Gone are the times when the heart attacks were only the old age taboo. Every now and then we hear about our near and dear ones collapsing due to heart ailments without giving any signals and time to recuperate. Most of such cases even do not have any conventional symptoms which we hear all through. Once we do the post damage analysis of such cases, it is surprising to find out that many of them were having a healthy lifestyle; may be as we notice superficially. A recent example is Saurav Ganguli, a sportsman, though now mostly living a sedentary life, was fit. 

If we take the face value of such cases falling within age category of 40s, we come across statements like, ‘He/she was a slim & fit guy; How can he/she go through a spell of heart attack’?  But nobody might have noticed that he/she had some morbidities like high blood pressure or diabetes which he/she always took lightly. We assimilate that ‘He/she never smoked or took alcoholic drinks’, but we forget that he/she might have passively smoked even more in the poisonous polluted urban environment which damages the beta cells of blood vessels more than the actual cigarettes. Such people might have been regular with the caffeinated or aerated drinks during office hours to quench the thirst during breaks, scheduled meetings/ get togethers. Also statements like, ‘He/she was physically fit and was quite regular with his/her exercises, running & cycling etc., but nobody noticed that they never cared about the excessive heart rate pumping because of their physical over exertion that their system was not able to take on. 

One has to understand that with growing age one wouldn’t be able to compete with youngsters flaunting abs in gyms or creating a daily presence on social media showcasing the same. Start slow, be in the grid and never over-exert as one has to understand how much is too much for him/her. But nevertheless, fitness has no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, which is the key of relieving ourselves with heart ailments.

Another statement you might have come across is that ’He/she was vegetarian and never touched meat’, but may have ignored that he/she was continuously having those packaged food or injected vegetables/ milk products, living in super polluted urban environment.  And similarly, to these facts we might have heard that, ‘He/she was a happy go lucky guy’, but nobody might have noticed the stress pattern he/she would have groped because of the rat race at his/her work station where one target led to another.

Let’s understand the rudimentary thing about this cardiac arrest situation; it’s a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of tissues of the body. Blood flows to heart through coronary arteries; any disturbance in flow in terms of blockage can cause a heart attack. When deposits of fat and other substances build up in the inner linings of the artery, the blood clot blocks blood flow to the heart. Without blood, tissues lose oxygen and these tissues die and thus such attacks happen.

Another contributor is the pseudo killer i.e., stress in your life. When under stress, the brain sends a signal to the bone marrow to produce extra white blood cells. This causes arteries to become inflamed and thus results in blockage. Stress can also be connected to binge eating, drinking and smoking, creating a vicious cycle for blockages.

Some takeaways, As it is difficult to anticipate that which of our habit in routine can develop further in chronic condition because of our ignorance and poor lifestyle choices; prophylactic dietary intervention is a must to restore the nutritional balance. These include a suitable change in calorie intake to maintain balance between being obese and even malnourished. Choose a diet full of nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts and must cut down significantly on the salt intake and try to introduce other minerals/ herbs substitute in lieu. 

Apart from having healthy balanced diet, we must try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and invest in an active way of living and getting the screening tests done on yearly basis. For most of us participating in physical activity; such attacks can be avoided to some levels. However, people having medical history of high BP, Diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol etc. must check and be advised before they start becoming more active physically. As you don’t have to be an athlete to be fit. A brisk walk for half an hour every day can help you reach a good level of fitness. You can also aim for at least 150 minutes/week of the physical activity you love to do.

Heart attack in an early age has become a new normal, hence the wellness experts suggest one and all to live a contended and stress-free life and keep a holistic check to situations which bring such conditions. Of various researches conducted worldwide, one aspect which is highly recommendable is, to keep yourself fit…. through healthy diet, physical exercise, living a stress-free life, getting 7-8 hours sleep and keep addressing the rogue symptoms of the body through proper check-ups on yearly basis. We have to bring a full stop or deaccelerate the habits connecting to substance abuse like drinking and smoking and invest in personal hobbies, to live another beautiful day beyond the awesome 40s.