For Patients
Prevent Heart Attack

Prevent Heart Attack

Heart attack is caused due to complete obstruction of the arteries of the heart (Coronary arteries). The heart works like a cashier in the bank. It receives blood and gives out blood like the cashier receives and gives out money. Just like the cashier requires a salary to sustain himself, similarly, the heart has to derive its own blood supply in order to keep the pumping job going for ever.
 
The heart muscle requires a great amount of energy and it is provided through arteries called coronary arteries. If the coronary artery gets blocked, the portion of the heart that gets its blood supply from that artery will get damaged / dead. This is called as a heart attack (Myocardial infarction).
 
Total blockage of the coronary artery is the result of two processes; One is a slow growing atherosclerosis. This is deposition of fat/cholesterol/similar material slowly over a period of time. The arteries start collecting this material and the deposits grow so slowly that they can remain undiagnosed for many years. The artery is good enough to carry significant amount of blood to the heart till the deposits grow to roughly 75% of its diameter.
 
Once these blockages become more than 75%, the person starts experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, chest pain, heaviness, palpitations, and uneasiness after some exertion (Angina). These symptoms are relieved when the person rests for sometime.
 
The slow growing fat deposits (atherosclerotic plaque) become rough or break and promptly form a blood clot within minutes. This soft blood clot then completely blocks the partially blocked artery. Thus a person who was exercising yesterday can have a heart attack today because of a sudden formation of a blood clot on top of a fat deposit. Both these processes of atherosclerosis and formation of blood clots are preventable. That is reason enough to know the dos and ‘don’ts for the same.
 
An “Ideal” life style should be pursued by all of us, whether we have a problem or not, we have had an angioplasty or not and what ever age we are. Basic principles of ideal life style include diet, exercise, stress management and abstinence from tobacco.
 
 
Diet

Diet

Diet should be of simple home cooked meals most times. Saturated fat in the form of fried items, butter, cheese, red meat, and yellow of eggs should be avoided as far possible. All these items are usually for the ‘tongue’ and we must differentiate between eating for the tongue and eating for the body! Fresh fruits, vegetables and salads and water should be in plenty. These are ‘common sense’ guidelines of diet.
 
 
 
Exercise

Exercise

Atleast 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in the form of jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing is important to maintain good cardiovascular fitness. In addition to this, exercising in a gym is important to maintain muscular fitness and to prevent diseases like osteoporosis.
 
 
 
Stress Management

Stress Management

It is a difficult ball game, because there is too much variability & individuality and general guidelines are difficult to provide. However regular practice of yoga, meditation & pranayam helps build your mental system in such a way that your stress levels are low and you handle stress efficiently.
 
 
 
Abstinence for Smoking

Abstinence for Smoking

Tobacco is the chief culprit of formation of blockages in the arteries and by abstaining from it you are keeping away from a major risk factor of developing blockages.
 
Based on these principles, “Ideal Lifestyle” which is derived is very simple and one which has been discussed even by our forefathers. It involves lot of common sense and an attitude towards positive health rather than fear of the disease.