Every 33 seconds, someone dies from heart and blood vessel diseases, India's number one killer. Since most of those deaths are from heart attack - it's important to learn all you can about heart attack. Don't ignore heart problems. It's a matter of life and death! For example, you should know the warning signs so you can get help right away, either for yourself or someone close to you. Acting quickly can save many, many lives! Get help fast if you feel any of these signs:
Uncomfortable heavy feeling, pressure, pain or squeezing in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes.
Pain that goes to your shoulders, neck or arms.
Discomfort in your chest along with a light head, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath
What causes heart attack?
Another name for a heart attack is myocardial infarction) - "M.I." for short. It occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked (often by a blood clot). This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood slowly become clogged from a buildup of cells, fat and cholesterol called plaque Blood that tries to flow through these clogged arteries can form a clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.
How can I recover?
Depending on the extent of your heart attack, you may only be in the hospital a few days. But your recovery is just beginning.
It's very important to start taking steps now to get your heart in good shape and to avoid another heart attack. Eat a healthful diet, exercise, and if you smoke, quit.
Talk with your doctor and nurses about how you can live as normal a life as possible. Ask how soon you can go back to work, drive a car, have sex, and what to do if you have chest discomfort. Your doctor or nurse can answer your questions about other matters, too.
How can I avoid a heart attack?
Even if you have heart disease, there's a lot you can do to improve the health of your heart. Making changes can prevent a heart attack. Ask your doctor or nurse for help and information about how to change.
Treat high blood pressure if you have it.
Eat a diet that's low in fat, cholesterol and salt.
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Keep your weight in the normal range.
Follow your doctor's orders for taking medicine.
See your doctor for regular checkups.
Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
You can help prevent a heart attack! You must control your blood pressure, stop smoking, eat a healthful diet, exercise and know the warning signs!
How can I learn more?
Talk to your doctor, nurse or health care professional. Or call your SAAOL Heart Center.
If you have heart disease, members of your family also may be at higher risk. It's very important for them to make changes to lower their risk.