Your heart is a muscle that works hard until the day you die, and you likely have a few questions you’d like to ask this vital organ. Here are a few popular, curiosity-provoking ones about heart health, complete with the answers you’ve always wanted to know!
- Can your heart literally skip a beat?
If you feel like your heart skipped a beat, you’re likely experiencing heart palpitations. This can happen when the upper chambers of your heart contract slightly earlier than they are supposed to. As a result, they stay at rest longer before the next contraction. The same can happen in the lower chambers of the heart.
Usually, these early contractions are not a problem unless accompanied by other symptoms. However, heart palpitations can be a sign of another heart condition, such as atrial fibrillation. Talk to your doctor for peace of mind if you are concerned.
- What is atrial fibrillation?
With atrial fibrillation (sometimes called A-Fib), a heart may beat much faster because its upper and lower chambers do not work properly. Sometimes, A-Fib goes away on its own and poses little problem. However, untreated A-Fib can lead to more serious, even fatal complications.
A-Fib can be treated with lifestyle changes, medical procedures, and medication like ELIQUIS® (apixaban).
If the high cost of the pharmaceutical treatment makes your heart pound, you can access cheap ELIQUIS® through international and Canadian pharmacy service websites. These link patients with licensed pharmacies abroad that offer significantly more affordable medication.
- Is caffeine bad for your heart?
The hearts of coffee aficionados everywhere may sink at the sight of this question. There’s good news, though! A recent literature review from May 2018 found that three to five cups of coffee per day is associated with a 15% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, patients with high and uncontrolled blood pressure should still avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine. The study also acknowledged that more research is needed before we can fully support this hypothesis.
- Is alcohol in moderation good for your heart?
So, you can happily sip on your morning cup of Joe. But how about winding down with a glass of wine?
Well, a recent study in January 2019 found that moderate alcohol intake — defined within the study as eight to 21 drinks per week — was associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation.
While moderate consumption may benefit your heart in other ways, the American Heart Association does not recommend non-drinkers to start drinking for health. One physician also notes that we’re still not sure whether alcohol is a causative factor in better heart health or if other lifestyle choices made by moderate drinkers is what keeps their hearts healthy.
One thing is for certain: over-consumption of alcohol is dangerous. Long-term excessive drinking can lead to alcoholic cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle.
- Is my heart beating too fast?
Your heart’s normal resting range should be 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). But some may have a lower resting range than that, such as athletes and people who take particular medications.
If you feel your bpm range is too high, you can lower it. To lower your heart rate, try quitting smoking, exercise regularly and reduce stress and anxiety.
Please see your doctor, though, if you’re concerned, especially if your resting bpm is too high even when you’re relaxed.
- What does a heart attack feel or look like?
Learning how to recognize the signs of a heart attack is a vital skill. Heart attacks don’t always look dramatic and obvious like they do on TV. So it’s important to get emergency medical help right away if you suspect you or someone else is having a heart attack, even if you’re not 100% certain.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Heart attacks can be sudden and intense. They can also start gradually with mild symptoms.
- The most common symptom is chest pain in the center or left area of the chest. It can be described as squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain. It can also feel like heartburn. This discomfort can come and go, and it can be mild or intense.
- Another symptom is pain or discomfort in other parts of your body, such as your heart attack and upper stomach.
- Shortness of breath is another symptom, and it may even be your only symptom.
- Patients with high blood sugar may have no symptoms at all or very mild ones.
- Can you actually die of a broken heart?
Ah, heartbreak. One of the worst feelings in the world. Chances are, you’ve experienced some form of it. But how bad can emotions harm your body?
It turns out there is a condition called broken heart syndrome, otherwise known as stress-induced or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This condition seems to affect post-menopausal women more than anyone else.
As you may recall, cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. If you think about it, the damaged heart muscle can quite literally mean a broken heart.
Indeed, mental health and heart health are linked, and people are advised to stress less for a healthier heart. So take care of both your body and mind. After all, you want your heart beating steady and strong for as long as possible!