Good Fat Vs. Bad Fat: Americans Are Losing the Battle

It's no great secret that Asian cultures that have diets high in cold-water fish, have a much lower incidence of heart diseases than we currently have in America. This is mainly attributed to the high concentration of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA's) contained in cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, and others. Our typical American diet is loaded with sources of Omega-6 fatty acids, from meats, fried foods, high-fructose corn syrup, and a multitude of other sources. This as explained in a disproportionate ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 which is causing Americans to lose the battles in all sorts of areas of health starting with the top of our heads, down to the bottoms of our feet.

The human brain is 60% of which a significant proportion is DHA which comes from Omega-3. In order for us to get the proper amount of Omega-3 to ensure good overall health, we need to be eating at least 8 oz of cold-water fish twice each week or taking a good supplement containing cold-water fish oil. Because our kids are eating all kinds of junk food instead of the foods that are good for brain health, our kids are lagging behind many other nations academically, and notably those kids growing up in Asian countries where cold-water fish is a part of the every day diet. Asians are leading the pack in the fields of study such as science, math, and physics that America depends on to maintain our status as a world leader.

As our diet leans towards consuming all of these unhealthy components, not only are our kids becoming progressively dumber, they are also getting fatter and sicker. Childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate. It's currently predicted that 45% of the next generation of teens entering secondary schools in America will have type 2 diabetes directly attributed to poor dietary choices. This in itself leads to a whole array of new physical problems and even early death.

Other problems that have been linked to our over-consumption of Omega-6 and under-consumption of Omega-3 are ADD, autism, and depression. Every cell in the human body is dependent on essential fatty acids to function properly. We must get these from our diet, because our bodies can not make them, that's why they are termed “essential.” The BEST sources for Omega-3 are cold-water fish, but they are also found in leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, flax seed, flax seed oil, and walnuts. The EFAs found in vegetables, seeds, and nuts; however, are short-chain EFAs which the human body can not absorb as readily as the long-chain fatty acids found in cold-water fish.

Essential fatty acids are also important in supporting vision health, skin health, and digestive health. In short, if you are not getting enough essential fatty acids in the correct ratios, your health is going to suffer. Get it right, and do it now. Your health depends on it !!

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Heart Problem Symptoms With 1 Idea That Can Save a Life!

Today I'm going to share with you some common heart problem symptoms with an idea that can save a life. In America there is one disease that tops the charts when it comes to killing people and do you know what it is? It is heart disease. Just like an automobile has a light engine light your body will usually let you know if there is a problem, by providing you with symptoms.

By knowing the symptoms it can be a wake up call to change a few things and then save a person's life. The first warning signal, which is almost universal for a lot of health problems is pain. Pain lets you know that something is not working right or there is a problem.

With heart problems the pain is usually felt in the chest area. Some people describe this pain as if something heavy was sitting on their chest. It could have a feeling of pressure as well as a squeezing sensation. It's also important to know that chest pain could be something along heart problems, such as heartburn. Heartburn takes places when stomach acid splashes up into the esophagus and the pain is near the heart.

Another warning sign is an irregular heart beat, especially if someone experiences shortness of breath, dizziness or weakness with the irregular heart beat. These are all signs of a heart problem and that not enough blood is getting to locations that need it. For example if not enough blood is reaching the brain a person can feel a little dizzy.

When a person has a heart problem the muscle has a more challenging time pumping blood to locations that need it. Another thing that happens is that blood can back up in the cardiovascular system. This can cause fluid to leak into the lungs resulting in breathing problems, such as shortness of breath. Next up when something is in the lungs such as fluid or mucus what other symptom do you think this produces? Yes, someone will probably cough to eliminate what is in their lungs. When a person has heart disease they may cough up a bloody mucus substance.

The first thing someone can do if they experience any of these symptoms is to take something that thins blood. Thin blood can help blood move and not get clogged up in the cardiovascular system. An example of this would be Aspirin, which according to WebMd slows blood clotting and decrees the size of blood clots that have been formed. Aspirin does not have a negative effect and that is it can harm the stomach if taken daily.

To sum everything up the leading heart problem symptoms include pain in the chest area, an irregular heart beat, dizziness, shortness of breath, coughing. A person could take aspirin at the first sign of a heart problem and this could save their life.

