is better - Emergency treatment or Preventive Measures?
Urgent treatment essential, but then what?
most important aspect of a Heart Attack is that it needs immediate action. It
is like a house being on fire - the sooner we give medical attention the less
would be the harm done to the heart muscles. "Time is Muscle" as they
say. If that be so, what are the indications for angina or heart attack? Most
people would aver that they got it without any preceding symptom. Many of them
who had felt a mild discomfort often ignore that or satisfy themselves that they
are alright. Many of them, especially those afflicted with diabetes, may not feel
any chest pain. There are no sensory nerves in the heart muscles. Almost a third
of the victims, without even being able to convey their distress, may breathe
their last at home or while going in the ambulance to the medical center.
may not feel any agonizing symptoms. They may however get other signs of an impending
attack. Many may feel a pang in their left shoulder or neck or abdomen and that
too may disappear after some time. There could be other instances like a sudden
ache in the left lower jaw; or a feeling of discomfort in an old scar in the back;
or a pain in the left elbow while mowing the lawn. Many may get a mild fatigue.
Only a check-up can reveal the presence of a malady. Even those who got a "sudden
heart attack" might have had an advance indication like a mild pain or feeling
a little faint; they could have ignored it. Chest pain is a rare occurrence among
ladies. Many would have stomach trouble or a sudden vomiting or diarrhea. They
may suddenly have excessive sweating all over. A lot of them will forget this
over time. No one may get a "chest pain" as such.
feeling of being out of breath or gasping and panting may come over. It may also
go off after a little while. One should not associate heart attack with chest
pain only. When subjected to ECG/EKG test many may appear normal. Only further
tests like Stress Test or Nuclear Stress Test would show the truth. Also, chest
pain could be the symptom of other disorders also. If several members of a family
have heart problems, especially before the age of 50, they have to be extra careful
in their lifestyle. Tests would have to commence even from the age of 30 - 40
years. Diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol have to be specifically examined
for and corrective steps taken for keeping them under control. All the members
have to be careful about their diet after the age of 40 years.
QUEEN OF HEARTS - Does "S'HE" know?
is a common belief that heart diseases are a masculine affliction and cancer is
actually a bigger threat for women. Actually, heart disease is a killer that strikes
more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Most
women believe that if there is a family history of heart disease, they cannot
escape it. However it has been seen that, because of healthy choices and knowing
the signs, more women can be saved from the heart attacks. Contrary to the belief
that heart disease affects only old age people, it affects women of all ages.
In fact, younger women with Diabetes or with use of birth control pills as well
as smoking develop the risk of heart disease at early age. More than one in three
adult female will have some form of cardiovascular disease and for about one in
ten of them the coronary heart diseases may be fatal.
Preventive measures - Exercise and proper food habits.
there is a family history showing incidence of heart ailments, or obesity (abdominal),
or diabetes, hypertension or cholesterol at a young age or a heart attack before
the age of 50 years, before anything else is treated, it would be necessary for
men and women to have a complete cardiac work-up along with blood tests need to
be done. Daily physical workouts for about 30 to 45 minutes are strongly recommended,
unless such exertion is prohibited by some other disorders. The aerobics could
be fast walking, or cycling; swimming is also a good exercise. But it should be
remembered that just because you are doing the drill, you cannot be lax in your
food habits and eat what you like. Correct quantum and proper ingredients in the
diet are very important.
victims have a tendency to feel hungry often, apart from having a longing for
sweets. It is necessary for them to keep a tight control on the blood sugar levels.
Also, like calisthenics, sleep is essential for proper rest for the mind and the
body. But sedatives should not be resorted to for getting sleep. It is necessary
for everyone to follow the good habits - especially those who are subject to risk
factors. Adopting the healthy practices mentioned above for a proper life style
is necessary. Controlling the effects of diabetes, hypertension and similar ailments
with proper medication is essential for the good of the heart. The level of affliction
by these diseases must be kept down as much as possible for the good of the heart.
Heart attack causes a permanent damage to the heart muscles and curing it is very
difficult. So, prevention is the best antidote for coronary artery diseases. To
achieve this, start early and make suitable changes in lifestyle even from the
age of 40 - 45 years and adopt preventive measures.