A heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) is the death of heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot. Coronary arteries are blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. Blockage of a coronary artery deprives the heart muscle of blood and oxygen, causing injury to the heart muscle. Injury to the heart muscle causes chest pain and chest pressure sensation. If blood flow is not restored to the heart muscle within 20 to 40 minutes, irreversible death of the heart muscle will begin to occur. Muscle continues to die for six to eight hours at which time the heart attack usually is "complete." The dead heart muscle is eventually replaced by scar tissue.
What are the causes of a heart attack?
1. Age - this is considered to be the largest risk factor. When a man is over 45 years, and the woman is over 55 years of age, their risk of having a heart attack starts to rise significantly.
2. Diet - a person who consumes large quantities of, for example, animal fats, or saturated fats, will eventually have a higher risk of having a heart attack.
3. Genes - you can inherit a higher risk of heart attack from your parents, and/or their parents.
4. Heart surgery - patients who have had heart surgery have a higher risk of having a heart attack.
5. Hypertension (high blood pressure) - this could be due to lack of physical activity, overweight/obesity, diabetes, genes, and some other factors.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
1. Chest discomfort, mild pain
3. Crushing chest pain
5. Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
6. Face seems gray
7. A feeling of terror that your life is coming to its end
8. Feeling really awful (general feeling)
Prevention of Heart Attacks
To prevent heart attacks or other heart diseases, it is important to make changes in the lifestyle and live a healthy life. Undergoing medical check-ups regularly is equally important.
Given below are some of the basics to keep heart diseases at bay:
1. Eat a healthy diet to prevent or reduce high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Maintain a healthy weight.
2. Quit smoking. Find alternative ways to cope with stress.
3. Participate in physical activity. Exercise regularly, walk, run or practice yoga (under supervision or guidance).
4. Control diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
Home Remedies for Heart Attack
1. Apples have heart-stimulating properties. Patients suffering from a weak heart will benefit greatly by making liberal use of this fruit and apple jam.
2. Onions have been found valuable in heart disease. They are useful in normalizing the percentage of blood cholesterol by oxidizing excess cholesterol. One teaspoon of raw onion juice first thing in the morning is beneficial in such cases.
3. Honey has got marvelous properties to prevent all sorts of heart disease. It tones up the heart and improves the circulation.
4. It is also effective in cardiac pain and palpitation of the heart. One tablespoon daily after food is sufficient to prevent all sorts of heart troubles.
5. Asparagus is an excellent food for strengthening the heart. A good medicine for a weak or an enlarged heart is prepared by mixing the freshly extracted juice of this vegetable with honey, in the ratio of 2:1. A teaspoon of this medicine should be taken three times daily. Patients with heart disease will also benefit by steam cooking this vegetable.
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