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Taking Care of Your Teeth Can Help Your Heart

When I was a kid my Mom always said that I needed to brush my teeth two or three times a day if I wanted girls to want to kiss me. I brushed !!

Oral hygiene is extremely important and I have done my best to keep my mouth in the best shape possible. I go to the dentist every six months, brush two to three times per day, and try to floss at least once per day. I use mouthwash to refresh and sterilize my mouth when needed.

There have been some studies that link gum disease and poor oral hygiene to heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. These are based on the information that poor oral health causes inflammation where bacteria gets inside the body, making its way into the bloodstream and then causes further health problems.

A recent review by the American Heart Association concluded that oral health does not directly affect heart disease. That does not mean it might not play a role in some way, shape, or form in the development of other health problems.

When it comes to my health I'd rather be safe than sorry. Especially when it comes to something as easy as good oral hygiene. Practicing good oral hygiene can save you lots of money, make you more kissable, save you from losing your teeth and potentially protect you from other health concerns. Here are a few basic tips on how to take care of your mouth:

• Brush your teeth for about two or three minutes at least twice a day, especially before bed.
• Flossing is so important. Floss your teeth at least once per day to remove any food particles stuck where your brush can not reach
• Replace your brush every few months or when the bristles begin to fray.
• Try to visit your dentist at least every 12 months, but every six months is highly recommended.
• Include Vitamin D in your daily life from either the sun or a supplement which is essential for strong healthy teeth.

Even though the above study said that brushing your teeth and having good oral habits does not help with heart disease, we are learning everyday that this actually may not be the case. Researchers around the world are finding just how important and life lengthening brushing, flossing and having good oral habits really is.

So Brush, Floss and Rinse it up friends and we can all live longer and healthier lives!

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How to Fix Your Broken Heart

Sure, your heart can be broken, leaving you sad and blue. Some studies have shown that people can die of a broken heart. You've read those stories on the Internet, have not you? These are the stories about those couples who have been married and devoted to each other for decades. Either the husband or wife dies, and the other soon follows, sometimes within days or even hours.

Our view tends to be that our brain is home to thought and logic, and our heart is home to our feelings. So without a heart we would like 'Data' from that old television show, Star Trek, the Next Generation – intelligent, observant, and logical; but lacking happiness, compassion, and love. What kind of life would that be?

Then there's the physical equivalent of a broken heart.

Our heart is unarguably the most important muscle in our body. It's an organ that's not much larger than our fist, yet it consistently pumps blood to our brain and other organs day and night. We take it for granted. Yet almost half of the deaths in the US are caused by heart disease. As you probably know, heart disease is actually a category of conditions that include coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and more.

Many of these conditions that lead to our broken hearts are preventable. It's all up to us to take that first step.

• Get a heart wellness screening, even as early as in your twenties. Signs of heart disease can show up at young ages, especially if there's a family history. This is offered at hospitals and is a program that involves several tests and provides you with a risk assessment for heart disease.

• Lose weight, especially if you have excess fat around the waist. However, even if you're thin, it does not mean you're safe from heart disease – some people are skinny on the outside, but if they make bad food choices, they're building up fat on the inside. It's a myth that thin people do not have high cholesterol and other risk factors that lead to life-threatening heart conditions.

• Get up from that couch! Have you ever read about the sitting disease? The gist of it is that we sit too darn much, and all this sitting is bad for the ticker. Turn off the television. Schedule time for physical activity and get your kids to join you also. Walk, rum, bicycle, swim, play tennis; heck, play hopscotch or jump rope. Oh yeah, do not forget weight training.

• Fill that refrigerator with healthy fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, yogurt, skim milk, good fats – you know the drill. Our heart needs those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and probiotics that healthy foods provide. We may love all those highly processed junk foods, but our hearts are dying from them.

• Learn to control type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and other things that break our hearts. Your doctor can provide you with specific diets, exercise plans, and, if necessary, prescription medications to help control these conditions.

• Quit smoking. I'm sure you've heard that smoking cigarettes not only causes cancer, but also clogs up our arteries and is the primary cause of coronary artery disease. This, along with all the poisons that cigarettes contain, makes it even more important to butt out.

