There are many urban youths who are unaware of the fact that they too are vulnerable to various heart problems. It has been observed that the haphazard lifestyle led by today’s youth is the root cause of all problems.
Stress at the workplace, long working hours, eating out, having meals at odd hours, lack of any physical activity and a callous attitude towards their body is taking a toll on the heart. At times, it can also lead to fatal consequences.
Its time to take an action if one notices the following symptoms:
• Shortness of breath
• Palpitations (irregular heart beats or skipped beats)
• Discomfort or pain in chest , arm and wrist in times of stress
• An uneasy feeling in the throat (as if something is stuck in the throat)
In the light of all this, it is very essential to bring some changes in one’s lifestyle so that the risk of heart diseases can be reduced to a minimum. Following are certain tips that can be put to practice:
• Engage in any sort of physical activity on most days of the week.
• Eat a healthy and a balanced diet (reducing the use of high fat foods).
• Avoid smoking and the intake of tobacco.
• Get regular examination done of both high and low blood pressure.
However, not all heart ailments are as serious as Heart Attack. Broken Heart Syndrome (BHS) or stress cardiomyopathy is a temporary heart ailment that is often misunderstood as massive heart attack. It is generally triggered by extreme and sudden emotional trauma such as death of loved one, divorce/break-ups, losing one’s job and even the shock of a surprise party. In BHS, a part of one’s heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of the heart functions normally.
The symptoms of BHS are:
• Tightness in the chest
• Loss of appetite and sleep
• Feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and complete emptiness
• Constant or frequent crying
• Feeling of hatred
A ray of hope lies in the fact that this condition is just a temporary condition and is usually reversible in about a week. It mostly requires the effort of the individual suffering from BHS to take charge and get over the condition and resume leading a normal life.
Our heart is one of the five vital organs and it needs to be taken special care of. Even a subtle indication towards its malfunctioning should set alarm bells ringing and before it is too late, one should take appropriate measures. Regular check ups and visits to the doctor should be made a part of the health regime.
Dr. Amar Singhal, HOD, Cardiology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.
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