Browsing: Heart Disease

Heart Healthy Lifestyle – Are You Making These 3 Mistakes That Sabotage Your Heart Healthy Life?

You are approaching middle age or senior rank. You feel well. You exercise regularly. You are active, and you control your weight.

If that is you, you rightly could say to yourself that you live a heart healthy life and need not to worry, right? Wrong if you are overlooking three common lifestyle mistakes that sabotage your effort to maintain a healthy heart. You are not alone, most people do.

Or, you took action because you know what you need to do before your heart is seriously weakened. You made the commitment to lose weight, adjust your nutrition and become more active, or simply to break that bad health habit.

If that is you, then this is the time to become aware of the common mistakes which could stress your heart more instead of strengthening it.

Mistake # 1: Binge Exercising.

The weekend warrior exerciser! You try to make up for the week you spend more hours sitting or slow-moving with minimal to no activity in-between. Then on the weekend you engage in high-intensity aerobic exercise for an extended time. Such activity schedule raises the risk of a heart attack.

What to do instead:

  1. Schedule 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity during the week. You can even split it in 15 minute segments. This could be walking briskly or jogging, cycling, climbing stairs, … the key is to raise the heart rate. On weekends be active while having fun: family outing, gardening, swimming, play with kids and / or dogs, etc.
  2. Become aware of how long you sit during the day: for every hour you sit, get up and stretch, move your body, arms and legs around for one minute.
  3. Pay attention to any activity you could add during the day: walk stairs, walk more briskly around, get up from the chair with an extra energy push.

Mistake # 2: Ignoring Adequate Sleep at Night.

Scientific evidence related to chronic sleep deprivation and health is overwhelming. Less than 7 to 8 hours per night historically leads to a multitude of serious health consequences, one of which is a failing heart. The body needs to recover from the day's unrest and return to its balanced functions.

What to do instead:

Prioritize sleep. You will have to decide what to change in your lifestyle to get the needed 7 to 8 hours per night on a regular basis. May it be cutting out late snacks, changing from a heavy to a light earlier evening meal; adjusting alcohol or caffeine at night, late TV, or whatever you need to change that keeps you awake late.

Catch-up sleep is not a healthy sleep nor is a sleep induced by sleeping pills. A heart healthy sleep requires a regular pattern. Do not expect immediate results. The body needs time to readjust.

Mistake # 3: Focusing on Calorie-Control Instead of Healthy Calorie Management.

You can hold your normal weight but lack nutritional balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein. This will cause your body to slowly fall into a metabolic distress. The overall effects eventually will be detrimental, especially to your heart.

Losing weight means losing calories. But how you lose calories is the key to sustaining health.

Eating less and exercising more – yes, you burn calories quickly and lose weight. But you also create a hormonal imbalance and stress your body functions, especially your heart.

Reducing calories through crash diets, extreme nutritional changes – yes, you can lose weight quickly but at what health cost?

What to do instead:

The key to achieving and maintaining a heart healthy weight is not about short-term dietary changes. It's about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the calories you consume with those your body burns.

Focus to achieve long-term changes and evaluate your nutrition lifestyle. If you eat less, exercise less intensely but remain active. Keep it simple, be practical and use general guidelines.

Do you consume 20 to 35% protein, 20 to 35% of fat and about 30 -40% carbohydrates of your daily calories? Do you keep that balance most of the time each meal?

To evaluate your nutritional quality of your diet, answer these questions:

  • Is most of your protein lean and low in saturated fats, including some plant-based and fish?
  • Does your fat consumption include more that 10% of solid fats like butter, or other dairy products? If yes, reduce and switch to monounsaturated oils and free of trans-fats like olive or canola oil?
  • Do your carbohydrates predominately come from complex sugars like fresh fruits and vegetables (healthy) or simple ones like refined sugars (health killers); do they include adequate fiber, eg nuts, seeds, fruits, beans, bran, etc.?

{ Comments are closed }

Cardiology: Maintaining A Healthy Heart And Symptoms Of Heart Disease

Our lives move to the rhythm of our hearts. From the musical sounds resonating from cafes, to the rhythmic chimes of a bustling coffee shop, every facet of our well-being depends on a steady beat. But what if that beat becomes irregular, slows, or frighteningly stops? The signs of a heart attack may not be so obvious at times and that's why paying attention to your body's language is so important. Read on for some essential cardiology tips to keep your heart in tip-top shape.

Maintain a Healthy Heart

Team sports are a great way to blow off steam, have fun, and, best of all engage in a cardiovascular activity. The physical benefits of basketball are well documented, and what makes basketball such a desirable activity lies in its overt accessibility. Virtually every neighborhood has a basketball court and balls are inexpensive. Organizing a quick game is as easy as showing up to the court dressed in your digs and declaring your eligibility. That's it!

Sure, taking the stairs instead of the elevator is one thing, so why not considering walking to the store, running with your dog, or playing outdoors with your kids as a form of exercise too? All of these activities require a semblance of constant movement, which is great for the heart, and all are encrypted in cardiology books everywhere. In fact, the risk of experiencing a heart attack can be greatly reduced simply by adding more low impact activities to your daily routine.

Signs of Heart Disease

Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the cardiovascular system. Engaging in activity to curtail abnormalities is one thing, but if you have a condition that persists, such as numbing and chronic heads, it might be time for you to see a cardiologist.

Spells of dizziness, seeing black spots that are not there, and abnormal chest pain are other signs that you may need to see a doctor. Any of these symptoms could have been related to heart disease and your exercise routines, no matter how strenuous or light, should be retired until a cardiologist tells you otherwise.

Seeing a doctor regularly can help you detect early signs of heart disease, even before you have a chance to experience the obvious symptoms; pain in the jaw, weakness or coldness in your arms and / or legs, shortness of breath. These can be scary if you do not what you're up against.