Heart health is so important – we do not have a heart heart sitting around in a closet somewhere, ticking away and collecting dust. If we want to live our lives filled with vim, vigor, and vitality, we need to do all we can keep our hearts pumping efficiently.

Finally, think about your family history: did your mother or father suffer from high blood pressure, heart attacks, or strokes? Then ask yourself if that's the way you want to live out your “golden years.” If it's not, take that first step towards heart health. It's up to us to repair our broken hearts.

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6 Ways To Reduce Your Blood Pressure

One of the leading causes of heart disease is hypertension (high blood pressure), which is usually caused by stress. We all have stress in our lives, but not everyone has hypertension. It is a matter of learning how to deal with that stress and finding ways to help you manage your daily stress. Everyone is different. Find ways to help you. Here are 6 ways to help you reduce stress & reduce your risk of heart disease.

If you add these 6 steps to your weekly routine it will prevent your risk of heart disease & stroke. No pills necessary !!

1) Lend a hand

Recent research shows that if you help others it does more than just fill you with a warm feeling. It also gives your heart a boost. Adults between 51-91 that volunteered for 200 hours per year, about 3 hours a week, lowered the risks of HBP.

2) Eat Yogurt

People who eat at least 6oz of lowfat yogurt daily are less likely to develop, than those who only eat it less than once a month. One possible reason is that yogurt is a good source of calcium, potassium & magnesium. All 3 of these minerals are important in helping to regulate blood flow.

3) Walk a Dog

Owning a pet reduces stress, improves your mood & increases exercise levels. All these work together to lower your blood pressure. Make time to play with your pet for at least 20 minutes a day.

4) Play Some Music

One study showed that listening to relaxing music releases soothing neurohormones in your body. These neurohoromones work to help lower your blood pressure. The music should calm you & make you feel better. You may notice that your breathing and / or heart rate rate slows down as your hear it.

5) Drink Black Tea

Research reveals that those who drink 3 cups of black tea daily for 6 months have lowered their BP by helping decrease your risks of high blood pressure. Black tea contains antioxidants that may help to relax blood vessels & lower your blood pressure.

6) Get Your Heart Pumping

Everyone knows that cardiovascular activity can improve health but the AHA has recently confirmed that moderate aerobic exercise also lowers blood pressure.

I hope this has helped you find some ways to reduce your blood pressure. Remember we are all different and some of these things may not work for you, so try differnet things that may work for you.

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LDL: The Actual Good Cholesterol

People disparage the low-density lipoproteins and their attached cholesterols. However, it's not right. It all started when they were able to distinguish between the types of lipoproteins. Neverheless, like the demonization of fats, they got this wrong, too.

LDL and the cholesterol it carries do a vital job in our bodies. We require it to survive.

When our bodies are injured, the body sends out signals for a certain set of events to happen. First, the immune system kicks in and produces antibodies to combat any intruders. But, where does it get the building blocks for the antibodies? Hormones are created to lessen the pain and trigger other healing actions. But, where does it get the building blocks for the hormones?

Next, the body uses proteins to create a temporary net to hold vital life fluids in and keep the wound clean. Then, the body goes through the slower process of rebuilding tissues. But where does it get these building blocks?

The building blocks of the antibodies, hormones, and new cells are cholesterols. There are many other atoms, molecules, and proteins, but cholesterols are a big part. Hormones are almost pure cholesterol. If you really want to know more about the exact makeup, seek out a biochemistry textbook.

Our cholesterol levels are a dynamic system. They fluctuate daily depending on what we need. It has been observed in hospitals, that people who go through surgery have extremely high cholesterol right after, even if their numbers were normal before. People who are sick have high readings, which can be normal just 2 weeks later.

High LDL cholesterol numbers are a sign the body is injured and repairing itself.

So, why is this important?

High LDL cholesterol numbers are not bad alone. It's why I think any drug that only lowers that number is bad for the body. I worry about people who doctors do not seek out anything further.

What concerns me about seeing a high LDL number is what it means: injury in the body.

If there is not an obvious injury, there must be something else. And, chronic inflammation is often the culprit, and it was what was wrong with me.

I was eating a diet that was not what my body needed. I had chronic gut inflammation. It caused many other little problems, like knee pain, headaches, vision problems, bloating, and weight gain. The cholesterol was simply there repairing the damage.

