Heart attack and Heart failure are two different terms although they sound alike. A lot of people confuse these two terms together simply because they don’t know they mean. Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. Heart attack and heart failure comprise a greater percentage of heart diseases.
In the majority of cases, heart failure is a result of a heart attack. Heart failure is classified as Ischemic heart disease also called Coronary heart disease – a group of diseases as a result of inadequate blood flow to the heart muscles.
In medical terms it is known as Congestive heart failure is simply when the heart fails to pump blood as it should. Think of it like this, the heart is a pump trying to pump blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. When there is a problem with the heart – usually due to other heart diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure. This results in a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly. This leads to a number of symptoms; chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs, ankles and feet, coughing or wheezing to mention but a few.
In medical terms known as Myocardial infarction. It is when blood flow to the heart itself is inadequate due to narrowing of the coronary arteries – the arteries that supply the heart. This results in nutrient and oxygen deficiency to a part of the heart and subsequently the death that part of the heart. Think of it like this the heart normally pumps blood but when a part of the heart is dead, then it can no longer function properly. This results in severe chest pain and if care is not taken, it may lead to death.
Unfortunately, these are critical conditions and a lot of people find out when it’s too late. This is one of the reasons why these conditions amount to a great proportion of death each year.
WHO IS AT RISK
The Risk factors for Ischemic heart diseases are similar. We have discussed most of these in “High Blood Pressure, Why You Need to be aware”. Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries – a condition when lipid builds up in the artery supplying the heart, which leads to Ischemic heart disease.
Risk factors for Atherosclerosis include; high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, male gender and genetics.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE CHEST PAIN
In a case you have chest pain, it is important to see a doctor. There is no need to be afraid. Other mild non-severe conditions can also lead to chest pain.
Your doctor will do a series of analysis to correctly diagnose and manage your condition.
HOW TO PREVENT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
The primary cause of Ischemic heart disease is atherosclerosis – a condition when lipids build up in the blood.
- It’s necessary to do check-ups from time to time if you are at risk. Visit your doctor regularly.
- Do exercise regularly. You can start with the things discussed in “Fitness Basics, Start with These 10 Things First” and you can also read the one on “Why You Need to be Fit”
- Eat healthily. It’s necessary to eat food low in cholesterol. This will help reduce the lipid content of the body. You can try eating Mediterranean diet – fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
- Taking Statins. These are lipid-lowering drugs. They have been proved to help prevent and limit the severity of Ischemic heart diseases. Talk to your doctor before you start taking them.
Now that you know what heart attack and heart failure mean, you won’t confuse the two terms and you can explain it to other people.