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Heart Disease

Facts about the Heart
Heart beats about 72 times in a minute heart needs about 250 ml of blood in a minute for its own use Heart mainly utilizes oxygen for converting food into energy. But in emergency it can break food materials without oxygen for some time.

Heart is an extraordinary device for maintaining the circulation of blood through approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our body there is about 5 liters of blood, having about 25 trillion red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to all the body tissues. Everyday about 200 billion new red cells are released into blood stream and old one’s are removed of all.

What is Heart Attack?

Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction (medically called MI or Coronary Thrombosis) is the consequence of the complete obstruction of blood supply to a part of the heart muscle. This occurs due to a 100 per cent block in any of the coronary arteries or their branches. The heart muscles are completely deprived of their blood and oxygen supply, which leads to their death. The severity of the heart attack would depend on how much area of the heart muscle is actually involved. It is mild, if only 5 to 10 per cent area is involved and most of the patients survive. But if the dead area is more than 30 to 40 per cent of the heart muscles, the attack is considered severe, and if not managed properly and immediately, can even lead to death.

How to Identify Heart Attack

Symptoms:

Chest pain not relieved by rest or Sorbitrate: The victim a heart attack often complaints of an excruciating pain in the left part of the chest, radiating to the left arm. Taking rest or Sorbitrate (or other nitrates) below the tongue does not relieve the pain.


Sweating:
This pain often is accompanied by a profuse sweating. Even in a cold atmosphere the patient perspires.

Feeling of intense weakness:
In many patients there is a feeling of intense emptiness or giddiness following a heart attack. Some of the patients often feel like having a low blood pressure and low blood sugar.


Suffocation:
Choking, sense of construction in the chest. There may be feeling of breathlessness in same patients. Those who already have angina would find an acute aggravation of the symptoms.


Burning sensation in the chest:
This feeling occurs specially in people having heart attack for the first time. This uncomfortable feeling, accompanied with a gastric or acidity problem many a times confuse a heart attack victim. They consider this as a gas problem and take some antacid tablets, which also relieve the feeling to some extent.

Dr Dean Ornish’s Life Style Changes Plan

Dr Dean formulated a plan, which had four major disciplines aiming at an integrated attack on heart disease and its reversal:

Stress management comprising yoga, meditation, imagery and breathing exercises for an hour every day.

Light aerobic exercise and half an hour’s walk.

No smoking

Strict vegetarian diet extremely low in fat content.

How to Recognize Angina

Angina can occur at any age, even at 25, if stress is predominant. The basic reason being the process of deposition of fats and triglycerides in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Angina is unlikely till the blockage is more than 70 per cent. Pain in the chest going to the left arm means coronary blockages. The pain usually aggravates on exertion and is relieved by rest. It is more apparent after meals, especially after a heavy meal. Breathlessness on exertion but no pain in the chest. The patients are either diabetic or overweight. Palpitation is also a symptom. Burning sensation in the middle of the chest, choking sensation, uneasiness over the chest region, chest pain due to excitement, shoulder pain, right sided pain and jaw pain.

 

High Blood Pressure

The normal blood pressure in adults is between 100/60 to 140/90 mm Hg. If the blood pressure is consistently more than 140 90 on two or more separate occasions, it is called high blood pressure

 

HEART

Be still, sad heart! And cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.

Yes, there’s still hope! So don’t waste time and save your heart!! Believe it or not, you can treat heart diseases without going in for surgery. For there are alternative ways of coping with heart problems. Heart disease being one of the most common and fatal has been on the rise for the past few decades. The cause of the disease is excessive deposit of cholesterol and fat (Triglycerides) inside the tubes that supply blood to the heart muscles. And the way your blood clots is the greatest determinant of whether you will suffer a heart attack or a stroke. Cardiologists say that the viscosity of the blood, its stickiness and its tendency to form clots are important factors that can be averted and save a person from cardiovascular tragedies. Says Dr Bimal Chhajer of the Science and Art of Living (SAAOL), "Excessive intake and less utilization of Cholesterol and fat are the main reasons for the deposits." Moreover, lack of exercise, excessive stress, smoking, high blood pressure and high blood sugar aggravate the blockages. Incidentally, all these relate to a person’s lifestyle. "Although people are aware and thus scared of heart diseases, they do not know what to do about it," says Chhajer. Little knowledge, as they say, is dangerous it gives disastrous results. Chhajer states, "By the time the patient sees the cardiologist, he becomes an emergency case." He adds, "The real solution has been eluding us because the root causes of heart diseases have not been solved. The hospitals, the bypass surgeons and the angioplasty specialists have financial and academic reasons to promote their system."

 

Chhajer’s SAAOL is a unique approach which other then looking into the causes of the dreadful coronary heart disease, presents a viable long-term solution. The aim is to control all cardiac risk factors and prevent/cure the disease from the root. A combination of guided lifestyle, yoga, meditation, stress reduction programs and dietary-cum-cooking training is offered to patients. I am not completely against the administration of medicines or surgery. Medicines may have to be administered till such time as patients reverse their disease and besides some side effects of these chemicals, there is nothing to lose. I feel almost all these high technology surgeries like bypass and angioplasties would not be required in future if lifestyle changes were incorporated. When Chhajer started his research at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 1990, he proposed a three pronged attack which included yoga, diet and stress management as a treatment mode. He resigned from AIIMS and started SAAOL. At AIIMS he would advise patients only to avoid oil and cholesterol. Since the food was tasteless, as soon as they would recover, there was an urge to go back to eating normal food, which included oil and fat. For a permanent treatment, I decided to do something. The only solution was to make the food tasty. Experiments began and gradually evolved into a complete system of cooking tasty food without a drop of oil.

 

People with a heart disease take the help of either a yoga teacher or a book. But with half-baked knowledge, they keep suffering. Replacing ghee with another oil is not the solution. Similarly, a walk or consumption of a glass of fruit juice is not the only treatment. The treatment is not only for those who have developed heart disease, meaning blockage of more than 70 per cent, but also those who have other risk factors. These include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high stress job or family life, family history or high blood cholesterol. The right treatment will save them of a heart attack, a bypass surgery or an angioplasty. Heart disease occurs due to a number of causes. So tackling one of them is not a solution. With the wrong type of food, excess fats and cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure, smoking and consumption, people start developing blockages in the heart tubes. The process continues for years, till the blockages reach up to 70 per cent. And that’s when the heart disease is diagnosed.

 

A gentleman had a re-blockage, 2 years after a bypass surgery. He did not know the cause. Conveniently, everyday he had been eating butter and chicken. Curious to check his knowledge about the surgery, I asked him as to what kind of surgery he had. Prompt came the reply, "There was a bone growing in my heart and it was removed. I think it has grown again!" Out of 10 patients with heart ailments, nine have obstruction in the blood flow to the muscles of the heart. People without high cholesterol, normal blood pressure and none other risk factor or family history are also likely to develop angina only because of excessive stress. In fact urbanites are three times more prone to heart diseases than rural people, mainly because of the stress factor. The blood level of cholesterol is high in those people whose diet is rich in cholesterol. High cholesterol food include egg yolk, non vegetarian food, milk and milk products like ghee, cream, butter, ice-cream, chocolates, cheese, curd, etc.

 

SAAOL recommends very low cholesterol (130-160 mg/100 ml in the blood. The total intake of cholesterol in the diet should be 10 mg a day. A vegetarian person on milk diet consumes as high as 200mg to 500 mg in a day whereas in a non-vegetarian person it goes as 1000 mg per day.