. Besides these, there are also Long QT syndrome and Bradycardia. Bradycardia is a condition where the rate of heartbeat is slow but the condition itself is not considered very serious by the specialists.

Complications Arising from Arrhythmia-
As described the disease Arrhythmia basically relates to an irregular heartbeat. And, this automatically results in reduced pumping of blood into the system. This process can lead to situations where sufficient blood does not reach the brain and that can lead to the person suffering a stroke. Depending on the individual cases strokes can sometimes lead to death as well.

The other two types, bradycardia and tachycardia described above, meaning slow or rapid pumping of the heart, can lead to a failure of the heart unless timely treatment is administered. There is also a school of thought, which seems to suggest there is a link between the fibrillation type Arrhythmia and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

1579 people found this helpful

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - Perfect Way To Do It!

Dr. Pankaj Kumar 92% (16 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Patna
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - Perfect Way To Do It!

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is an activity that should be learnt by everybody. It’s a skill that comes handy at the time of the crisis. Owing to the fact that 90 percent of the overall cardiac related conditions occur outside the hospital, learning CPR becomes essential. A person with the knowledge of CPR can save the life of a patient in those crucial seconds when life hangs in the balance. Here is a brief know how about CPR and the way it is done:

Before CPR is started:

It is necessary to tap the patient on the shoulder and ask if he is fine. If the answer is not in the affirmative, seeking medical help is the best possible alternative. If medical help such as ambulance is out of reach, starting the CPR is the best possible way to go.

CPR for children above 9 years:

The patient should be laid on their back and the person intending to give the CPR should kneel next to the shoulder and neck of the patient. The heel of one hand should be placed to the center of the chest of the patient. The heel of the other hand should be placed over the lace and first fingers together. The elbow of the person intending to give the CPR should be kept straight and the shoulder should be aligned directly over the hands. Thus, begins the process of compression as hard as possible. The aim should be to compress at least 100 times within a single minute. The chest should be given the chance to arise fully in between each compression. One small hat tip in this regard is to give the CPR in the disco mode. One beat at a time.

CPR for infants and children below 9 years:

Before starting the CPR, the head should be tilted backward and the chin should be lifted upward to open the passage for the airwayIn case the breathing is absent, either of the below-mentioned rescue breaths should be applied:

  1. For a child, the nose should be shut and mouth should be completely sealed.
  2. For an infant, the seal is applicable on the mouth and the nose both.

This should be followed by blowing in the mouth till the chest has a visible rise. There should at least be 30 chest compressions given to the patient within a minute. While For a child the chest should be pushed with one or two hands, for an infant, the chest should be pushed with no more than three fingers. The above steps should be repeated three to four times.

4077 people found this helpful

Menopause And Heart Attack - Is There A Connection?

Dr. Rajiv Agarwal 90% (74 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Menopause And Heart Attack - Is There A Connection?

Menopause is an inevitable biological occurrence in every woman's life. It is a period when the menstrual cycle ceases permanently. Menopause brings about a sea of changes. From hormonal imbalance to insomnia to emotional breakdown and depression, the complications are many. Menopause is also found to increase the risk of certain health conditions, one of which includes heart problems and a heart attack. In this article, we will discuss the link between menopause and heart problems (including a heart attack) and the possible preventive measures.

The connection between menopause and a heart attack
As opposed to many beliefs, menopause, by no means is a diseased condition. It is a natural phenomenon that strikes every woman, usually after the age of 50. With menopause, there is also a dip in the level of estrogen hormone. Estrogen is an important female hormone that goes a long way in protecting women from various cardiovascular disorders.

It plays a pivotal role in the proper relaxation and dilation of the blood vessels to ensure the flow of blood to the heart remains unaltered.

Estrogen acts a catalyst, resulting in a significant increase in the level of the "Good Cholesterol" or HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) and a dip in the level of the "Bad Cholesterol or LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein).

  1. With a fall in the estrogen level, the concentration of LDL rises with a considerable dip in the HDL level.
  2. The higher the level of LDL, the more the chances of a heart problem, especially a heart attack.
  3. The LDL present in excess can adhere to the walls of the blood vessels and cause its blockage.
  4. The condition can also result in arterial blockage.
  5. Further, in the absence (or lesser concentration) of estrogen, the walls of the heart tends to lose its flexibility and elasticity to a great extent.

All these conditions can spell doom for the heart triggering a heart attack or other cardiovascular disorders.

Preventive Measures

  1. After the age of 50, it is essential to go for regular health check-ups.
  2. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle as much as you can. Exercise and physical activities, even for 30 minutes daily can make a difference. Obesity can play a significant role in triggering heart problems. Thus, it is essential to keep the body weight within control.
  3. Your diet can also influence overall health. Try and avoid foods that are rich in trans and saturated fats (doughnuts, cakes, pastries, cookies, margarine, frozen and creamy drinks, animal fats, to name a few). Go for a diet rich in folic acid (Avocados, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, lentils, nuts, peas), whole grains, fish, fibers.
  4. The link between smoking and heart diseases need no special mention. Quit smoking if you want to keep the heart healthy and disease-free.
  5. Problems will always be there. Don't overstress yourself with the same. Spend quality time with family and loved one (day outs, short trips, and vacations).
  6. Never skip the prescribed medicines, unless advised by the attending physician.
1418 people found this helpful

Cardiac Arrest And Heart Attack - How Distinct Are They?

