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Medicine & Health Education
Essential Therapeutic Life Style Changes
For a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit
Some Simple Steps to Uplift the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
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Part - 07
 
 
PART - 07: URGENT MESSAGES FROM AN ACHING HEART - Section 1
 
 
 
 

A sudden problem (attack) that comes like a bolt from the Blue Sky

07.01: Problems of Heart Disorders among Indian community

Heart Attacks and related Coronary Artery diseases occur among the Indian community members and this is not just a problem of old age. It can occur even at the middle age. Several people both men and women can suffer a heart attack while in their 40's and it must be recognized that the problems start at a much earlier age. We have already noted that the Indian community has a great propensity for diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cholesterol / fat problems. The most severe consequence of these maladies is clogging of blood vessels in the coronary arteries, resulting in heart attack. The indication preceding this is a "chest pain". We will now analyze how it is caused, who are the victims of the ailment, how to recognize it and how to prevent its incidence.

Coronary artery obstructions and clogging may be a genetic disorder for many of us. Hypertension and diabetes run in many families along with high cholesterol. Their diet regimen and physical workouts may not be proper. Because of this, the male members start getting afflicted even at the age of 35 - 40. As a matter of fact, the malady starts at a very early age itself, but not evident and not recognized. This condition among women is not often conspicuous till the end of their reproductive age of 45-50 years. In diabetic women this can manifest at any age. But it must be understood that this type of ailment is more common for the women than all other disorders.

07.02: A single disease with multifarious appellations

We hear a number of synonyms for heart diseases. Blood vessel obstructions are called coronary atherosclerosis or "coronary artery disease". Partial blocks lead to temporary chest pain or breathlessness when doing some hard work. This is called "Angina". When the clogs are severe leading to blockage of blood flow, the heart muscles in the area get damaged due to lack of oxygen supply. The terminology for this is Myocardial Infarction or commonly referred to as "heart attack". Such condition can be managed by various procedures involving heart catheterization like Angioplasty or Balloon procedure, Stent and Bypass Surgery etc. But these do not cure the basic disease but only set right the discomfort temporarily. The coronary artery disease remains in the background and manifests itself periodically. Let us investigate the true remedy for this.

07.03: The Occurrence of Heart Attack and its consequences.

Once Coronary artery disease sets in, it will become serious over a period of time. Heart attack causes damage to the heart muscles. Corrective treatment by Bypass Surgery or Stent procedure, either before or after the damage is caused, can only reduce the uneasiness to a good extent. There is no long-term cure as such, since the arterial disease will continue to progress and a blockage will develop again. There is continued accumulation of materials that cause these obstructions and blockages in the blood vessels of the heart in several areas and also in other parts of the body like kidneys, brain and legs. To prevent these and control such a progressive condition, one should adopt proper lifestyle changes with diet discipline and physical exercise.

We should first discern the symptoms of coronary artery disease. For the most part, if the coronary artery blockage is in the range of 20% to 60% or the blockage is confined to only one artery, there may be no external indication. When the block is more one may feel uncomfortable while walking fast or while doing any hard work. This may also vary from person to person. Some will show fatigue; others may have excessive sweating; there could be a chest throbbing or breathlessness. When heart attack occurs, people develop a sudden sense of mental fear and also may experience cold sweat covering the body. Some may feel a little light-headed feeling like fainting. But as the symptom wears off in a short time, there is a tendency to forget the unpleasant experience; and other family members are not even informed. Most of them, who first feel the sudden fear, slowly go to a stage of denial and get a tendency to ignore or hide the incidence.

Many of the people who have such an episode do not suffer any significant "chest pain" to the extent of having to tell others about it. In a real sense, no one will ever get a chest pain as such over the heart area. Some may feel a pressure over the middle of the chest or tightness and chocking sensation that they cannot breathe. On rare occasions, one may get a feeling of someone or something heavy sitting on chest. A person may just feel like a faint or have mild to moderate breathing difficulty on and off at the time of an attack or few days later that are often ignored and not recognized. They may also develop a swelling in the legs several days after an episode. If there is a large scale arrest of the blood flow it may lead to heart attack that may be well recognized and lead to hospital admission. On many occasions the symptoms can be mild. Sometimes the uneasiness may disappear after a little while. If the obstruction is a little less, the Angina may recur as mild chest discomfort or tightness along with some difficulty breathing and these will occur again and again; but ultimately, it would lead to heart attack.

 
   
   
 
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-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Lifestyle Changes -- for a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit 0
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Thank You
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