Sue Dobson
  Written by Sue Dobson - MRPharmS, BPharm Hons - Business Mentor
 

 

Heart – Every Beat Counts

Your heart is one of the largest muscles in the body. Each day it will beat around 100,000 times, pumping blood around the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body.


What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood, causing damage to the heart muscle. Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease (CHD).

CHD occurs when the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood become clogged up by a gradual build-up of fatty materials within their walls. If a piece of this fatty material breaks off, it can cause a blood clot to form, blocking the artery. This cuts off the supply of blood to the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack.


Symptoms of a Heart Attack

It is important to remember that the symptoms of a heart attack will vary from one person to another. If you, or anyone around you, experience any of the symptoms listed below, don’t ignore them:

  • Chest pain or discomfort, which may spread to your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach
     
  • A dull ache, tightness or a ‘heavy’ feeling in your chest
     
  • Chest pain or discomfort which feels like indigestion but makes you feel generally unwell
     
  • Feeling sweaty, lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous or short of breath as well as pain or discomfort in your chest


A heart attack is life threatening! If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, phone 999 for an ambulance immediately. The sooner they receive treatment, the greater the chance of survival.


Heart Attack Prevention

There are lots of things you can do to reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Making some simple lifestyle changes, can greatly reduce your risk and help you maintain a healthy heart, such as:

  • Eating a healthy diet and reducing the amount of sugar, salt and fat in your diet
     
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
     
  • Exercising regularly
     
  • Watching how much alcohol you drink
     
  • Giving up smoking
     
  • Trying to reduce stress levels
     

Have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly to ensure that these are within healthy levels. If you already have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, make sure you take any medicines as prescribed by your GP.


Speak to your local Pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medicines. Please visit our Pharmacy Locator to find your nearest Alphega Pharmacy.

 

 

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