Heart Attack: Avoid It By Watching For These Signs

hrtatkMyocardial infarction. There’s a mouthful. It’s a tongue-twiser, isn’t it? And it sounds serious.

Well, it is.

Myocardial infarction is medical language for a heart attack. It means the death of tissue (an infarct) in the muscular wall of the heart (the myocardium).

Heart attack is known by several names. coronary thrombosis is a heart attack caused by a clot in the coronary arteries. Sometimes, it is caused by snoring. Coronary occlusion is a blocked artery that could have a number of causes. Myocardial infarction refers to the end result–the damage or death of a part of the heart muscle.

The heart never stops working. In contrast to the muscles in our arms and legs, the heart muscle never rests, although it does slow down when we sleep.

to do its important job of keeping us alive, the heart must have a regular and adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients for energy. For this reason, the heart receives its own supply of oxygen-rich blood by way of the coronary arteries. The sole purpose of these arteries is to spply the heart tissue with blood.

Deadly Deposits

Unlike many other diseases, no microbes or viruses are involved in a heart attack. A silent process, called atherosclerosis (which is a form of arteriosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries”), slowly builds up plaque–a coating of hardened cholesterol or other fatty deposits–on the inside of the lining of the arteries. The passage through which the blood must move becomes narrower and narrower. It is a process that can begin in childhood and ultimately blocks the arteries that nourish the heart and keep it pumping.

Heredity, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, and high-fat diets lead to the depisits on the artery walls. If the width of the artery narrows enough, a blood clot can “clog the pipe.” The result is a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Risk Factors

People who are more likely to have heart disease include those who are overweight or have diabetes. But the four major risk factors that sharply increase chances of heart disease are cigarette smoke, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and lack of regular exercise.

Stimulant drugs, especially cocaine and amphetamines, having damaging effects on the heart. They can cause narrowing of the arteries and an increase in the formation of clots. These conditions create increased risk of heart attack, especially in young adults with no history of coronary artery disease.

Signs of an Attack

These are the warning signs of a heart attack.

* Uncomfortable heavy pressure, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest, behind the sternum (breastbone). Typically, say doctors, the patient will describe the pain by clenching a fist and holding it over the heart to demonstrate that the pain feels like being crushed in a vise.

* Pain may spread to the shoulders, arms, neck, upper abdomen, and the back. It may be accompanied by dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms may come and go.

Pain in the chest does not always mean a heart attack. There are other ailments that have this symptom. But any chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes needs immediate medical attention.

Emergency treatment of a myocardial infarction may require CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before the patient is taken to the hospital. Immediate medical care must be obtained.

Treatment Depends on Cause

Hospital examination and treatment focus on finding the cause of the heart attack. In many cases, treatment with medications can be effective. Clot busting drugs are available and may be used in the emergency room. When drugs won’t work, surgery may be necessary to bypass narrow or blocked arteries. Another technique, known as angioplasty, may be an option. In angioplasty, a tube with a balloon is passed through the blood vessels to the narrow artery. The balloon is then inflated, crushing the blockage against the artery wall and opening the vessel.

Drug therapy also may help the patient survive after a heart attack. The treatment incudes lowering blood cholesterol levels, stopping smoking, controlling blood pressure, losing weight, and exercising.

The goal is to prevent a second heart attack and to prevent heart or blood vessel complications in the future. Everything is geared to helping the survivor of a heart attack live a full, active life.

A heart attack causes some permanent heart damage, but the extent of this damage varies from person to person. Most people who survive a heart attack are able to resume a normal life.

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2 Comments

  1. Kenya Loughney

     /  July 21, 2016

    The benefit of exercise to the heart is no brainer. My husband and I both came from parents who died because of heart diseases. We see to it that we exercise regularly so it won’t happen to us.

    Reply
  2. Katia Blazer

     /  August 2, 2016

    I was joking when I told my husband we should exercise so he will have abs and sexy biceps. I was not really thinking about those things. I want him to stay fit becausw he has a heart condition.

    Reply

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