Heart attacks are rising at an alarming rate. Earlier, heart attacks were faced by those in their 60s and 70s.
Today, with a rapid change in lifestyles, people in their 40s and 50s suffer massive heart attacks that lead to a drastic fall in their quality of life, at a time when they are in the peak of their careers. A large portion of those who survive a heart attack develop progressive heart failure.
High risk group
Poorly-controlled diabetics, blood pressure patients and those with high cholesterol are at a higher risk. Smokers have a 50 percent chance of developing heart disease. Even one cigarette a month can kill. Obesity and lack of exercise play an important contributory role.
Keeping heart aliment away
Blockages in the heart start developing when we are in our teens and slowly progress over decades until they rupture to cause a heart attack. It is important that we have a focus on the importance of healthy living right from a young age. Teens and young adults must refrain from smoking and be encouraged to eat and live healthily. If risk factors like diabetes and blood pressure develop, it is paramount to ensure that they are monitored carefully and kept under stringent control to avoid problems in the future.
Discomfort in the chest or breathlessness while walking quickly or climbing stairs must be investigated immediately to rule out heart disease. Diabetics do not usually experience the classical chest pain with left arm pain, and may feel just a sense of heaviness in the chest or symptoms similar to acidity. Don't ignore them. A majority of patients do not seek timely medical attention because they presume that they are suffering from gastritis or acidity when in reality a heart attack is in progress. When in doubt, it is better to seek medical attention.
Healthy diet low in oils and fats, large servings of vegetables is a typical home-cooked meal. Traditional foods are still and will be what one should be eating. Special diets are not only impractical but have not shown to be of any benefit in reducing heart disease.
Foods to avoid
When the oil is repeatedly reheated while frying food, it changes composition to produce more harmful cholesterol that leads to heart disease earlier. It's not only the finger chips in fast food but also the bajji/bonda that we all like to eat from the corner shop that is equally dangerous.
Yoga and meditation are good ways to reduce blood pressure and stress levels, and must be practiced in addition to modern medicine.