A MONTH BEFORE A HEART ATTACK, YOUR BODY WILL WARN YOU WITH THESE 8 SIGNALS
In a world full of diseases and conditions, researchers and scientists are constantly searching for cures. But the easiest way to deal with a disease and condition is trying to prevent it before it occurs. Granted, a lot of diseases and conditions are genetic, so it’s almost impossible to prevent those. But something like a heart attack can be prevented. Heart attack signals are constantly present and by not acknowledging them, you increase the risk of them occurring.
More than 90 million Americans suffer from some form of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Without a properly functioning heart, the rest of the body will fail. No heartbeat means no life, and the more damage you cause to your heart, the higher the risk of it stopping completely.
With that said, there are heart attack signals that will surface a month before it will happen. It’s our job to acknowledge them and not ignore them. It could save our lives. Below are top heart attack signals that will occur a month before it will happen.
Cold Sweats and Dizziness: When your body has poor blood circulation, your brain will not receive the proper blood flow that it requires to function properly. This is a sign that you may be in some danger, according to Medicinenet. You should seek medical attention if the cold sweats and dizziness do not subside.
Chest Pressure: This is one of the most noticeable heart attack signals. It’s called angina. Medicinenet states this is caused when your heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Many people ignore this symptom because they think it’s just indigestion. But if the pressure is constant, it’s a direct sign that a heart attack may happen.
Feeling Weak: According to the Daily Health Post, if you start to sweat and feel weak, or start experiencing nausea and jaw pain, you might be in danger of having a heart attack. These symptoms occur because your arteries are starting to narrow. When your arteries become narrow, there is no longer proper blood flow throughout the body. If your heart does not get sufficient, blood, it will fail.
Flu-Like Symptoms: If you are in danger of having a heart attack, you may begin to develop flu-like symptoms, says the Daily Health Post. These symptoms include fever, fatigue and chest pain. These symptoms can last between 2 to 10 days. Depending on your age, if you’re an older individual and can’t shake these symptoms, go see your doctor immediately. Let me be clear though; if you get the flu or a cold, it does not mean you are in danger of having a heart attack, but the symptoms need to be monitored.
Chronic Fatigue: If you are constantly feeling tired and sluggish, and it’s unprecedented, there might be a loss of blood flow to your heart, explains the Daily Health Post. This generally occurs when there is a large buildup of plaque in the arteries that carry the blood to-and-from the heart.
Shortness of Breath: Another organ that suffers from loss of blood flow is the lung. If your lungs do not receive enough blood, you will not be able to breathe enough air. If you don’t breathe enough air, your brain will not be able to receive enough oxygen. Not breathing enough air will result in shortness of breath, according to Medicinenet.
Insomnia: If you are having trouble going to sleep, this can lead to a heart attack. Most people that suffer from insomnia are also suffering from anxiety and depression, says WebMD. Anxiety can increase your blood pressure which can lead to a heart attack. Research has shown that depression and heart attacks are linked, so trying to figure out what’s making you sad could save your life.
Stomach Pain: WebMD states that if you start to feel abdominal pains such as nausea and bloating, it could be an early sign of a heart attack. It could just as easily be nothing serious, but abdominal pains before a heart attack will leave and return in short periods of time.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER?
By Shereen Lehman, MS
Your body contains more water than anything else, about 60 percent of your total body weight. Water helps regulate your body temperature, transports nutrients, and helps remove waste. Every day you lose water when you breathe, sweat, urinate and defecate, and that water needs to be replenished.
How Much Water Do You Need?
The big question is how much water do you need to drink every day? Although that’s a simple question, it doesn’t have an easy answer. It depends on some environmental and physical factors that can change every day. Also, it’s not just the water you drink – about 20 percent of your water intake comes from the foods you eat. The remaining 80 percent comes from beverages, including water, coffee, tea, milk, and anything liquid.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy reviewed years of research evidence on adequate water intake and has the following recommendations:
- Men: 13 cups (about 10.5 cups of beverages)
- Women: 9 cups (about 7 cups of beverages)
- Pregnant women: 10 cups (about 8 cups of beverages)
- Breastfeeding women: 13 cups (about 10.5 cups of beverages)
How Do You Know If You’re Drinking Enough Water?
Most people can gauge their water intake by looking at urine colour. If you’re getting enough water, your urine will be pale yellow, and you’ll urinate several times a day. Urine colour doesn’t work for everyone. Taking dietary supplements that contain riboflavin will make your urine bright yellow, and certain medications can change the colour of your urine, as well. And if you have any kidney problems or other health conditions you should talk to your healthcare provider about how much water to drink.
If You’re Thirsty
Thirst is the desire to drink something. It can be triggered by the loss of fluid volume in and around cells and in the blood. Thirst is your body’s way of saying you need water to avoid dehydration.
Thirst has a behavioural component as well and can be triggered by aromas and flavours, so just thinking about your favourite beverage can make you thirsty. It’s also important to note that older people often have problems with the thirst mechanism and may not feel thirsty even when they’re dehydrated.
If You Have Bad Breath and Dry Mouth
There are some things that can cause bad breath like eating onions or garlic. But another potential reason is a lack of normal saliva production. Even mild dehydration can reduce saliva flow so if your bad breath is accompanied by a dry mouth, drinking more water throughout the day may help. Keep a glass of water by your bedside for night-time relief, too.
If You Can’t Think Straight
Water is essential for brain function. Studies show that a loss of about two percent of your body fluid can cause a decline in mental function, so if you’re having trouble concentrating, it may be time for a water break.
