Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What Are the Signs of a Heart Attack?

Myocardial Infarction Symptoms

Acute myocardial infarction is a common condition of the heart. This health condition is commonly called a heart attack. During a heart attack, blood supply is interrupted by plaque blockages inside the organ. This causes an oxygen shortage in the body that can lead to death. There are several signs of an impending cardiac arrest. The symptoms may occur suddenly for some patients. However, many patients begin having signs hours or days before the attack begins. Understanding the various signs is vital to provide immediate treatment. Men and women may experience anxiety, sweating, palpitations, vomiting, fatigue, indigestion and difficulties breathing. Individuals may have pain in the neck, left arm or chest. A large percentage of heart attack victims have no signs or symptoms.

Smoking and Obesity

Obesity and smoking are two major risk factors that lead to cardiac arrest. Victims of heart attack often never exercise, and consume high fat foods. The fats contained in many fast-foods and processed ingredients stick to the artery walls in the form of plaque. This is the plaque that breaks away causing the blockage of blood flow. Exercise assists in decreasing body weight while lowering cholesterol levels. Individuals who consume a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats are thinner. Exercising three times a week for less than an hour can also help maintain a normal body weight. Smoking and secondhand smoke are also indicated as a risk factor for having a myocardial infarction.

Additional Risk Factors

As an individual grows older, they are more likely to experience a cardiac arrest. High blood pressure is common in individuals who have cardiac arrest. High blood pressure or hypertension makes the heart work harder to circulate blood throughout the body. Individuals with hypertension often have morning headaches, tinnitus, blurred vision and vertigo. A patient may also have other health conditions such as thyroid or kidney disease that cause hypertension. Controlling high blood pressure with medication, exercise and diet can reduce the risks of cardiac arrest. Both forms of diabetes mellitus can also increase the chances of having a cardiac arrest. Patients must monitor glucose levels while eating a proper diet and exercising. Additional risk factors for having a heart attack include the use of oral contraceptives, air pollution and alcohol abuse.

Imperative Emergency Procedures

A physician in an emergency room will immediately examine an individual who is displaying heart attack symptoms. Calling an emergency phone number for the assistance of emergency medical technicians is imperative. Do not attempt to drive to the hospital. Most individuals assume that a cardiac arrest causes pain in the chest. This symptom does not occur in all patients. Every second matters during a heart attack. Women often have different symptoms with a heart attack. A woman may think the symptoms indicate influenza or a virus. More men survive heart attacks because they seek emergency medical treatment immediately. An individual having a heart attack can also chew an aspirin while waiting for an ambulance.

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