What is a heart attack?
Heart attacks occur when there is a lack of blood flow to your heart muscle, which is hazardous. Blood flow is restricted due to a blockage in one of your heart’s arteries, but many factors can cause it. Without blood flow, the heart muscle dies. The damage caused by a heart attack can be permanent if blood flow is not quickly restored.
What does a heart attack feel like?
A significant decrease in blood flow causes heart attacks to one or more parts of the heart, which causes damage or death to the part of your heart that is affected by the interruption of blood flow. A part of your heart that cannot pump due to a lack of blood flow can disrupt the pumping sequence for the entire heart when that part of the heart can’t pump., which is life-threatening.
The symptoms of heart attacks can vary from one person to another, and some of these symptoms are more common than others. The symptoms of heart attacks in men and people assigned to males at birth (AMABs) are likely to differ from those experienced by women and people assigned to females at birth (AFABs).
In most cases, people describe the following symptoms as the most common symptoms of a heart attack:
- Pain in the chest (angina). The pain can be mild or severe, depending on how severe it is. It may feel like discomfort or heavy, or it may feel like crushing pain. Typically, chest pains start in the chest area, such as the left arm (or both arms), shoulder, neck, jaw, back, or even down to your midriff.
- The feeling of being short of breath or having difficulty breathing.
- I feel tired.
- Some factors cause sleeping problems (insomnia).
- The feeling of nausea or discomfort in the stomach.
- Feelings of heart palpitations.
- The feeling of “impending doom” or anxiety is similar to a sense of impending doom.
- It is sweating.
- It may feel as if you are dizzy, lightheaded, or passing out.
Heart attack symptoms in women and people with AFAB
Research has shown that women and people with AFAB are more likely to have chest pain or discomfort that feels like indigestion than people with other health problems. They commonly experience nausea, vomiting, or back, shoulder, neck, arm, or abdomen pain.
What causes a heart attack?
A blockage most commonly causes heart attacks in one of the blood vessels that supply your heart with oxygen and nutrients. The most common cause of this is plaque, a sticky substance that builds up inside your arteries over time (in the same way that grease poured down the kitchen sink can cause clogs in your sink’s pipes). It is called atherosclerosis when that buildup is present in the arteries.
A blood clot can sometimes become stuck on the site of a ruptured plaque deposit inside the coronary (heart) arteries after the plaque deposits break open or rupture and the rupture occurs. A clot can block an artery and cause a heart attack if it deprives the heart muscle of oxygen.
It is possible a heart attack without a blockage, but it tends to be a rare occurrence, accounting for only about 5% of all heart attacks. The following are some reasons why this type of heart attack can occur:
- Spasms in the coronary arteries.
- Diseases that cause abnormal narrowing of the blood vessels are rare medical conditions.
- Trauma: Heart artery tears or ruptures.
- Obstruction is caused by something else in your body: It could be a blood clot or an air bubble (embolism) that gets trapped inside a coronary artery.
- Eating disorders: Eating disorders can, after a while, hurt your heart, resulting in a heart attack at a later date.
- Heart failure caused by Takotsubo.
- Anomalous coronary arteries (you may have this congenital heart defect as you were born with coronary arteries located at an angle that differs from average). If the coronary arteries become blocked, it can cause a heart attack).
Who is most at risk of a heart attack?
The risk of having a heart attack depends on some key factors. Some factors can affect your heart attack risk, but you cannot control them all.
, but age is the number one risk factor. As you age, your risk of developing a heart attack increases. If you are female, the risk increases even more.
Men and people with AMAB: Age 45 is when many risk increases for people suffering from a heart attack.
When a woman reaches 50 or has gone through menopause, her risk of having a heart attack increases dramatically.
The risk of developing heart disease or heart attacks is even greater if you have parents or siblings who have had a history of heart disease or heart attack, especially at a young age, since your genetics are very similar to those of your family members.
The risk of contracting a disease increases if you:
The age of your father or brother when he or a family member was diagnosed with heart disease was 55 or younger.
The age of your mother or sister at the time of the diagnosis of heart disease was 65 or younger.
You can make many choices that can increase your chances of heart attack if you make them that aren’t good for your heart.
Increasing your risk of heart attack:
Sodium, sugar, and a fat-rich diet.
Tobacco use (including smokeless, chewing, and vaping).
I was overdosing on alcohol.
