High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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As blood flow towards the heart is restricted, angina can develop; this health condition is a clear warning sign that an impending heart attack or stroke is nearing if you do not take the necessary steps to improve your health. Angina causes chest pain, the NHS clarified, which may feel tight, dull or heavy. The pain could also spread to the arms, neck, jaw or back, and it’s usually triggered by physical exertion or feelings of stress.
Chest pain might be accompanied by feelings of nausea and breathlessness.
However, within a few minutes of resting, the chest pain usually dissipates.
If you are experiencing angina for the first time, or have yet had it attended to by a doctor, “make an urgent appointment to see your GP”.
And, if the chest pain persists for more than a few minutes, it could be a heart attack, so call 999 and request an ambulance.
For those already familiar with angina, as soon as an attack occurs, “stop what you are doing and rest”.
People diagnosed with angina are likely to have medication prescribed to them, such as glyceryl trinitrate.
If so, when an angina attack occurs, people are encouraged by the NHS to take their medication.
Should the medication not help, it is advisable to take another dose after five minutes.
Should the pain persist, do call for an ambulance as it could be a life-threatening heart attack.
Living with angina
If you have angina, one of the most important things you can do is now lead a healthy life.
There are five main ways to lead a healthy lifestyle, which involve:
- A balanced diet
- Cutting down on alcohol
- Not smoking
- Losing weight if overweight
- Exercising regularly.
Adhering to these lifestyle guides will help to minimise your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Warning signs of a heart attack
The symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain
- Pain spreading from the chest to the arms, jaw, neck, back and tummy
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
- An overwhelming feeling of anxiety (similar to a panic attack)
- Coughing or wheezing.
Warning signs of a stroke
Remember the acronym FAST when it comes to recognising signs of a life-threatening stroke.
Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
Other possible indications of a stroke may include:
- Complete paralysis of one side of the body
- Difficulty swallowing.
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