Skipping a heartbeat or racing of the heart is a very routine event in literature and usually, leads towards a happy ending. But in reality an abnormal heartbeat, if too fast to too slow, is not normal and particularly, its repeated occurrence of the same happens without a medical review, things might be just opposite of a happy ending. That is why any irregularities of the heart beat should be considered as a cardiac emergency and medical opinion and care must be sought.
Having a cardiac arrhythmia or more commonly known as irregular heartbeats and cardiac dysrhythmia is a cluster of medical conditions in which the individual experience irregular heartbeat. The normal heartbeat is calculated in terms of a number of beats in a minute. The normal range between 70 to 85 and it varies between genders. A heartbeat of 70 to 72 beats for men and 78 to 82 for women is considered as ideal. However, it does not alarm any major cardiac abnormality as long as the heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100.
A cardiac arrhythmia is of two types, either due to being too slow or too fast. Tachycardia is the condition when the heart beats too rapidly, more than 100 beats in a minute. Bradycardia is the condition when the heart beats too slowly, less than 60 beats in a minute.
Having any pre-existing heart disease, misbalance of electrolytes such as potassium or sodium in the bloodstream, an injury from a previous heart attack, change in cardiac muscle, are all the medical risk factor for having an irregular heartbeat. Being stressed, emotional or adrenalin rush might also cause an irregularity in the heartbeat but these factors are not likely to onset a cardiac arrhythmia.
Though several cardiac arrhythmias are not serious, and limits to symptoms of the same such as shortness of breath, passing out, lightheadedness, palpitation and chest pain for a small period of time. Some of them, however, can lead to complications like heart failure and stroke and can prove fatal, particularly the ones that occur repeatedly.
Thus, in case the patient is an aged individual or experiencing the same for more than a couple of time, he or she is advised to consider this as a cardiac emergency and is recommended to seek medical treatment on time. In order to keep track of the same, the use of heart monitor or pulse indicator is advised as well.
Food without spices is somewhat difficult to imagine, especially in a country like India. However, excessive use of anything can have adverse effects on our health. And one of the most overused things in every kitchen is without doubt, salt. Over consumption of salt can cause severe problems to the heart and can ultimately cause cardiac emergency.
Salt is very important in terms of taste and its composition. Sodium and chlorine is essential for our body to function well. Moreover, the addition of the Iodine to the salt makes it even more vital for daily consumption. However, over-consumption can be drastic, especially for the heart and the blood vessels.
Too much salt can exert excessive pressure on the interior walls of the blood vessels, namely the arteries. The muscles of the arteries grow stronger in order to cope up with this extra strain. It works for a while, but eventually, the space left for blood flow becomes even more restricted and elevates the pressure even more.
This goes in a cyclic pattern, usually over a period of years, after which, the chances of having clogged arteries increase significantly. It can also cause the arteries to burst. The respective organ receiving blood from any of the particular artery gets cut off from its blood supply and gets damaged.
Now we have to narrow our topic to heart and its restricted artery. At the beginning, the heart receives a slightly lesser amount of blood. It triggers a condition called the angina, a sharp pain in the chest, especially while being active. Slowly, the cardiac cells lose their affectivity and functional ability, mainly due to lesser exposure to oxygen and other nutrients.
If the salt over-consumption continues, bursting or clogging of the artery becomes inevitable. This may lead to heart attack, this is one of the major clause which claims several lives every year.
The good news is, lowering blood pressure and eliminating a large portion of salt from diet can make a significant change in the overall health condition. Also, it is advised to take timely measures for the same.
In fact, mitigating the excess amount of salt from the diet is actually one of the easiest ways of keeping the heart healthy. Without a doubt, it is much easier than consuming a lot of medicines.
Practice makes one perfect, but habit plays a crucial role in shaping our lives as well. What done once in a while, if becomes a habit, creates a series of complications. Today we will decode 5 habits that will change your heart forever. It will literally restore your heart to its former health and will keep cardiac emergencies at bay.
So, let’s begin the countdown
1. Take good care of your dental health
Though it may sound very irrelevant, but healthy teeth and gums will help you to have an overall healthy self, that includes your heart as well. It has been found that those having periodontal diseases are at more risk of having heart ailments too. The bacteria that causes gum diseases can travel through the bloodstream and causes complications to the heart as well.