Heart disease is the # 1 killer of males and females in the US, accounting for 40% of all deaths. Why? Doctors say that people tend to ignore the symptoms. Yes, someone overcome by intense chest pains is going to call 911, but symptoms are not always that obvious.

Seeking Help

Because most symptoms of heart disease are difficult to sense, cardiologists warn against ignoring the signs, or worse yet, waiting to see if they go away. That's especially true for the elderly, as well as for people with preexisting conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, or a family history of heart disease. A heart attack can happen suddenly, and even result in death.

If you've experienced any of the symptoms showcased, are a smoker or are diabetic, or if your family has a history of heart disease, you should consider speaking with a cardiologist about heart disease and what you can do to combat it.

{ Comments are closed }

Heart Healthy Diets

Why is a heart healthy diet so important?

It helps you manage your weight and reduce the risk of a heart attack. Obesity is the number one cause of heart attack in America.


A large percentage of Americans eat a diet that is high in saturated fats and sugar.

You need to eat foods that are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that have too much fat, salt and sugar. Here are a few tips to helping you to create your own heart healthy diet:

Eat Fresh Vegetables: There are many vegetables that you can eat raw as snacks. Carrot sticks, celery, red bell peppers, snow peas and green beans all make excellent snacks. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables such as, spinach, bok choy, romaine lettuce and cabbage. All of these vegetable are high in vital vitamins and minerals and will help keep your heart healthy.

Fresh Fruit: High in vitamin C and a great substitute to sugary foods are: pineapple, orange, banana, apple and strawberries. All are readily available from your local supermarket. Next time you feel like something sweet, pick up a piece of fruit and get rid of those cravings.

Lean Protein: Eat skinless chicken, fish, seafood and lean red meat. They are all packed with protein and essential amino acids that help keep your heart healthy.

Beans and Legumes: They are low in fat and high in fiber. These little wonders are super foods that can help you balance your protein needs if you do not eat meat. Chickpeas, navy beans, lima beans, red kidney beans and broad beans are all easy to prepare and are great when added to stir-fries.

Almonds: These are high in protein and essential fats. Just one handy a day can give you the energy boost you need. Instead of snacking of a packet of chips, try a few nuts instead.

Stay Hydrated: The human body contains 70% water. Most people are dehydrated or chronically dehydrated. This makes you feel hungry when you are really thirsty. Good, clean and pure water flushes toxins from your system and purifies your blood. Healthy blood means a healthy heart. Drink at least a a gallon of fresh water a day to stay hydrated.

Exercise: Your heart needs exercise to stay healthy. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, helps you manage your weight and gives you more energy. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make all the difference to your heart.

So remember to take this information to heart; It's very important to a heart healthy diet!

{ Comments are closed }

Chiropractic Care Found to Reduce Blood Pressure

Did you know that nearly 2,000 Americans die of Heart Disease every day? That is one death ever 44 seconds. 1 out of every 4 Americans have what is considered to be high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading contributor to Heart Disease which causes the death of 50% of Americans. So what do we do about this issue? Well, the standard medical approach is to take prescription drugs such as Beta-Blockers, Diuretics, ACE Inhibitors and Calcium-Channel Blockers or Vasodilators which do not address the true cause of the problem. They do lower the blood pressure for a short time but the toxic side effects are in more cases then not, more damaging than the high blood pressure itself.

There are many reasons for high blood pressure and at times the body needs to have high blood pressure in order to transfer of oxygen to the brain. For example, lets say a person is getting older and getting less activity in their daily life. The leg and arm muscles are losing strength and the ability to contract normally. This makes it harder for the persons heart to pump blood against gravity and fully transfer oxygen to the brain. The innate intelligence of the body will then raise the blood pressure above what is said to be an overall average to ensure the brain is receiving normal oxygenation. In this case, lowering the blood pressure with drugs will cause less oxygen to make its way to the brain which could cause mental illness (examples of mental illness is Alzheimer's). Now, that is not to say you should not lower your blood pressure. However you need to make more changes in your lifestyle then simply lowering your blood pressure to avoid heart disease. If blood pressure remains elevated and is not addressed it will cause deterioration of the cardiovascular system, resulting in a heart attack most likely at some point. Drugs which is the most common treatment only addresses the symptom rather then the cause of the high blood pressure. Looking at the statistics of deaths due to heart disease I would have to lean in the direction that simply treating the high blood pressure alone is not working out so well for us.

Lets look at a few of the problems with some of the common treatments.

• Ace Inhibitors, work against the bodies natural mechanisms. They work in a way to relax the arteries causing the body to quickly lower the blood pressure however in turn that negates the body's natural demand for nutrients, oxygen and blood flow to vital tissues and organs. When used only for a short time they are very effective. Used over a long period of time is questionable.

• Diuretics, are linked to an increase in diabetes (which can lead to heart disease) and pull only water out of the body, not unwanted plaque or lower inflammation. So again we are seeing a reduction of the high blood pressure symptom but not the cause of the condition.

• Beta Blockers, again have also been shown to cause an increased risk of diabetes and they have been advised against by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as a primary application in treatment of blood pressure.

What can you do now to reduce your blood pressure, treat the cause and decrease your chance of heart disease?

Chiropractic Care … it works

According to Dr. George Bakris MD the director of the University of Chicago Hypertension Center “Not only does chiropractic work, we saw no side effects and no problems”. He was referring a study from 2007 in the Journal of Human Hypertension. According to this 8 week, 50 patient study with early stage high blood pressure, Chiropractic adjustments were more effective in lowering blood pressure then two medication combined. 25 patients were specifically adjusted which caused their blood pressure to be significantly lower compared to the 25 patients who received “sham” adjustments. X-rays on the 25 patients who had the true adjustments showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas Vertebra. This is the circular shaped bone at the top of the spine. One average the patients saw a drop in systolic blood pressure of 14mm Hg and an average drop in diastolic blood pressure of 8mm Hg. Out of the 50 patients, none took blood pressure medication during the study.

