Heart is a hollow muscle and because of rhythmic contraction (systole) and expansion (diastole) the blood is collected and pumped to the whole body. Heart is the prime organ of our body. So we should take proper steps to prevent heart disease.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack (also called myocardial infarction) is when part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies because it isn’t receiving enough oxygen. Normally, oxygen is carried to the heart by blood flowing through the arteries that feed the heart muscle (called coronary arteries). Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in these arteries. Usually the blockage is caused by atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits (called plaque) inside the artery, and hardening of the artery walls. The buildup is like the gunk that builds up in a drainpipe and slows the flow of water.
Heart attacks are also often caused by a blood clot that forms in a coronary artery, blocking blood flow. Clots are especially likely to form where there are plaques that become cracked or damaged in any way.
How do I know if I’m having a heart attack?
The pain of a heart attack can feel like bad heartburn. You may also be having a heart attack if you:
- Feel a pressure or crushing pain in your chest, sometimes with sweating, dizziness, nausea or vomiting
- Feel pain that extends from your chest into the jaw, left arm or left shoulder
- Feel tightness in your chest
- Have shortness of breath for more than a couple of seconds
- Feel weak, lightheaded or faint
- Have sudden overwhelming fatigue
Don’t ignore the pain or discomfort. If you think you are having heart problems or a heart attack, get help immediately. The sooner you get treatment, the greater the chance that the doctors can prevent further damage to the heart muscle.
What should I do if I think I am having a heart attack?
Right away, call for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. Don’t try to drive yourself. While you wait for the ambulance to come, chew one regular tablet of aspirin. Don’t take the aspirin if you’re allergic to aspirin.
If you can, go to a hospital with advanced care facilities for people with heart attacks. In these medical centers, the latest heart attack technology is available 24 hours a day. How well you survive a heart attack depends on how quickly you get treatment, how much damage there is to the heart, and where that damage is.
Risk factors for a heart attack
- Age–Risk increases for men older than 45 years and for women older than 55 years (or after menopause). About 83% of people who die from heart disease are 65 years of age or older.
- High cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
- Family history of heart attack
- Race–African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans and native Hawaiians are at greater risk.
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Lack of exercise
- Sex (Gender)–More men have heart attacks, although heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women.
Ayurveda, first and most recommends a proper dietary habit. A proper diet can keep away many health disorders. If you maintain a balanced diet then it will help you to:
- Reduce weight
- Reduce the deposition of fatty cholesterol.
- Reduce the problem of high blood pressure.
Ayurveda also recommends a healthy lifestyle, which will prevent heart disease to a great extent.
You can improve your lifestyle in the following ways:
- Quit smoking because cigarette smoking alone increases the risk of heart attack a lot.
- Ayurveda asks us to exercise regularly because exercise improves the body by reducing the excess fats.
- Be calm and composed. Try not to be angry. If you are cool then it helps a lot in checking your high blood pressure.
- Take low calorie vegetarian foods.
- Laughter is the best medicine. It is a relaxation therapy and it helps to overcome stress. It really helps you if you have high blood pressure.
- Avoid drinking coffee. Coffee contains caffeine which may increase the blood pressure level in an individual.
- Love and show affection to everyone. If you do this it will really help in dropping your blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart problems.
- Practice meditation, yoga and asanas like shavasana.
Other Ayurvedic methods
- Mix garlic with butter milk and drink it twice daily. Garlic is very essential in alleviating heart problems by controlling blood pressure.
- Dip fenugreek in water and keep it over night and chew them in the morning in empty stomach. This will help in reducing cholesterol and fats.
- Terminalia arjuna and jaharmorha are the ayurvedic drugs that help in the cardio vascular treatment.
For Adult person, the heart throbs about 72 times in a minute while for person doing manual work exercise, it throbs about 50 to 60 times. Thus less work for the heart and less danger of heart attack. This is the main reason why running, swimming, exercises, yoga etc. are advised.