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A heart-stopping story

July 10th, 2013

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A heart-stopping story

The worst thing that can happen to your heart is to stop beating, but then again, it might not be the worst because you wouldn’t feel a thing when it happens.

The actual worst would be the path of getting there. Some progress at a slower pace by having diseases that disrupt the heart’s function until it stops working altogether. For many, it just stops for no reason. On a death certificate, in the past, doctors would usually write that the person passed away from a heart disease, even if the actual cause was cancer, pneumonia or other infections, because the real cause of death was that the heart stopped beating. This is quite confusing!!!

However, sometimes the heart itself can cause death, but this usually happens acutely. It is perhaps the only acute cause of death, unlike other diseases. For example, paralysis or a stroke does not kill a person immediately. I’m talking about natural deaths only, bullets and bombs excluded.

It is important to know whether your family has any history of someone passing away suddenly, as that can indicate that there is a chance of narrowed artery, which can increase the risk of sudden death by 4-5 times. It is particularly risky if your immediate family (father, mother, sibling or child) died from that cause, and it is advised that you speak to a cardiologist to determine your health condition. If there are other risk factors that could lead to narrowed artery disease, address them immediately and effectively.

By “effectively” I mean staying as far away from heart disease factors as possible, such as smoking, second hand smoking and obesity. Keep your BMI index in the healthy range (18.5-23) and your waist under 32 inches if you are female, or under 36 inches if you are male. Going above these numbers will put your health at risk for having a sudden interruption in the arterial blood supply to the heart or heart attack.

Whatever the health condition, it is recommended to exercise at least 3-4 times a week, 20-30 minutes each. Make sure you exercise correctly. This includes stretching to avoid injury both before and after exercising, warming up and cooling down, and aerobic exercise, which will only yield benefits if done for 20 minutes up. But how much and how hard you should exercise if you have any disease, you should consult your cardiologist or rehabilitation physician.

Without proper cooling down to slowly ease the body back into normal condition, the heart and the lungs will suffer. It is quite common to hear that someone passes away right after heavy exercise without cooling down.

Resistance exercise to increase muscle strength is also important to keep fit. I’m not talking about aiming for bulky arms – just lifting light weights is enough. I can go on and on about exercising, but if I can just say one thing, it would be to consult an expert before you start exercising, especially if you are above 45. Incorrect exercise can be even more hazardous than no exercise at all.

I’ve known a family of 4-5 brothers for a while, and they all have narrowed artery, some more severe than others. It is quite common to find the whole family with the same problem, because exercise is actually a family culture. From my experience, a person who exercises comes from a family that exercises. Those who don’t also have family that doesn’t believe in exercise.

Many of my patients have narrowed artery but are afraid of going through surgical processes. Most of them are over 70 years old, and given their health conditions, I could only use medication and give them lifestyle advice. I focus on telling them to exercise, and strangely, at this age they are more obedient than younger patients, perhaps because the fear of losing life is higher. It is really refreshing to see how their health improves and they are still alive now after 15 – 20 years.

People have all kinds of excuses not to exercise, but I always insist that anyone can exercise. Even if you have a disease, you can still exercise in the way that suits your condition. There is only one disease that prevents you from exercising, and that is laziness. There is no cure for that yet, unfortunately.

บทความที่เกี่ยวข้อง

การออกกำลังกาย
หัวใจหลายอาชีพ
หัวใจกับอาหารและอาหารเสริม
The heart of heart recovery
โสม
แน่น......เจ็บ......ปวด......อึดอัด


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