Myocardial Infarction - life after heart attack - what should you do now?

Myocardial Infarction

your future at risk?

Myocardial Infarction (MI) - 8.1 million Americans died from MI in 2005. In this same year, 652,091 people died from heart disease and 50.5% of them were women. This accounted for about 27% of all US deaths.

If you think Obama Care is costly, wrap your mind around the projected cost of heart disease in 2009 - $304.6 billion! This includes health care services, medications and lost productivity. More heart attack statistics.

Myocardial Infarctions or heart attacks are deadly. Don't be a statistic! Start making simple, easy changes now. Small changes can yield huge results and longer, more vibrant life!

What causes Myocardial Infarctions?

When discussing the cause of an illness, we can discuss two causes:

  • The first cause is the underlying lifestyle patterns that actually lay the foundation for the physiologic set up of the disease.

  • The secondary cause of the disease explains the physiologic process that leads up to the disease. In this case, the MI.

Underlying Lifestyle Patterns

Myocardial Infarctions are generally a result of plaque build up from cholesterol. This build up can be stable or unstable and, in the event of a cascade of events can result in a complete obstruction of a coronary artery causing an acute MI.

The good news is that this plaque can be reduced by lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels. (We can start to see how this is lifestyle related already!)

Physiologic Process

Myocardial infarction can be diagnosed fairly consistently with a triad of signs and symptoms. We've talked about some classic heart attack signs and symptoms. However, we can narrow these heart attack symptoms down diagnostically to these three items:

  • prolonged and severe chest pain or pressure. This usually radiating to the arms, back, or neck. Sweating, nausea and vomiting is a common association.

  • increased serum levels of cardiac enzymes. These are released by necrotic or dead heart tissue cells.

  • electrocardiographic changes in the leads over the heart attack area.

MI usually affects the left ventricle and causes the contractile part of the heart at that point to cease and further impairs the contractile ability of the muscle surrounding that area.

Two types of infarctions have been identified based on the amount of heart muscle involved:
  • A transmural infarction involves the full thickness of the ventricular wall.

  • A subendocardial infarction involves the inner half of the wall.

Myocardio infarctions are further described by the involvement of the heart circulation affected as well as the location on the heart wall.

What does my future look like now that I've had an MI?

Your risk of future heart problems or death after acute MI is determined in a large way by the extent of the left ventricular damage or dysfunction and the degree of loss of heart muscle circulation. In other words, how bad your heart was affected by the heart attack and how much surrounding damage occurred.

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." This is true even down to the the physiological aspects of the heart. Once the heart, the engine of the of body, is damaged, the body, depending on and affected by that engine, may suffer.

There is hope. And you can start now. It's never too late to make nutrition and activity changes. Depending on your heart damage, your condition may not be reversible or 100% fixable BUT, making changes now will still affect your body in miraculous ways!

Exercise after myocardial infarction.

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