What are the causes of increasing heart attack problems in India?
In India, conventional risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and obesity are closely associated with the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Workplace stress, a significant contributor to hypertension, has surged over the years due to changes in lifestyle and mounting pressures at work and in personal and professional life. These factors have collectively taken a toll on heart health.
Imagine if there were a killer out on the lose in your neighborhood; you would undoubtedly take all precautions to stay safe. However, there’s a silent killer within many of us that often goes unnoticed, despite claiming more lives each year than cancer and tobacco combined.
This hidden menace is stress. We often lack the necessary information and strategies to prevent and combat stress effectively. Unlike external threats, we can’t see the damage stress inflicts on our bodies from the inside. To safeguard heart health, it’s crucial to acknowledge stress as a significant risk factor and prioritize stress management through techniques like mindfulness, meditation, or engaging in relaxing hobbies. Additionally, adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, avoiding harmful habits like smoking, and adhering to prescribed medications for conditions like hypertension or diabetes, is essential. Routine health check-ups also play a pivotal role in detecting and managing risk factors early. By recognizing and addressing the impact of stress and adopting a holistic approach to heart health, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and ensure a longer, healthier life.
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How do I know if I’m having a heart attack? What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Identifying the signs of a heart attack is crucial for individuals themselves and those around them. While some symptoms are noticeable by anyone, it’s also essential to include signs that individuals can detect in themselves:
Detecting a heart attack is critical, as it can differ for men and women. Most individuals spend a significant portion of their day at work, making the workplace an ideal setting for promoting heart health awareness. Educating employees on recognizing heart attack symptoms could potentially save lives. Colleagues, who witness changes in behavior and disposition daily, can play a crucial role in identifying health deteriorations.
- Chest Pain or Discomfort: This often feels like a “tightness in the chest” and can extend to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or shoulder. Sometimes, individuals mistake this discomfort for heartburn due to its location and sensation.
- Avoiding Mistakes: To differentiate between heartburn and a heart attack, consider the context. Heartburn often occurs after a meal or when lying down, whereas heart attack pain may come on suddenly during physical activity or at rest. If in doubt, seek immediate medical attention.
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Women are more likely than men to have pain or discomfort in areas other than the chest. This can include the neck, jaw, back, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing or feeling breathless, especially during regular activities.
- Nausea or Dizziness: A sense of nausea, lightheadedness, or even fainting can occur.
- Unusual Fatigue: Sudden and extreme tiredness, even with minimal physical exertion.
- Cold Sweats: Profuse sweating, often accompanied by anxiety.
Individuals should be aware of these symptoms and seek immediate medical help if they experience them. It’s essential not to dismiss chest discomfort as heartburn without considering the broader context and accompanying symptoms.
With views from Dr.Bhavana Diyora, Preventive Health and Wellness Specialist, Ayurveda Doctor, MyGALF.