By Dr. AD. Katdare, NM Wadia Institute of Cardiology- Pune
We’re living in the world where the most unusual sights are witnessed. Youngsters are diagnosed with diabetes, children struggling with obesity, – older beings are leading a healthy lifestyle as compared to the young generation.
Unfortunately, the younger crowd has also fallen prey to cardiac problems. It definitely is a concern for people to understand their incorrect habits leading to the lifestyle disorders.
For years, it has been believed that genetics or hereditary is the only reason behind getting a heart-attack. To a large extent, yes! Genetics have an important role in causing diabetes which in return is important risk factor for coronary artery disease and heart attack. High blood pressure is another disease which has a strong connection both with genetics and heart attack. But, blaming your genes completely will be an unfair allegation.
We have mistaken heart attack as being sudden with an alarming chest pain, but that’s not always the case. Our body gives a whole different list of signs which may lead to an attack.
Let’s take a look at some unusual sickness symptoms which may also lead to a Heart Attack:
1. Belching, hiccups and pain in the jaw – These symptoms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint (e.g.: there is no specific muscle or joint that aches). Also, if the discomfort begins or worsens when you are exerting yourself, and then stops when you quit exercising, this calls for a check up
2. Pain in the arms, back and abdomen – You should pay attention to fatigue if it is new or dramatic. If you are suddenly worn out after your typical exercise routine, you aren’t exerting yourself, but have fatigue or a “heavy” chest. Simple activities like making the bed, walking to the bathroom or shopping makes you excessively tired resulting into sleep disturbance. Also, pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back should be medically diagnosed
3. Nausea, vomiting, Indigestion, Heartburn or Stomach Pain – Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that has nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate. However, you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack. So if you feel this way and you’re at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out what’s going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list
Due to the differences in terms of the biological make up of women and men, there are differences in the symptoms they get which may lead to severe diseases. Women are less likely to have a typical chest pain and report more non pain related symptoms. They experience pain in the neck area more frequently. Women underestimate risk of heart diseases and hence are investigated as well as managed less aggressively than men. In today’s time, younger women are more prone to heart attacks due to the lifestyle disorders faced these days.
However, these symptoms are unfortunately taken for granted and tend to meet ignorance in our daily lifestyles. Excess of any of the above signs should be treated off as early as possible to avoid premature attacks.
Considering the lifestyle disorders in today’s time, other predisposing factors like obesity, diabetes, drinking, smoking and other sedentary lifestyles are equally important. Fortunately, all of the listed are preventable and if checked in time, it decreases the risk in heart attack significantly. Let’s also take a look at the measures which should be taken up in order to lead a healthy life:
· Smoking: Within 24 hours of quitting smoking, the risk of heart attack starts decreasing. It decreases significantly within one year of quitting and reaches level of non smoking within two years of quitting
· Eating healthy food helps us to control our cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes and weight. Nutrient rich foods which have vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients but are low in calories help in keeping the lipid profile in order
· Exercise: Regular exercise can half the risk of heart disease and also reduce chances of diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. Research has shown that 3-4 sessions per week of average 40 minutes involving moderate to vigorous physical activity is extremely helpful. Especially, obesity has a significant role in getting of heart attacks. Obese people, around 10 – 30% more than normal body weight are 2 – 6 times at higher risk of developing heart diseases
· Alcoholism: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, increase chance of stroke, produce irregular heart beat and contribute to obesity. All these are risk factors for heart diseases as well
· Reduce Stress: Few studies have noted relationship between heart diseases and stress in a person’s life
If individuals pay heed to the unusual signs which keeps taking place in our daily lifestyles, a lot can be cured well in time which will help in leading a healthy life with a healthy heart!
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