Heart Attack: Types, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment
Heart attack occurs when the oxygenated blood flow to the heart is blocked. It is due to fats, cholesterol, and other substances that block them by making plaques (plaque; a sticky setting) in the coronary arteries to the heart. The heart does not get oxygen due to the disrupted blood flow, and if the heart does not get oxygen quickly then the heart muscles are destroyed.
In India, every 33 seconds is due to attack due to one person’s death. There are about 20 lakh cases of heart attack in India in 1 year.
- Types of Heart Attack
- Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Reasons for Heart Attack
- Prevention of Heart Attack
- Testing on Heart Attack
- Treatment of Heart Attack
- Risks and complications of a Heart attack
- Diet in Heart Attack
- What should be eaten in a Heart attack?
- What is the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest
- Care after the Heart attack
Types of heart attack
There are 3 types of heart attacks:
- ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEM): STEMI is a pain in the middle of the chest. It does not cause acute pain but feels pressure and stiffness. Some people also feel pressure and tightness in the arms, neck, jaw, and back.
- Non-ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI): Coronary arteries in part of the NSTEMI are partially blocked. There is no change in the ST segment in the electrocardiogram from ANSTEMI (NSTEMI).
- Unstable angina or coronary convulsions: Its symptoms are similar to STEMI, but it is mostly ignored as a pain in indigestion or muscle. When the arteries of the heart get compressed, the blood flow to the heart stops or decreases. Diagnosis of unstable angina shows only by imaging or blood tests. There is no dangerous harm from the coronary spasms but this increases the risk of attack again.
Symptoms of a heart attack
The symptoms of heart attack are:
- Feeling pressure, stiffness or pain on the chest or arms that can spread to your throat, jaw, and back.
- Nausea, indigestion, chest burning, abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing.
- Come “cold sweat” (sweating due to fear, anxiety, or disease). (Read more: Anxiety Disorder: Types, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment)
Symptoms of a heart attack are not normal for all people. Chest pain is always acute, but some people may feel very little as it feels in dysentery. Some people (especially women, elderly and suffering from diabetes) do not have pain.
Due to a heart attack
A heart attack occurs when one or more of your coronary arteries are blocked. The coronary artery can be narrowed due to the accumulation of cholesterol and many other substances. This condition is called Coronary Artery Disease and most attacks are due to this.
During a attack, plaque (a sticky setting) can rupture and, cholesterol and many other substances can spread in the bloodstream. Where plaques (a sticky setting) break up, blood clots from there. If this clot is larger then due to this the blood flow can be completely blocked.
On one side of the heart attack, the reason is the coronary artery spasm, which causes blood flow to the heart muscle stops. Tobacco and illegal drugs like cocaine can lead to murderous convulsions. An attack may also be due to the rupture of the artery (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection).
To reduce the risk of heart attack:
- To reduce the risk of heart attack and to improve the work of your damaged heart, use the medicines prescribed by the doctor and continue consulting with your doctor.
- Maintain a healthy weight as well as a healthy diet, do not smoke, do daily exercise, do not take too much stress, and control high-BP, high levels of cholesterol in the blood and diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, use the medicines used for it and keep checking your blood sugar level. If you have any cardiovascular disease, consult your doctor and use medicines prescribed by the doctor.
Test on heart attack
During the regular physical examination, your doctor will investigate such risk factors which can cause a heart attack.
The following tests are done to check the heart attack:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): The first ECG to diagnose heart attack is done. This test examines the electrical (electrical) activities of the heart. Electrical (electrical) activities of the damaged heart are not normal, so ECG knows that the heart attack has never happened before or it is in the future.
- Blood tests: When a heart attack occurs, many enzymes spread to the blood. To know if this enzyme is in the blood, your doctor can check your blood.
Treatment of Heart Attack
The treatment of heart attacks will depend on the type of heart attack you have.
ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) is the most serious type of attack and requires emergency treatment in order to reduce the harm caused by an attack.
