Heart Attack

A heart attack medically known as myocardial infarction is a deadly medical emergency. In most cases, a blockage in the arteries restricts the blood flow to the heart muscle and it begins to die. Unfortunately, doctors cannot restore blood flow quickly. Myocardial infarction can provoke permanent damage to your heart or death.

What is a Heart Attack?

This is a serious health condition that commonly occurs due to a lack of blood flow to the heart muscle. However, this condition may appear due to other different factors. In case you suspect that someone has a myocardial infarction, call emergency services at once.

When blood flow to a part of your heart stops or is far below normal a heart attack occurs. This can cause permanent damage or even death if the blood flow is not corrected quickly.


Usually, the symptoms are different among men and women. Check below some heart attack symptoms in men:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath or breathing problems
  • Insomnia (sleeping disturbances)
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Stomach discomfort or nausea

Women are less likely to experience chest pain and discomfort similar to indigestion. In any case, they can experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and insomnia before myocardial infarction. Additionally, nausea, vomiting, or pain in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, and abdomen also may occur.


Most myocardial infarctions occur due to a blockage of the blood vessels that supply your heart muscle. This happens due to a substance that builds up in the arteries causing them to narrow (atherosclerosis).

Furthermore, a heart attack may happen even without a blood vessel blockage but it is very rare and accounts for only 5% of all myocardial infarctions. This type of myocardial infarction may appear due to the following factors. Examples include:

  • Coronary artery spasm
  • Trauma
  • Rare medical conditions
  • Obstruction that came from somewhere else in your body
  • Eating disorders
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Stress cardiomyopathy
  • Anomalous coronary arteries (congenital heart defect)

Risk Factors

There are some people who are at higher risk of experiencing myocardial infarctions. For example:

  • Sex and Age – The older you become your risk of heart attacks increases. Moreover, the risk of myocardial infarctions increases for males at age 45 and 50 for women or after menopause.
  • Family History of Heart Disease – in case you have a parent or sibling with a heart disease or myocardial infarction history, your risk increases because your genetics are similar to theirs.
  • Lifestyle – Drug use, misuse of alcoholic drinks, lack of physical activity, smoking, and lifestyle choices also increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • Certain Health Conditions – Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and eating disorders are some conditions that put stress on your heart. Therefore, myocardial infarction risk increases.


An emergency room setting is a place where physicians diagnose a heart attack. Healthcare providers usually use the following methods to diagnose myocardial infarctions. Examples include:

  • History and Symptoms – Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms you experienced.
  • Blood Tests – A chemical marker appears in your bloodstream when you experience a heart attack. Doing a blood test a physician can diagnose this condition.
  • Angiogram – This method shows areas with little or no blood flow.
  • Echocardiogram – This test generates a picture of the inside and outside of your heart using ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves).
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – In most cases, this is the first test you get with myocardial infarction symptoms.
  • Heart Computed Tomography (CT) Scan – This test method creates a highly detailed scan of your heart.
  • Heart MRI – A powerful magnetic computer process an image of your heart.
  • Nuclear Heart Scans – This method is similar to Angiography. This test uses radioactive dye injected into your blood.


There are different treatment options available that help to restore blood flow to the heart muscle as soon as possible. This occurs in several ways such as medicines, surgery, and others.

Supplementary Oxygen

This supplementary oxygen is received by persons who have breathing problems or decreased blood oxygen alongside other myocardial infarction treatments. This oxygen supply helps to decrease the strain on your heart.


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Medicines – This heart condition may provoke malfunctions in your heart’s normal beating rhythm. Therefore, physicians may prescribe this category of medicines to prevent or stop these malfunctions.
  • Pain Medicines – Morphine is one of the most common pain relievers given to patients during myocardial infarction.
  • Thrombolytic (Clot-Busting) Medicines – Healthcare providers may direct this category of medications within the first 12 hours after a myocardial infarction only.
  • Nitroglycerin – This drug helps to lessen chest pain and also helps to widen blood vessels. This effect helps blood flow more easily.
  • Anti-Clotting Medicines – Aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines including Warfarin.


There are different things you can do to prevent a myocardial infarction. In any case, some factors are not under your control such as family history. It means that you may experience a heart attack despite your efforts. However, decreasing the risk of myocardial infarctions may help to reduce the severity if you have one. Check below some tips that will help to decrease the risk of heart attacks:

  • Use your Medicines as Prescribed – It means that you should not miss doses or administer more tablets than your physician prescribed. Otherwise, it may result in a return of the symptoms and your condition may become more difficult to treat.
  • Try to Decrease Stress – At first look, it seems to be impossible but you can use some techniques including deep breathing, yoga, and meditation.
  • Treatment of your Existing Health Conditions – Hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels also may increase your risk of myocardial infarction. Managing them you can prevent or avoid a heart attack.
  • Healthy Weight – To reduce the risk of heart attack may help to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise Regularly – You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week.
  • Quit Smoking – This includes all vaping products, smokeless tobacco, and others.
  • Eat a Healthy and Nutritious Diet – you can choose between Mediterranean or Dash diets, or a plant-based diet may be a good alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the complications of a myocardial infarction?

If you leave a heart attack untreated it may lead to some unwanted complications. For example:

  • Heart valve problems
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Mental disorders (such as depression, anxiety, and others)
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms)

Ask your healthcare professional if you have any questions.

How common are myocardial infarctions?

In the U.S. myocardial infarctions occur to about 635,000 people every year. In addition, about 1 in 7 deaths in the U.S. is caused by coronary artery disease, which includes heart attacks.

How long can heart attack symptoms last?

Usually, symptoms of a myocardial infarction last from a few minutes to several hours. In case the symptoms persist the next day, contact a healthcare professional right away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You were not leaving your cart just like that, right?

Enter your details below to save your shopping cart for later. And, who knows, maybe we will even send you a sweet discount code :)