What Are Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart muscle becomes blocked. If you have heart disease, youre at increased risk of having a heart attack.
Common symptoms of a heart attack may include:
- Pressure, fullness, burning, or squeezing sensations in the chest
- Pain in the chest, neck or back
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating
- Unusual fatigue
Its important to note that heart attack symptoms vary among men and women, and from person to person. If youre unsure, dont wait. Call 911 for help.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk
You can use healthy lifestyle changes and medicines to reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. You can also balance the risks and benefits of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy when you decide whether or not to use them.
A heart-healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. And it can help you manage other problems that raise your risk. These problems include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Heart-healthy habits include not smoking, eating heart-healthy foods, exercising regularly, and staying at a healthy weight.
You might take medicines, along with making healthy lifestyle changes, to lower your risk. These medicines include:
- Diabetes medicine.
- Cholesterol medicine.
- Aspirin. Your doctor may suggest that you take a daily, low-dose aspirin if the benefits of aspirin to prevent a stroke are greater than the risk of stomach bleeding from taking daily aspirin. But the daily use of low-dose aspirin in healthy women who are at low risk of stroke is not recommended.footnote 3
- An anticoagulant, also called a blood thinner, to lower your risk of stroke if you have atrial fibrillation.
Birth control and hormone therapy
Rules To Prevent Heart Attack And Stroke Risk
I focus on making our viewers and readers aware of the actual science. Unfortunately, research studies are often muddy and inconclusive. Still, I want to make sure that people who follow us get the conclusions.
So, for this post, Ill go through 15 truths about heart attack and stroke prevention that I have been advancing and teaching for years.
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Final Thoughts On Avoiding Clots Strokes And Heart Attacks
You may have noticed a theme here: stay away from carbs and sugar, exercise, and eat healthy organic and grass-fed foods. Even though a family history of stroke, heart attack, and clots can increase your risk, these things may matter far more. If you can clean these up, not only will you likely reduce your PAI-1 levels, you may also help reduce your risk of high blood pressure . As you may know, blood pressure levels also have a significant impact on artery function.
When possible, consider giving natural remedies a try before or along with traditional medications, but always talk to your doctor first. Anticoagulants are often prescribed for disorders such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and other embolus-related problems. The problem with anticoagulants is that they can reduce blood clotting too much.
Not all blood clotting is bad. If you have a cut, your blood needs to clot in order to stop the bleeding. If your blood is too thin as a symptom of anticoagulants, even the smallest cut can create excessive bleeding.
Consider working on healthy habits that drive down your PAI-1 levels, so it doesn’t block TPA, which helps to naturally dissolve blood clots.
I hope you find these tips useful. Give them a try and see how they work for you.
Obesity Unhealthy Diet And Physical Inactivity
Compared to those at a normal weight, people with overweight or obesity are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke and their risk factors, including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes. In the United States, nearly 74% of adults have overweight or obesity.
A healthy diet can reduce a persons chances of getting heart disease. A healthy diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins and limits saturated and trans fat, added sugars, and sodium.
Physical inactivity can also lead to heart diseaseeven for people who have no other risk factors. It can increase the chance of other risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Only 24% of adults and 16.5% of high school students meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
CDCs Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity develops and shares proven approaches that make healthy living easier for everyone, which can help people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, the division works with hospitals to support breastfeeding moms, early care and education centers to promote healthy eating standards, and workplaces to change policies so that employees have more healthy food choices.
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Family History And Cardiovascular Disease Risk
If one or more of your immediate family members has had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 65, its important to mention this to your doctor.
Even if you have a family history, this doesnt mean you will go on to have a heart attack or stroke. One of the best things you can do is to book in for a Heart Health Check with your GP. Your GP will ask you about your family history as part of the check. If you have an immediate family member who had a heart attack or stroke at a young age, dont wait until you become eligible for a Heart Health Check. Its best to speak to your GP as soon as possible so you can start managing your risk today.
Slow Progress In Cardiovascular Disease Is Holding Our Societies Back
Remember when life expectancy kept going up? How inevitable the march of societal progress in health then seemed. Yet after years of consistent growth, the uncomfortable truth is that the trend of increasing life expectancy is slowing across Europe, and in some cases even halting. COVID-19 has played its part, but it is not the sole reason the trend pre-dates 2020. One of the major causes of this slowdown is the growing prevalence of cardiovascular disease, which includes Europes biggest killers: heart attack and stroke.
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Sleep & Other Lifestyle Factors
Sleep is important too. It is associated with our metabolism. Sleep deprivation increases the production of the hormone cortisol, and cortisol can cause insulin resistance. And having decreasing sleep direction is correlated with increasing obesity.
Other lifestyle aspects are also important, like stress management and exercise.
So no one cant supplement their way out of a bad lifestyle. This aint going to happen.
And guess what
Cholesterol And Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance produced naturally by your body. The body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and to build cells. Everyone has cholesterol, but too much means plaque can build up in the coronary arteries. This can make it harder for blood and oxygen to reach the heart and brain, which can increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol is mainly caused by eating foods high in saturated and trans fats.
Your total cholesterol includes two types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein also known as bad cholesterol because it can add to the build-up of plaque in your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- High-density lipoprotein also known as good cholesterol because it helps to protect you against heart attack and stroke.
Most of the total cholesterol in your blood is made up of bad LDL cholesterol. Only a small part is made up of good HDL cholesterol.
You should aim for low LDL cholesterol and higher HDL cholesterol. Your doctor will check your cholesterol levels as part of a Heart Health Check and will discuss what cholesterol levels you should aim for. They can also refer you to an Accredited Practising Dietitian for dietary advice.
