Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack

Many individuals who experience signs of a heart attack allow them to go unnoticed. Ignoring the tale-tell signs of a heart attack can cause the problem to be much more serious than necessary, potentially leading to heart failure and even death.

If you think you are experiencing a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately. This is especially true for individuals who have previously had a heart attack or at a greater risk for a heart attack due to medical conditions or current prescriptions.

Remember the old adage, “better safe than sorry” and immediately seek medical help if you can identify a single sign that the pain or discomfort you are experiencing may be a heart attack.

There are a great many myths when it comes to dealing with heart attacks and the symptoms of individuals who are having a heart attack. Many people believe the pain has to be extreme or intense before they should seek medical attention. This is a common myth and completely false, as some sufferers say their heart attack was simply discomforting or mildly painful.

When an individual is having a heart attack, they will probably not look like sufferers in movies or on television. The mental association of heart attacks with individuals clutching their chests and falling to the ground is usually incorrect, as many heart attack victims say their attack began very slowly with an unusual feeling. If left undetected, a heart attack can significantly magnify in scale, but usually heart attacks are not a sudden burst of pain.

Women are prone to having heart attacks without knowing it, putting them at a greater risk for complications or problems. Most women think they are not at risk for a heart attack, but may actually be at a high risk for one. Speak with your doctor about any potential problems with heart attack in your family history or as a result to a current medical issue before dismissing the threat.

There are four main warning signs when it comes to determining whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing may be a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention for potential heart attack immediately.

1.Chest pain or discomfort. The chest pain associated with a heart attack may not be overwhelming, but rather an uncomfortable feeling. This discomfort has been said to come and go, feeling like a pressure on the sufferer’s chest or an uncomfortable squeezing feeling. Usually, during a heart attack, any pain or discomfort originates in the center of the victim’s chest.

2.Upper body discomfort. Many heart attack victims relate that they experienced discomfort in their upper body, especially their shoulder, back, jaw, or arms, before the sensation affected their chest. This can also include an unusual sensation in the stomach. For this reason, a heart attack can be easily mistaken for heartburn or a simple stomach ache.

3.Shortness of breath. Usually occurring simultaneously with pain or discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath can be anything from the inability to catch one’s breath to being unable to properly breathe. Many heart attack victims dismissed this symptom as a side effect of whatever activity in which they were participating when the heart attack occurred.

4.Nausea. The feeling of being sick to one’s stomach is commonly associated with early warning symptoms of a heart attack. This symptom coupled with discomfort in the stomach can lead the heart attack to dismiss the symptoms as a simple stomach ache or stomach flu.

Other symptoms can include a general feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. Many heart attack victims relate they received an overall feeling of unease and had an idea that something was out of the ordinary. Also, many victims have been known to break out in a cold sweat, which can also lead to a misdiagnosis of a flu bug or a less serious problem.

Since heart attacks are quite common in both men and women, you should make it a point to speak to your primary health care provider about your risk for a heart attack. Many individuals are unaware of any potential risk or heart problems until it is too late and they have already experienced a heart attack. By treating any problems before it is too late, you will be more likely to experience the least damage to your heart as possible.

Treating And Preventing Heart Problems

If you’re a senior or love someone who is, take heart. A new study is shedding light on ways to help older Americans keep healthier longer. According to the study, thousands of heart attacks, strokes and deaths could be prevented if patients used prescription blood-pressure medicine.

The study, “Reducing the Human Impact of High Blood Pressure,” looked at the number of strokes, heart attacks, deaths and nursing facility placements that could be avoided every year if all seniors were to actively treat their high blood pressure. For instance, it was discovered that proper treatment of high blood pressure could prevent almost 7,000 deaths in Los Angeles alone.

“Currently, two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries have hypertension, which puts millions of seniors at risk annually,” according to Dr. Paul Antony, chief medical officer for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “Yet, for most people, high blood pressure can be controlled.”

High blood pressure has no symptoms. If you’re at risk, you should be tested regularly by your doctor. Self-tests at pharmacies and convenience stores are useful, but may not be totally reliable. Get tested if you’re over 60, if you smoke, if you eat a lot of salt, if you lead a high-stress lifestyle or if you suffer from diabetes.

Nationwide, the study found that about a quarter of senior citizens with hypertension can easily manage their condition with proper treatment. Active treatment includes proper diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and taking prescription medications in consultation with a doctor.