Dr. Bakris was quoted saying that “When the statistician greeted me the data, I actually did not believe it. His statistician said, “I did not believe it either, but we checked for everything and there it was.” Spinal subluxation at the Atlas level is known to interfere with the activity of the Medulla Oblongata, also known as the brainstem and control center for blood pressure. The study claimed that injury to the neck earlier in life can affect blood flow in the treaties at the base of the skull. Makes sense yes? Specific adjustments of the Atlas naturally allow the body to receive and send proper communication to the brain ensuring it can recognize conditions such as high blood pressure and regulate them respectively and naturally as it should.

Proper Blood Flow and Exercise

Small changes in you daily routine can make big differences in your health. Exercise can help you control your blood pressure and is vital to your health. Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger and with a stronger heart you pump more blood with less effort. If your heart works less, the force on your arms decrees, lowering your blood pressure. Regular exercise is considered to be a least 30-60 min at a minimum of 4 days a week. This alone can lower your blood pressure and help you loose weight which in turn will also aid in lowering your blood pressure and increasing your health overall. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at a greater risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, Average American Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters) or 36 inches (91 cm) for Asian men. Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 cm) or 32 inch (81 cm) for Asian women.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Just like small changes in increased activity can have great effects, so can small changes in diet. Lowering your sugar intake is one of the most important changes. Change to a natural sugar substitute like Stevia or Lo Han. Please read up on the risks of other artificial sweeteners before changing to one of them. You can also use fresh fruit instead of canned fruit for sugar in meals or recipes calling for a bit of sweetness and try using spices instead of sugar to add flavor to your meal. Aim to reduce the amount of fruit drinks, soda, dairy desserts and candy you consume as well. If your goal is to avoid sugar be sure to limit your intake of fruits high in Fructose. Fructose (which is considered to be anything with sugar which clearly some fruits are very high in) has been found to promote metastasis in breast cancer, shows genotoxic effects on the colon, promotes a condition called intracranial atherosclerosis (a narrowing and hardening of the arteries) in your skull), increases your risk for heart disease and feeds cancer. Ideally you want to avoid sugar / fructose, grains and processed foods. Eat more whole foods (organic if at all possible of anything you can) and switch your grains out for lots of veggies, a low to moderate amount of high quality protein (again organic, non-antibiotic, farm raised grass feed if at all possible ) and healthy fats.

Generally speaking most people are said to need 50-85% healthy fats in their diets. The key is to focus on Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats which are the good fats and eliminate the bad Trans and Saturated fats. Healthy fats are items such as Avocados which are high in monounsaturated fat and actually help to lower your bad cholesterol. Eggs which are high in protein, vitamin B that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. Research has also linked moderate egg consumption to improved heart health. Substitute other oils and butter for Olive Oil which reduces the risk of heart disease, blood pressure, has been shown to reduce your risk for stroke and certain types of cancer. Although Olive Oil is a healthy substitute it still contains 100 calories per tablespoon so use it in moderation. Nuts such as Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, Walnuts contain a plant based Omega 3 fatty acid and Pistachios have a lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that are important for your eye health. Studies show that people who consume nuts on a regular basis tend to be thinner, lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Try Almond or Cashew butter but look for ones with lower sugar amounts. Fatty Fish is a wonderful way to add healthy fats in your diet as well. Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel and Trout are all full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, the good fats. Most meats are full of the bad saturated fats so adding a few nights of fish to your diet is a turn in the right direction. According to the American Heart Association, people should eat at least two servings of fish a week or more.

{ Comments are closed }

What to Expect During Your Heart Surgery Recovery

When preparing for surgery, it is wise to know what to expect from cardiac hospitals. Many people are mostly nervous about the surgery and preparation for it. Care should be taken beforehand to make blood donations for emergencies, provide an accurate list of all medicines, and have a good understanding of what will happen during the procedure. While the surgery itself can last a few hours, much of the time is spent during recovery. Knowing what to expect is important so the patient and family can prepare themselves and their home, and the patient can make the best recovery possible. Everyone envisaged will receive instruction about what to do and to avoid for the six to eight weeks it could take to recover.

Manage pain

Pain is to be expected after surgery. The body has undergone trauma and will react to the incision site. The staff at cardiac hospitals will provide necessary prescriptions and instruction on ways to deal with it. Pain can manifest in the muscle all over the body or in the soft tissues around the incision site. There can also be numbness or itching involved. If the pain becomes too much to bear, then a doctor should be asked for recommendations to help provide relief, until the tissue can heal. However, keep in mind that many pain medications have sever side effects if abided beyond the prescription guidelines. It is important to follow the instruction of the doctor.

Promote healing

Some medical professionals recommend eating a healthy diet to aid in recovery. Cardiac hospitals can provide a list of meal planning options. If the appetite is suppressed, try feeding the patient smaller meals more often, but keep encouraging them to eat well. Common sense dictates that doing physical therapy to increase muscle tone can help the body heal and reduce pain more quickly. It is also important to not lift too much or over stress the incision site soon after the procedure. Sleep can also help the body heal. It may be difficult for the patient to get comfortable, but added pillows, soft music, maintaining a sleep schedule, and avoiding stimulants can all help them relax enough to rest.

Avoid infection

The most successful surgeries are those that avoid infection. The surgeons at cardiac hospitals will follow the strictest guidelines to keep a sterile environment for the surgery. However, when the patient returns home, there are innumerable ways the incision can be compromised. It is important to be gentile with the incision site and keep it clean and dry. The doctors and nurses can instruct on proper wound care methods. Contact the medical team immediately if any symptoms of infection appear, such as a raised temperature, gaping, drainage, redness, or warmth around the incision area.

