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. 

• Arteriosclerosis. 

• Sudden emotional upsets.

 • Increased triglycerides and cholesterol. 

• Sedentary life.

 • Obesity.

 • Lack of exercise. 

• Chronic consumption of alcohol. 

• Chronic smoking.

 • Drug abuse like – cocaine etc.

 • Hypertension. 

• 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.