To keep it at bay, brush and floss your teeth regularly.
2. Avoid trans-fat at all cost
It is often not possible (or even recommended) to completely eliminate the fat from the diet, but be sure to watch out for the hidden trans-fat in the everyday grocery list. Trans-fat can clog your arteries, which leads to rising of the bad cholesterol and lowering of the good cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Before buying snacks such as fries and crisps, read the label, ensure it has 0% trans-fat.
3. Have adequate sleep
One factor that often skips our mind is the quality and quantity of sleep we have. Insufficient sleep has been linked with the pressure build-up and inflammation in the heart. Special care should be practiced in case you are dealing with loud snoring and sleep apnea, as these might be an early sign for arrhythmias.
Have a sound sleep for six to eight hours a day to keep your body relaxed and disease free.
4. Avert any second hand smoke
Though sharing has been encouraged since childhood to imprint healthy social and emotional impact, sharing second hand smoke can bring catastrophic results. Even if you are not smoking directly, being present on the site or with the person can harm your heart directly by building up plaque in the bloodstream. It can lead to a cardiac emergency.
Avoid hanging out with people who are chain smokers and be firm about your resolution.
5. Increase mobility while sitting or travelling for hours
Sitting idle for long hours at a stretch can be extremely harmful for your health. This is more likely to happen if you are either involved in sitting jobs or often travel to long distance for it. Immobilization for long hours can cause deep vein thrombosis blood clot in the blood vessels.
Try to take a short break every couple of hours during the work and move around to mobilize your muscles.
Several symptoms of heart attacks can be widely confused and overlooked by most of us. Thus, several people fail to get proper treatment on time. Know these to save a life.
As you are already familiar with the 5 signs of possible heart attack in our previous article. According to cardiologists the five alarming signs which mean possible heart attack.
Though it is quite common to sweat while doing any strenuous work, as a matter of fact, it is not unusual to sweat during summers. But sweating without any explainable reason can be quite alarming. In fact, it might be a sign your body is giving you of a possible heart attack. Get a checkup, even in case you are having a doubt.
Another symptom that must be calibrated carefully is any abnormal heart rate. Heart beats faster in case of running or being excited, similarly it gets slower in case of being depressed or sad. But if any abnormalities are observed, it could be indicating something more serious than extra caffeine or inadequate sleep.
This condition is medically termed as trial fibrillation and is one of the signs of potential heart attack.
Usually, a cough (or a couple of) isn’t something that is related to heart. But repetitive cough without any cold or throat infection that won’t stop is a possible cause of heart attack. Especially a long lasting cough which produces ink or white mucus.
The reason of constant cough is that the heart cannot keep up with the requirement of the body and causes the blood to back flow to the lungs. If not taken care on time, this may result in bloating. The doctor may also look for swollen feet and ankles.
Pain that spreads to the throat or jaw
Under normal conditions, the throat and jaw pain are mostly caused by a sinus, muscle pain or a cold. If the pain primarily generates from a chest discomfort that eventually travels upwards to the neck and jaw, it might be another sign of possible heart attack.
Snoring is that brief period of time, when the breathing pauses momentarily. Most of the people snore at some stage of life, for some, it is while aging, while other young people snore after a tiring day at the office. Snoring for a long time is yet another indication of the body towards a possible heart attack.
If you or any of your friends or family member experiences any of these symptoms, don’t keep making wild guesses and wait for it to get over on its own. Instead, let a doctor address the situation and give proper advice after assessing it.
We have come across the saying ‘follow your heart’, but are you paying enough attention to your heart? Can you tell when your heart is not functioning properly? Probably not. In reality, heart attack necessarily does not onset with a clutch over heart closely followed by falling on the floor, like the way it is depicted in the movies. In fact, according to Cardiologists several heart attacks do not even begin with heart or even in the chest. Without proper knowledge it is often difficult to tell.
In case you are in doubt whether it is cardiac arrest or not, it is always advised to go for a checkup, especially if you are aged, overweight or have high blood pressure, sugar or cholesterol.
Look out for these signs in your loved ones and yourselves, which might be signs of heart attack.
