7 Major Causes & Symptoms of Heart Attack

All your body organs require varied nutrients in order to function properly and thus enable you to live. All the nutrients including oxygen are transported to these organs by blood, which flows to every part of your body. Blood-flow path (arteries, veins and capillaries) must be smooth without any obstruction for blood to flow through freely. For varied reasons, blockage or smooth flow of blood can be hindered, resulting in varied health problems, one of which is heart attack.

Causes of Heart Attack

Heart attack is a condition in which part of your heart fails to receive adequate supply of oxygenated blood. In such a case, the affected part starts to die. This condition comes about when the artery responsible for bringing in blood to the heart has plaques, which hinder smooth flow of blood. Alternatively, part of the plaque can break away and block the artery, leading to blood clot, which can block blood flow.

From the foregoing therefore, heart attack comes about because of defects in the responsible artery, a condition referred to as coronary heart disease. Your risk of coronary heart disease, which is responsible for heart attack increases if:

  • You are into cigarette smoking.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have high levels of blood cholesterol.
  • You are obese or overweight.
  • You are diabetic.
  • You are above 50 years (45 years for men).
  • One or both of your parents have coronary heart disease.

Looking at these risk factors, it is encouraging to note that you can control or manage some of the risk factors and live a healthy life. Being into these risk factors increases your chances of developing coronary heart disease, which eventually leads to heart attack. If such is the case, you are bound to experience varied symptoms.

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Symptoms of Heart Disease

  • Chest pain – You are bound to experience chest pain on your left side of chest, which lasts for a few minutes before fading away. You are also likely to feel pressure or fullness on the same part.
  • Discomfort – You are bound to feel discomfort in your arms, jaw, back and on your neck.
  • Difficulty in breathing – You are bound to have difficulties in breathing, which can occur before or after experiencing chest pain.
  • Nausea – You are bound to have a feeling of nausea and the possibility to vomit becomes here.

It should now be apparent what causes or leads to heart attack; coronary heart disease. However, what causes coronary heart disease? This is the most important thing to find out to stop the occurrence of heart attack. Coronary heart disease is caused by various factors, which include:

  • Fatty diet – Regularly consuming a diet rich in unsaturated fat leads to a buildup of fat deposits in your system. This raises your blood cholesterol, which is deposited along your arteries, causing plaque.
  • Spasm of arteries – Spasm (tightening of the artery) may not lead to coronary heart disease but to heart attack. The tightening of artery leads to inadequate blood supply to the heart, causing heart attack. Arterial spasm can be caused by high levels of emotional stress, such drugs as cocaine, being exposed to extreme coldness and cigarette smoking.

Diagnosis of Heart Attack

Heart attack is diagnosed through varied tests. The electrocardiogram test is useful in ascertaining your heartbeat rate and rhythm. Blood tests are useful in determining the levels of protein in your blood. Note that with heart attack, your heart muscles die and release proteins into your blood stream. High levels of proteins in your blood will be an indication of heart attack. Other tests your doctor may recommend include coronary angiography test.

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Treatment of Heart Attack

Successful treatment of heart attack depends on how fast you act on experiencing any of the symptoms. You can be put on oxygen therapy, use of aspirin to thin blood and chest pain treatments even before diagnosis. These are life-saving treatments. It is only after diagnosis that you will be put on appropriate heart attack treatment, which includes:

  • Medications – Appropriate medications are available that dissolve any blood clots present and that may be blocking smooth blood flow to your heart.
  • Angioplasty – This is undertaken by inserting a very thin and flexible tube with a balloon through appropriate blood vessel to open up the artery.
  • Surgery – Heart surgery is usually performed to create a healthy bypass route to your heart.

Severe heart attacks are fatal. In order to prevent occurrence of the same, you need to prevent the occurrence of coronary heart disease. The most effective way of doing so is avoiding the risk factors at all costs. In addition to this, exercising plays a vital role in burning excess fat, reducing weight and ensuring that you are physically fit.

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