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Heart attack: Thermoregulation cools down the body with yawning indicating a problem

Heart attacks happen when an artery supplying your heart with blood and oxygen becomes blocked, usually by a build-up of fatty plaques called cholesterol. Heart attacks fall under the umbrella of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels. A common misconception is that heart attacks erupt without warning. Excessive yawning could be an indication of a heart attack.

If you have an increase in yawning that cannot be explained by lack of sleep or other causes, then yawning can be a symptom of more serious health issues, said Musc Health.

It added: “The most common medical problems that are associated with increased yawning are sleep deprivation, insomnia, sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, and many medicines that cause sleepiness.

“There are some other medical diseases that cause yawning including bleeding around the heart, brain tumour, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and even heart attack.”

READ MORE: High blood pressure: Celery seed packs antihypertensive properties

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, yawning and thermoregulation was further investigated.

The study noted: “We review a growing body of medical and physiological evidence indicating that yawning may be a thermoregulatory mechanism, providing compensatory cooling when other provisions fail to operate favourably.

“This view of yawning has widespread application for the basic physiological understanding of thermoregulation as well as for the improved diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with abnormal thermoregulation.”

In another study, altered thermoregulatory responses in heart failure patients exercising in the heat was analysed. 

“Heart failure (HF) patients appear to exhibit impaired thermoregulatory capacity during passive heating, as evidenced by diminished vascular conductance,” noted the study.

It continued: “This is the first study to examine both the thermoregulatory responses and heat balance parameters in HF during exercise.

“Our findings show that when exercising in a warm environment, HF had comparable changes even though metabolic heat production per unit mass was greater.

“These findings demonstrate for the first time that thermoregulatory capacity in HF is disrupted during exercise combined with a thermal challenge.”

Reduce risk

Eating an unhealthy diet that is high in fat is absolute no-no, according to the NHS.

As the health body explains, a high-fat diet will make hardening of the arteries worse and increase your risk of a heart attack.

Instead, you should aim to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in unsaturated fat, says the health body.

A Mediterranean-style diet consists of eating more bread, fruit, vegetables and fish, and less meat.


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