It is the most alarming sign of any cardiac arrest. In case any of the artery is blocked, i.e. experiencing heart attack, it is more likely to suffer pain, pressure or tightness in the chest. The discomfort may vary from minute to mild to severe. Some describes it as a feeling of having a heavy object on the chest, while others describe it as a burning sensation.
Though some people experience heart attack even without any chest discomfort, especially women, it should be calibrated carefully.
Pain which spreads to Arms
Due to blockage of artery, the left side of the body experience pain. It initiates from the chest and spreads through the arm, specifically on the left side. It may last up to a few minutes, and can occur in episodes, i.e. the pain comes and goes away.
Heartburn or Indigestion
The occurrence of any or all of these signals should be considered as a possible sign of heart attack. Moreover, some may vomit along with it. As per Cardiologist, women are more likely to experience it as compared to men. These symptoms get easily neglected by most of the people as these symptoms happen to people every now and then due to acid reflux or improper diet as well.
Fatigue or Exhaustion
Feeling fatigued even after doing some light work such as climbing stairs or taking a stroll. It may be a sign of weakness and it is not alarming if it occurs once or twice, but repeated occurrence of unexplained weakness, especially for women, should not be neglected and immediate help should be sought.
Experiencing dizziness or out of balance or feel faint, it should be closely observed. Though it may be a result of inadequate food. But if it is combined with chest congestion, then it should ring a bell.
These signs are the most prominent of that of heart attack. So educate yourself, your family and colleagues for an early detection and timely treatment.
Watch out 5 more symptoms of possible heart attack here.
There are many diseases that give quality time for diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, there are some diseases that need immediate medical attention. According to the doctors practicing in the ILS Hospitals, two of the most encountered medical emergencies are – heart attack and stroke. These diseases are very closely related, as both occur due to blocked arteries, but they are not the same thing.
Perceiving the symptoms in time is very crucial for saving a life.
So what actually happens during the two?
- Heart attack– When the coronary artery (the blood vessel that supplies blood to the heart) narrows to a limit when the blood flow gets restricted or blocked completely, it initiates a heart attack. The plague or cholesterol build up are the main causes for the same.
- Stroke– When the carotid artery (the blood vessel that carries blood to the brain) bursts or gets blocked, it causes a stroke.
It is mainly of two types.
a. Ischemic stroke (the most encountered one) occurs when the blood supply to the brain cuts off due to blockage or plaque buildup.
b. Hemorrhagic stroke, in which the blood vessel bursts and releases in the nearby tissues.
What are the symptoms?
The onset of the symptoms can be very rapid, usually without any prior warning. Some of their symptoms are similar while the rest is quite different. It varies significantly based on the severity of its occurrence, age, gender and the overall health condition.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Chest congestion or pressure that can spread to neck, jaws, back and arms
- Pain in the upper abdominal cavity
- Fatigue and nausea
- Excessive sweating
Symptoms of Stroke
- Numb sensation on one side of the body (usually left side), especially face
- Difficulty seeing, speaking/ understanding
- Sharp headache
- Loss of balance and body coordination
The Risk Factors
Since both the conditions are related to blocked arteries, they share several common risk factors such as-
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
High blood pressure is closely related to both of these diseases. The prime reason is persistent high blood pressure that exerts force on the blood vessel, which in turn strains them. This results in its rigidity and thus causes poor circulation, leading to heart attack and stroke.
The doctors operating in ILS Hospitals primarily gather family history and personal medical history as it plays a crucial role in it.
A possible stroke can be diagnosed by carrying out a CT scan, which can depict the area of poor blood circulation or rupture and bleeding. Depending upon the situation, an MRI can also be advised.
A possible heart attack can be diagnosed by an electrocardiogram, which evaluates the health of the heart muscles.
According to Cardiologist, on an average, about 303,000 newborns die within 4 weeks post detection, as a result of congenital diseases. Congenital diseases are present due to some medical deformities during the time of birth. Congenital disease can cause long term disability, which may have adverse effects on survival and development. Several times it remains unclear regarding the exact cause of this congenital defects.