Stay positive

Major surgeries often bring depressed feelings for both the patient and the caregiver. Worrying about the future, frustration with a slow healing process, and feeling pain are big contributors. It is important to beat the blues by maintaining daily activities, like getting dressed, going for walks, and participating in hobbies. One of the best ways for everyone to stay positive is simply to sharing feelings with each other. By utilizing the support network of friends and family, fears can be eased through the conviction and positive success stories.

Remember to check with your doctor before taking any medical remedy or treatment.

{ Comments are closed }

From High Risk Of Cardiac Disease To Heart Healthy and Active

In this article, I'll reveal how my friend Patrick went from high risk of cardiac disease to heart healthy and active. It was not always like this for Patrick. In fact, it all started when Patrick visited his GP not long after his 65th birthday. He told me, “I got a shock when my doctor warned me that I was at high risk of cardiac disease which could lead to stroke and heart failure. having high blood pressure and did not do enough physical exercise.

I knew that I should have been looking after myself better , as the last thing I needed was to have a heart attack. It's just that I liked my lifestyle the way it was, working hard and ending the day in front of the TV with a drink or several. I was spending money on medication and health checks, and was feeling a bit down. I was finding it hard to keep up with the grandchildren and slightly embarrassed about my bulging gut. I was worried that if I did not make some changes, things could really bad, especially because I was at high risk of having a stroke and even early death. I had to find a way to reduce my risk of heart disease.

If I could not do this, I would remain overweight and would have little energy for my two great loves; my wife and fishing. I would lose all enjoyment in life as the challenges and struggles would just get bigger and more insurmountable. I could end up having a stroke. This would mean I would no longer be able to go on the boat and fish with my mates, or go walking with my wife which she loves . I would stop being able to bring in the dough for my family. I would become a burdened to those I love the most.

My health challenges seemed to have gotten the better of me. One day my wife looked at me with great disappointment when I said that I could not come with her to visit the grandchildren because I was too unwell and exhausted. I'd hit rock bottom and knew I had to take some positive action. I was going to follow the first thing my doctor had told me to do. My doctor told me start eating healthy as one on the ways to reduce my heart disease risk factors.

My wife happily started cooking heart healthy meals when I assured her I would eat them.

I started to research heart disease diets and what foods are actually healthy. At first I was completely overwhelmed by all the different and sometimes conflicting answers and I suffered from information overload. I ended up spending a lot of money and time gathering information and trying different diets to see which ones would reduce my blood pressure.

One day my wife's friend, who had heard about my health challenge, sent me an article on the benefits of making your body alkaline. My doctor had told me that healthy eating was one of the factors that helped keep your heart healthy and helped stroke prevention . My wife and I started implementing an Alka Paleo diet and drinking only alkaline water. The Alka Paleo diet combines the best aspects of the Alkaline diet with the Paleo Diet. We followed an Alkaline food chart when doing the weekly shop and bought an alkaline water filter. We quickly got used to having yummy salads with meat or fish at lunchtime instead of high carb and processed foods.

It was about 3 months later that I booked in to see my GP again. I was really nervous and my palms were sweaty. But I was very excited to share the changes I had made with my doctor. The doctor wrapped the blood pressure monitor around my arm, and I held my breath in anticipation.

The doctor often had a worried look on his face but now it was only held a look of surprise . My blood pressure had come down to a healthy level. I felt so proud of myself for getting back in control of my health and was excited to share the good news with my wife and kids. I no longer had to worry about having a stroke and becoming dependent on others. I had the energy to continue my work with the local council and to have a yarn with my mates while fishing and playing golf. My wife and I were having more fun then we'd had for ages. It was refreshing to be able to laugh with her again.

The results were more then I could hope for. I had turned my ship away from the storm and I knew my life was about to change dramatically, for the better. So today I have a simple question for you, would you like to achieve similar results in your own life?


The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition but is intended to help individuals make informed decisions about natural health. This information does not replace for treatment or advice that may have been prescribed by a physician. If you have a medical condition, you are advised to seek assistance from a trained medical professional. Products referred to in this article have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

{ Comments are closed }

Zero Medication Tips to Stop Heart Disease

In this changing world, we just can not stop all the external elements that contribute to health deterioration. We allow these processes to take place believing that they are inevitable and necessary in supporting our survival. In effect, the body sufferers. Here are some tips to stop heart disease without the help of any medications.

Say No to Smoking

The primary risk factor of acquiring heart diseases can be attributed to smoking. Ironically, some people believe that in order to prevent stress, using tobacco products is the best solution. Well, there is just no amount of tobacco that the body can tolerate.

Containing more than four thousand toxic chemicals, tobacco smoke can damage the heart and its blood vessels. In effect, the more complex structure of arms narrows down. When it clogs up, the heart stops pumping blood. In order for the heart to transport life to other parts of the body, it needs oxygen. Smoking impairs this process by replacing the oxygen with carbon monoxide.

Move it, move it!

In order for the body to remain warm, certain process needs to keep taking place – metabolism. It is the process of burning food energy known as calories. With the decreased ability to burn calories, the body is illegally to prevent the generation of fats. Too much fats in the body is not good for the heart. Therefore, to keep the heart functioning properly, ideal weight must be maintained. Regular exercise is the key in making this happen.

Weigh Healthy

One of the key requirements in maintaining a healthy heart is maintaining a healthy weight. It can be achieved by eating the right food and doing the right things. A good diet should include fruits and vegetables. Although there are some nutrients that the body need from meat, vegetables and fruits do not contain fats.

Physical activities should not be limited to regular exercise. Time is not always a luxury. Keeping your body physically active will compensate for the lack of regular exercise. These activities will help you maintain appropriate weight there before reducing your chances of getting heart diseases.

