Severe pain in chest and radiating to one or both the arms, sometimes to the neck or the jaw is a heart attack.
CAUSES: • Inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to the heart is the main reason.
• Atherosclerosis of the coronary artery.
• Sudden emotional upsets.
• Increased triglycerides and cholesterol.
• Sedentary life.
• Lack of exercise.
• Chronic consumption of alcohol.
• Chronic smoking.
• Drug abuse like – cocaine etc.
• Diabetes mellitus.
• Family history.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS: • Severe pain in chest – crushing, constricting, sharp, burning pain with feeling of strangling and suffocation.
• Pain may radiate to both arms or mostly along the left arm to the little finger and the jaw, teeth, neck throat, epigastric region and between the shoulder blades.
• Breathlessness. • Dizziness. • Sweating. • Irregular heart beats.
• Pale bluish lips or fingernails. • Clammy skin. • And a sense of anxiety and fear.
DIETARY MANAGEMENT: Patients with history of heart attack or family history should take following dietary measures to prevent the heart attack again.
• Cut down salt (common table salt) intake in your diet to avoid hypertension. Intake should not exceed more then 2 to 2.5 gm a day.
• Avoid foods rich in cholesterol: ground nut oil, ghee, butter, whole milk, eggs, lard (fats derived from pig meat), tallow (fats derived from goat or sheep mutton) – all non-vegetarian food contain cholesterol in varied amount.
• Avoid non-vegetarian food especially red meat.
• Increase intake of foods that contain PUFA`s (poly unsaturated fatty acids): flax / linseed oil is the richest source of PUFA`s. Other oils that contain PUFA`s are safflower oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, olive oil. As all oils are high in fats, its consumption should be limited. The intake of oils should not exceed 20gms a day.
• Sesame oil and almond oil hinders the absorption of LDL (low-density lipoproteins), so it is advisable to use replace other cooking oils by sesame oil.
• Increase your intake of water. •
Consume whole grain cereals and whole pulses.
• Take high fiber diet - whole grains, bran, oat, green leafy vegetables etc.
• Cut down the intake of sugar and other sweeteners. • Avoid fat-rich portions of flesh foods. Instead have lean meat. • Avoid fat-rich desserts and fried snacks like cakes, pastries, puddings etc
• Instead of frying food boil, steam, grill or roast food.
• Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks, junk food – pizza, burgers etc.
• Consume food rich in magnesium. – Nuts and sea food, green leafy vegetables, sea plants like Japanese sea plants, whole grains, peas, lotus stem, pulses, legumes and oil seeds.
• Increase intake of vitamin C, it maintains the elasticity and integrity of the artery walls. – Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, vegetables- cabbage, broccoli, tubers- potatoes and sweet potatoes.
• Increase calcium intake:- – milk and sea food, nuts- ground nuts, walnut, almond and cashew nuts; green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits like - custard apple and banana. – Peas, lotus stem, pulses, legumes and oil seeds.
NOTE: • Reduce weight if obese.
• Stop smoking and alcohol consumption.
• Practicing yoga and breathing exercises plays a very important role in lowering the cholesterol levels.
• Do some relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation etc to relieve the stress Change your lifestyle to reduce stress-physical or mental.
• Do regular exercise or brisk walking for at least 40 minutes.