A cardiologist on Thursday cleared the air about some myths related to heart attack and its treatments.
Dr Tejas Patel, professor and head of department of cardiology at the NHL Medical Municipal College was speaking at a lecture series organised by the Gujarat University. The lecture series is part of an effort by the university to have a session by a prominent doctor every month on one health condition.
Dr Patel speaking on the topic of heart attack: myths v/s facts warned that every pain in the chest need not be a symptom of heart attack. “However, in case of patients with hypertension and diabetes it is better to consult a physician,” said Dr Patel.
Moreover, if the person suffering from pain in the chest area is above 40 years, has a family history of heart disease and has high risk factors like hypertension, obesity, diabetes then a physician needs to be consulted.
He advised people to get regular ECGs done although warned that it wouldn’t be able to detect blockages. Explaining about heart-attacks, he said it happens when the blood flow to the heart is reduced drastically or completely. “It can happen because of plaque build-up in the artery or blood-clot resulting from plaque ruptures,” said Patel.
He also busted the myth, commonly prevalent among many patients that a by-pass or angioplasty was a guarantee that no future heart-attacks will occur. “Just because you had a by-pass doesn’t mean you won’t suffer any-more heart attack. The attack happens because an artery was blocked and if patients don’t take care of their health, some other passage in the artery may get blocked,” said Dr Patel.
On the issue of exercise, he said that it not only burned fat but also helped build muscle mass. “A person who exercises regularly burns more calories even while not doing heavy work than a person who doesn’t exercise at all.” He also warned heart-attack patients to consult their physicians before doing certain yoga and pranayam.
“As for diet, the usual reference is to ensure that a heart-attack patient has fat-free diet so as to control cholesterol level. But any treatment will include tablets to reduce cholesterol and if a patient completely relies on fat-free diet there is actually a danger of cholesterol going below the required level leading to fatigue and other problems,” he said.