A heart attack occurs when the coronary artery gets blocked and the blood is unable to flow to the heart. Since the tissues nearby get damaged instantly, it is a life-threatening emergency.
Reasons For A Heart Attack
Let’s look at the several reasons for heart attack. The heart needs oxygen-rich blood to function optimally. Your heart gets this blood from the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries become narrow then blood cannot flow properly. If the blood flow gets blocked then it leads to a heart attack. Another way this can happen is with rupture. When plaques are formed and become hard, then there is a chance of a rupture occurring. Your body sends platelets which lead to blood clot formation in the area of the plaque. If the artery is unable to get oxygen because of blockage from the blood clot then it can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack can occur due to a coronary artery spasm too.
The following are some of the risk factors and reasons for heart attack you should know about.
- If you had a heart attack before then you are likely to have another one at a later time.
- Your consumption of saturated fats can put you at risk of a heart attack.
- HIV-positive individuals are more likely to have a heart attack.
- Women older than 55 and men older than 45 are more likely to have heart attacks.
- Diabetes can increase the risk of a heart attack.
- If you had heart surgery in the past then it can put you at risk of a heart attack.
- People who are highly stressed are more likely to have a heart attack.
- High levels of cholesterol can lead to a heart attack.
- People with hypertension are more likely to get heart attacks.
- If you had a family history of heart attacks then there are chances you might have one.
- Obese people are more likely to have a heart attack.
- People who smoke are at a high risk of having a heart attack.
- People who are not physically active are more likely to have a heart attack.
A heart attack occurs due to one or more of the above.
Treatment Options Available: Surgical Or Non-Surgical
When you have a heart attack, the treatment should begin as soon as possible otherwise it can lead to death. You need to limit the damage to the heart after a heart attack. This can be done with the help of drug therapy. Drug therapy helps break blood clots or it can help prevent the formation of blood clots. Drug therapy is useful for stopping platelets from reaching the site so that the damage is minimized. Medicines can be anti-platelet drugs such as prasugrel or clopidogrel among others. Aspirin might help prevent blood clot formation and thrombolytic therapy helps to dissolve clots that have already formed.
Your doctor might give you other medicines for avoiding abnormal heart rhythms or decreasing pain associated with a heart attack. Bypass surgery is a treatment option for a heart attack as it helps blood supply get back to normal after a heart attack. A cardiac catheterization is an option of treatment. This helps open arteries that are narrow and is helpful if you have arteries that are blocked. During emergency care, the best treatment option will be chosen.
Lifestyle Changes To Adapt Post-Treatment
The following are some of the important lifestyle changes you can make after treatment for a heart attack.
- You should focus on eating a diet that helps keep your heart healthy. Incorporating vegetables, fruits, fish, fibre-rich foods, and avoiding processed food is a good idea.
- You will feel emotionally depressed and you might even feel more anxious. Speaking to a mental healthcare professional will help you deal with your emotions.
- You should quit smoking altogether because it increases your chances of having another heart attack.
- You should make an exercise regime and diligently follow it. This will keep your heart healthy and functioning well after a heart attack.
- You should manage your stress and try techniques that help you get relaxed faster in stressful times.
- If you have high blood pressure then you should speak to your doctor about how you can reduce it.
- You should lose weight if you are overweight or obese and maintain a healthy weight after treatment.
- You should lower your cholesterol levels. To do this, take the help of your doctor who can suggest ways to cut down cholesterol.
- If you have diabetes then you may want to talk to your doctor about how you can manage your blood sugar levels.
When you are making any lifestyle changes, you must discuss them with your doctor so he can suggest any recommendations. You should ask about how much exercise is good enough and which exercises you should avoid.