Heart Attack: Concept, Symptoms, Treatment

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Heart Attack

A heart attack is a very serious life threatening problem. A heart attack is when your blood flow of oxygen to your heart muscle is hugely reduced or completely cut off. This happens when your coronary arteries, that supply your heart with blood, become very narrow because of buildup of fat and other plaques. That process is called atherosclerosis, when the plaque breaks it forms a blood clot that can block the blood flow to your heart muscle. Then your heart isn’t getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs which is known as ischemia. When there is damage in the heart muscle from ischemia, that is when it is called a heart attack. A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction or MI. When you have a complete blockage of your coronary artery, that means you had a STEMI heart attack, which stands for ST- elevation myocardial infarction. When you have a partial blockage of your coronary artery, that means you had a NSTEMI, which stands for non ST- elevation myocardial infarction.

A heart attack can happen out of nowhere and you might of never known you had the chance of having one. There are many things that contribute to the risk of having a heart attack, but there are also ways that you can reduce your risk. It is never too late to start and change your lifestyle to help prevent your risk of having a heart attack in the future. Your lifestyle is one of the biggest things that contribute to the cause of a heart attack. Having a good diet is the first step, you have to get all your nutrients to be healthy, and have a healthy heart. Another step is having a controlled weight, if you are overweight your heart has to work even harder, it’s more strained. Watching your blood pressure will also help, having a high blood pressure affects your heart’s ability to work. If you have diabetes you are put at a huge risk of having a heart attack. If your glucose levels are not controlled your put at an even higher risk. You have to make healthy decisions, and have a healthy lifestyle to reduce your chances of having a heart attack. You need to exercise regularly, eat healthy, watch your weight, and watch your blood pressure. You should always know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, that way you can tell if you are having one or someone else is. There are so many signs of a heart attack, one of them is chest discomfort.

Chest discomfort is one of the most common symptom/sign of a heart attack, this happens in both males and females. There also is discomfort in other areas in the upper body, like your arms, neck, jaw, and back. Another common symptom is shortness of breath, your heart rate increases and with the chest pain it tends to cause a shortness of breath. One of the most common signs of a heart attack is perspiration, which is caused by the huge rush of catecholamines. Catecholamines are naturally amines that function as hormones in your body. Nausea, lightheadedness, and vomiting are some more symptoms that you can have from a heart attack, which are from the elevated heart rate. You can also become very tired as a symptom of a heart attack and you tend to think rest is the only way to get over it. Similar to being tired you may get depression, which is not a sign of a heart attack by itself. There also is the symptom of anxiety, which is caused by hormonal changes that are triggered by an increased heart rate.

Knowing some of these symptoms and signs of a heart attack can maybe help you in the future. Everyone should at least know the basic signs and symptoms, these are not all of them, but these are the most common ones. If you want to see if you have a risk of having a heart attack there is one good way to figure out that risk. You can do a procedure called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, a procedure that is done to try and treat heart attacks. In this procedure you would be sent to a cardiac catheterization, where they would test your blood flow to your heart and see how well it is pumping. You can always talk to your doctor about other ways to figure out your risk. Most hospitals try to restore blood flow to the part of the heart that is damaged during a heart attack. If hospitals find out that you had a NSTEMI, then they have two ways of trying to treat a patient. One way is the Ischemia-Guided Strategy, this strategy most likely has you take a cardiac catheterization test that lets them see the inside of your heart. Then they use different drugs to inhibit blood clots from forming.

Another way is the Early Invasive Strategy, which you will also most likely take the cardiac catheterization test. Then you will be put on different kinds of drugs but then also proceed to a medical therapy, stenting, or a CABG, which is a coronary artery bypass grafting. There are several other ways to be treated, like having a heart transplant, where they remove the diseased heart and put in a new healthy heart. Also a bypass surgery, where they create new passages for your blood to flow to your heart muscle. There are so many ways to treat a heart attack and every way is different, you should always talk to your doctor about your choices.

About every 20 seconds, someone in the US has a heart attack, and every minute someone dies from a heart attack. Heart attacks are way more common than you think, and have your ever thought about who has a higher risk? People that are 65 or older have a way higher chance of having a heart attack than someone under the age of 65. Did you know that Mexican Americans, Indians, Native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans have a higher chance of having a heart attack than others? This is because they have a higher rates of obesity and diabetes and have high blood pressures. At least 68% of people under 65 years of age with diabetes die from some form of heart disease. For treatment, 36% of hospitals are equipped with PCI ( Percutaneous Coronary Intervention). You may not know someone that has had a heart attack but there are millions of people in the world that have a heart attack at least once in there life.