- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Prevent Heart Attack
Coronary arteries that wrap around the heart
Symptoms of a heart attack and how to prevent heart attack
My answers to this question follow. In clarifying his question, fellow Hubber PhoenixV actually posted two questions. The premise of one question is that a heart attack had already occurred. The premise of the other question is that a heart attack is possible, still impending.
Symptoms that I might have had a heart attack
1. I experienced a radiating pain. This pain radiated to the neck and jaw and down the left arm. I felt a tingling and heaviness in my right and left arms.
2. I had a fever that subsided within a week.
3. I had a labored and difficult breathing. There was breathlessness when lying down that was relieved when I sat or remained standing.
4. I felt chest pain more severe than an episode of angina. It lasted for more than 20 minutes that persisted even when I took a rest. The pain was under the breastbone.
5. I felt dizzy and nearly fainted (Clayman, C. MD. Editor. Your Heart. 1986)
I should point out that sometimes heart attack does not have any symptom at all.
"One-fifth of heart attacks are painlessly silent and may go unidentified by patients" (DeBakey, M., MD and A. Gotto, Jr. The New Living Heart. 1997:252).
However, a heart attack, even when it occurred one week earlier and undetected by the patient, can be definitely determined. Heart muscles damaged by lack of oxygen during heart attack release an enzyme, MB fraction creatine kinase. A test can measure its activity, and together with 2Decho, it can confirm a heart attack (Clayman, C. MD. Editor. Your Heart. 1986:62-63).
What I would recommend for dealing with a possible heart attack
Angina or chest pain is a warning for a possible heart attack. Sometimes, skip beat is a symptom. I recommend that you consult a doctor, like an internist. S/he would listen to your heart with stethoscope. Of course, the usual test of blood pressure would be done to see if you have a high blood pressure or hypertension. S/he would administer an ECG or electrocardiography. If some abnormality had been detected, s/he would administer a stress test with an accompanying ECG. If some definite patterns would emerge, s/he would administer a two-dimensional echocardiography that employs ultrasound. This involves a machine like a TV where you can see your heart pulsating. 2Decho can determine whether your heart muscles are healthy or not. It can show whether there is enlargement of you heart, usually the left ventricle.
If your blood pressure were unusually high like 160/90, you might be confined in the hospital. The threshold is 139/79; it used to be 140/80. During confinement you might be given a heparin or aspirin to thin your blood thus avoid blood platelet aggregation that can lead to heart attack. You might be given a tranquilizer like diazepam or lexotan to calm you down thus avoid increasing your heart rate that can lead to trachycardia (about 130 beats per second) that can bring on cardiac arrest. This is different for heart attack. .
Also during your confinement to prevent a heart attack you might be given a prescription for a calcium channel blocker like angiosem or zandil or dilzem which are brand names. This blocker slows down the entry of calcium to the cell. Calcium carries along with it a protein called calmodulin that triggers fast contraction of heart muscles. Too much calcium poisons the cell; the calcium/magnesium balance gets out of whack..A fast contraction uses up extra amount of oxygen that induces extra oxygen demand that induces a high probability of heart attack.
The 2Decho might have indicated that at least one artery around the heart, called coronary artery, has an occlusion in the inside wall. This occlusion lessens the diameter of the artery that triggers the lessened passage of blood. Since blood carries oxygen to the heart, lessened blood flow to the heart means that there is less oxygen going into the heart. Lack of oxygen is called hypoxia that if not corrected can lead to heart attack. .
Lessened blood flow starved your heart for oxygen when you exerted yourself like carrying a heavy load or having sex. Starvation for oxygen triggered the production of a chemical that stimulated pain receptors in heart cells that were transmitted by vagus nerves to the brain and the brain sent, or tried to send, it back to heart. Sometimes the feedback does not land to the heart but to the neck or left arm or to the chest which you felt as angina pectoris or chest pain.
