Attack Facts and FAQ's
Myocardial Infarction (MI)
Heart Attack - Click
here to jump to a list of natural remedies and vitamins you
can use after you suffered through this condition. To prevent this from
happening to you, see
the section on the prevention
of heart disease.
Attack or MI
Heart attack, also known as myocardial
infarction or just MI, is a type
that affects about 1.5 million Americans annually.
It happens when a part of the heart muscle suddenly stops getting the
needed blood supply. The heart muscle, which
requires a constant supply of blood for oxygen and nutrition, starts to
die immediately. Once the heart muscle dies, it can no longer
function and that tissue becomes scar tissue. This would seriously
affect how the heart works.
causes the blood flow to be cut off suddenly? The most common cause is
a blocked coronary (heart) artery caused by atherosclerosis or
hardening of the arteries. And one of the main causes of
atherosclerosis is high
How serious the MI is
depends on where the blockage occurs and how large an area of heart
muscle is left without a blood supply. If the blockage
at a major coronary artery and a large area of heart muscle is cut off
of blood supply, you can suffer a fatal massive MI and you can
Never ignore the warning
signs and symptoms
of a possible MI. Quick and immediate attention can ensure
you can successfully survive and recover from a MI.
Table of Frequently Asked
are some early warning signs and symptoms?
Some early warning signs and symptoms include:
to say, there are no good options for using natural remedies to treat a
MI. It must be treated as a medical emergency. (Of course,
afterwards, there are indeed many herbal
remedies you can use to reduce the risk of getting a second
- crushing chest
- chest pain that spreads out to the arms, jaw or
- possible nausea and vomiting
- sweating, restlessness
- fear and anxiety
- shortness of breath
treatment is very important as over 50% of those suffering from a heart
attack die within four hours of having symptoms. Early treatment will
ensure you have the greatest chance of surviving with less future
the early warning signs in women different than in men?
has been believed in the past that women suffering from heart attack
experience different symptoms than men. This is not always true.
Regardless, of the gender, the most common symptom is still chest pain.
Keep in mind that women tend to report the chest pain differently. Both
men and women may also experience nausea, dizziness, sweating and
Before menopause, women have the heart protective
benefits of estrogen (female hormone). Because of this, many women are
under the false belief that they are not as likely to get a heart
attack. Don't believe this. Seek medical help immediately if you
experience any of these symptoms, especially those not typical of a
does it mean that some heart attack symptoms are silent?
20% of people suffering from a MI show no major signs or
symptoms. Most of these are very "mild", which is why the signs and
symptoms are not noticed and are ignored. It is a concern that these
will not get the necessary
treatment to prevent a more severe one some time in the future.
are some of the causes of heart attack?
Causes of a MI include the following:
The most common cause is blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries
caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- irregular heart beat (arrhythmias)
- electrical shock causing the heart to stop
- narrowing and blockage of the coronary arteries
caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- blockage of the coronary arteries caused by a
blood clot that came from elsewhere in the body
- spasm of the coronary arteries
- aneurysm (rupture of coronary arteries)
are the after effects of getting a heart attack?
after effects of getting a MI will depend on how much of the
heart muscle was damaged. A "mild" one means that only a small part of
the heart muscle was permanently damaged. A "major" (or massive) one
means a large
portion of the heart muscle is damaged.
Damaged heart muscle
does not contract or work (and essentially becomes scar
also doesn't conduct the electrical impulse so it can lead to irregular
Having damaged heart muscle causes the entire heart not to pump very
well. This is a leading cause of heart failure (the inability of the
heart to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body).
you do any physical activity that causes your heart to work harder
(e.g. physical exercise, climbing up a flight of stairs, sexual
intercourse, etc...) you
many feel exhausted, totally out of breath and need to sit down and
rest. You may not necessarily feel any pain.
after effects of a "mild one" may be minimal and you can get
back to your regular activities after some time (perhaps after 1-3
months). If you suffered a "major" one, recovery is much
longer and you may not be able to get back to doing as much as you are
used to without getting exhausted quickly.
give you an analogy, it's like having your car with a 6-cylinder engine
running on 3-cylinders only. Yes, it just has enough power to drive on
a flat road but as soon as you go up the small hill, there's just no
power at all.
what age can you have a heart attack?
as young as 20 years old (and even younger) can suffer from this
disease. However, a MI at this early age is often due to
congenital (birth) defects of the heart, infection
type heart disease and illicit drug use.