Weighing healthy is achievable provided that all the necessary requirements are met. It is crucial to understand that reducing weight is slower than gaining it. Here, all the hard work needs to be done double time. While there are many resources available today suggesting various methods of weight reduction, keeping these fundamentals in mind can help you achieve your goals.

{ Comments are closed }

Heart Disease And The Fat Content Of Foods

According to the Indian Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Indians. Heart disease is occurring at a much younger age with Indians. Men under the age of 50 years account for 50% of heart attacks among the Indian male population. A lack of awareness, genetic predisposition for hypertension, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and stress are contributing factors. Poor diet is caused by the lack of nutrition knowledge and an increased consumption of high fat restaurant foods. The risks for heart disease can be reduced by improving public awareness with health and nutrition education. Websites and mobile apps provide free nutrition facts databases containing common foods, packaged food products, recipes, and popular restaurant menu items. Specialized websites and mobile apps offer advanced support for ethnic diets; examples include Indian cuisine nutrition information, diet tips, and personalized meal plans.

The different types of fat found in food vary in their effect on health. In addition, there is dietary cholesterol which is found in animal foods. MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) and PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid) are types of unsaturated fat; these are liquid at room temperature. There are certain essential fatty acids (associated to the omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA groups) that we need to get from food. MUFA helps to decrease overall total blood cholesterol; it decrements LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and may increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. PUFA also helps to reduce overall total blood cholesterol; it reduces both LDL and HDL. Omega-3 fats may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk for blocked arteries and hypertension. In contrast, saturated fats are solid at room temperature and increase total blood cholesterol and LDL. Trans fats are formed during the partial hydrogenation of processed foods; they increase overall total cholesterol and LDL. Understanding the fat content of foods helps to prevent and manage heart disease. Online databases provide the nutrition information of food which includes the calories, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, fiber, and fat content of foods.

Regular exercise and controlling calories also boosts cardiovascular health. Adding adequate protein and fiber to meals and snacks helps control hunger when controlling calories. Utilize handy protein content food lists that can be found on websites to plan meals. Limiting the amount of sodium in your diet is also heart healthy as it helps with controlling hypertension. Work with a dietitian to plan meals that suit your lifestyle and health condition.

{ Comments are closed }

Afib Treatment Traditional Medicine and Alternative Options!

Today I'm going to be sharing with you some of the most popular afib treatment involving both traditional ideas and alternative medicine. In your body right now you have a very important fluid that brings organs nutrients and eliminates waste. Do you know what this fluid is? Yes, it is blood. In order for this blood to move it needs a pump and that job goes to the heart muscle. What controls the pumping of the heart is an electrical system. If this electrical system does not work properly it can cause an abnormal heart beat and this is known as atrial fibrillation or afib for short.

As you can imagine this can cause all kinds of problems. One danger that you may not be aware of is it could manufacture blood clots, which might raise the chance of a stroke. Medical doctors will usually recommend drugs that can lower the chance of these blood clots. Apart from drugs there are different plant-based medicine that can also help. A few examples of these herbs may include ginkgo biliba, ginger and garlic. The good news about the herbs is they can be less expensive, not give off the harmful side effects or free radicals as the drugs. Plus herbal remedies can help in other areas, such as the immune system.

Next medical doctors may prescribe drugs that slow the heart rate, so that it's more normal. Apart from drugs slowing the heart rate did you know that you can do this right now? Find a quit area, take some deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing. The more you get relaxed the slower your heart will need to beat. You can try reading a good book, doing some light yoga or anything else that really relaxes you. The best part is that this idea is free, plus it can give additional health benefits and not the unwanted side effects or free radicals that the drugs will give. Additional a herb known as Hawthorne may be able to slow a person's heart rate.

Next something called electrical cardioversion may be prescribed to assist someone in stabilizing their heart beat. This involves putting a person to sleep and then injecting them with low energy shocks to trigger a normal heart rhythm. Almost like reminding the heart muscle of the correct pace that it should be working at. Lastly, there is open heart surgery known as maze surgery, which comes with many risks. A surgeon makes tiny cuts in the atria and this could potentially stop the electrical energy that is causing the abnormal heart rhythms.

To sum everything up afib is when a person's heart makes abnormal heart beats. One of the greatest dangers is the formation of blood clots that can cause a stroke. Prescription drugs can be used for this, as well as herbs like ginkgo biloba, ginger and garlic. Doctors may also prescribe drugs to slow the heart rhythm and additional ideas would be meditation, yoga, reading or anything else that relaxes someone. Medical doctors may also prescribe electrical cardioversion, which shocks your heart into a normal heart beat. Lastly there is maze surgery where cuts are made that may stop the disorganized electrical energy.

{ Comments are closed }

Atrial Fibrillation Causes – 3 of the Big Risk Factors

Today I'm going to share with you 3 of the most common atrial fibrillation causes. If you had to guess what do you think is the most important muscle in the human body? Probably the heart right? Without the heart, blood can not get pumped to deliver oxygen and nutrients to organs and they would die. When someone has atrial fibrillation or AF for short, their heart pumps too fast and this can be unhealthy for a few reasons.

One of the big dangers is that it can create a blood clot. If the blood clot reaches the brain it can stop blood flow and these results in a stroke. Other dangers could be heart disease, fatigue, dizziness, chest pains and shortness of breath.

Even though humans have made so many discoveries on how the body operates, some things such as the exact cause of this condition still remain a mystery. The good news is that as a species we do know a few of the major risk factors for AF.

One of the big risk factors is heart disease. According to a study by the American Heart Association when a patient has heart failure it increases the chance of atrial fibrillation. If a patient has mild heart failure there is a 5% chance of them getting atrial fibrillation. If it's a moderate heart failure it can lead to a 10-25% chance of them getting this ailment. If it's different they may have a 50% chance of getting atrial fibrillation.