I changed my diet and changed my life. As my numbers went down, so did the problems. I lost the pain and headaches, my vision started to clear, and the bloating and weight just walked away. My cholesterol plummeted: 333 to 187.

My body simply did not need as much.

That is why people who change their diet have an easy time of lowering their cholesterol. But it has to be done right. Eliminating meats does not do it. The largest causes of pollution are wheat, dairy, chemicals, preservatives, and potatoes.

It's not surprising that the majority of people who have high cholesterol eat many of these things on a daily basis. The body responds to them and the little injuries that cause with inflammation. The body sends out cholesterol to fight it. The body is injured again, and more cholesterol is sent out. Over time, we just can not handle the stress and we get detected with high cholesterol.

The largest fixes to the diet are fruits, vegetables, and whole cuts of meat. The body responds quickly and efficiently to these foods and can actually heal.

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Role Of Inflammation In Heart Disease

Even though it is not proven if inflammation causes heart disease, this condition is very common for heart disease as well as stroke patients. It is thought to be a sign of heart disease, so it is important to know what it is as well as what it can do to your heart. Inflammation is caused by factors such as cigarette or tobacco smoking, bad cholesterol as well as high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis, which refers to a buildup of fatty deposits in the walls of the heart, is also attributed to inflammation since it causes the arteries to be narrow.

Even though some people might argue that the inhalation of the modern processed tobacco is not bad for health, it is linked to heart disease. Inhaling incredibly hot, burnt tobacco plant material has been found to acutely increase inflammation which is linked to heart problems. Quitting smoking lowers inflammation, and as a result chances of getting heart disease are reduced. Studies indicate that smoking causes the atherosclerotic plaque to be under a lot of stress, something which increases the possibility of it breaking off. When the atherosclerotic plaque breaks off, blood flow can be blocked as a result of the resulting rhombus lodging itself in the artery. This could cause an infection that could in turn cause a heart attack.

Bad cholesterol also causes inflammation that may in turn cause heart problems. The macrophages, which are cells that like gobbling up lipids and other substances, in the arterial wall receive the bad cholesterol that ends up forming atherosclerotic plaque. This makes the arms more vulnerable to rupture. Regular cholesterol does not cause problems. It is only the oxidized bad cholesterol that gets taken up and then turned into plaque. The inflammatory response is the one that is responsible for the oxidation of the bad cholesterol which is known to cause heart disease.

Inflammation can also be linked to physical activity. If you always get the right type of exercise in the right quantities, chances of systemic inflation will be reduced. Wrong kind or even too much of the right kind of exercise increases inflammation. Sedentary living as well as extreme overtraining have both been linked to inflammation and heart problems. Proper exercise can increase sheer stress on the arterial walls, something which causes the endothelium to be less permeable and produce more nitric oxide which causes oxidation of bad cholesterol. This in turn protects against atherosclerosis and in turn heart disease. It is therefore important to think of exercise as not just training for the muscles, but also the arterial walls. Avoid exercises that cause too much shear since they can be inflammatory and in turn cause heart problems.

Inflammation that causes heart disease can also be caused by genetics. Some people have a genetic predisposition that directly alters the inflammatory response, something which increases chances of developing not only heart diseases but also other diseases. Such people typically have a genetic variant that increases the susceptibility of oxidation of bad cholesterol which is famously linked to increased rates of heart problems. Even though increased oxidation of the bad cholesterol does not necessarily mean that the individuals are more vulnerable to the oxidative damage resulting from the inflammatory response, the particles from the bad cholesterol are likely to cause heart disease simply by the merit of them spending more time in the blood.

It is very important to go for cholesterol lowering medications to reduce arterial inflammation if you want to reduce chances of suffering from heart disease. It is also important to control other risk factors that are associated with inflammation and heart disease such as smoking, intake of foods that have bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. If you do not smoke and you live a healthy lifestyle, you might want to go for a checkup just to make sure that you are not at risk of heart disease due to genetic factors. If you are diagnosed and found to have a lot of bad cholesterol in your body, it is important to start taking an anti-inflammatory diet as well as fish oil supplements. You could also take anti-inflammatory herbs including turmeric and ginger. It is also important to follow your doctor's recommendations for heart health.