Here are the 3 most common congenital defects a baby may suffer from:
1. Congenital Heart Disorder
It is the medical condition in which there exists a problem in the heart structure since the time of birth. Its symptoms may either be absent or may vary from mild discomfort to life-threatening condition such as heart failure. It can be distinguished by presence of bluish skin, low birth weight and fatigue.
The exact cause for congenital heart disease often remains unknown. Mother’s infected with Rubella during the period of pregnancy may act as a contributing factor for the same. Additional factors during pregnancy such as consumption of alcohol or tobacco or some specific medication may also play a significant role for the same.
2. Down Syndrome
This medical condition is also called Trisomy 21, in which a third copy of chromosome number 21 present alters the genetic makeup. It affects adversely on the physical growth and mental development. It can be characterized by observing delayed growth and moderate intellectual disabilities. A grown up individual suffering from down syndrome possess an average IQ of 50, which is equivalent to mental age of a child of eight years old.
The possibility of having down-syndrome is associated with the mother’s age. The risk of suffering from it is about 3 percent for pregnant woman with age more than 45, this risk minimizes to 0.1 percent in case the woman is 20 years
3. Cleft lip and Cleft palate
Also called orofacial cleft, this is a class of defects that include either cleft lip, cleft palate or both. In a cleft lip, an opening may stretch till nose. It may be present either on one side, both sides or in the middle. In a cleft palate, an opening exist between the roof of mouth and nose. These conditions arise when joining of tissues does not occur effectively.
According to ENT Specialists of ILS Hospitals, if this condition is left untreated, it can interfere with feeding, speech and hearing function. It also causes persistent ear infection. Consumption of alcohol or tobacco or even obesity during pregnancy has been associated with this group of diseases.
Every year, 29th September is celebrated as World Heart Day. It aims to increase awareness amongst the people regarding heart diseases and its treatment.
Heart diseases in India is becoming epidemic. As per latest statistics, near about 30 million heart patients reside in India and about two lakh cardiovascular surgeries in India takes place every year. Out of 30 millions, 14 millions lives in urban areas, whereas rest 16 million lives in rural area. This outburst of cardiovascular diseases are due to several reasons, such as aging, food habit and lifestyle.
There are several types of cardiovascular diseases in and the most common one is coronary artery diseases it is also called ischemic heart diseases. This occurs due to blockage in blood vessels build up by plaque. These are a group of conditions which results in anigma (both stable and unstable), heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
How does it occur?
There are mainly two kinds of blood vessels, veins carry oxygenated blood from body to heart and arteries which carry oxygenated blood from heart to body. The arteries are thinner in cross section and elastic and smooth in nature. After developing plagues on the lining of arteries, the blood flow gets disrupted. Also, it make the inner surface sticky and attracts lipoproteins, inflammatory cells and calcium etc. Altogether they mix and sticks to the blood vessels making it thinner by growing inward.
Ultimately new blood vessels may develop around the blockage to supply the blood to heart. This process may get hampered by hyper-stress or vigorous exercise. In case the plaque bursts, and the blood clot block the blood supply of heart, the patient suffers heart attack. If the blood vessel to brain is blocked then the patient suffers ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel bursts within the brain, the patient suffers hemorrhagic stroke.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are heartburn, loss of consciousness, heaviness, irregular heartbeat, weakness, nausea, sweating, chest discomfort, which may extend up to other body parts such as neck, jaw, shoulder and back. The severity of symptoms may increase during exercise or emotional stress.
How it can be Diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed by using ECG (Electrocardiogram), EKG (Echocardiogram), CT scans and several others. These procedure enables the doctor to evaluate the condition of the patient and provide suitable cardiovascular surgeries in India.
What Preventive measures to take?
One can reduce the chances of being susceptible to coronary artery diseases by following a healthy diet combined with regular exercise and not consuming any toxic substance such as cigarette and alcohol. In certain cases, medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol may be prescribed by the doctor.
The graph of people suffering from heart diseases is growing everyday. The number of lives being claimed by cardiovascular diseases are more than all forms of cancer combined. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases vary from person to person and mostly gets ignored by several people.
Medical crisis can come any minute without a prior notification; especially cardiovascular emergencies. Cardiovascular emergencies can be fatal due to delay, if not recognized immediately. Jotting down emergency number may come handy while dealing with a medical emergency.