Every year, close to 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction (MI). Between 200,000 and 300,000 of those individuals die before medical help is sought. Approximately 1 million patients visit the hospital each year as the result of a heart attack. Heart attacks, which are the leading cause of death in this country, involve damage to the heart caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle, usually as a result of heart disease.
How does a heart attack develop?
When one or more of the coronary arteries that supply blood to heart become completely blocked, cutting off blood to the heart muscle, the result is a heart attack. The blockage is usually caused by the build-up of plaque in the artery walls or a blood clot in a coronary artery that has developed over the years. In rare cases, a healthy coronary artery may spasm, causing blood flow to the heart to decrease, which in turn leads to a heart attack. A drastic decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood, as can occur in a patient who suffers from severe lung disease, can also trigger a heart attack. In addition, a heart attack may occur when the body’s organs need more oxygen than usual, such as when a patient undergoes an operation or fights a severe infection. Recent research suggests that the most powerful of heart attacks may occur as the result of an inflammation of the heart, which is thought to weaken plaque, making it more likely to burst and form a clot that can cause a heart attack.
A number of different risk factors, many of which are related to being overweight, contribute to coronary artery disease.
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- a diet high in fat
- poor blood cholesterol levels, particularly a high LDL value (the “bad” cholesterol) combined with a low HDL level (the “good” cholesterol)
- gender, with males at higher risk
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Symptoms of a heart attack can occur days or even weeks before the actual heart attack. Many patients may not recognize the symptoms, which include uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest. Other symptoms include pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms, as well as chest discomfort accompanied by light-headedness, fainting, profuse sweating, vomiting, nausea, a feeling of “impending doom,” anxiety or shortness of breath. Symptoms may disappear and then reappear. According to the American Heart Association, 63 percent of women and 48 percent of men who died suddenly of coronary artery disease had no previous symptoms. About one fifth of all heart attacks are silent, that is, the individual does not even realize that he or she has had a heart attack.
While conventional medical treatments help an individual survive and recover from a heart attack, but they do not get to the root of the problem. By addressing the underlying physiology that caused the heart attack in the first place, as natural medicine treatments do, future heart attacks may be avoided.
At Sunridge Medical, our highly-trained physicians are experts in providing an integrated approach to the treatment of cancer and chronic disease. Our treatment plans are individualized, and involve both traditional and alternative medicines.
The physicians at Sunridge Medical have found that symptoms frequently can be improved and even reversed with our natural treatments. We take a holistic approach to patient care and strive not only treat the disease, but also alleviate symptoms, increase quality of life and, most importantly, address the underlying cause of disease.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 800-923-7878 to speak with a Patient Care Representative. Let us help you get your life back.