Heart Disease Symptoms
Learn how it happens

Knowing the heart disease symptoms may help save lives...
Please take a moment to read the following.

Did You Know That:

  • The heart is a powerful muscle that depends on a continuous flow of oxygen and nutrients.
  • The blood supply is provided by coronary arteries, which originate from the aorta and branch out to deliver oxygenated blood throughout the myocardium, the muscular layer of the heart wall.
  • Now, do you know how heart disease symptoms occur?

    This is how:

    Over time, the walls of the coronary arteries can become narrowed by a gradual building of fat and cholesterol deposits called plaque. This process called "atherosclerosis" reduces the interior diameter of the arteries and restricts blood flow to the heart muscle, starving it of vital oxygen and nutrients. THE RESULT: Coronary artery disease(CAD). From there, three major complications of coronary disease are identified as: angina, heart attack, and congestive heart failure.

    What is ANGINA?

    There are two primary types of angina, a painful condition caused by reduced oxygen flows to the muscle fibres in the heart. (1) "Angina pectoris" is characterized by sudden, brief attacks of chest pain, often triggered by exercise and other strenuous or stressful activities. The pain usually subsides when the activity ceases of after a period of rest.

    (2) "Unstable angina" is associated with longer or more severe attacks of chest pain. Key warning signs are changing patterns of chest pain or decreased activity preceding the pain. Unstable angina can lead to a heart attack.

    What is a HEART ATTACK?

    Also known as myocardial infarction, a heart attack occurs when a coronary artery is suddenly blocked by a blood clot. Deprived of oxygen, the affected area of the heart muscle dies. A heart attack immediately reduces the heart’s pumping ability and may lead to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest (a complete stoppage of the heart). The severity of the attack is determined by the amount of heart muscle damage and the function of nearby arteries.


    A Heart Attack Explained on Video (below)


    Learn more about heart attacks with expert tips from a certified emergency medical technician (emergency medical technician (EMT) in this free video on heart disease. Expert: Michael Herbert Bio: Michael Herbert is a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) with New Hanover County in Wilmington, NC. Filmmaker: Reggie Hayes





    What causes coronary artery disease?

    The heart disease symptoms process that leads to CAD has been attributed to many different causes. They include genetic, age and gender factors as well as lifestyle and modifiable risks.

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Stress
  • Go back to Top

    Prevention

    In principle, all people can take the following simple ways toward the prevention of heart disease symptoms.

    Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure

    Lifestyle actions such as healthy diet, regular physical activity, not smoking, and healthy weight will help you to keep normal blood pressure levels and all adults should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Blood pressure is easily checked. If your blood pressure is high, you can work with your doctor to treat it and bring it down to the normal range.

    Also, beware of excessive alcohol use which increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. People who drink should do so only in moderation and always responsibly. A high blood pressure can usually be controlled with lifestyle changes and with medicines when needed.

    Tobacco

    Smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Never smoking is one of the best things a person can do to lower their risk. And, quitting smoking will also help lower a person’s risk to experience symptoms of heart disease. A person's risk of heart attack decreases soon after quitting. If you smoke, your doctor can suggest programs to help you quit smoking.

    Prevent and Control High Blood Cholesterol

    High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Preventing and treating high blood cholesterol includes eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fibre, keeping a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise. All adults should have their cholesterol levels checked once every five years. If yours is high, your doctor may prescribe medicines to help lower it.

    Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Healthy weight status in adults is usually assessed by using weight and height to compute a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI usually indicates the amount of body fat. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Overweight is a BMI between 25 and 29.9. Normal weight is a BMI of 18 to 24.9. Proper diet and regular physical activity can help to maintain a healthy weight.

    Prevent and Control Diabetes

    People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease but can reduce their risk. Also, people can take steps to reduce their risk for diabetes in the first place, through weight loss and regular physical activity.

    Regular Physical Activity

    Adults should engage in moderate level physical activities for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

    Diet and Nutrition

    Along with healthy weight and regular physical activity, an overall healthy diet can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease symptoms, and stroke. This includes eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lowering or cutting out added salt or sodium, and eating less saturated fat and cholesterol to lower these risks.

    Stress

    Medical researchers aren't sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less and you may be more likely to smoke.

    If stress itself is a risk factor for symptoms of heart disease, it could be because chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack.





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