Causes of a heart attack.
I am well qualified to give advice on the main causes of a heart attack because at age 45 I had a massive heart attack that almost killed me,.
I was a dad to three beautiful daughters and husband who didn’t pay attention to the main causes of a heart attack and almost paid the price with my life.
I work in healthcare I see a lot of people having heart attacks some survive, and some don’t, despite all the advice from doctors and all the medication prescribed heart disease is still the number one killer in the modern world today. I must ask the question, why is that?
Is fitness and diet enough?
Fitness and diet just aren’t enough
Being fit and eating the right foods may not be enough when it comes to preventing a heart attack.
A good example is the actor James Galdonfini who famously portrayed Tony Soprano a mobster who had a heart on the hit TV series the Sopranos.
Tony unfortunstely died from a massive heart attack.
For example just look at some of the fittest people in the world that had a heart attack, Ugo Ehiogu (RIP) was an English footballer who sadly passed away at age 44.
It was speculated that he died from a heart attack but it turned out it was a sudden cardiac arrest, something completely different from the more common reason for heart attacks which is the blood flow to your heart is impeded or blocked putting pressure on the heart.
During a coronary arrest the electrical system of your heart malfunctions or breakdown resulting in your heart beating irregularly and alarmingly fast.
The coronary going to your heart are normally clear and, in most cases, there are few if any symptoms until just before the event such as feeling dizzy, faint or having heart palpitations.
Death happens quickly without emergency treatment because the blood supply isn’t being pumped to the vital organs as it normally is.
In some cases where young people die from sudden cardiac arrest there are other underlying causes such as an enlarged heart (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) in as many as 50% of all sudden cardiac deaths cases the post mortem showed that the heart was found to be completely normal, these had to be classified in the autopsy negative unexplained deaths category.
According to this study and allowing for inconsistencies the rate of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes is a leading cause of death, according to estimates there is a 1 in 3,000 chance of a cardiac arrest in athletes.
Similarly the risk amongst Div.1 basketball players has been appraised at ten times more than those in the whole athlete community,(1 in 5190 versus 1 in 53701 athletes per annum)
When a young person dies from a heart attack it may be because of a genetically inherited abnormality that lead to high cholesterol levels.
The heart muscle becomes diseased the muscle tissue changes to fat and scar tissue in place of muscle tissue causing a sudden cardiac arrest, this may happen in children also.
Other examples of sudden death causes are inflammation of the heart known as myocarditis, this is a congenital abnormality of a coronary artery or a heart valve.
In sudden death cases that happen to young people roughly 15% happen because of conditions external to the heart, for example intracranial haemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull) a blood clot causing a sudden blockage (pulmonary embolism)
Does Stress Increase your risk of heart disease?
It is true to say that stress increases your risk of a heart attack, however medical opinion is divided as to how does stress increase the likelihood of a heart attack, for example does stress:
1.Make your blood pressure go higher?
2.Make your cholesterol worse?
3. Make you exercise less?
4.Make your heart beat faster
5.Give you chest pain?
6.Make you smoke?
There are studies linking stress to heart disease, stress can subject your body to damaging levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Stress can affect the way blood clots which will increase your risk of a heart attack.
Is stress the same for everyone?
The short answer is no, as individuals we react to stress in different ways, some people can handle everyday stress with ease.
Whereas others react in the opposite way by feeling angry, anxious, moody or guilty.
Main causes of a heart attack?
We are led to believe that most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in the arterial vessels leading to the heart, (surgeons will usually perform a bypass or insert a stent) this is a very simplistic answer but let’s look a little deeper into this theory.
What causes the blockage in the arterial blood vessels?
It starts with inflammation causing destabilizing of plaque and making it rupture and tear the lining of the blood vessel (the endothelium) this leads to a blood clot which is very dangerous and is one of the leading causes of a heart attack.
Why is the endothelium so important?
The entire circulatory system is lined with vascular endothelial cells all the way from your heart to the tiniest capillaries.
These cells are so important in fluid filtration, hormone trafficking, neutrophil recruitment, blood vessel tone, haemostasis, preventing diffusion of proteins from the blood into the surrounding tissues, and glomeruli of the kidneys.
The endothelial cells play a fundamental role in regulating blood flow, nearly all tissues rely on a continuous supply of blood, that blood supply entirely depends on the endothelial cells, they form the lining of the blood vessel.
What causes damage to the endothelium?
The endothelium becomes damaged by several conditions such as:
1.Coronary heart failure,
3.Peripheral vascular disease
4.Chronic kidney failure
5.Chronic heart failure
7.High blood pressure
8.High LDL cholesterol
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are caused by smoking, being overweight, sleep issues, acute microbial infections, exposure to air pollutants and metals, and high glucose consumption.
Free radicals can disturb the balance of Nitric Oxide and lead to damage to the endothelium leaving it unduly absorbent letting toxins pass into body tissues.
What is Nitric Oxide?
The endothelium makes Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide is a gas which is short lived, NO does a really important job within the arterial system because it keeps the artery walls smooth and supple allowing blood to flow freely to the vital organs.
Doctor Louis Ignarro was awarded a Nobel prize in medicine when he made the discovery that NO is a signalling molecule produced within the body, it is a vasodilator that assists to control blood flow to every blood vessel in the body.
What is atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries, this happens as we age because our capability to produce NO is diminished and plaque, cholesterol and calcium build up in our arteries.
This build-up or hardening can lead to a heart attack or stroke because the blood flow is interrupted, doctors usually prescribe nitro glycerine spray pumps for heart attack or stroke patients.
How do we prevent or cure the cause of a heart attack?
It would seem to be quite logical to me, simply increase the amount of Nitric Oxide in our bodies!
By increasing the amount of NO we help to repair the damage done to the endothelium, remember the endothelium is the single most important part of keeping your arteries flexible and free of arterial plaque.
Nitric oxide is found in certain foods that we eat like citrus, dark chocolate, walnuts, spinach, argula, watermelon, beetroot and others.
The problem is that it would be nearly impossible to consume enough of these foods to make enough Nitric Oxide to repair the endothelium. So, what is the answer?
You need to supplement your diet with natural products that will increase your body’s production of Nitric Oxide gas.
My recommendations. (because they worked for me)
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