Chd City Hospital 86% (101 ratings)
Multi Speciality, Chandigarh
Cardiac Arrest And Heart Attack - How Distinct Are They?

The news of Sridevi's sudden and unexpected demise was a shock for the entire nation and left a number of questions in the minds of the people. However, there are multiple reasons which are under speculation and can be attributed to her death - cardiac arrest, heart attack and death due to accidental drowning. Usually, cardiac arrest and heart attack are two things which most people use interchangeably, however, there is a big difference between the two. 

Difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack: 
A cardiac arrest is far deadlier considering that it comes without a warning or any prior indication of a problem. Here, the heart just stops beating and immediate first-aid can make a lot of difference between life and death. Electrical shock is the best way to revive a patient and should be given within a few minutes of such an arrest. 

On the other hand, a person suffers a heart attack when there is a blockage in the artery which prevents the smooth flow of oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. It is important to note that unlike a cardiac arrest the signs of heart attack start slow and persists for long.  

A heart attack is one of the common causes of cardiac arrest, but not always it is the case. A cardiac arrest happens most commonly when the heart is receiving more than 300 impulses per minute or due to absent electrical impulses. In the first instance, an electrical shock is a lifesaving technique and in the second, the patient can be treated with certain medications and a temporary pacemaker

Symptoms of cardiac arrest:
The symptoms of cardiac arrest are immediate and extreme.

  • A fainting spell or a sudden collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • No pulse or breathing 

Symptoms of a heart attack 

Prevention of a cardiac arrest:
What makes this a deadly condition is that you cannot tell your risks of having one and therefore the next best thing to do is to lower your risks. 
The best way to do that is to:

  • Follow a diet that is balanced and nutritious
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation 
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active

How can you prevent a heart attack?

  • Keep yourself fit and exercise regularly
  • Keep your cholesterol level under check 
  • Limit your alcohol intake 
  • If you are obese, control your weight
  • Intake a heart-friendly diet.

Now that the distinction is clear between the two, it is recommended that everyone should get themselves screened for potential heart problems on a regular basis.

6713 people found this helpful

Diagnostic Tests In Cardiology - Know About Them!

Dr. Prashant Vazirani 90% (248 ratings)
MD - Medicine, DNB Medicine, DNB - Cardiology (Gold Medalist)
Cardiologist, Ahmedabad
Diagnostic Tests In Cardiology - Know About Them!

Advancement in science and technology has largely contributed to the field of medicine. The methods of diagnosis for some of the very serious conditions have become readily available for the masses. Furthermore, there are a number of diagnostic tests in cardiology that give details about the condition of the heart. These tests help to find out which treatment options are best suited for the patient. Some of the most common among them include Echocardiography (also called echocardiogram test), Treadmill Test (TMT), and Electrocardiogram (ECG).

Echocardiography

An Echocardiography test is a visual outline of the movement of the heart. It is a test in which sound waves are used to produce live pictures of the heart. The picture is referred to as echocardiography. The doctor can monitor how the heart and its valves are working. The images help them spot fluid in the sac around the heart, blood clots in the heart, issues with the aorta (the most important artery connected to the heart) among several other possible complications.

Echocardiography is a pain-free test which can be done in the hospital or in the doctor’s office. The test normally takes up to half an hour. A standard or quality-based echo does not require any particular follow-up or preparations. A heart specialist or cardiologist will examine the results from the echo. After having echo, a person normally goes back to normal activities immediately.

Treadmill Test (TMT)

In a treadmill test, a person is asked to exercise on a treadmill and he or she is hooked up to the machine called electrocardiogram machine. This process allows the doctor to monitor the heart rate. The treadmill test is also known as an Exercise Stress test. This test helps the doctor determine if the heart receives sufficient oxygen and proper flow of blood when exercising. It could be directed for those who have been experiencing symptoms of coronary heart disease (which is also called coronary artery disease) and pain in the chest. This test is usually considered safe. But some exceptional risks include fainting, collapsing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and heart attack.

However, these instances are rare since the test is usually performed under the supervision of a cardiologist so that any kind of emergency during the test can be effectively managed.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

The electrocardiogram is the oldest and the simplest of all the methods of cardiac investigation. It is an image of the electrical conduction that record the patterns of electrical signals in the heart. It is a very common test used to find out the heart problems and detect the status of the heart in many situations.

During an ECG, electrodes/sensors are attached to the chest and sometimes to the limbs for monitoring the electrical activity of the heart. This test is painless and non- invasive which provides quick results.

Take Away

These are some of the tests to detect heart problems. However, doctors recommend these tests depending upon an individual’s health condition.

1629 people found this helpful
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