Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Some Heart Attack Triggers- That May Surprise You!!

A diet high in greasy, deep fried delights and a life full of financial, work, and personal stresses will certainly take its toll on your ticker. We all know that!

However, doctors are now pointing to other, lesser considered, heart attack culprits. Here are some surprising cardiovascular cautions that you might not even be aware of…

Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep regularly can raise your risk of a heart attack. Researchers found that people who usually slept fewer than 6 hours a night were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who slept 6 to 8.

Migraine headaches: People who get these are more likely to have a heart attack later in life than those who don’t. And ones that include auras that start before the headache hits seem to have a stronger link to heart problems.
Gum Disease: If you’re an expectant mother suffering from gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), your prenatal caregiver has probably already warned you that it can put your unborn child at risk. However, it seems that gum decay can actually pose a threat to your cardiovascular health as well. A recent study concluded that people with periodontal disease are inherently at a 25 percent greater risk for having a heart attack than those who have healthy gums.

Cold weather: Being outside in the winter months can cause your arteries to narrow, making it harder for blood to reach your heart. On top of that, your heart has to work harder to keep your body warm. Limit heavy physical activity outside.

Air pollution: Heart attacks are more common when air pollution levels are high. People who breathe dirty air on a regular basis are more likely to have clogged arteries and heart disease. Sitting in traffic may be especially dangerous, because it can combine car fumes with anger or frustration.

Antibacterial Products: Many anti-bacterial or anti-microbial soaps, cleaners, and toothpastes contain Triclosan, a chemical that fosters the production of antibiotic-resistant germs. These germs can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, while causing more and more damage to your heart and muscle tissues the more you use them.

A heavy meal: Think twice before going back for seconds or thirds, it may hurt more than your waistline. When you eat large amounts of food in one sitting, it leads to higher levels of the stress hormone nor-epinephrine in your body. That can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, and it may trigger heart attacks in some people.

Seafood: Seafood is often praised by health nuts for its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to boost heart function and protect your long-term health. However, new studies show that fish and seafood are often contaminated with high levels of mercury, which is known to boost the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and it is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease.

Canned Foods: Canned foods present a double whammy when it comes to heart attack risk. First, they tend to be very high in sodium, as manufacturers load them up with salt to preserve freshness and improve flavor. Second, many cans are lined with a product known as bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA is known to disrupt hormone production, and can alter your body’s level of numerous hormones. In young children, it is thought to cause early onset of puberty along with other physical and neurological conditions. In adults, BPA has been linked with arrhythmia, or an unsteady heartbeat. This puts a great deal of stress on your heart, and in extreme circumstances, it can even cause spontaneous cardiac arrest.

Strong emotions: Anger, grief, and stress are known triggers of heart problems, but joyful events can sometimes lead to a heart attack as well. It can be triggered by the kind of emotions that go along with a surprise birthday party, a wedding, or the birth of a grandchild.

Sudden or intense exertion: Getting in shape will protect your heart in the long run, but doing too much could be dangerous. About 6% of heart attacks are triggered by extreme physical effort.

A cold or the flu: When your immune system fights off a bug, it can cause inflammation that can damage your heart and arteries. In one study, people with respiratory infections were twice as likely to have a heart attack. Heart attack rates are also higher during flu outbreaks — another good reason to get your flu shot.

Asthma: Your chances of having a heart attack go up about 70% if you have this lung disease. Even if you use an inhaler to keep it under control, your risk is still higher than normal. Because of your asthma, you also may tend to ignore chest tightness, which can be an early sign of a heart attack.

Disasters: Studies have shown that heart attack rates go up after major disasters like earthquakes or terrorist attacks. And not just immediately following them, but even up to a few years later. You may not be able to avoid these kinds of situations, but you can do things to manage your stress afterward.

Spectator sports: Playing sports can possibly trigger a heart attack and watching them can, too. In 2006, heart attacks in Germany spiked during the national team’s World Cup football games.

Alcohol: Over time, alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure, increase certain kinds of bad cholesterol, and lead to weight gain, all of which can hurt your heart.

Coffee: Caffeine makes your blood pressure go up for a short time, and that can trigger an attack, especially if you don’t drink it regularly. Overall, though, coffee seems to be good for your heart.

Antibiotics: Doctors are becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with the overuse of antibiotics, but these medications are still commonly prescribed to treat a wide range of health problems stemming from bacterial infections. However, if you have heart disease, are at risk of developing heart disease or have a family history of cardiovascular problems, you should avoid taking azithromycin, also known as “Z-Pak antibiotics.” Studies have linked Z-Pak antibiotics with an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Nonstick Chemicals: Nonstick frying pans have been heralded as one of modern cooking’s great innovations. However, a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that nonstick pan coatings may lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, which in turn greatly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack.

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