Blood pressure is the pressure on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood around your body. Blood pressure depends on two main things: the amount of blood pumped by your heart and how easily the blood can flow through your arteries.
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Know The Symptoms Of Heart Attack And Stroke
All women need to know the symptoms of heart attack and stroke and what to do. Make sure your friends and loved ones know how to recognize the symptoms too. If you think you are having a heart attack or stroke, call 911.
Knowing the symptoms and getting help quickly can help you survive a heart attack or stroke and make a full recovery.
American Heart Association News Stories
American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Statements, conclusions, accuracy and reliability of studies published in American Heart Association scientific journals or presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the American Heart Associations official guidance, policies or positions.
Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.
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Check Your Fasting Glucose Blood Pressure Cholesterol And Bmi
Know the following health measures and work together with your health care provider to prevent heart disease and stroke:
- Fasting glucose: This test measures the amount of sugar in your blood after you havent eaten for at least 8 hours. Your fasting glucose should be less than 100 mg/dl.
- Blood pressure: A healthy blood pressure is about 120/80.
- Cholesterol: There are several measures of cholesterol that are important in determining cardiovascular disease risk. Your high density lipoprotein cholesterol should be greater than 50 mg/dl. Low density lipoprotein cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl.
- Body mass index : This is a measure of the relationship between your height and your weight. If your weight is too much for your height, you may have excess body fat. This can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Your BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.0. Use this BMI Calculator to find out your BMI.
Critical Steps To Help Prevent A Stroke
If there’s one good thing that can be said of strokes, it’s this: The vast majority of them don’t need to happen.
Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes and working with health care practitioners to control stroke risk factors. Researchers have identified numerous steps people can take to lower stroke risk, but health experts agree, trying to do them all at once can feel overwhelming.
“The biggest mistake people make is they are overly ambitious, and then they fail and give up,” said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, a Canadian neurologist and global expert in the field of stroke. “You have to start small.”
The rewards are enormous, said Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, a neurologist and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It’s “not just for preventing stroke, but for preventing dementia as well. You can do the same things to prevent both. You are killing two birds with one stone.”
Here are five ways to get started on the road to prevention.
If you smoke, quit
Studies show that for every five cigarettes a person smokes each day, the risk of having a stroke goes up by 12%. For Black adults, smoking cigarettes more than doubles the risk of stroke compared to never smoking, a 2020 study found.
Keep blood pressure under control
Eat a healthy diet
“One of the most subtle things that happens to people as they get older is they put on weight,” Hachinski said.
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The Reality Check: Gaps In Prevention And Care And People Left At Risk
In reality, if you had a heart attack or stroke today, the odds of receiving the care needed to avoid a second one are not good. Prevention should be initiated immediately in hospital, but this doesnt routinely happen. When discharged, fewer than half of heart attack patients are referred to crucial preventive cardiac rehabilitation programmes, and lifestyle management programmes post-stroke are only available in half of European countries.
What does this mean for the heart attack or stroke survivor? It means that they dont get effective help to give up smoking, exercise more or lose weight , nor are they supported to fully understand and engage in their medical treatment, rehabilitation or follow-up care, leaving them ultimately at risk of another debilitating and possibly fatal event.
Governments have the care models to improve secondary prevention in cardiovascular disease, but analysis has shown that policies lag behind most other non-communicable diseases in European countries.
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Tips For Heart Attack Prevention
The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?
You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:
- Prevent blood clots
- Prevent plaques by lowering cholesterol
Know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and when you need to take them. Go over your medications with your doctor or nurse. Keep a list of all your medications, and take it to each of your doctor visits. If you have questions about them, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t skip your medications. Many people don’t take their medications the way their doctor told them to. Figure out what keeps you from taking your medicine — it could be side effects, cost, or forgetfulness — and ask your doctor for help.
What lifestyle changes are needed after a heart attack?
To keep heart disease from getting worse and to head off another heart attack, follow your doctor’s advice. You might need to change your lifestyle. Here are some changes you can make that can cut your risk and put you on the path to a healthier life:
Why should I take part in cardiac rehabilitation?
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Who Should Not Take Aspirin
People who have certain health problems shouldnt take aspirin. These include people who:
- Have a stomach ulcer.
- Have recently had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
- Are allergic to aspirin.
- Have asthma that is made worse by aspirin.
If you think you are having a stroke, do not take aspirin because not all strokes are caused by clots. Aspirin could make some strokes worse.
Gout can become worse or hard to treat for some people who take aspirin.
If you take some other blood thinner, talk with your doctor before taking aspirin, because taking both medicines can cause bleeding problems.
High Blood Pressure And High Cholesterol
High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke because it damages the lining of the arteries, making them more susceptible to the buildup of plaque, which narrows the arteries leading to the heart and brain. About 116 million US adults have high blood pressure, defined as 130/80 mm Hg or higher. Only about 1 in 4 of these people have their high blood pressure under control. About 7 in 10 people who have a first heart attack and 8 in 10 people who have a first stroke have high blood pressure.
Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Americans aged 2 years or older consume an average of about 3,400 mg of sodium each day, well over the 2,300 mg recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. More than 70% of the sodium Americans consume is added outside the home , not added as salt at the table or during home cooking.
High LDL cholesterol can double a persons risk of heart disease. Thats because excess cholesterol can build up in the walls of arteries and limit blood flow to a persons heart, brain, kidneys, other organs, and legs. Although nearly 86 million US adults could benefit from taking medicine to manage their high LDL cholesterol, only about half are doing so.
People can improve their blood pressure and cholesterol levels by eating a healthy diet that is low in sodium, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking medicines as recommended.
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