Another culprit would be high blood pressure. The big danger with high blood pressure is that it can be a silent killer and often does not produce any symptoms. According to Dr. Michael Roizen who is the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, is also popular on the Dr. Oz Show.

High blood pressure causes changes to the heart's structure that makes it more likely to cause rapid, erratic heart beats. Also some experts feel that unhealthy blood pressure is the single largest risk factor for Atrial Fibrillation.

The last huge risk factor to this disease is going to be age. According to the American Heart Association age is the single largest risk factor for this condition. The reason for this is because the older someone gets the higher the chance of heart disease, and many other problems that can contribute to atrial fibrillation.

To sum everything up atrial fibrillation is when the heart beats too quickly and can cause blood clots, chest pains, fatigue and dizziness. Three big risk factors that cause this condition would have heart disease, high blood pressure and old age.

{ Comments are closed }

Heart Attack Risks In Women Over 50

There are over six and a half million women who have heart disease in America. Heart disease which leads to heart attacks is one of the leading causes of death among women over fifty. Heart disease kill six times more women than breast cancer every year.

So how can you reduce the risk of a heart attack if you are a woman over fifty years of age?

Follow these few simple steps:

Recognize The Symptoms: Most women experience one or more of the following symptoms at least a month before a heart attack: Unusual fatigue, muscle weakness, indigestion problems, anxiety, cold sweats, unable to breath properly, sleep disturbances, heart racing or palpitations, nausea, dizziness and a hot flushes. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with a doctor soon. It may be nothing or it could be a sign your heart is not healthy and is under a lot of strain.

Menopause Can Increase Your Risk: Estrogen helps protect the heart as it balances out the cholesterol levels. After menopause women's levels of good cholesterol drop and bad cholesterol increases. Women also experience elevated triglycerides levels which increases the risk of heart disease significantly. Once a woman reaches the age of sixty five, the risk of death from a heart attack will be much higher.

Diabetes Is A Contributing Factor: Diabetes combined with obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension can significantly increase the risk of heart attack in women over fifty. Diabetes doubles the risk of a women suffering from more than one heart attack during her lifetime.

Metabolic Syndrome: Research from Harvard Medical School suggests that women who have metabolic syndrome are more prone to having an attack. What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome? A large waist, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, elevated levels of bad cholesterol and high triglycerides. Speak with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Smoking: Females that smoke are twice as likely to lead to heart disease over women who do not. It is a well-known fact; smoking greatly increases the risk of heart attack, cancer, heart disease and other pulmonary issues such as COPD.

It is important to know, most women do not experience crushing chest pain before a heart attack. Pain in the neck, shoulders and abdominal areas are more common. We hope you have found this article informative and understand more about heart attack risks in women over the age of fifty.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Naturally Beat Hypertension, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease (Part 1)

Even if you are genetically predisposed to be at high risk for a heart attack or heart problems there are simple steps that you can take to drastically reduce your risk in this area. Just like anything else though, you must start with the basics and work up from there. If you want to have a healthy heart, and increase your odds to live a long life and slow down aging, you must first address the building blocks of your health which begin with how and what you eat.

Virtually every health problem human bees experience are the eventual result of a chain reaction of events that began with a problem or problems with their digestive system, combined with what foods that put into that dysfunctional digestive system.

There are multiple factors at play here. Almost all of the powerful elements that our bodies are able to use to protect us from disease, deterioration of bodily systems, as well as the support of optimum major organ functions, are derived from plants. Consequently, again, multiple issues arise here. The majority of the population consumes plants as the smallest percentage of their diet. The second problem in this area, is that the cooking of plants destroys most of what would be beneficial to the body in the areas previously mentioned.

So, problems one and two are that most people eat very little in the way of fruits and vegetables and most of what they do eat has been cooked. But that is just the beginning of the dilemma so many find themselves in.

Have you ever read or hear someone say that the digestive system is the root of your immune system? When I was first told this, years ago, I thought to myself, “What possible role could my stomach, large intestine and small intestine, play in my the functionality of my immune system, apparently a completely separate system?” It's actually pretty easy to understand once it is explained to you.

Your body is in a constant battle to rid itself of outside toxins that are unnatural to the biology of your body. You might be thinking, “But a toxin is not a germ or a virus. Well, unfortunately, your immune system treats many toxins as if they were a germ or a virus. When it is dealing with the regular introduction of such toxins, your immune system becomes so preoccupied with trying to deal with this perceived threat, that when you come in contact with infectious gems or viruses, it will often be seriously behind the eight ball and slow in its reaction time in dealing with this actual threat.

This results in you becoming sick before your immune system really gets going on producing the white blood cells and antigens necessary to combat this actual immune threat. So you might be thinking, “What does this have to do with my digestive system?” Unfortunately, it has several things to do with your digestive system.

1) If everything that you eat that is not completely broken down and digested and then leaves the digestive system in that not broken-down state, than it is a source of acidic toxins. Those toxins distract your immune system.

2) If what you are eating contains additional toxins such as preservatives, pesticides or any of the literal thousands of other chemicals added to processed foods, fast foods, and many other restaurant supplied foods, you are further distracting your immune system and polluting your body .

3) If you are eating all cooked food, (do not worry – this article is not to promote an all raw diet as some health extremists promot) almost all of the potent nutrients need to support your immune system and all other major bodily systems , are being destroyed before you even introduce that food to your digestive system.

Unfortunately these issues are only a part of the problem. There are several other major problems that, in addition to what we have just discussed, are the reasons that the population of the United States is the most obese and more plagued by heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension and cancer than seemingly any other country in the world.

You might be thinking, “With so many problems stacked against me, if there is a solution for me it must be pretty complicated and reasonably expensive!” Fortunately, this is not the case. You will be amazed at how simple it is to transform your health through just making a few changes.

