Heart disease has become a leading health problem among many Americans. Today it has become number one killer disease in US, both in women as well as men. You may have often heard a doctor telling the relatives that the patient has suffered from mild heart attack.
This heart ailment has become the foremost cause of admission to the ICCU in US.
Mild heart attack does not have typical symptoms of a classical heart attack, nor does it produce ECG changes that may be similar to those of traditional heart attack. Contrary to traditional heart attack, there is no ST segment elevation noted on the ECG in mild heart attack cases. The ECG pattern has non -ST segment- elevation. Medically mild heart attack is termed as non –ST-segment myocardial infarction.
The commonest cause for mild heart attack is blockage in the heart vessels.
There may be intermittent blockage which may damage the heart muscles. Other possible precipitating factors responsible for mild heart attack include smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, anemia, hyperthyroidism and low oxygen saturation in the blood etc.
Main Symptoms Of Mild Heart Attack
Most of the patient may not have all the symptoms of mild heart attack, but the important one that distinguishes it from other diseases are given below:
- The most common symptom is pain in the chest. The pain can range from feeling of tightness in the chest to squeezing or some heavy weight has been put on the chest. It can last continuously for few minutes or it can stop for some time to return back.
- The pain can be in the middle portion of the chest, or on both side of chest or in the left side of the chest. It may also radiate to the arms.
- Atypical pain in jaws, throat, and upper part of body.
- Shortness of breath.
- Abnormal perspiration in comparison to the physical work.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Dizziness and feeling lightheaded.
- The pain may feel like that of indigestion or heartburn.
Minor Heart Attack Diagnosis
Mild heart attack can be differentiated with major heart attack with the ECG pattern. In mild heart attack there is non elevation of ST segment noted. Where as in typical heart attack the ECG pattern shows raised ST segment.
The other differentiating point to distinguish angina and mild heart attack is the blood test conducted for certain type of proteins. They include creatine Kinase MB (CKMB), and blood troponins. Damage to cardiac muscles may release these two proteins which may be detected in the blood. When present it indicates heart muscle damage. The patient may be required to undergo further tests that include Echo-cardiogram, stress ECG, coronary angiography to detect the exact location of blockage.
Treatment After Mild Heart Attack
There are several medicines that are found to be effective when there is mild heart attack. Anti ischemic tablets are generally given to widen the arteries, thus facilitating good supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscles. Many other anti ischemic drugs such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are also given to widen and maintain the patency of coronary blood vessel.
Other medications may be needed to reduce the inflammation and blood thickening. Some people may be efficiently managed with medication, while some may require more invasive procedures that may include angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass surgery CABG.
In order to reduce the risk of suffering from mild heart attack or major heart attack, it is necessary to change the lifestyle.
- If you are smoking, you have to quit it permanently.
- Eat diet meant for healthy heart and also exercise regularly.
- Take medication if there is high cholesterol level noted.
- Also avoid fried food and too much of sugars which may increase cholesterol level in blood.
- Control diabetes if it is present.