Cardiac Arrest And Heart Attack

What’s the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?

Although a heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest, they are not the same thing.

A heart attack is a sudden interruption to the blood supply to part of the heart muscle. It is likely to cause chest pain and permanent damage to the heart.  The heart is still sending blood around the body and the person remains conscious and is still breathing.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.  Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and will stop breathing or stop breathing normally.  Unless immediately treated by CPR this always leads to death within minutes.

A person having a heart attack is at high risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Both a heart attack and a cardiac arrest are life-threatening medical emergencies and require immediate medical help.

 

Can you recover from a cardiac arrest?

It is possible to survive and recover from a cardiac arrest, if you get the right treatment quickly.

VF can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, by using a device called a defibrillator.

This can be done in the ambulance, or at hospital, or it can be done by a member of the public at the scene of a cardiac arrest if there is a community defibrillator nearby.

Immediate CPR can be used to keep oxygen circulating around the body until a defibrillator can be used and/or until the ambulance arrives.

 

Ref: British Heart Foundation

Cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest

 

A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around your body.

If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they are in cardiac arrest.

There is no time to lose. Even if you are untrained your actions can help.

Causes a cardiac arrest.

The most common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Ventricular fibrillation happens when the electrical activity of your heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or ‘fibrillates’ instead. There are various causes of VF. These can be problems with your heart, or other causes.

Can you recover from a cardiac arrest?

It is possible to survive and recover from a cardiac arrest, if you get the right treatment quickly.

VF can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, by using a device called a defibrillator.

This can be done in the ambulance, or at hospital, or it can be done by a member of the public at the scene of a cardiac arrest if there is a community defibrillator nearby.

Immediate CPR can be used to keep oxygen circulating around the body until a defibrillator can be used and/or until the ambulance arrives.

 

Ref : British Heart Foundation

 

Diabetes Myths and Truths

Despite the tremendous amount of medical information now available to the public, many inaccurate ideas still persist about the nature and treatment of diabetes. Read on to separate fact from fiction.

The Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

The Truth: Years ago, folks called it “sugar diabetes,” implying that the disease was caused by eating too much of the sweet stuff. Medical experts now know that diabetes is triggered by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. However, being overweight ÔÇö which can result from indulging in high-calorie sugary foods ÔÇö does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and getting regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.

The Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat any sweets or chocolate.

The Truth: If part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes.

The Myth: People with diabetes can only eat special diabetic foods.

The Truth: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is the same as that for everyone: low in fat (especially the saturated and trans fats found in butter, lard, full-fat dairy products and meats, and solid vegetable oils), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole-grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” versions of sugar-containing foods offer no special benefit. They still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.

The Myth: All diabetics have to take insulin injections.

The Truth: Injected insulin is usually only necessary for those with Type 1 diabetes, in which the body no longer produces it own insulin. Those with Type 2 generally have plenty of insulin, but their bodies don’t respond well to it. Some people with type 2 diabetes, particularly if blood-glucose levels are poorly controlled, do need diabetes pills or insulin shots to help their bodies use glucose for energy. However, most type 2 cases can be helped without medication, by losing weight, adopting a healthier diet, increasing exercise and other lifestyle changes. (By the way, insulin cannot be taken as a pill, as the hormone would be broken down during digestion just like the protein in food. Insulin must be injected into the fat under the skin for it to get into your blood.)

The Myth: If you have diabetes, you have to stay away from starchy foods like bread, potatoes and pasta.

The Truth: Whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta, brown rice and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yams, peas and corn are part of a healthy meal plan and can be included in your meals and snacks. These foods, high in complex carbohydrates, are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gastrointestinal system running smoothly. The key is portion size. Most people with diabetes should limit themselves to three or four servings of complex carbohydrates a day.

The Myth: Type 2 Diabetes only affects blood-sugar levels, decreasing your energy.

The Truth: Type 2 diabetes affects many different systems and organs of the body, including the cardiovascular system, leading to stroke or heart disease; the eyes, which can result in conditions from dry eye to retinal disease (retinopathy); the nerves, causing severe damage (neuropathy) that can necessitate lower-limb amputation; the kidneys, which fail and require dialysis; and the skin, which can become prone to infections. Experts predict that, over the next 30 years, there will be 35 million heart attacks, 13 million strokes, 8 million new cases of blindness, 6 million kidney failures, 2 millions amputations and 62 million deaths ÔÇö all linked to diabetes. Learn more about many serious complications and how to cope with them.

The Myth: Only adults can develop Type 2 Diabetes.

The Truth: Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in school-aged children. About 1 in every 400 to 600 children has type 1 diabetes, which was used to be called “juvenile diabetes,” which is caused by disruption of the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. However, in recent years more and more children and teens have become overweight (10 to 15 percent, about double the number of two decades ago), and so increasing numbers of young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to several studies, since 1994, cases have increased from less than 5 percent to between 30 and 50 percent. Two million of those age 12 to 19 (or 1 in 6 overweight adolescents) have pre-diabetes.

