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Heart Attack Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is a heart attack?

Also known as myocardial infarction in medical term, heart attack tends to occur in case a blood clot successfully obstructs the blood flow through your coronary artery, thus is fatal!

Coronary artery is a blood vessel responsible for supplying blood to our heart. Clearly, interruption in the flow of blood which occurs in heart attacks tends to destroy or damage the part of heart muscle. Thankfully, its treatments have dramatically improved nowadays, however it is important to recognize its symptoms promptly and seek emergency medical aid as soon as possible, if you doubt of having an attack.

What are the symptoms of heart attack?

Clearly, it is not necessary that all patients experience its symptoms to a same level or have the same signs. Few may have no prominent symptoms in any way whereas for others, their initial symptoms can turn out to be a sudden cardiac arrest. Moreover, severity of symptoms can also vary. While few tend to have severe pain, others can experience mild pain.

More specifically, heart attack tends to strike anytime, while you work, sleep, in motion or play. Few occur suddenly, while majority cases have alarming symptoms in advance. Few common symptoms are:

  • Aching, squeezing, pain, tightness or pressure in the arms or chest that can spread to the back, jay or neck.
  • Feeling of indigestion, nausea, fullness, abdominal pain or heartburn.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Sweating/ cold sweats.
  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Trouble sleeping.

What causes a heart attack?

Blockage of single or more coronary arteries responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to our heart triggers a heart attack. Building up of many substances, such as cholesterol etc causes the artery to become narrowed consequently makes the regular blood flow difficult.

Such occurring of buildups (plaques) in throughout your body arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Narrowed arteries because of atherosclerosis, causes a condition named coronary artery disease, which is the basic cause of majority heart attack cases.

Coronary artery spasm is another major cause that triggers a heart attack since it shuts down the flow of blood to the heart. Such serious spasm can be caused by drugs, say cocaine. Additionally, spontaneous coronary artery dissection that is the tear in your heart artery also causes heart attack.

Few other causes that are less common include tumors or blood clots that have managed to spread from other body parts (coronary embolism). Considerable low blood pressure can also trigger a heart attack due to decreased blood supply to your heart.

How is heart attack diagnosed?

In case you suspect having a heart attack or actually have, then diagnosis will possibly be conducted in an emergency room. The doctor will ask you to detail about your symptoms, whilst he will check your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. The doctor will hook up the heart monitor; while he will start conducting tests in order to see the possibilities of having an attack.

Moreover, using a stethoscope, the medical personnel will hear your lung and heart sounds. You will need to detail regarding your medical history and family history of any heart disease. Certain tests will decide your symptoms signal any other condition or a heart attack. Tests include:

  • Blood tests.
  • ECG.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Angiogram.
  • CT or MRI.
  • Exercise stress test.

How is a heart attack treated?

The treatment of heart attack at the hospital tends to vary depending upon situation. The patient can be treated using drug, or go through an invasive procedure depending upon the extent of damage caused to the heart or the condition’s severity.

  • Medications: Aspirin, Thrombolytics, Superaspirins, superaspirins, other medications for thinning blood (heparin), pain relievers, nitroglycerin, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and medications to lower cholesterol (statins).
  • Surgical/other procedures: coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary angioplasty and stenting.

By : Natural Health News

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