In the United States, 610,000 people die from heart attacks every year. That is nearly 1 out of 4 deaths. With such startling statistics, it is crucial to know what to do if you or someone you know is having a heart attack. However, the best way to not have a heart attack is through a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we will teach you how to prevent a heart attack, both in the long term and short term.

Warning Signs That Someone Has A Heart Attack

The heart requires oxygen to keep functioning. The blood in our body carries oxygen toward the center. However, if the blood cannot get to the core, either through blockage or some other condition, then a heart attack occurs. Heart attacks can be major or minor. Many people survive their heart attacks, but as many succumb to them. Heart attacks can strike at any time, but there are usually some early warning signs to be on the lookout.

  • Pain or a Constricting Feeling In Your Chest
  • Feelings of Nausea, Pain in the Abdominal Muscles, Heartburn and Indigestion
  • A Loss of Breath
  • Breaking Out Into A Cold Sweat
  • General Sense of Fatigue or Tiredness
  • A Sudden Feeling of Lightheadedness or Feeling Faint

Part of the reason it is hard to identify a heart attack before it is too late is that the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Some individuals might experience severe pain in their chest, while others might experience a vague sense of tightness and tingling feelings in their arms and legs.

Short Term Tips If You Have A Heart Attack

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Heart attacks can be terrifying occurrences. The first thing to remember is to try and stay calm. Adding unnecessary stress to the situation will only worsen the conditions of the person having a heart attack. If you show any signs of having a heart attack the first thing to do is call an ambulance or get a ride to the hospital immediately. However, there is some method of minimizing the damage or stopping heart attack entirely as it is happening.

If There is Aspirin Nearby, Then Take It

If you are conscious, take a healthy dose of aspirin. Do not try to force feed an unconscious person aspirin. Aspirin works as blood declutter, and it can both stop blood from clotting further and reduce the size of a blood clot causing a heart attack. It is important to note this is a temporary solution. You should still get to the hospital immediately. However, it might buy whoever is having a heart attack some precious time.

If There is A Defibrillator Nearby, Prepare It

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Defibrillators can be used to conduct electrical impulses into a person’s heart after it has stopped. While an unconscious person cannot use a defibrillator, if there are people around it can be a life-saving tool. It is imperative for the person to become unconscious before using the defibrillator. You must also be entirely sure that the person’s heart has stopped.

Try Cough CPR

Some sources online recommend cough CPR if you believe you are having or about to have a heart attack. This method of self-CPR involves taking a deep breath and then coughing hard. People think that it raises the blood pressure of the person having the heart attack, thus opening up the flow of blood traveling to the brain. Some people who survived heart attacks claim that deep coughing set their heart back into a stable condition.

Long-Term Lifestyle Techniques for Preventing A Heart Attack

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The best way you can prevent a heart attack from occurring is through active lifestyle changes. While these might seem like small steps, they are all proven to significantly lower the chance of a heart attack in individuals who are susceptible to heart disease. We organized some of the best-known ways for reducing your risk of heart disease, regardless of your age.

Maintain a Healthy Diet With Little Red Meat

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Diets high in trans fats, sodium, and saturated fats are notorious for causing high cholesterol build up in the blood vessels. A quick diet change can significantly reduce — and even fight — the high blood pressure caused by this build up. When eating, try and choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, nuts or legumes, fish, and seeds. Try to eat less red meat, especially if you had a heart attack in the past. Recent studies indicate that the saturated fat in beef is one of the critical causes of heart disease for some people.

Reduce Stress Levels

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Another principal cause of heart attack is a high-stress environment. The tension brought on by stress keeps in a constant state of high blood pressure. This tension can have a hugely negative impact on our heart health. There are many proven ways of relieving the stress that causes blood pressure. One way is through meditation or yoga. Another way is through writing. Keeping a journal every day can be an excellent outlet for dealing with everyday stressors.

Doctors link candles, massages, deep breathing, relaxing music, quality time with pets and therapy to stress reduction. But this condition usually varies from person to person. Find out what relaxes you and use it to unwind.

If You Smoke, Quit Smoking

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Cigarette smoke or second-hand smoke is inextricably linked to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. When you inhale cigarettes or smoke of any kind, the active ingredients become trapped in your lungs. Over time these ingredients build up around the arteries and capillary linings surrounding the lungs. At first, this may appear as simple shortness of breath, but it can quickly lead to cardiovascular disease and future heart attack.

If you quit smoking for just one year, then your risk of having a coronary heart attack is cut in half compared to the average smoker.

Watch Your Blood Sugar Levels, Especially If You Are Diabetic

Unfortunately, individuals with diabetes are much more susceptible to heart disease than nondiabetics. The glucose that builds up in diabetic’s blood damages the blood vessels over time. This damage dramatically increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. If you have diabetes, then stick to your treatment schedule and check your blood sugar levels. You can help prevent diabetes by watching your sugar intake. Make sure you cut back on candy, soft drinks, desserts and other food items with high sugar content.

Check Your Cholesterol Levels Frequently

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As we mentioned before, cholesterol plaque buildup is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. If you know you suffer from high cholesterol levels, get on a diet and fitness plan to reduce it immediately. You can check your cholesterol levels with a blood test from the doctor. Alternatively, you can also purchase an at-home finger prick test from most drug stores.

Maintain A Healthy Weight Level

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Obesity continues to be a growing problem in American. Unfortunately, doctors link too much unhealthy weight gain to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are specific causes of heart attacks.

The best way to achieve a healthy weight is a combination of diet and fitness routine. Ideally, you want to either exercise moderately for 2.5 hours per week or intensely for 1 hour and 15 minutes per week. While a healthy weight is essential, do not try to strain yourself with unhealthy weight loss routines.

Quit Snoring

Snoring can often serve as a sign that you are not getting enough oxygen during your sleep. As such, it increases your risk of a heart attack. Consider sleep masks or other snoring solutions.

Engage In An Active Social Life

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Recent studies show that loneliness caused by social isolation is a prevalent cause of heart disease. People who identify as being lonely are 25% more likely to have a heart attack than those that have active social lives. It might seem hard to develop friendships and marriages, but there are plenty of social apps available for hobby groups and dating.

Try to find a close group of individuals you can rely on and vent your problems. You would be surprised how much a sympathetic ear of a friend helps.

It is never too late to learn how to prevent a heart attack. Whether you are an individual recovering from their second heart attack or a nine-year child, it is never too early or late to begin making the lifestyle choices that are conducive with a decreased chance of heart disease. We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to identify and prevent heart attacks.

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