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The Silent Killers: Hypertension Disorder, Stroke, And Arterial Aneurysms

Have you ever really thought about how your lifestyle and your past have affected your heart? Hypertension disorder, which is also known as heart disease, can really be the silent killer. There are rarely any symptoms associated with hypertension disorder, but there are several severe health related ailments that are associated with hypertension disorder. My own stroke story happened in 2013. I was on a Los Angeles freeway traveling at 70 miles an hour, I started seeing seeing double, unfortunately I was unaware of what was happening to me. You see, I was on the way to work and was determined to be on time. As it turns out, I should have pushed over, and called 9.1-1. I did not recognize the fact that I was having a TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack. I later learned that a Transient Ischemic Attack occurs when blood flow to parts of the brain are blocked for a brief period of time. Blood flow resumes quickly with this type of stroke, so brain tissue does not die like it does in the case of a full on stroke. A Transient Ischemic Attack only lasts between 2 and 30 minutes. The after effects of the TIA, for me had various neurological symptoms for several weeks after the attack. Nearly one year after the attack I have no lasting effects. The correct question at this point is: What are the symptoms of a Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack?

1) Weakness or paralysis of an arm or leg on one side of the body
2) Loss of normal sensations in an arm, leg, or on one side of the body
3) Partial loss of vision or hearing
4) This one is scary at 70 miles an hour on the freeway in Los Angeles traffic- Double Vision
5) Dizziness and like me Nausea.
6) Slurred Speech.
7) Problems thinking or understanding what is happening to you, that was because why I did not pull over on the freeway.
8) Unusual movements.
9) Loss of bladder control- thankfully I did not have this symptom while driving.
10) Imbalance and falling- after my TIA I had a problem with talking and walking.
11) Fainting.

The important thing to do before you have a stroke, heart attack, or arterial aneurysm, is to understand how your lifestyle can affect your heart. What exactly are these silent killers?

1) Stroke- We mentioned above the signs, and I can only stress that it is vital to know the symptoms and get to a hospital within 20 minutes of having a stroke, because every minute counts for symptoms to be reversed in order to prevent lifelong problems. The saying that hospitals use for stroke is FAST or
F- Face: Does one side of the face droop when the person smiles?
A-Arm or Leg Weakness: does one arm / leg drift downward
S- Speech: Is their speech slurred or strange?
T-Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately

2) Heart Attack- Often called myocardial infarction is a medical emergency, if you even think you are having a heart attack call 9-1-1 immediately. If blood to the heart is severely reduced for any period of time, muscle will die from lack of oxygen. The good news is that one out of five people have only mild symptoms and can be saved by minor surgery.

3) Arterial Aneurysm- An arterial aneurysm occurs most often with diabetic patients. This occurs when blood clots in a vein, often in the thigh or lower leg and causes a stroke. Most aneurysms occur in the aortoiliac region, this being the main treaties in one body that supplies blood to the legs.

How could I have invented the mini-stroke or TIA?

1) Listen to my cardiologist and daily monitor my blood pressure.
2) Eliminate the smoking habit.
3) Exercise daily.

It is interesting that we as humans go about our daily lives often without realizing that our stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking habits are slowly wreaking havoc on our cardiovascular system. Recognizing the symptoms, monitoring our blood pressure, changing our habits, and acting FAST can often be the difference in living a long healthy life.

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Heart Treatment Breakthroughs

Progress in diagnosing and treating heart failure includes cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), new drugs to slow the heart, and simple tests to predict readmission. The CRT technique improves heart-failure symptoms and quality of life, and reduces the risk of sudden death in patients with advanced heart failure. The FDA recently announced a new drug called ivabradine (Procoralan) to slow the heart rate of patients with heart failure, allowing the heart to pump more forcefully.

The heart takes on a huge responsibility in having to pump blood for us to exist. Each and every beat of the heart consist of a sequence of events called the cardiac cycle. “Cardiac” is Greek, meaning “heart”. There is 3 major steps in the sequence: atrial systole, ventricular systole and complete cardiac diastole. After the blood has completely left the atria, the atrioventricular valves (located between atria and ventricular chambers), close to prevent back flow. This function is what you would recognize as your heartbeat. Next, there is a contracting of the ventricles and flow of blood into the circulatory system. This is known as the ventricular systole. Once again, valves called “pulmonary” and “aortic semilunar” close to prevent back flow. After these 2 steps, the heart takes a quick break called complete cardiac diastole. This allows the refilling of blood and to start the process over.

