It is so unfortunate young people dying of heart attack. What is more unfortunate is people saying God knows how it happened, he/she was so fit. If you are one of the person who is wondering why a fit and healthy looking person died of heart attack, this article is for you.
On a side note people are also suspecting that the COVID vaccine might have a role to play.
What is a heart attack and how does it happen?
Heart attack can be caused by many reasons. Heart pumps fresh blood with oxygen to all parts of the body. Without oxygen, brain will die in minutes. Each and every muscle and tissue requires oxygen. Heart itself is an organ and it has to beat continuously. There is a network of arteries and capillaries supplying blood to the heart. Blockage of these arteries and blood vessels is one of the common cause of heart attack.
Artery blockage happens due to plaque deposits. There is a direct link between metabolic syndrome and causing of arterial plaque. If you have one or all three of the following, you are suffering from metabolic syndrome.
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Sugar
- High Cholesterol
Easiest way to check for metabolic syndrome is belly fat. If the underside of rib cage is pushing out, you have fatty liver. This is the first step to metabolic syndrome.
Frequent intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup is the main reason for causing high uric acid levels which leads to gout attacks. Fructose also causes fatty liver.
We shall see more about plaque deposits towards the end of the article.
The insulin hormone is at the centre of all this. Insulin resistance is the main cause of metabolic syndrome.
People with belly fat and metabolic syndrome are at high risk of heart attack. But why do fit people get the same. If insulin hormone is responsible for heart attack in metabolic syndrome, cortisol is the reason for fit people getting a heart attack.
Flight or Fight hormone – Cortisol
Cortisol is the boss hormone of your body. When cortisol is at play, it subdues all the other hormones into submission. Released when your mind senses an imminent threat or stress, it is how our body has evolved.
A situation like lion chasing you, the body releases cortisol which triggers the fight or flight mechanism of the autonomous nervous system. That is known as the sympathetic nervous system which takes priority over all functions of the body. Adrenaline is released in the blood which makes our heart pump faster to push more oxygen to the muscles cells to help us run faster. Adrenaline is a hormone which is released by the adrenal glands. These two triangular shaped glands are located on top of kidneys. It makes your heart pump faster and arranges for emergency release of glucose to take care of the emergency at hand. This is followed by release of noradrenaline which activates the brain and rest of the body for action.
Same actions are replicated if you are under stress or entered into a stressful episode.
Modern humans especially those living in urban environment are under constant stress. Financial deadlines, unpaid bills, homework, exams, going on a date, buying the latest smartphone and education for children are some examples. Chronic stress releases cortisol in the body which leads to the exact conditions of metabolic syndrome.
Effects of chronic stress and cortisol
Even if you are physically fit and slim and exercise two hours a day and eat healthiest, cortisol will get you. Stress kills by heart attack without any signs or warnings. One moment you are walking fit and the other you might drop dead.
In case of obese people you can still notice from the outside that they are at risk. But with cortisol, parameters like blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure can get raised.
You need to combat stress
Every individual has a different response to stress. Not all people can handle stress. So if you are the one at the receiving end of stress you need to combat it.
Here is an article with possible ways to take care of stress.
Any combat plan need that one weapon which is the most important for your body, nutrition. There is just one healthy way to get nutrition, through food. You cannot be undernourished and overfed if you want to combat stress.
First get healthy eating the right food and then see how the body is able to take care of stress without any difficulty. An unhealthy body is the right setting for stress to invade.
For a more detailed article on Cortisol and Stress you can read this blog post.
There is no connection between COVID vaccine and heart attack – don’t try to find one
COVID vaccine has saved lives and all those who are alive have been saved from the serious health complications that could have happened in the subsequent waves.
Yes, the COVID virus is known to cause inflammation of the heart. That is all the more reason that you need to take more care of the arteries leading to the heart.
Ever wondered what causes the plaque deposits in the arteries. Here is the short one.
Sugar in the blood acts like sand paper in the inside of the arteries. That is why body tries to get rid of excess blood sugar by bringing the levels down.
Too much of sugars and carbs in the diet increase blood sugar levels. This causes a tear in the artery walls. To repair this cut, the liver dispatches cholesterol to act like cement on the tear. While the tear is being healed from inside, there will be such places where these tears can occur. What doctors find at the crime scene is cholesterol which is why it is being linked with heart attacks. But the main cause of the plaguing is inflammation caused by consumption of excess carbs and sugars.