A lot of times, people don’t just collapse and die. The warning signs were there, just that they were either misread, or ignored.

Three major organs are usually involved in a case of sudden death.

  1. The Brain.
  2. The Heart.
  3. The Lungs.

The diseases that affect these organs, compromising them up to the point of failure are many. For purpose of brevity, I will dwell on the ones our current scientific knowledge can control or reverse. The following diseases and habits are culprits that start a cascade of reactions which eventually lead to the final event of “slumping and dying” or “dying during sleep”

  1. Hypertension 
  2. Diabetes Mellitus.
  3. Smoking.
  4. High Cholesterol.
  5. Blood Vessel Disease.
  6. Irregular Heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  7. Stress.
  8. Recurrent blood clots, read pulmonary embolism.

For category (8) above, sometimes blood clots do not have to be recurrent. People are known to die of their very first case of pulmonary embolism, a condition which can affect any previously healthy person. Some of these conditions are risk factors both for the brain, and heart (categories 1-7), while category 8, majorly affects the lungs in threat to life,

If you know you fall into any of these categories, it is time you started paying real attention to your health.

The Symptoms that ring alarm bells

There are certain symptoms which should read alarm bells when you feel them. They may eventually be found to be trivial, but these symptoms usually precede the actual catastrophic event of “slumping.”

Sometimes, they happen minutes before. Sometimes, they happen days or even weeks before death.

Do not joke with the following symptoms:

  1. Severe chest or left arm or jaw pain. A prelude to having a heart attack, or pulmonary embolism.
  2. Severe headache if you are hypertensive: A prelude to a catastrophic brain bleed or thrombotic stroke.
  3. Sudden blurring of vision if you are hypertensive. Again, this is as concerns the brain.
  4. Shortness of breath.
  5. Fainting or dizziness.
  6. Palpitations 

Better Safe than Sorry

The issue here is for most people who have these symptoms, it is eventually found NOT to be life threatening. But for those who died, recognizing these symptoms early may have been lifesaving.

So, it is better to be safe, than sorry.

Remedy for reversible conditions

How do I remedy reversible conditions?

  1. Stop smoking!! No short cut to this.
  2. Regular mild to moderate exercise.
  3. Avoid sedentary lifestyle as much as possible 
  4. Check your cholesterol levels at least once in a year and take your medications if the levels are high.
  5. Check your blood pressure regularly.
  6. Check your blood sugar to know your status, and regularly if you are diabetic.
  7. Avoid unhealthy foods, and sugary foods if you are diabetic.
  8. Moderate alcohol intake.
  9. When travelling long distances, do take out time to stretch your legs, or wear compression stockings.
  10. As much as possible, reduce stressful conditions at home and the workplace.
  11. Always research about the condition you have and ask willing experts questions if you need clarification.

Conclusion

This write-up is not exhaustive, but I believe it has touched the heart of the matter in a way that will make us act differently from now on.

People don’t just collapse and die, says Dr. Obinna Aligwekwe

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