Now you have some knowledge of how the heart works, let's talk about some problem identification. Heart failure puts an intense burden on 5.1 million patients and their families in the US Heart failure also costs our health care system billions of dollars a year, primarily in the costs of frequent hospitals. In a single year, more than 80% of heart-failure patients require hospital care at least once, and nearly half are hospitalized up to four times. However, new medical treatments and better understanding of heart failure are helping more patients stay healthier longer- and out of the hospital.

What should you know: Heart failure is a systemic illness that affects organs throughout the body, resulting in symptoms that you should watch for: 1. Fatigue, 2. Insomnia, 3. Difficulty concentrating, 4. Shortness of breath, 5. Generalized weakness, 6. Bloating, poor appetite, 7. Increased / decreased urination, 8. Muscle weakness, and 9. Swelling. Certainly not all of these symptoms are present and unfortunately, in a few cases involving women, none of these may appear.

Managing heart failure requires complex medication regimens and lifestyle adjustments. There is a simple test debuted at ACC 2014 that may enable physicians to identify these at-risk patients in advance and take preventive measures. These advances are very welcome, as they give patients with mild-to-moderate disease the hop of a longer life and those with advanced disease hope for a better quality of life in the rest of their lives. A more complete story on these breakthroughs and some details on this ACC 2014 test can be found by going to Duke Medicine. For more information on similar topics, see below.

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The Organ We Love – How The Heart Works

Being the strongest muscle in the body, the hearts purpose is to pump blood through our vessels through rhythmic contractions. To regulate blood pressure and volume, the heart secrets “ANF”, which is a very powerful peptide hormone. It affects the regulatory region of the brain, as well as the kidneys, blood vessels, and the adrenal glands.

First off, I would like to clear up a worldwide rumor; the Heart is not located on the left side of your body! Its actual location is found in the center of your chest, just SLIGHTLY of to the left hand side, and underneath the sternum. For protection, the heart is enveloped in a sac called the pericardium, and is surrounded by the lungs. First thought is, “why does the strongest muscle in the body need so much protection?”. It's fragile! Weighing in at about 300 grams, the heart consists of 4 chambers; 2 lower ventricles and 2 upper atria. Valves between the atrium and the ventricle control proper blood flow from one to the other.

The job of pumping blood everywhere in the body is a huge responsibility. Each and every beat of the heart consist of a sequence of events called the cardiac cycle. “Cardiac” is Greek, meaning “heart”. There is 3 major steps in the sequence: atrial systole, ventricular systole and complete cardiac diastole. After the blood has completely left the atria, the atrioventricular valves (located between atria and ventricular chambers), close to prevent back flow. This function is what you would recognize as your heartbeat. Next, there is a contracting of the ventricles and flow of blood into the circulatory system. This is known as the ventricular systole. Once again, valves called “pulmonary” and “aortic semilunar” close to prevent back flow. After these 2 steps, the heart takes a quick break called complete cardiac diastole. This allows the refilling of blood and to start the process over.

Now you have some knowledge of how the heart works, let's talk about some problem identification. Heart failure puts an intense burden on 5.1 million patients and their families in the US Heart failure also costs our health care system billions of dollars a year, primarily in the costs of frequent hospitals. In a single year, more than 80% of heart-failure patients require hospital care at least once, and nearly half are hospitalized up to four times. However, new medical treatments and better understanding of heart failure are helping more patients stay healthier longer- and out of the hospital.

What should you know: Heart failure is a systemic illness that affects organs throughout the body, resulting in symptoms that you should watch for: 1. Fatigue, 2. Insomnia, 3. Difficulty concentrating, 4. Shortness of breath, 5. Generalized weakness, 6. Bloating, poor appetite, 7. Increased / decreased urination, 8. Muscle weakness, and 9. Swelling. Certainly not all of these symptoms are present and unfortunately, in a few cases involving women, none of these may appear.

