We at MensXP love busting myths. And this time around we'll debunk some myths related to human heart which has always been shrouded in mystery, be it in the Bollywood movies or in real life as vital body organ.
We are constantly swimming in an ocean of heart-related myths. There's a lack of complete and correct knowledge about the heart and people don't really know what's good or bad for their heart.
Let's deflate some heart-related myths right now:
Myth No. 1: Heart-Attack cannot get you if you're Physically Fit
Being fit may lessen the risk factors but it doesn't guarantee a life exempted from diseases. People often live under the impression that heart diseases mostly affect those who are obese. Even thin or weight conscious people can suffer from clogged arteries resulting from cholesterol deposits or damaged arteries. Factors like diabetes, smoking, tobacco abuse, genetic predisposition, genetics, high cholesterol or hypertension expose you to risk irrespective of your fitness levels.
Myth No. 2: It's Easy to Recognize the Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Forget ordinary people, a heart attack can even play hide-and-seek with cardiologists. Its symptoms can be varying and may not always be severe. Do not take the following symptoms lightly: Chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, weakness, unusual fatigue, heaviness, weakness, or pain in one or both arms, back pain, indigestion, racing or fluttering heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these.
Myth No. 3: No Chest Pain Means No Heart Attack
A heart attack can have unusual indicators. Infact at times diabetics may not experience any pain. And it's not necessary that a person only experiences pain in the chest area. Chest pain or discomfort can be anywhere, starting from jaw to the umbilicus (navel aka belly button). The pain is not clearly localised. In fact, it's not even well-defined. It might be some sort of “heaviness” or “tightness” or a feeling of pressure. The chest pain associated with heart attacks is not usually sharp but more often described as dull. It can be lasting or intermittent. Squeezing or unusual discomfort at the back doesn't always mean an attack but the possibility cannot be fully ruled out until the tests are done.
Also, if you feel that you are experiencing an irregular heartbeat or hyperventilating, then don't overlook it as stress related disorder.
Myth No. 4: Wait and Watch the Chest Pain to Subside
The ancient “wait and watch” approach can prove to be lethal in the cases of heart and brain. Immediate medical attention should be sought after if you experience unrecognized, inexplicable chest pain. Every second counts and may cause irreparable damage to the heart. Dismissing chest pain for indigestion or gas is not a wise idea.
Myth No. 5: Heart Problems do not Affect Young People
This may have been true in ancient times but doesn't really hold any weight in the present times. Cases of people aged between 20 and 40 years getting hit by a heart attack have been widely reported. And the main reason for this? The kind of lifestyle we have developed in the recent years. Junk food, smoking, less exercise, increased intake of alcohol and high levels of stress has become daily lifestyles of most of the urban working population. Add to this, the factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Myth No. 6: Taking an Aspirin in a Day Helps to Subside Heart Attacks
While taking of aspirin tablets is recommended during an active heart attack when someone is having chest pain, it is not recommended for everyday use to prevent heart disease unless specified by your doctor. Aspirin can have some seriously harsh side-effects. Everyday use of aspirin should not be done unless approved by a doctor.
Myth No. 7: After a Heart Attack Life Comes to a Halt
Life can be back on track if a person gets conscious about his lifestyle. Don't take an attack as the end of good life. If you become aware of your eating habits, exercise regime, banish smoke and alcohol from you territory and most importantly adopt a positive attitude towards your work then you can be as healthy as you were. Of course, you have to remain under strict medical supervision and follow all the advice dispensed by the doctor.
Myth No. 8: Heart Diseases Affect Men and Women in the Same Way
Men and women, both, suffer from heart disease but men have a higher risk of getting a fatal heart disease than women who are still getting their menstrual period. The conception that women do not suffer from heart attacks in erroneous. It's just that they are less prone to the disease than men and that too in their reproductive age group. By the age of 60-65, a woman is under the same degree of risk as a man. Women also lose much of their protection if they smoke, take oral contraception, are diabetic or hypertensive. While heart attack-related symptoms are almost same in both the sexes, women may also experience vomiting, breathlessness, nausea additionally.
Myth No. 9: Diabetes is Not a Threat as Long as the Blood Sugar Level is under Control
Diabetes itself causes inflammation that can damage blood vessels, raising the risk of heart disease and other health problems. One also needs to take into account his weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels apart from the blood sugar level.
Myth 10: I've Already Had an Angioplasty (heart surgery) and so I can put all Heart-related worries to Rest
This is definitely untrue. If you go back to same old lifestyle ripe with carelessness that originally allowed you to develop a heart problem then you are quite likely to damage your heart again.
We must understand that heart is a complex organ and needs our attention accordingly. With diet, exercise and greater awareness of risks, most heart diseases are preventable. But sadly enough, people treat their cars better than their bodies