Every 34 seconds someone in the US has a heart attack. But what is a heart attack? Let’s start with a metaphor. Imagine that the heart is a pump. This pump allows blood to reach every part of your body. For the heart to pump so much blood, it needs energy and blood for oxygen.
Arteries are the pipes of the body. Fat and cholesterol buildup in the these pipes stopping blood flow. Can you imagine what will happen if the pipes get completely blocked that supply the heart? If this happens, the heart experiences stress and the cells begin to die. This is what causes the chest pain that comes with heart attacks.
Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. This is different from what you see in movies or on tv. The media shows heart attacks as being sudden and intense. This is rarely the case. The warning signs that you are having a heart attack include chest discomfort, pain in other areas in the upper body, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include cold sweats, nausea, and lightheadedness.
Heart attacks are an emergency! Call 911 ASAP, if you suspect that you are having one.
The risk factors for heart attacks that can’t be changed are older age, being male, and heredity. There are factors that you can change, though. These factors include quitting smoking, reducing bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, being physically active, lowering weight, and controlling medical problems that you already have.
I hope that this has helped you understand heart attacks more than you did before. This site is perfect for learning about lifestyle changes that you can make to live healthier. Check out the Meal Planning to learn how to plan healthier meals. Go to Recipes to find recipes that are healthy and tasty. If you have any other health conditions you want to know about go back to the Heart Disease section to learn more.