Thursday, September 29, 2011

HEALTHY HEART FOR A HEALTHY LIFE

A strong heart is a result of healthy lifestyle choices. 


Be active and stress-free

 Fast-paced life & workplace pressures escalate stress levels, taking a toll on one's heart. The healing power of the body decreases when under stress, leading to many complications like hypertension and poor immunity. Even youngsters are prone to heart ailments. It's very important to stay healthy with a healthy heart and manage stress levels by understanding the risk factors, high cholesterol levels, stressful lifestyle, smoking, and lack of exercise. By following simple changes in lifestyle we can have a healthy heart & lead a healthy life.

Symptoms of Heart attack:

Symptom
Description
Discomfort / pain in the chest
Can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the centre of the chest lasting for a few minutes or more. The sensation may come and go in spurts.
Pain in the upper body
Pain or discomfort may spread beyond the chest to the shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaws.
Upper body pain may not always be accompanied by chest discomfort
Pain in the stomach
This heart burn-like pain may extend downward
into your abdominal area
Shortness of breath
You may pant for breath or want to take deep breaths. This often occurs before the onset of chest discomfort.
Anxiety
You may feel a sense of doom or panic.
Light-headedness
You may feel giddy or like you might faint.
Sweating
You may suddenly break into a sweat with cold, sweaty skin.
Nausea and Vomiting
You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.

How to prevent Heart Attack

Avoid smoking: Smoking reduces life expectancy by 15-25 years. If you are a smoker, you are twice more likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. The moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack begins to reduce.

Exercise: At least aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Keeping yourself fit not only benefits the heart but also improves mental health and well-being. Monitor your BP, blood sugar and cholesterol levels: Routine medical check-ups will ring an alarm, if you need medical help.

Cut down on salt: Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Watch your diet: Try to have a balanced diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, starch foods such as wholegrain bread and rice.

Manage your waist: Cholesterol deposition in blood vessels begins in the first decade of life. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health. Make small but healthy changes in your diet.

Check your family history: If a close relative had coronary heart disease at a younger age (less than 50 years), then you could be at risk too.

Manage your stress level: If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much. This may increase your risk of a heart attack. Practice yoga/meditation. Take a vacation.

Monitor your alcohol: Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Avoid intake of alcohol or at least limit it to one to two pegs occasionally.

Laughter is the best therapy: Laughter anytime will work wonders for you. It is an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light.

WHY SHOULD ONE GO FOR A PERIODIC HEART CHECK UP?

  • Most victims of heart attack do not know about the heart disease until the heart attack
  • Indians are genetically 3 times more vulnerable than their European counterparts
  • Every 4th person develops a simple or complex heart problem around the age of retirement
During Emergencies Remember the Golden Hour

Emergency treatment during the first hour of any critical medical case is it a heart attack or an accident, makes the difference between life and death. It is termed as the 'golden hour', and the first 10 minutes of that hour are termed as the 'Platinum 10 minutes'.
The wisest recommended action is to seek expert medical help at the earliest by calling the Accident & Emergency number and taking the necessary precautions till it arrives.
Make an ‘Assessment of Response’ by checking whether the victim is conscious or unconscious. Please avoid shaking the victim, particularly if he is a child. Instead, use ‘talk and touch’ process using simple sentences like “Can you hear me?”, “Open your eyes.”, “What's your name?” and “Squeeze my hands.” Consider the victim conscious if any response is noticed. Otherwise take care to avoid the following actions. Firstly, don’t attempt to make him drink water as an unconscious person’s reflexes disappear and the water may cause choking. Secondly, don’t leave him on his back, as the tongue and soft tissues may block the air passage of the throat. Call the Accident & Emergency number in either case.

ALL IT TAKES IS 21 DAYS TOWARDS A HEALTHIER HEART

It is scientifically proven that all it takes for someone to let go a bad habit and develop a good one is just 21 days. So, go ahead, take the 21 day challenge and let go the “heart unfriendly” habit or develop a “heart friendly” habit. Consistently pursue the habit for at least 21 days; the chances that it will lead to a change in your lifestyle could increase.

  • 21 days of no smoking
  • 21 days of a healthy diet
  • 21 days of at least 5 helpings of a fruit
  • 21 days of 30 minutes of brisk morning walking
  • 21 days of playing a sport
  • 21 days of saying no to oily food
  • 21 days of 10 minutes of meditation
  • 21 days of stress free living

Go ahead, you can do it. Fall in love with your heart!

CONTRIBUTED BY:
Dr. Ravi Kumar Aluri, Chief Interventional Cardiologist, Global Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Dr. Ravi Kumar Aluri has been in the field of Interventional Cardiology with over a decade of experience in complex angioplasty stenting procedures and one of the pioneers in Transradial interventions.. With an immense experience in cardiac care and coronary interventions, he has to his credit over 9000 coronary procedures and over 4000 transradial procedures. Dr. Ravi Kumar is a Senior Consultant Cardiologist at Global Hospitals, Hyderabad and he can be reached on Email: ravi27369@yahoo.com; Ph: 09848024638.
   

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