If the symptoms you are having are of heart attack and get certified by the results of your electrocardiogram (ECG) that you have STEMI, then your coronary arteries will be treated to open.
The heart attack is treated as follows:
- If you are experiencing symptoms from the last 12 hours, then you will be treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
- If you are feeling the symptoms for the past 12 hours but it is not possible to give PCI as soon as possible, then you will be given medicine to analyze blood clots.
- If you are feeling the symptoms for more than 12 hours, then the treatment given to you will be fixed after the angiogram. You may be given PCI or medication or your bypass surgery can be done.
Some surgical procedures for the treatment of heart attacks are as follows:
- Angioplasty: By using the balloon or by removing the blocking material, the blocked artery is opened.
- Applying stent: After an angioplasty, a type of tube (stent) is inserted in the blocked part to keep the artery open.
- Bypass surgery: Surgery to supply blood flow to the blocked part of the heart.
- Heart valve surgery: Surgery to replace the valve that is leaking in the valve.
- Pacemaker Surgery: The Abnormal rhythm of the heart is controlled with the help of a pacemaker.
- Heart transplant: It is done in severe cases when heart tissues are completely destroyed due to a heart attack.
The following medicines can be given to you for the treatment of heart attacks:
- Aspirin or other antiplatelet medicines.
- Medicines for analysis of blood clots.
- Anticoagulants (anticoagulants; blood diluted substances) such as heparin (such other medicines are available)
- Nitro (Nitro) such as nitroglycerin (such other medicines are available)
- Medicines for hypertension.
Before taking these medicines, you have to lure with your doctor.
Risks and complications of a heart attack
The following people may have a heart attack easily:
- Age: Men over 45 and women over 55 may have a heart attack easily.
- Tobacco: Staying around smoking or smoking people who smoke often can easily have a heart attack.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure leads to arterial damage. When high blood pressure is caused by obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or sugar, this risk also increases.
- High levels of cholesterol and triglyceride: Arteries narrow from high levels of LDL cholesterol. High levels of triglyceride can increase the risk of attack.
- Diabetes: When the body does not produce enough insulin than the level of sugar in the body increases. Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of attack.
- Family Problems of Heart Attack: If you have a heart attack if your family members (before men 55 or before women 65), you may easily have an attack.
- Lack of physical exercise: Lack of physical exercise increases cholesterol levels and also leads to obesity, which increases the risk of attack.
- Obesity: Only by reducing the weight of 10 percent of your body you can reduce the risk of attack.
- Stress: Stress can increase the risk of attack.
- Drug Use: Drugs that affect your nervous system or cocaine may cause cranial coronary arteries, which can increase the risk of attack.
- Family Problems of Preeclampsia: Having Preeclampsia during pregnancy leads to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of attack.
- An illness in which the body’s immune system damages healthy cells such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus increases the risk of attack.
Dieting in Heart Attack
Dieting instructions in heart attacks are similar to dietary in heart failure.
People suffering from a heart attack should avoid the following.
- Do not have sexual intercourse for 2-3 weeks after a heart attack.
- Smoking is a major cause of heart attack, so do not smoke.
- Do not eat fried vegetables or meat.
- Do not drink soft drinks or other drinks containing sugar.
- Do not eat more salt
- Do not eat white rice.
If you are suffering from any disease in the heart, then you have to make the above mentioned dietary exercises.
What should be eaten in a heart attack?
Diet in heart failure should be taken in the same way as the diet which is as follows: What should be eaten in heart failure?
People suffering from a heart attack should eat the following:
- Fresh vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, etc.)
- Citrus and fresh fruits (like orange, pomegranate, grapes etc.)
- Wheat flour
- Olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil
- Berries, strawberries, blueberries etc.
- Products of soybean (such as soy milk or tofu)
- Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts etc.
- Green Tea
The above diet is beneficial for the patient suffering from any disease.