Ref: everydayhealth

Dangers of self-medication

Popping pills without a doctor’s prescription, even if the ailment is minor, could have serious repercussions, warns medical expert, Lalitha Suppiah

We often pop pills for common ailments like fever, colds, cough and headache, without bothering to consult a doctor . Self-medication, even for minor ailments, could lead to medical complications. A large number of potent drugs such as pain relievers, cough remedies, anti-allergies , laxatives, antibiotics, antacids and vitamins are sold over-the-counter (OTC). Selfmedication with OTC medicines could cause allergy, habituation, and addiction. For example, excessive use of vitamins can cause hypervitaminosis , or vitamin poisoning. Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide problem, particularly in India where antibiotics are often available without a prescription. The dangers of self-medication could include the following:

Misdiagnosing the illness:

A minor health issue which could be resolved easily with the doctor’s advice may become a major problem over time. Symptoms may subside temporarily with self-medication , but it would become difficult for a doctor to correctly diagnose and treat later.

Habituation:

You could become addicted to prescription drugs such as antacids, cough syrups and pain relievers.

Allergic reactions:

Some antibiotics such as penicillin or sulpha drugs can cause severe reactions in the body for some people. These could be fatal.

Insufficient dosage:

Incorrect dosage of medicines will not cure and will prolong recovery. On the other hand, over-dosage may damage liver , kidneys and other organs. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics : These could, over a long time, lead to antimicrobial resistance . Consequently, the antibiotic may become ineffective when taken in the future.

Risk of stroke:

The most commonly misused medicines are painkillers. Analgesics can induce gastritis and can also increase risk of stroke by four times in patients with high BP.

 

Drug interactions:

 

Some herbal drugs and medicines may cause drug-to-drug interactions and adversely affect the body.

 

Self-medication by pregnant women:

This could adversely affect the unborn child causing congenital anomalies and birth defects. Unlike other facets of selfcare , self-medication involves the intake of drugs, which have the potential to be beneficial or harmful . Their improper use can have serious health implications, especially among children, the aged, and in people with special physiological conditions such as pregnancy and lactation. The government and health authorities must ensure that only safe drugs are made available OTC. Consumers should be given adequate information about their u

Best and worst foods for a good night’s sleep

After a long day, a sound sleep is something that you wish for as soon as you hit the bed. But do you experience days when sleep simply evades you? Before you blame factors that are not in your control, you must know that the last morsel that you put in your mouth before bedtime plays a pivotal role in deciding what kind of sleep you will get. Experts believe that there are some foods that harm your sleep, others that are sleep promoters. So let’s find out about these sleep inducers and sleep stealers.

Sleep inducer: Milk

Do you remember how your grandmother insisted on you having a warm glass of milk before hitting the bed? Well, so you know milk consists amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, a brain chemical.

Sleep stealer: Wine

You must have read ample studies indicating how red wine is good for your heart. That doesn’t hold true for your sleep. There are studies that prove it leads to low quality of sleep. So you know when not to have wine!

Sleep stealer: Dark chocolate/Coffee

Dark chocolate is healthy and a favourite among chocolate lovers who don’t want to feel guilty after feasting on it. Mind you, don’t feast on it before bedtime. A bar of chocolate contains the same amount of caffeine as decaffeinated coffee. And coffee is a big no no before bedtime.

Sleep inducer: Banana

Try having a banana when you are feeling stressed! Yes, not only does the potassium in the banana relives your stress but the magnesium is also muscle relaxing. On top of that, the carbohydrates present in the banana will help you with a sound sleep.

Sleep stealer: Chicken/paneer curry

Nothing like a filling dinner of chicken curry or paneer makhani but these curries are also responsible for snatching your sleep. One must always avoid a calorie-laden dish before hitting the bed as it will induce trouble in falling asleep and might even be responsible for keeping you away from deep sleep.

Sleep inducer: Vegetable soup

Perfect for this weather, a warm bowl of vegetable soup is your best bet for a happy night sleep. “The softened vegetables in the soup are easy to digest, thus saving your digestive system from the stress of working overtime,” shares diet expert Mansi Chatrath.

Sleep stealer: Green tea

Surprised? After all who doesn’t know green tea is a must have for a healthy life. As a matter of fact, green tea is best when taken during the day. Do not forget that green is not decaffeinated, exactly the element that snatches you sleep.

Sleep inducer: Whole wheat cereal

Try switching to your favourite breakfast cereal as a dinner option and you will know why it is called a sleep inducer. Added to milk, this is the perfect dish to put you to sleep.

Last but not the least, have your food atleast an hour or two before bedtime so that when you hit the bed, your system is not working on digesting your last meal.

Ref:  The Economic Times

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