The study demonstrates that diseases often associated with age are not simply inevitable consequences of getting older. With the help of a physician, these diseases can actually be sometimes treated, controlled and prevented.

One sponsor of the study was the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), an association representing the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. Members are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives and are leading the way in the search for new cures.

The Organ We Love – How The Heart Works

Being the strongest muscle in the body, the hearts purpose is to pump blood through our blood vessels through rhythmic contractions. To regulate blood pressure and volume, the heart secrets “ANF”, which is a very powerful peptide hormone. It affects the regulatory region of the brain, as well as the kidneys, blood vessels, and the adrenal glands.

First off, i would like to clear up a worldwide rumor; the Heart is not located on the left side of your body! Its actual location is found in the center of your chest, just SLIGHTLY of to the left hand side, and underneath the sternum. For protection, the heart is enveloped in a sac called the pericardium, and is surrounded by the lungs. First thought is, “why does the strongest muscle in the body need so much protection?”. It’s fragile! Weighing in at about 300 grams, the heart consists of 4 chambers; 2 lower ventricles and 2 upper atria. Valves between the atrium and the ventricle control proper blood flow from one to the other.

The job of pumping blood everywhere in the body is a huge responsibilty. Each and every beat of the heart consists of a sequence of events called the cardiac cycle. “Cardiac” is greek, meaning “heart”. There is 3 major steps in the sequence: atrial systole, ventricular systole and complete cardiac diastole. After the blood has completely left the atria, the atrioventricular valves (located between atria and ventricular chambers), close to prevent backflow. This function is what you would recognize as your heartbeat. Next, there is a contraction of the ventricles and flow of blood into the circulatory system. This is known as the ventricular systole. Once again, valves called “pulmonary” and “aortic semilunar” close to prevent backflow. After these 2 steps, the heart takes a quick break called complete cardiac diastole. This allows the refilling of blood and to start the process over.

The Basic Facts of High Blood Pressure

The heart is a tough operating mechanism which moves blood around the body through a very advanced system called arteries and capillaries; the blood is then carried back to the heart by means of veins. Blood pressure is the thrust of this blood in the body pushing up against the inside walls of the arteries as the heart is pumping.

As the heart compresses it will drive this blood into the arteries which makes an increase in pressure. This increase in pressure is noted as systolic pressure.

When the heart decompresses and fills with blood, the pressure in the arteries then declines which is noted as the diastolic pressure. When the blood pressure is evaluated in the arm, it is both of these pressures which are evaluated.

Blood pressure is always applied as a systolic and diastolic pressure number, and is an important measurement. The measurements are always written one preceding or before the other number, such as 120/80 and always stated in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

The systolic pressure is the 1st or top side number, and the diastolic pressure is the 2nd or lowermost number (for example, 120/80), so if your blood pressure is 120/80, it is translating to 120 over 80.

Blood pressure will have a wide range with a varity of people. For example, the top reading which is when the heart contracts (systolic) can change from 90 to 240 mmHg and the bottom pressure which is when the heart relaxes (diastolic) can often change from 40 to 160 mmHg.

Blood pressure can also vary significantly depending on what you are doing during the day. The lowest blood pressures usually happen when you are sleeping or if resting all the muscles. Standing for periods of time, or if you’re performing any form of exercise, any anxiety and problems, or nerviness can also create increases in blood pressure.

That means in one day the blood pressure could change by up to a 30 to 40 mmHg systolic reading with like changes in the diastolic pressure. This is why it’s so crucial to have the blood pressure taken under the same conditions each time.

For the bulk of the waking hours, the blood pressure remains about the same whether you are sitting or standing still, so ideally, the blood pressure should be 120/80 or lower when the body is rested.

If the blood pressure is steady and remains high at 140/90 or higher, this may indicate a disease called Hypertension which essentially means high blood pressure. When the blood pressure is high, the heart has to work more to get the blood through your arteries. These then take a beating from having the blood pressured into them, and the danger of a stroke, heart attack, or even kidney troubles then become that much of a greater risk.

High blood pressure is a serious disease because it has the heart working much harder. If the heart has to work harder for extended periods, it will become large. If the heart is slightly enlarged, it can and should still work alright, but if it becomes greatly enlarged it won’t work alright. High blood pressure can also cause damage to the arteries which can lead to arterial disease.

The higher the blood pressure is the more risk you have of acquiring heart disease and stroke. This means somebody with a blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg is at greater risk than someone with a blood pressure of 120/70 mmHg. And is the reason it is so important for all to lead a wholesome lifestyle to make sure their blood pressure is as low and as healthy as it can be.

