Heart attacks happen when the flow of the blood to the heart is suddenly blocked; usually because of a buildup of a fatty substance called cholesterol. A heart attack requires swift medical attention to prevent permanent damage being inflicted on the heart muscle. While preemptive measures offer the best protection against heart attack, it is also imperative to be aware of the range of symptoms to react most effectively.
Unfortunately, there are critical gaps in knowledge when it comes to not only heart attacks but also other heart problems, which often share similar symptoms.
There are parallels between heart attack symptoms and those associated with cardiomyopathy, according to Joel Rose, Chief Executive of Cardiomyopathy UK.
Speaking to the Express.co.uk, he explained: “People are generally aware of the common symptoms like pains in the chest or up and down the left arm, in the case of a heart attack.
“But they often don’t associate other symptoms, which we’d count as red flags, and are common in those who have cardiomyopathy, and can lead to cardiac arrest.”
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A sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.
How to respond to these symptoms?
“If you find yourself experiencing any of these, you should speak to your doctor,” advised Rose.
“Many heart conditions can be hereditary so it is also important that your doctor knows about any history of heart disease or sudden death in your family even if you are not experiencing any symptoms.”
He added: “Many heart conditions can be hereditary so it is also important that your doctor knows about any history of heart disease or sudden death in your family even if you are not experiencing any symptoms.”
This is because fatty foods contain an unhealthy type of cholesterol called LDL cholesterol.
Foods high in unsaturated fat, such as pies and fried foods, contain LDL cholesterol.
You should aim to follow a Mediterranean-style diet – this means eating more bread, fruit, vegetables and fish, and less meat, advises the NHS.
Many people assume that wine is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, but it is optional – if you do drink, it’s important to keep it in moderation, adds the British Heart Foundation.