Brain and heart are the most important organs of the human body. The former controls and guides the nervous system while the latter supplies oxygen, blood and nutrients to all parts of the body. This function of the heart is achieved by pumping continuously.
In case the heart fails to pump blood, the organs such as kidney and brain suffer due to lack of blood supply. If the heart stops working, it results in death. Heart problems or cardiac diseases have in recent times emerged as the number one cause of death worldwide.
This is especially true in developed countries. As per statistics, nearly 30% of deaths across the globe are caused by cardiac diseases. The steep rise in cardiac deaths is owing to the change in lifestyle, hectic schedules and lack of physical activities.
Although awareness is increasing among people regarding heart ailments, there are some common misconceptions concerning the symptoms and preventive measures of cardiac diseases. These myths or popular beliefs are partly due to the age old customs and partly due to the historical significance of the heart. Some of the most common myths and facts are as enumerated below:
Heart Attack Outnumbers Your Days
This is one of the most common myths. People generally believe that those suffering from a heart attack do not live for long. Evidence proves otherwise. People suffering from even massive heart attacks are able to lead absolutely normal lives after proper treatment and rehabilitation.
It is possible to devise treatment plans taking into consideration the patient’s health and other factors so that they recover quickly and lead normal lives for long thereafter. Those who do not survive an attack generally have not followed proper treatment plans or have suffered from extremely massive attacks.
Runners and Athletes do not Suffer from Heart Problems
This is another common myth. It is not necessary that an athlete must have a healthy heart. Every year, there are at least a few cases of runners collapsing during a marathon owing to heart attacks. While exercising and running are recommended for a healthy heart, over indulging in exercises leads to unnecessary stress on the heart.
This causes the heart rate to increase rapidly and hence arrhythmia. Sometimes, it also leads to heart failure, as the heart does not have the capacity to fulfill the body requirements. It is not necessary that runners and athletes have a healthy heart. This is especially because there are other factors apart from exercising that determine the health of the heart.
Pain is an Integral Part of Exercising
The above statement is true if you are a healthy individual without any health problems. In case of people recovering from heart ailments or suffering from heart diseases, this is not true. They must indulge in light exercises that do not stress their heart or make it overwork.
The idea is to stay away from the couch as much as possible. Convalescing patients must move around all day long and perform light physical activities. Performing household chores is the ideal exercise.
Commonly people who are experiencing high intensity pain for the first time tend to think that they are suffering from a heart attack. There is a thin line of difference between panic attack and heart attack although both share some common symptoms.
Chest pain caused by heart attacks is generally focused in the center of the chest. There is a feeling of a heavy weight on top of the chest. The patients feel as though they are being crushed. The pain lasts for more than ten minutes, and it spreads to the adjoining areas like neck, arms and back. Often, they experience a tingling sensation in their left arm and tend to vomit.
Chest pain caused by panic attacks is very localized. It is described as a sudden sharp shooting pain in the chest that disappears as soon as it appears. Sometimes, the pain intensifies as you breathe. Every inhalation and exhalation increases the pain. Under such circumstances, the pain is at the center of the chest. Although panic attacks cause nausea, vomiting is rare.
Victims of panic attack hyperventilate or over-breathe after the attack. In case the pain lasts for more than ten minutes and spreads to the neck, back and left arm, then you must seek medical attention. This is because often panic attacks precede a heart attack and such situations can be detrimental to life.
Panic Attacks Cause Heart Disorders
Panic attacks do not always cause heart problems. Although panic attacks are known to precede a heart attack, they do not cause heart attacks. Panic attacks affect the heart like the way cardio exercises affect. They increase the heart rate, induce the release of adrenaline and expand the blood vessels.
Heart diseases are dangerous to life and precautions are necessary. Awareness regarding heart problems is important so that you can lead a healthy, normal life.