If you put up with Hypertension, it can be treated. Modest cases of Hypertension can usually be treated through lifestyle changes such as the diet, or increasing the workout levels. Some find dropping weight is all that is needed to lower their high blood pressure.

Severe cases of Hypertension will need prescription medications such as diuretics and beta blockers. Diuretics aid the body in getting rid of any excess fluids and salt. But, from individual experience, keep course of the body’s potassium levels also. Beta blockers will lower the heart rate and the heart’s output of blood. These then lower the risk of developing heart and brain problems.

Serious Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are a very serious heart condition that ‘attack’ suddenly. They can be characterized by a spectrum of chest pains and discomfort as well as sweating, vomiting and nausia. Sometimes these symptoms can even result in a complete loss of consciousness. Heart attacks occur when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted. This interuption causes both death and scarring of the tissue in the local area of the heart.

Due to the fact that the interuption can vary in size, as can the area that is affected. Large or small, heart attacks are serious and often life-threatening. Deemed as such they are a medical emergency which needs immediate attention from an emergency medical service. Staying on top of heart attack symptoms as well as the combination of complete medical history, blood tests and ECG findings are what make up the diagnosis for heart attacks.

In recovery the most important thing is restoring the flow of blood back to the area of the heart that has been interrupted. This is acheived through thrombolysis and/or angioplasty. Thrombolysis is a procedure in which the clot is dissolved in the artery enymatically. Angioplasty is the procedure in which a balloon is used to push open the artery.

Great importance is placed on monitoring for various complications, that could prevent a secondy heart attack. Through this monitoring work is done to help eliminate any risk factors that may exist, which helps to reduce the odds of further heart attacks.

Reduce Cholesterol by A Fascinating Diet of Oatbran and Naicin

A month ago, I received news that a former colleague of mine collapsed in his office, and had a sudden massive heart attack and did not survive the night to see his family. He was in his early fifties.

This incident motivated another former colleague to have his blood checked for cholesterol. The cardiologist recommended immediate hospitalisation and he was operated on for a triple coronary bypass within days. Without that bypass, this friend would likely encounter a fatal massive coronary heart attack.

These two ghastly incidents jarred me into researching ways to bring down my own level of cholesterol, and to read medical books on cholesterol.

In my research, what amazed me was there were safe and effective ways to lower blood cholesterol and hence reduce the probability of a heart attack.

I was encouraged that it was possible to cut the risk of heart attack by more than half by limiting the amount of cholesterol produced by the body, and increase the amount of cholesterol eliminated by the body.

I discovered a fascinating diet of oatbran and a vitamin called Naicin that was being used by hundreds of concerned individuals throughout the world, popularized by the medical writer Robert E. Kowalski in his program and best-seller “The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure”.

Oatbran contains soluble fibre that encourages the liver to produce bile acids. The more oatbran that is consumed, the more bile acids are produced, and excreted from the body. These bile acids draw the cholesterol from the blood, and therefore remove the cholesterol from the body when they are excreted. This means the chances for a congested artery is much reduced.

I was encouraged by the numbers. A study showed that six males who ate a high-fibre diet containing 50 grams of oat bran daily were able to maintain a 23.5 % decrease from their original cholesterol levels.

To me this was a convenient and natural strategy to reduce my personal cholesterol. It was a matter of getting down to the supermarket and to buy a packet of 500 grams oatbran.

By taking half a cup of oatbran a day, which is equivalent to some 50 gram of oatbran, a single packet of 500 grams will last me for around 2 weeks.

Now, I am not a great baker, and so I did not start by making oatbran muffins which is actually a great way to consume the oatbran. Instead, I mix the oatbran in a hot chocolate drink, consuming 25 grams of oatbran twice a day to get the 50 grams of oatbran.

As for the vitamin Naicin, I was encouraged that as far back as in 1975 the United States Coronary Drug Project singled out Naicin as being responsible for a 29 percent reduction in nonfatal heart attacks.

I have Naicin in the multivitamins I consume daily, and so I am not opting for single larger intake of this vitamin, and will prefer to let the soluble fibre of the oatbran to do its work.

It took one fatal case of a heart attack and a triple coronary bypass on another friend of mine to jolt me into serious action to take control of my cholesterol.

It is time to take some action to lower your cholesterol if you have been postponing this. Of course, you may opt for exercise and a balanced diet as well. It is never too late to begin a structured personal program to take control of your cholesterol.

