What is Heart Attack
A heart attack is a layman term for the medical condition known as myocardial infarction. It is the death of heart muscle caused by a sudden cessation of blood to the muscle. This is characterized by anxiety, pain, or discomfort in Heart the chest region.
Heart attack is excessively common in the Indian population, with more than 1 crore cases per year. The condition mostly affects people in the older age group, although recently no age has been found exempt.
A family history of heart disease increases the chances of heart attack manifold, and males are more prone to be affected. Obesity, cigarette smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and chronic stress are all causative and risk factors for heart attack.
A heart attack is different from cardiac arrest. While heart attack is the cessation of blood supply to the heart muscle, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood to the body altogether. Many cardiac arrests occur because of heart attack.
How does a heart attack happen?
As discussed, heart attack occurs when blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked. This occurs when the coronary arteries (arteries to the heart) are blocked gradually by cholesterol deposits (a process known as coronary thrombosis).
As the size of the thrombus (the obstructing cholesterol deposit) increases over time, the artery is eventually blocked altogether, and blood supply is cut off.
This starves the heart muscle of blood leading to its death (a process known as myocardial infarction). This death of smooth muscle cells causes symptoms such as pain, anxiety, discomfort, and breathlessness, and is known as a heart attack.
A heart attack may be precipitated by extreme stress, cold weather, heavy amounts of alcohol intake and even heavy meals. Such precipitating factors are majorly seen in people already at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Some signs and symptoms develop before an actual heart attack takes place. Let us discuss these.
- Pounding heart even at rest.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- Shortness of breath even at rest, or at minimal exertion.
- Nausea and dizziness.
- Lightheadedness and fatigue.
- Chest discomfort.
- Anxiety with a sense of impending doom.
- Chest pain that may radiate to jaw, left arm and shoulder, tooth or head.
- Upper abdominal discomfort.
- Heartburn, acidity, and a feeling of indigestion.
- Pressure in the upper back.
Not everyone faces all these symptoms, and they do not occur at the same time. In some rare cases, there may be no early warning sign whatsoever and the condition may occur all of a sudden.
Why to choose natural remedies for heart attack?
By natural remedies, it is meant that herbal remedies and supplements whose effects are well known. Indian culture has always placed an emphasis on herbal remedies and medicines, and the herbal system of treatment has evolved greatly over time.
It must be remembered that a person experiencing heart symptoms needs to be evaluated at a medical center at the earliest. Medical attention and intervention are of utmost importance, and time is of the essence.
Lab investigations like ECG, angiography, x-ray, blood tests and certain enzyme assays are required to precisely pinpoint the pathology and its extent.
It is only after a person has escaped immediate danger and has been placed under reliable monitoring that supplements like herbal remedies should be initiated.
They are rich in antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body tissues and thereby promote cardiac health. With herbal remedies, the risk of drug interactions is also minimized.
Clinical studies have proven the efficacy and safety of herbal remedies and supplements, and no long-term adverse effects have been noted with their use.
Herbal remedies can therefore act as excellent companions to general medicine to promote and enhance cardiac efficiency.
Herbal Medicines for Heart Attack
There are many herbs, both Indian and foreign, that have been proven to beneficially impact cardiac function. Notable among these are Guggulu, Arjuna, Pushkarmoola, Lasuna, Amalaki, Sarpagandha and Jatamansi.
Many of these herbs also act as an immune system booster. Plenty of herbal supplements are available commercially that make use of these herbs either singly or in various combinations to produce a powerful heart tonic.
Even household herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, and clove have a beneficial action on the heart. They can be included in the diet either raw, as a seasoning, or in the form of teas and solutions to promote cardiac well-being.
Spices and herbs are easily available, affordable, and easy to use in daily life. Their action is gentle, efficient and has long term benefits.
Those who include herbal medicine in their lives are at a decidedly significant advantage than those who merely rely on allopathic drugs. With natural systems of living one can experience life more profoundly and healthily.