Young people use drugs.
Heart conditions some heart conditions put stress on the heart.
Heart attacks are more likely if you have these conditions:
A diabetes-related disease.
I am obese.
Hypotension (high blood pressure).
Hypolipidemia (high cholesterol).
Preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Young people with eating disorders.
Diagnosis & Tests
Symptoms of a heart attack?
Heart attacks are usually diagnosed in the emergency room. Check your pulse, pulse, oxygen levels, and blood pressure, and listen to heart and lung sounds if you have heart attack symptoms.
Heart attacks are diagnosed using the following:
- History and symptoms: The provider will ask about your symptoms. You might also be asked to describe what happened to someone with you.
- A blood test is usually carried out as soon as possible after a heart attack, as damage to heart muscle cells is almost called cardiac troponin to be detected in your bloodstream. One of the most reliable methods of diagnosing a heart attack is through blood tests that look for that marker.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): If you have heart attack symptoms, this is one of the first tests.
- Echocardiogram: Ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves)
- Angiogram: Shows areas with little or no blood flow.
- Heart computed tomography (CT) scan: Creates a detailed heart scan.
- Heart MRI: This test tests a powerful magnetic field and computer algorithms to create a detailed image of your heart using a magnetic field.
- Nuclear heart scans: A nuclear dye is injected into your blood for these scans. The difference between an angiogram and a computed tomography scan is that a computed tomography scan or a positron emission tomography scan uses computer-enhanced methods, such as CT and PET scans.
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
How are heart attacks treated?
The treatment of a heart attack involves restoring blood flow to the affected heart, possible since the affected heart muscle requires oxygen and nutrients. This can take many forms, including medication and surgery, as well as a combination of both, and there are many ways in which it can occur. The chances are very good that several of the following methods will be used during the progression of the treatment, especially if the condition is not severe.
It is common for people who are experiencing trouble breathing or have low blood oxygen levels to be given supplementary oxygen alongside other treatments for heart attacks. Depending on your preferences, you can use a tube just under your nose or a mask placed over your nose and mouth to breathe the oxygen. Having oxygen in your blood flowing more freely increases oxygen in your body and reduces the pressure on your heart.
- Anti-clotting medications include aspirin and other drugs that thin the blood, like warfarin.
- Nitroglycerin: Nitroglycerin is a medicine that treats chest pain and enlarges blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through them.
- Thrombolytic (clot-busting) medications: These medications are only given to patients within the first 12 hours following the onset of a heart attack.
- Medications that prevent arrhythmias: Heart attacks can often lead to malfunctions in your heart’s normal beating rhythm, known as arrhythmias, which can have life-threatening implications. There are medications on the market that can be used to stop or prevent arrhythmias from occurring.
- Painkillers: Morphine is one of the most common painkillers used during heart attack treatment to manage pain. It can help alleviate chest pain if you do this.
During a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), doctors restore circulation to the affected areas of your heart muscle. This procedure uses a catheter-based device inserted into a major vessel in your body (usually the one near the upper thigh or wrist).
The PCI procedure is a critical tool for restoring blood flow, so the sooner the procedure is performed, the better the chance of achieving a successful outcome. To measure the efficiency of hospitals when treating a heart attack, they use a metric called “door-to-balloon time.” After a person enters and goes to the Emergency Room, it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for their PCI procedure to be carried out. The pathological component of PCI often requires the blockage, which will help keep the artery open, making it less likely that another blockage will occur there in the future.
Coronary artery bypass grafting
The coronary artery bypass graft procedure is usually used for patients suffering from severe coronary artery blockages. It is common for this surgery to be called either open-heart surgery, bypass surgery, or CABG (the acronym is pronounced in the same way as “cabbage”).
This type of surgery involves using another blood part of your body (usually your chest area, arm, or leg) to create a detour for the blood. The blood is rerouted around one or more blocked artery sections and brought to your heart muscle.
Can I prevent having a heart attack?
The fact that some factors are beyond your control – especially your family history – does not mean that they will not occur despite all your efforts to prevent them. It is still possible to delay a heart attack from occurring and reduce the severity if you do suffer from one by reducing your risk.
- Checkups are essential: Find a primary care provider and schedule an appointment to see them at year for a checkup and wellness checkup. A regular checkup can detect many early warning signs of heart disease, including those you cannot feel, even if they are present. You can check your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and a lot more of these things.