Psychological Benefits of Exercise

But, what IS aerobic exercise??
According to the definition from the Global Healing Centers website, “Aerobic exercise is a type of movement such as running or cycling that gets your heart pumping faster and increases your oxygen intake.”
Fine examples of aerobic exercise are; running, dynamic yoga, cycling, fast walking, circuit training, skiing and rollerblading.

Ok, so we are all told we need to partake in aerobic exercise to obtain many benefits, such as, weight loss, better skin and muscle tone. But that’s not all! There are psychological benefits of aerobic exercise too!
So, what are the psychological benefits of aerobic exercise?

In short, the benefits are; improved mood, reduces anxiety, reduces depression and acts as a buffer against stress.
But lets go into a little more detail…

The Psychological Payoffs

Mood Enhancer

When we exercise aerobically, our bodies produces little chemical called endorphins, which, scientifically speaking, are polypeptides, which are able to bind to the neuron-receptors in the brain to give relief from pain. Endorphins are not just produced from exercise; they are also triggered by deep-breathing, meditation, eating spicy food and deep laughter. Just don’t do all five at once…
Endorphins are believed to produce four key effects on the body; they relieve pain, they reduce stress, they enhance the immune system and they postpone the aging process.
It may be worth your while to stock up on some fitness equipment, they might make things easier for you. I prefer to exercise outside but I do have an indoor stationary bike, that way, if it’s raining, I have no excuse not to exercise.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Depression and Anxiety can lead to a feeling of isolation. Partaking in aerobic sports, one can choose to join a running club, swimming club, gym or any other sports club. It’s an excellent way to gain the psychological benefits of aerobic activity, because it gets you out an about and can put you in positions where you HAVE to speak to people.
Aerobic exercise offers a distraction. For an hour or so each day, you can put yourself in a position where you are too busy worrying about the prospect of having to run another two miles before you can stop.
Burning excess fat and toning up can boost anyone’s confidence. Clothes fit better, and you receive compliments from friends. Which often is enough to begin to lift the heavy cloud of a mild depression.

Stress Reduction

Do you feel like the whole world is collapsing on top of you? I think everyone does at one stage or another. If you keep positive, it will pass. Aerobic exercise is a great way to keep positive. When you are stressed, it is important to get enough sleep. Exercisers actually go to sleep faster, are more refreshed and have sharper memories. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, bringing extra sugar and oxygen, which can help when concentrating. And once again, the little endorphins can make you happier, making you feel like maybe it will all be ok after all.

So, in conclusion, exercise! There are too many benefits that you will be missing out on if you don’t.

Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) – A Heart Condition

Mitral Valve allows blood to flow in one direction from the atrium (upper chamber) to the ventricle (lower chamber). It is one of the four valves separating different chambers of the heart. Mitral valve causes problem if it doesn’t open and close as per its functionality.

It causes blood to leak backwards into the upper chamber of the heart, leading to a ‘heart murmur’. This is called as Mitral Valve Prolapse. The functioning of your heart is normal at this point of time. This does not worsen over a period of time, but is one of the main reasons for cardiac problems.

Mitral valve prolapse is very common among women although men are targeted too. It can strike in early adulthood. It is considered to be a hereditary problem. Mitral Valve Prolapse syndrome is also called as dysautonomia.

One of the main reasons which cause an increase in mitral valve prolapse syndrome is stress. The cause of stress can be due to childbirth, drastic events, and life turning experiences and day to day stress in life. Nearly 60% of the patients with MVP do not show symptoms. The other 40% does show some sign, which you should be aware of.

Some Signs and Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

-Irregular Heartbeat
-Fatigue
-Chest Pain
-Racing Heart
-Dizziness
-Headaches
-Shortness of Breath
-Palpitation
-Anxiety

Causes of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

-Hereditary
-Stress
-Caffeine
-Stimulants
-Sweets
-Alcohol
-Smoking
-Menopause
-Skipping Meals
-Dehydration

Measures to be taken

Complications in this condition are very less. Attributable to the fact, that it does not affect much of your health. But people who suffer from this condition have to take extreme care. You may have to cut down on your physical activity, have a surgery and may be put you on medications – beta blockers.

You may have to follow a strict diet routine. Do not have any stimulants in your diet like coffee, tea, colas and even chocolates. Intake of sugar should come down. Have high-protein snack for afternoons. Drink as much water as you want. Fresh fruit juice is also good.

