We recently recognised World Heart Day, so this month we discuss the importance of recognising the signs of a heart attack. Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack is a serious medical condition. It occurs when heart muscle becomes damaged or when it is not getting enough oxygen. It may also occur due to clot formations.
As this is still one of the biggest killers globally, healthcare providers are constantly trying to teach everyone how to prevent heart disease through exercise, healthy eating, exercise and avoidance of smoking.
HOW TO RECOGNISE A HEART ATTACK
It’s easy to mistake heartburn as a heart attack. The most common signs of a heart attack are pain or discomfort in the chest along with tightness. Vomiting, nausea and profuse sweating may also occur (but not in all cases). If you have any of the above symptoms or if you are feeling a shortness of breath for more than a few minutes or a radiating pain from your chest to left arm, immediately consult your doctor or go to the nearest health care facility.
If you have even a small doubt that you may be experiencing a heart attack, call for a cardiac care ambulance immediately and put a sorbitrate under your tongue or chew an aspirin (if you are not allergic to it).
Treatments in hospital include cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, thrombolysis and intravenous injections of medications to remove the clots.
WHO IS AT MOST RISK OF A HEART ATTACK?
You are at a high level of risk if you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and fast foods also are contributing factors. Heart diseases do seem to trend slightly more towards men than women, and your risk increases dramatically as you age. There is also a correlation between members from low socio-demographic areas being more susceptible to heart disease.
Prevalence of self-reported heart, stroke and vascular disease among persons aged 18 and over, by age 2017–18. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART ATTACK
To reduce the possibility of a heart attack occurring, it is vital that you quit smoking and begin to eat healthy. Your blood pressure and diabetes must be controlled and you should exercise regularly. Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and heart attacks, are a major cause of death in Australia affecting 3.72 million people, with as many as one Australian succumbing to A CVD related condition every 12 minutes. If you don’t have time for a morning walk or other exercises, try and get to the gym when time permits. Remember, you don’t have to start guns blazing, try and ease yourself into a routine and increase your activity levels as time goes by. If you need help constructing an exercise plan, we can help! Your health is worth the investment.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle now is insurance for your health in the future. Anti-oxidant rich foods are a good addition to your diet and you should undergo periodic evaluations with your healthcare professional. We have trained dieticians available for our clients who can help you to develop a personal, easy to follow, healthy diet plan.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 1.2 million Australians (6%) suffer from heart diseases (2017) and the proportion of people living with heart disease increases steadily with age. Being active and choosing a healthy lifestyle will reduce the probability of you becoming one of the statistics. You can get more details about the disease and preventive care at websites like the Heart Foundation.
If you’re recovering from a heart attack, or feel you’re in need of some professional advice to kick start your healthy lifestyle goals, contact us on 5456 1599 and make an appointment with an exercise physiologist.