Please stay tuned for part two of this article where I will further explain the major threats to your heart, hypertension, blood pressure and all around health, as well as what you can do about them. There are natural solutions to the prevention of heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure as well as natural ways to reduce high blood pressure without prescription drugs.

{ Comments are closed }

Periodontal Disease Can Trigger Vascular Inflammation

Periodontal disease is the most common disease on the planet that affects people. However, what may be unknown is that this disease has a potential to cause or even aggravate life threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases and cancer. Initially, it was believed that bacteria causing periodontal disease was responsible for other diseases and body complications. Further extensive research carried out to establish this association has, in fact, identified infection as the main link between periodontal disease and other diseases. Therefore, infection treatment not only has benefits of dealing with periodontal diseases but also plays a major role in chronic inflammatory conditions management.

According to a new study published in the most recent issue of PLOS Pathogens, Dr. Darveau together with his colleagues have managed to successfully come up with a medical explanation to explain the link between periodontal diseases commonly known as gum diseases and vascular inflammation. A recent journal publication by the Chair of the Department of Periodontics co-authored by Dr. Richard Darveau explains how bacterium responsible for periodontal disease causes blood vessel inflammation outside of the oral cavity after the body's immune response fails to fight the bacterium.

Dr Darveau said “We had published earlier that this mechanism could have been used by P. gingivalis to evade host detection, and this paper is the first to demonstrate it in an animal model of disease.”

The group of collections which included Boston's University School of Medicine Dr. Caroline Attardo Genco, Dr. Darveau and other scholars made discoveries that expected to shed more light on the assertion that chronic inflammation indeed exacerbates the dangers of serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is the main subject of discussion in The PLOS Pathogens paper. This pathogen is responsible for gum disease and is linked to atherosclerosis. P. gingivalis together with gram negative bacterium of an outer layer coating with lipids and sugars. The immune system swings into action after recognizing sections of this coating. On the other hand, the outer coat is modified by P. gingivalis to prevent a counter attack from the immune system.

The outer surface of P. gingivalis, which has a specific lipid known as lipid A was the basis of the research focus. The lipid interactions with TLR4.P, which is a host's immune system crucible regulator. Various versions of lipid A can be produced by gingivalis and schools were faced with the responsibility of how these changes interfer with immune response causing inflammation because the pathogen is allowed to survive.

In summary, the research concluded that P. gingivalis makes changes to the structure of the lipid A to escape the host's defense system and instead pave the way for chronic infection causing systemic low-grade infection which is persistent in nature. The research also disclosed “P. gingivalis evasion of TLR4-mediated host immunity results in progress of inflammation at a site that is distant from local infection by gaining access to the vasculature.”


{ Comments are closed }

How Stress Triggers Heart Attacks and What You Can Do About It

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (with 596,577 each year), barely edging out cancer which has 576,691. One third of all deaths is, in fact, due to heart disease. Several factors are known to play a critical role in relation to heart disease, and it's now well-known that one of the major things that leads to a heart attack is excess stress. Stress can, of course, come from several sources, but it is usually either physical of emotional. In this article we'll look at exactly how stress triggers a heart attack.

How a Heart attack Begins

Heart disease starts with the buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries of your heart. Plaque consists of cholesterol, other fats, calcium, cellular waste, and various products of inflammation. Since cholesterol plays a major role, let's look at it first. As you probably know, cholesterol comes in two varieties referred to as LDL (the bad kind) and HDL (the good kind). But it's the LDL cholesterol that we're mainly concerned with in relation to plaque (HDL also plays an important role in relation to it, as we'll see later). Under the microscope LDL cholesterol particles are seen to be different sized; some are large while others are small, and it's the small ones that do the most damage. The reason for this is that they are small enough to easily slip through the cells that line the walls of the arms, and they become oxidized when they enter this region. As a result, the immune system sees them as foreign invaders and sends what are called macrophages to deal with them (destroy them). The macrophages gobble them up and in the process they become bloated, and are referred to foam cells. These foam cells form a reliably large mass within the artery wall that usually protrudes into its interior. Indeed, in time, a fibrous “cap” develops over the mass of foam cells. This is the plaque referred earlier (with the area near the cap being the most dangerous section of it).

In practice it typically takes years to build up plaque in this way, and surprisingly it rarely develops to the state where it completely blocks off the artery. Indeed, plaque buildup by itself only causes a heart attack in about 15-percent of cases. Most attacks occur because inflammatory substances are eventually secreted by the foam cells, and they invade the cap and cause it to rupture. This creates a “channel” through the surface of the cap, and material from the core (referred to as “tissue factor”) increases through it and emerges out the top – much like the lava in a volcanic eruption. When the tissue factor encounters the blood passing over the cap it causes a blood clot to form. If this clot is large enough to halt the normal flow of blood in the artery a heart attack occurs.

How Does Stress Affect this Process?

To understand how stress might affect this we have to look at how stress, and particularly, a stress response, occurs. First of all, let's consider the difference between physical and emotional stress. The major way physical stress is produced in the body is through exercise. Exercise causes the heart to beat faster, and it also causes our arteries to pulse at a greater rate. This means that they move in and out further, and this will obviously have an effect on the cap and the near plaque. But exercise also keeps arteries supple and flexible, which is important. So moderate exercise will not usually cause a heart attack; in fact, it's good for the heart and arms.

In the case of emotional stress the heart also beats faster and the arteries flex more. What is important here is the “stress response;” it's what occurs in your body when you experience something that causes stress. This response involves two hormones called adrenaline and cortisol along with another hormone called norepinephrine. In a stress response adrenaline is called up first; it causes the heart to pulse faster, which sends extra blood to the muscles and organs. It also triggers the release of what is called fibrinogen, which increases the rate of blood clotting. Finally, it helps increase the body's energy by releasing glucose from its stored form called glycogen.