- Quit tobacco products: Smokeless tobacco and all vaping products are included in this category.
- Exercise regularly: You should exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week at moderate intensity.
- Diet is one of the most powerful in helping you lose weight. Examples include the Mediterranean or Dash diets. Plant-based diets can be a very healthy alternative to a traditional diet approach.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Your primary care provider can advise you on an ideal weight to aim for and give you resources and guidance to help you reach that weight.
- Manage your existing health conditions: These include high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes, among others.
- Reduce your stress: Many techniques can be used to manage stress, including yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
- Take your medications as prescribed: You must not take them just because you can or when you have an upcoming doctor’s appointment.
- Make sure you keep all your doctor’s appointments: Seeing your doctor regularly can help uncover heart-related issues and other medical conditions that you were unaware of. The earlier a problem is treated before it worsens, the easier it will be to deal with it.
The fact that you are an active contributor to your health does not mean you need to do everything on your own to make changes to your lifestyle. You should ask your primary care provider, as well as the other members of your healthcare team, if they can help you. They can provide you with the information and resources you need.
It is most likely that your healthcare provider will suggest a cardiac rehabilitation program to you if you have already had a heart attack. This program aims to reduce the risk of having a second heart attack to as little as possible. It is essential to mention that these programs are medically supervised and provide counseling in addition to focusing on the same healthy living goals listed above.
A PROGNOSIS AND OUTLOOK
- A heart scan can be very similar to the methods used when diagnosing a heart attack because it can assess your health and determine if you have sustained permanent damage to your heart after the attack. In addition, they can also check for signs of heart and circulatory problems that could lead to heart attacks in the future.
- Stress test: Heart tests and scans can be performed while you’re exercising to see if any potential problems are present that are only noticeable when your heart is exerting itself.
- A cardiac rehabilitation program can help you improve your overall health and lifestyle, which in turn can help prevent you from having another heart attack in the future.
A long-term basis after this procedure. There are a number of them, including:
treatment, will I feel better?
The symptoms of a heart attack should generally decrease as you receive treatment for the condition. The time you spend in the hospital and for several dayafterwardsrd is likely to be filled with some lingering fatigue and weakness. medications, etc., you can ask your healthcare provider for guidance.
It is also essential to remember that treatment recovery varies depending on the treatment method used. Heart attacks usually result in a hospital stay of two to four days, depending on how severe the attack is.
- Medication only: A typical hospital stay of approximately six days is expected for patients treated with a medication-only approach.
- PCI: As a less invasive method of treating heart attacks, it is easier to recover from PCI than from surgery as PCI leaves less scarring behind. An average length of stay is four days after a PCI procedure.
- Recovery from heart surgery, such as a coronary artery bypass graft, takes longer since it is an effective procedure. A CABG procedure is typically performed over seven days, which is the average length of stay.
When can I resume my usual activities?
A person’s chances of recovering from a heart attack – once they have been discharged from the hospital – will reflect the severity of the attack, how soon treatment has been started, the methods used, and the health conditions they may have had before their heart attack. It would be helpful if you could speak to your healthcare provider about the next steps you need to take for your recovery and what to expect. It is possible to return to a previous level of physical activity through cardiac rehab by gradually and safely increasing their activity level over time.
A PERSONAL LIFESTYLE
Heart attack complications?
Heart attack complications include:
- Rhythmic abnormalities of the heart are known as arrhythmias.
- Failure of the heart.
- Problems with the heart valves.
- The sudden onset of cardiac arrest.
- There is a link between depression and anxiety.
- It is possible to develop mechanical complications due to a heart attack, such as ventricular septal defects or ruptures of the free wall. The risk of these complications increases when a heart attack is delayed in getting treatment.
Is it better to be a woman or a man after a heart attack?
Those who are younger, women in the premenopause stages, and people who are AFAB under the age of 45 tend to have a better outcome than those who are older and are AMAB. It is believed by scientists that estrogen’s heart-protective properties may contribute to this phenomenon. Women, however, do worse after menopause when estrogen’s protective effects are gone as a result of finding less protection from estrogen. A more specific example would be:
- If you have had a heart attack between the ages of 45 and 65, you are more likely to die within a year the than if you had the event between the ages of 45 and 65.
- The chances of women over 65 dying within a few weeks of experiencing a heart attack are higher than those of men over 65.