Each year, more than 62,000 Canadians have a heart attack for the first time. Nearly 600,000 have had a heart attack at some point in their lives. Sobering, right?
But just because heart attacks are relatively common doesn't mean they're inevitable. Our team of in-home care providers at Qualicare Newmarket wants to share some insight into heart attacks, including symptoms and prevention.
What Is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack, which is also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked.
While you might think of heart attack as always being associated with chest pain, many people don't experience chest pain at all. Heart attacks also have many other symptoms, particularly for women.
When a heart attack occurs, minutes matter. That's why it's important to be aware of the signsassociated with a heart attack so that you can seek medical attention as soon as possible!
The following are symptoms of a heart attack:
- Abdominal pain
- Cold sweat
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden dizziness
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to seek prompt medical attention. While these symptoms can occur with other medical conditions, it's important to rule out heart attack and much better to be safe than sorry.
Can a Heart Attack Be Prevented?
There are many risk factors for heart attack, including:
- Increased age
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Therefore, it's important to do what you can to protect your heart health.
For starters, if you are a smoker, stop smoking as soon as possible! Smoking damages the lining of the arteries and limits the amount of oxygen in your blood.
You also want to make sure you follow healthy habits like eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limit your consumption of sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
Finally, manage stress as best as you can. We all have good days and bad days where stress is concerned. However, stress wreaks havoc on the entire body, including our blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack. So take steps to limit stress whenever you can!
Could in-home care improve your loved one’s quality of life? Contact the care providers at Qualicare Newmarket today to learn how we can help!