Regular exercise is good to maintain good health. Do not exert yourself. You should consult your doctor before doing any physical activity. Being aware about your condition would help you from any bacterial infection from any kind of surgery. Inform your doctors in advance about your condition, to avoid complication.

Home Care

Cinnamon helps in reducing high cholesterol and triglycerides. These can be used in your daily diet.

Flax seed oil contributes with good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. This helps your cardiovascular system by reducing bad cholesterol including lowering blood pressure.

Hawthorn Berries helps with a clean and clear cardiovascular system. It is very good for your heart.

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

When the pressure of the blood that is exerted against the walls of the blood vessels after and during every heart beat is lower than normal, you have low blood pressure. This can result in insufficient blood flow to the important body organs like the heart and the brain. And this can lead to various low blood pressure symptoms.

You may detect low blood pressure symptoms during the use of various drugs such as those used for surgery, anti-anxiety agents, treatment for high blood pressure, diuretics, heart medicines, antidepressants, narcotics, alcohol, and other types of drugs. You may notice the low blood pressure symptoms also because of dehydration, heart failure, or heart attack, anaphylaxis, shock, diabetes (especially in advanced stage), etc.

The most common low blood pressure symptoms are dizziness and lightheartedness. But there are other low blood pressure symptoms, and they are: a tendency to faint, black or maroon stools, chest pain, wheezing, irregular heart beat, consistent high fever, head ache, back pain, or stiff neck. If you happen to spot any of the low blood pressure symptoms, it is recommended that you consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Because of low blood pressure not enough blood reaches to all parts of the body and thus the cells do not receive the correct amount of oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, the waste products in the blood are not removed.

Don’t overlook the risk of low blood pressure if you cough with phlegm or if you are suffering from prolonged diarrhea, or if you are unable to eat or drink, or if you experience burning urinary symptoms or even if you are taking new medicines, because all these are low blood pressure symptoms.

When you start experiencing low blood pressure symptoms remember that the brain is the first organ to malfunction in such situations because it’s located at the top of the body and as a result you will experience dizziness or even fainting. You should be aware that if you don’t treat low blood pressure seriously it might lead to brain damage.

When you have low blood pressure, blood is not adequately supplied to the heart muscles and therefore breathlessness and chest tightness forms one of the common low blood pressure symptoms. When you have prolonged low blood pressure all organs start malfunctioning and this leads to shock.

You must take precautionary measures to avoid the situation from getting worse when you have low blood pressure and you must take your doctor’s advice. You must try to be more physically active and must try to lose weight. You should also maintain a healthy diet and limit your alcohol intake. All these will help you to keep your low blood pressure symptoms under control.

In spite of all the harmful aspects of low blood pressure, researchers say that it is better than high blood pressure because people experiencing low blood pressure symptoms tend to live longer than people suffering from high blood pressure symptoms do.

If you suspect you are suffering with low blood pressure you should consult your primary care physician straight away.

Know Your Heart Health

We all know that keeping up with our heart health is an important thing to do. We all know that there are a wide variety of factors that cause heart problems, and we should know by now that there are some basic ways to help protect the health of our hearts. What many people do not realize, however, is that keys to their heart health may be different than keys to the heart health of others.

There are almost as many strategies and tips for having good heart health as there are people with hearts in the world. It is important that each person takes the time to learn about his or her own heart health and to learn about the possible methods of ensuring heart health for years to come.

One of the best ways for anyone to become familiar with the needs of their heart is to see a physician. Schedule a visit to see your doctor and plan to discuss your heart health with him or her. If you can think of any questions or concerns you have regarding your heart health, write them down and bring them along. It will also be very helpful if you have a record of your extended family’s heart health history. It is likely that your physician will want to discuss more than just your own heart health. He or she will want to look for patterns or trends that have affected other people you’re related to.

A physician can help you determine not only the current health of your heart, but also give you a better understanding of specific things you can do to help prevent heart attack or heart disease. For some people, the most significant factor in achieving and maintaining heart health is to change their diet. The foods we choose to put into our bodies affect our heart health in more ways than we know. Eating large amounts of sugar, carbohydrates or processed foods will eventually take their toll on our heart health. Your physician can set you up with a dietician who specializes in creating unique diet plans that promote heart health.

For other people, it is their exercise and physical fitness habits that a physician will address. Heart health can be significantly altered based upon a person’s level of exercise. Your physician will be able to help you create a fitness plan that will be effective for you and your heart health needs.

It is never too late to take your heart health seriously. Make an appointment to see your physician today.