HEART HEALTHHeart Attacks
Heart attacks are so common. In fact, more than 720,000 people in the U.S. suffer from heart attacks each year — that’s a heart attack every 34 seconds.
Here’s how a heart attack happens: Your coronary arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart to nourish it and keep it pumping strong. When these arteries narrow from a buildup of plaque, blood circulation slows. If the hard outer shell of the plaque buildup cracks, platelets that aid in clotting can form a blood clot around the plaque, blocking blood flow to the heart. Eventually, the heart muscles become starved of oxygen and other nutrients, causing the cells in the heart to become damaged or die. This is the classic heart attack definition.
Warning Signs of Heart Attacks
A heart attack is a scary experience that can strike anytime, anywhere. Fortunately, there are common warning signs before they occur. These signals include chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath at rest, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and cold sweats.
Mild to severe pain in the center or left-center of the chest is the most common sign of a heart attack. You may feel tightness, heavy pressure, squeezing, or crushing. The pain typically lasts more than a few minutes, but may subside and then come back. Other symptoms like upper body discomfort may include back or stomach pain, as well as discomfort in your arms, neck, shoulders, or jaw.
According a 2008 study, severe chest pains and other signs of a heart attack in men are more often brought on by exertion than symptoms experienced by women. However, 10% of men having heart attacks experience no chest pain.
What to Do if You Think You are Having a Heart Attack
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have any of the warning signs listed above, follow these steps:
+ Call 911 immediately. If you can’t make the call, ask someone else to do it for you. The quicker you get to the hospital, the better your chances of survival.
+ Take an aspirin, which may slow or reduce blood clotting.
+ If you have been prescribed nitroglycerin for chest pain, take one immediately.
+ If you are home alone, open your front door and sit on the floor near the entrance.
+ Stay calm.
Heart Attack Risk Factors
Men over 45 are more likely to have a heart attack. Other serious risk factors for heart attacks in men include:
+ High Blood Pressure
If your cholesterol is high and you’re having trouble losing weight, you may have hypothyroidism, which can be treated with natural hormones.
How to Prevent Heart Attacks
Here are some heart health tips for preventing a heart attack:
+ Eat a heart-healthy diet – Add fruits and veggies, grains, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Cut back on salt, saturated fats, sugar, and red meat.
+ Reduce stress. Try yoga, meditation, and relaxation exercises.
+ Exercise and lose weight. Extra pounds can put your heart at risk.
+ Quit smoking and steer clear of second-hand smoke.
+ Spend time with friends and family. Men with more social support tend to have fewer heart problems.
Risk to your heart increases as you age, but many heart problems are caused by a lifetime of unhealthy habits. You can reduce your risk of heart attack by living a healthy lifestyle and making whole-body wellness your top priority. For some men, treating low hormone levels due to hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, and hypogonadism or low T, can be an integral part of overall wellness regimen that reduces the risk of heart attack.
Schedule your free wellness consultation today.