Once this first stage is well underway, a second stage comes into play. It triggers the production of cortisol. One of its first jobs is to replace energy that the adrenaline rush has depleted. Cortisol is also used by the immune system; it alerts it to respond to any infection or injury in the body. In response the immune system sends out white blood cells. Cortisol also acts as a check on the overall response, shutting it down when it is no longer needed. Norepinephrine works alongside adrenaline to help produce energy. It is also involved in controlling blood pressure and maintaining sugar levels.

How Does All This Affect a Heart Attack?

Our problem now is: how does the action of adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine create a heart attack? It may seem strange that it could do this, as it's obviously an important process in the body. We've also seen that infection, that is controlled by the immune system, plays a large role in heart disease. Inflammation creates the foam cells within the plaque. It's important to note, however, that a single stress response does little damage; it's when the responses get out of control and come one after the other that the problems begin. When this occurs your immune system can become desensitized to cortisol and since cortisol controls the overall stress response, this can allow inflammation to get out of control.

Adrenaline also triggers the release of fibrinogen, a blood-clotting agent, and if too much adrenaline is created, too much fibrinogen will also be created, which is a serious risk factor for a heart attack.

It's also important to note that in most cases several small attacks that are strictly noticed frequently preceded the main one. A small crack occurs in the cap and a corresponding small blood clot occurs that does not block off the artery and may be barely noticed. Clots of these types dissolve quickly and the cap heals over, but several of them set the stage for a larger crack and much larger blood clot as the cap weakens. And these smaller attacks are usually triggered by stress.

High blood pressure is also a risk factor. It puts the artery walls under an increased load as the artery pulses. With chronic stress and its associated increase in cortisol along with norepineephrine, problems can also arise. Excess norepinephrine, for example, can cause small deposits of plaque to break loose and cause problems.

So it's not a single factor associated with stress that causes heart attacks, it's actually some things.

What You Can Do to Avoid Problems

One of the best measures of your heart attack risk is your cholesterol numbers, in particular, the ratios of the numbers. The ratio of your HDL to your triglyceride is one of the most important ones. Triglyceride levels of greater than 120 mg / dL and HDL levels less than 40 mg / dL for men and 50 mg / dL for women indicate small, dense LDL particles. So, in general, your triglyceride / HDL ratio should be less than 2. Also your ratio of HDL / total cholesterol should be less than 24%.

So what can you do to improve these ratios and decrease your risk of a heart attack? Basically, there are four things you have to try to prevent, and they are:

  • The buildup of plaque
  • Excess infection (which causes foam cells)
  • Cracking of the cap
  • Blood blot formation above the cap

The major thing you must do is lower your stress level, and there are several ways you can do this.

  • Meditation. One of the most important things in meditation is to clear your mind and pay attention to your breathing. Keep your mind blank and relax as much as possible as you breathe in and out.
  • Avoid negative thoughts. They can cause considering stress and you must get rid of them as quickly as possible after they form. And the best way to do this is substitute a positive thought for them.
  • Music. Music can be very helpful in relaxing and relieving stress. Listening to music makes you feel comfortable; just relax and let it flow over you.
  • Sufficient sleep is also critical. Lack of sleep will create considering stress so make sure you get a sufficient amount.
  • Exercise. Many people do not like exercise, but it is one of the best stress relievers. And I can not emphasize it too much. Something as simple as a walk can help. Do not overdo it at first, however.

Diet is also critical, and there are several things that help in relation to it.

  • Avoid excess sugar, particularly fructose.
  • Eat as many vegetables and fruit as possible.
  • Avoid excess saturated and trans fats.
  • Get sufficient vitamin D.
  • Get sufficient Omega-3 fat

Finally, it's important to have a good social life, and refrain from smoking.

{ Comments are closed }

Basic Health Care Tips To Prevent Heart Diseases

Heart diseases lead to far more deaths than cancer. It is said that around 7 million men and more than 5 million women in the USA have some form of coronary heart disease. It is also estimated that more than 30% patients suffering from coronary diseases would die as a result of an attack.

What could be the main causes of heart problems? Why are they becoming so common in our modern society? Family history plays a very important role. Recent studies suggest, if there have been 2 or more cases of heart attack before the age of 55 among close family members, the chances of developing heart diseases would increase almost 10 times among other members of that family.

People with diabetes have a higher chance of getting heart disease. Hormones also play a critical role. Women seem to have higher risk after menopause. Smoking, obesity, stress can also lead to development of heart ailments.

There are many things you can do to take proper care of your heart and avoid dangerous ailments. First of all, you have to give up bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol if you want to enjoy good health and long life. Stay as far away from these as possible. You should also avoid unhealthy foods like junk food, soda drinks. Not only are they fattening, they can lead to a wide variety of other health problems. Get into the habit of eating less carbs. Research has found that people whose diet contains high amounts of carbohydrates have a significantly higher chance of developing heart diseases. So cut down on those French fries, white bread and cornflakes.

After getting rid of bad habits, the next step is to develop healthier habits. We are experiencing a lot of health problems these days due to sedentary lifestyles. We have to get adequate physical activity everyday. It is very important for our overall fitness. You can start doing something as simple as walking for 30 minutes daily. Walking is a wonderful exercise which can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It exercises all muscles of the body and keeps you fit and healthy. It can also help in increasing your stamina.

Drink plenty of water, get regular exercise, maintain regular sleep schedule, avoid unhealthy foods and quit smoking. These are the basic things you need to do if you want to enjoy a healthy heart. Besides this, people past the age of 40 or those who have a family history of heart problems should visit their doctor regularly to get regular checksups. You should get your blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol levels checked regularly.

{ Comments are closed }