It is unlikely for young
people to suffer from a MI from atherosclerosis (hardening of
the arteries). However, due to an unhealthy
lifestyle we lead
today, more people are likely to suffer from a MI at an
does it mean when my doctor said that I suffered from a mild heart
A mild MI is one which only a small part of your heart muscle
is permanently damaged. Click here
to jump to the section on the after
effects for a full explanation.
you prevent a heart attack?
prevent a MI, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle including
proper diet and an exercise program. Here's the quick list you can use:
- Smoking increases the risk of heart attacks by more than 100%. Even
just being exposed to second-hand smoke increases the risk.
diet - A proper diet is essential to reduce your chances
of getting heart attacks. Click here
to jump to the answer.
- Moderate exercise reduces the risk of heart attacks. Avoid heavy
exercise as it is shown to actually increase the risk of heart attacks
within 1 hour right after the exercise.
weight - Being overweight is shown to be linked to
increased risk of getting heart attacks.
- Type A personality is a person who shows impatience and aggressive
feelings and behaviours. Research studies showed mixed results but
common sense would suggest that this type of personality is not a good
one to have.
Studies seem to show that stress, worry and anger increase the risk of
suffering from a MI. It's a good idea to manage these negative
emotions to lower your risks.
cholesterol - High
cholesterol is a major cause atherosclerosis (hardening of
- Unmanaged blood sugar levels speed
up the atherosclerosis
blood pressure - Unmanaged high blood pressure
blood vessels and speeds up the atherosclerosis process.
- It has been shown that people suffering from depression
seems to have a higher risk of getting a MI.
there any natural treatment options?
are best used to prevent getting a MI some time later. You must seek
medical help immediately if you are suffering from a MI.
diet should I go on afterwards?
Here are tips on foods you should avoid:
Reduce meat and poultry
There is a type of iron (heme iron) found these foods that
increase the risk of getting a MI. Cut back to one serving a day.
Reduce saturated fats -
Cut back on saturate fat found in meats, butter and solid fats.
Cut back on eggs -
research studies seem to show that eating more eggs increases the risk
of getting a MI. However, there are studies showing that
eggs didn't matter.
Cut back on refined carbohydrates
Cut back on simple sugars, white flour and white rice. Studies link
increased consumption of refined carbohydrate with an increased risk of
getting heart attacks.
Here are the types of foods that you should eat more of.
Almonds, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts and pistachio nuts contains many
heart health nutrients such as fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and
Experts believe nuts can directly protect against heart
disease. Many of these nutrients lower cholesterol
Olive Oils -
Olive oil contains large amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids that
show anti-inflammatory benefits and lowers cholesterol. It also has
phenolic compounds that prevents oxidative damage by free radicals and
also prevents blood clots (like what Aspirin does).
Fish - Omega 3 fatty acids
, found in
great abundance in fish is shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the
risk of heart attacks.
Fruits and Vegetables -
Eat more of every kind. May fruits contain potent antioxidants
protect against the atherosclerosis process.
above dietary tips basically describe the Mediterranean diet that is
shown by extensive scientific studies to reduce heart disease by 70%
compared to those on a standard diet.
I engage in sexual intercourse after a heart attack?
Sexual intercourse is a type of physical activity that puts
your body under physical stress.
is unlikely that sexual activity can cause heart attacks. Studies show
that it is not no more likely to happen than those suffering from
angina or heart disease.
By keeping fit with an appropriate exercise
program, watching your diet, you can reduce the chance of that
As for when you can start sexual activity afterwards, it will depend on
how your recovery is going and how
severe it was.
is the reason for taking Aspirin (ASA) before, during and after a heart
can cut the risk of death or getting another heart attack. It thins the
blood out a bit to make sure blood clots do not form, especially in
the narrowed coronary arteries. Your doctor will be able to tell you if
you should go on ASA.
- Life after suffering a heart attack
from a heart attack changes the way you look at your life. Only after
the event do most people start to change their
diet, think of quitting smoking, start a suitable exercise program and
perhaps learn to control stress.
In addition to lifestyle changes, mostly diet and exercise, there are
some natural remedies that
you can consider taking to help you along with your recovery. Many of
these herbs and natural supplements have been shown to be helpful in
keeping the heart functioning at its maximum capacity.
Return to Health Conditions List
Use the search box below to
quickly find what you are looking for!
Home | What's New! | A-Z Herbs | A-Z Ailments | FAQ's | Sitemap | Privacy