If You’re Physically Active
Increased activity like exercise or physical labour can increase the amount of fluid lost when you sweat. It’s best to drink two to three cups of water before your activity begins and drink about one cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you’re active. You might need even more if you’re working or exercising in extreme temperatures.
If You’re in a Hot Area
Water is essential for regulating your body temperature, so if you’re outside on a hot day or stuck inside without air conditioning, you’re going to need more water as the heat causes you to sweat more. Even if you’re not active, spending the day in 90-degree temperature conditions could more than double your fluid requirement. And even more if you’re physically active.
If You’re at a High Elevation
Air pressure is reduced at higher elevations and compared to being at sea level, people who live at 4,000 feet generally lose about eight ounces more fluid every day, mostly because of changes in respiration. The higher you go, the greater potential for fluid loss, so be sure to bring extra water if you’re going for a hike in the mountains.
If You Have a Fever
If you’re sick with a fever, letting yourself get dehydrated isn’t going to help, and it may make the fever worse. Sip water or other fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Also, see your health care provider if the fever lasts more than two days or you have other symptoms that don’t go away.
If You Have Diarrhoea
Diarrhea can happen for a variety of reasons, including infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disorders. But whatever, the cause, diarrhoea can lead to dehydration. Drink extra fluids while you have diarrhoea, and after, to remain hydrated.
If You Have a Hangover
Drinking too much alcohol will lead to a hangover the next day. While one or two alcoholic beverages shouldn’t cause a problem, overindulging can result in dehydration, inflammation, a headache, and stomach irritation. Drink plenty of water while you’re recuperating. And next time, drink water while you’re partying – it may slow down your alcohol consumption.
If You’re Pregnant
Women who are pregnant need about ten cups of fluid every day. Some women retain extra fluid during their pregnancy and have some swelling, but that doesn’t reduce the need for water. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about how much water you need every day.
If You’re Breastfeeding
Breastmilk is mostly water, so you’ll need to drink extra water while you’re breastfeeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends all breastfeeding moms consume about 13 cups of fluids every day. It doesn’t all have to be water because any healthy beverages will fulfill your fluid need.
What About Caffeine?
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more, but your body adapts to moderate caffeine intake and the amount of water in your cup of coffee, or tea is more than enough to offset any fluid lost. But it’s not clear what happens if you consume lots of caffeine without the fluid. There’s probably some potential for dehydration if you’re gulping down energy drinks and dancing it up all night without drinking extra water.
Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division. “Dietary Reference Intakes Tables and Application.”
HOW DOES TOO MUCH SUGAR AFFECT YOUR BODY?
By Locke Hughes
Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for you. Yet you’re probably still overdoing it: Americans average about 20 teaspoons of added sugars per day, compared to the recommended 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. (That doesn’t include sugar found naturally in foods like fruits and milk.)
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savoury foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose. (See more names for sugar on the graphic below.)
No matter what it’s called, sugar is sugar, and it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Here’s a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
Eating sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot. Because whole foods like fruits and veggies don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure. This causes those “gotta-have-it” feelings for your after-dinner ice cream that are so hard to tame.
The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”). But if you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood beyond that 3 p.m. slump: Studies have linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults.
You probably rolled your eyes at age 12, but your mother was right: Candy can rot your teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities love to eat sugar lingering in your mouth after you eat something sweet.
If you have joint pain, here’s more reason to lay off the candy: Eating lots of sweets has been shown to worsen joint pain because of the inflammation they cause in the body. Plus, studies show that sugar consumption can increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Another side effect of inflammation: It may make your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called “AGEs,” or advanced glycation end products. These molecules do exactly what they sound like they do: age your skin. They have been shown to damage collagen and elastin in your skin — protein fibres that keep your skin firm and youthful. The result? Wrinkles and saggy skin.
An abundance of added sugar may cause your liver to become resistant to insulin, an important hormone that helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy. This means your body isn’t able to control your blood sugar levels as well, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Sugar Detox: Hype or Hope?
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When you eat excess sugar, the extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries, part of your body’s circulatory system. It causes their walls to grow faster than normal and get tense, which adds stress to your heart and damages it over time. This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Research also suggests that eating less sugar can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Plus, people who eat a lot of added sugar (where at least 25% of their calories comes from added sugar) are twice as likely to die of heart disease as those whose diets include less than 10% of total calories from added sugar.
When you eat, your pancreas pumps out insulin. But if you’re eating way too much sugar and your body stops responding properly to insulin, your pancreas starts pumping out even more insulin. Eventually, your overworked pancreas will break down and your blood sugar levels will rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you have diabetes, too much sugar can lead to kidney damage. The kidneys play an important role in filtering your blood sugar. Once blood sugar levels reach a certain amount, the kidneys start to let excess sugar into your urine. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can damage the kidneys, which prevents them from doing their job in filtering out waste in your blood. This can lead to kidney failure.
Your Body Weight
This probably isn’t news to you, but the more sugar you eat, the more you’ll weigh. Research shows that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages tend to weigh more — and be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes — than those who don’t. One study even found that people who increased their sugar intake gained about 1.7 pounds in less than 2 months.
Your Sexual Health
You may want to skip the dessert on date night: Sugar may impact the chain of events needed for an erection. “One common side effect of chronically high levels of sugar in the bloodstream is that it can make men impotent,” explains Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD’s associate medical editor. This is because it affects your circulatory system, which controls the blood flow throughout your body and needs to be working properly to get and keep an erection.