What to do if a coronary artery has an occlusion or blockage or plaque? The medications like heparin or aspirin or calcium channel blocker have nothing to do with the plaque.
Actually, that plaque is composed of bad cholesterol, elastin, collagen, fibrin, other debris cemented by calcium apatite. This patch was supposed to repair an earlier injury in the inside wall of the coronary artery. That injury was inflicted by free radicals resulting in a benign tumor called atheroma. The body attempted to repair that atheroma but the repair job went awry.
Heart attack occurs when some heart muscles died from lack of oxygen such that the heart cannot pump anymore. We mentioned that angina is a warning of the possibility of a heart attack. There are other causes of heart attack like spasm. (I have a Hub “What Would I Do If I Had a Heart Attack? I Would Ensure For More Life Beyond”).
Most likely you will be prescribed nitroglycerin (Isordil) in the tablet form that you can place under your tongue when an episode of angina strikes. Nitroglycerin produces nitric oxide that signals the arteries to dilate to allow more blood flow to the heart. Nitroglycerin can also prevent heart attack; you can take three tablets at an interval of 5 minutes. It can be taken when heart attack strikes even without the on-the-spot advice of a doctor. It buys you time to get a doctor or go to a doctor. You must be given first aid or attended to by a doctor within five minutes after the attack to prevent a serious damage to the heart muscles.
What to do with the plaque to prevent heart attack? Reverse it. Dissolve it.
Some doctors in conventional medicine believe that the plaque in the heart artery is irreversible. That was the belief of Dr. Michael DeBakey, MD, a pioneer in bypass surgery, in 1977 when the book he co-authored with Dr. Antonio Gotto, Jr. MD (The Living Heart) was published. In the sequel of their book , “The New Living Heart,” published in 1997, they conceded that plaque can be reversed with cholesterol-lowering drugs and changes in lifestyle consisting of halt in smoking and drinking alcohol. However, they did not elaborate a protocol on how to reverse plaque. They recommended medication, angioplasty and coronary artery bypass graft surgery depending on the extent of the plaque.
The plaque in the coronary artery can be reversed by chelation therapy. Angina and heart attack can be prevented by antioxidants. These neutralize free radicals that cause the atheroma. More pieces of information can be obtained from the proponents of chelation therapy like Dr. Elmer Cranton, MD and Dr. James P. Frackelton. You may search the internet with the entry, cv chelation therapy cranton frackelton.
A change in diet contributes to the prevention of heart attack. Of course, less fat, more vegetables. Dr. Cranton has a free radical diet (Cranton, E., MD and A. Brecher. Bypassing Bypass.1986; Cranton, E. MD. Bypassing Bypass. Updated second edition. 1995) and Dr Ornish has reversal diet and maintenance diet (Ornish, C. MD. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. 1996). Consult a nutritionist or a dietitian.
You may take supplements like coenzyme Q10. omega-3 fatty acid (EPA flax), vitamin C 1000 mg/day, and vitamin E. CoQ10 is concentrated in the heart; it is used in the production of energy that the heart needs in its non-stop pumping. If your level of coQ10 goes down to 25% you may die (Bliznakov, E., M.D. and G. L. Hunt. 1986. The Miracle Nutrient Coenzyme Q10).
Exercise, engage in some social work, or join a support group.
New entries as of April 22,2014
Chelation therapy as safe and effective for heart disease
USA (Institutes of Health, Institute of Heart, Lungs and Blood) conducted a double blind randomized with control study called "Trials to Assess Chelation Therapy" (TACT) in 2002 through to 2011. it is found that chelation therapy is safe and effective for heart disease. Results of TACT were presented in a meeting of the American Heart Association held in Los Angeles, California on November 14,2012. Dr. Gervasio Lamas, MD, lead investigator, presented the results.
It is also found that chelation therapy treats diabetes. Participants in the study who also suffered from diabetes got well of the disease.
I discuss this topic in my Hub "USA has announced chelation therapy as safe and effective for heart disease and diabetes."