Heart attack is a debilitating condition, which is caused due to various reasons like unhealthy lifestyle, improper diet and exercise regimen, stress, etc., which may damage the heart muscles. This can hamper blood circulation, and eventually become life-threatening.
The heart is the chief organ of the circulatory system, which supplies rich, oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. This is possible due to the continuous pumping action of the organ, which transports blood through channels called arteries and veins. Myocardial infarction, which is commonly referred to as a heart attack, is one of the major medical conditions associated with the heart. The term ‘myocardial infarction’ means the death of a part of the cardiac muscle. It is categorized on the basis of the region and cause of the infarction. Arterial blockage due to accumulation of fat and plaque or a blood clot are the major contributing factors.
An attack can occur suddenly, with or without any warning signs. Unfortunately, many a time, the signs of an impending attack are mistaken as indigestion or gas, which could later result in complications. A person affected by the condition may experience a stabbing pain in the chest. This condition can be averted by recognizing the early signs and symptoms, and making the necessary lifestyle-related changes.
The Possible Causes
This medical condition may be caused due to a number of reasons, owing to unhealthy lifestyles and practices, improper blood supply to the cardiac muscles, and in some cases even genetic. Here are some of the known causes that should receive prompt medical intervention, to avoid this health disorder from proving to be fatal.
- Age is one of the highest risk factors. Individuals, especially men who are above the age of 45 are considered to be susceptible to myocardial infarction. Women above 55 years of age are also at a risk.
- Another causative factor for this heart disease is clogging of arteries due to plaque. The presence of plaque constricts the blood vessels and considerably lowers the amount of blood supplied to the heart. This may cause weakening of the cardiac muscles and hamper their functioning.
- Angina is a condition caused due to reduced oxygen to the heart. This disorder can put a person at a higher risk of suffering from a cardiac arrest, since the heart muscles are deprived of the much-needed oxygen.
- An unhealthy diet that includes fatty food can also lead to the formation of plaque, which in turn might make one susceptible to myocardial infarction. Diabetics are also at a risk.
- Being obese or overweight can increase the blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol may facilitate the formation of blood clots, which may clog the arteries and cause a hindrance to proper blood circulation. This can affect the heart and result in congestive heart failure.
- Other contributory factors are smoking, alcoholism, previous history of myocardial infarction, genetic, inactivity, and heart surgery that may lead to complications, and high blood pressure (or hypertension), etc.
The symptoms that are commonly experienced are mentioned below:
- The affected individual is likely to experience a catch in the chest region, followed by chest pain, and breathlessness.
- The common symptom in women and men, is sensing discomfort and a feeling of heaviness in the chest region.
- One of the signs of an attack is excruciating pain in the chest, which may radiate towards the left arm and neck. Breathlessness, rapid heartbeats, and fainting spells are also observed in such individuals.
- Heart murmur, profuse sweating, confusion, and restlessness are also a few indications.
- Some other symptoms include nausea, pale appearance of the face, coughing, eyes rolling backwards, and also a feeling of terror induced by the fear of death.
Timely medical intervention and treatment might prove beneficial to the individual, thereby preventing further complications. It is also necessary to follow a proper lifestyle, proper diet, and quit vices for keeping the heart in a good condition.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.