Managing heart failure requires complex medication regimens and lifestyle adjustments. There is a simple test debuted at ACC 2014 that may enable physicians to identify these at-risk patients in advance and take preventive measures. These advances are very welcome, as they give patients with mild-to-moderate disease the hop of a longer life and those with advanced disease hope for a better quality of life in the rest of their lives. A more complete story on these breakthroughs and some details on this ACC 2014 test can be found by going to Duke Medicine.

In addition, for more information similar to this article on other health and fitness topics, go to

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The Different Types Of Heart Doctors

There is more than one type of doctor in the world, and when people are sick, they generally have to begin by going to their family care doctor. From their general practitioner, people are then referred to various kinds of other doctors depending on what is wrong with them. For people who have problems with their heart, or may be predisposed through their family history to develop heart issues, then cardiologists are the doctors that they have to go see. However, there is more than one type of heart doctor depending on what the exact problem with the heart is.

For a part of the body that is as important as the heart, there are many different kinds of heart doctors that can deal with problems relating to muscle itself, the rhythm of the heart, and the circulatory system that it is involved with. However, for people who are unfamiliar with the different kinds of heart doctors, here is information on who they are and what they do:

• General cardiologist: The first stop for someone who may have a heart issue is a general cardiologist. This is a basic heart doctor that will do things like monitor the overall health of the heart, and treat some problems, but for particular problems, this heart doctor will refer their patient to the next level of cardiologist, which is an intervening cardiologist.

• Interventional cardiologist: While a cardiologist can do some basic surgical procedures involving the heart, an interventional cardiologist examines more specific heart problems, and those problems are coronary artery disease, diseases of the heart valves, and peripheral vascular disease. The most common procedure that these cardiologists do is the angioplasty, which is when a balloon is inserted into an artery in order to help the blood flow to the heart.

• Electro physiologist: This type of heart doctor has a very specific area of ​​the heart, and that is the way that the heart beats. In order to circulate blood through the body properly, the heart has to beat in a special way. There are tests that the electro physiologist has to run to determine what is going on, and if a procedure needs to be done, this doctor can do it.

• Pediatric cardiologist: Pediatric doctors help children who may have been born with some kind of heart abnormality. To make sure the heart is functioning properly in a child, a pediatric doctor will do some in-office testing, and make sure everything is working fine as that child grows into an adult.

A regular cardiologist can do the general health check of the heart, but if someone needs a heart procedure, there are other cardiologists that specialize in operating on the heart to do things like clear out the arteries and repair the valves. There are also many different kinds of heart doctors that can do things like monitoring the heart to make sure it's healthy, and also treating various conditions.

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Air Pollution, Shown to Increase Heart Disease Risk

Now we may be able to add air pollution to the list of factors of modern life that increase heart disease risk.

For some time, we have known that air quality can make asthma and other lung diseases, like emphysema, worse. The annual medical cost of the air we breath affect on these diseases is measured in the tens of millions of dollars.

What we are now discovering is that this may also accelerate the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Several medical studies have suggested a link between air pollution and heart disease in people who are already at risk because of high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. However, the mechanism by which pollution increased the risk of heart disease was unknown – until now.

In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan explored the effects of air pollution and diet on a specific strain of mouse. They discovered that even small amounts in conjuction with a high-fat diet, led to a significantly faster build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in the treaties. The build-up of plaque is directly related to increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

The researchers discovered that pollution, along with a high-fat diet, also increased vasoconstriction (spasm of the arteries), decreasing blood flow to the heart and brain. Inflammation also plays an important role in the production of plaque, and also amplifies the inflammatory response by 2.6 times.

Interestingly, neither a high-fat diet nor air pollution alone increased inflammation or vasoconstriction. But even a small amount of air pollution, when combined with a high-fat diet, resolved in significant plaque formation.

These data indicate that air pollution has a far greater effect on health than we first realized. Heart disease, a major cause of death and illness in both men and women, may be aggravated by air pollution from industry and automobiles.

There are ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Reducing the total amount of fat in the diet is important. Increasing specific omega-3 fats (docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic fats) by eating more fish and fish oil, and eating more fruits and vegetables also can help. Regular exercise and weight loss are also beneficial for preventing diabetes and high blood pressure.

I also encourage activities to reduce pollution, including cleaner industrial emission standards and more fuel efficient cars. For example, a car made in France by the MIDI motor company operates on compressed air, carries five passengers, runs for about 180 miles / tank of air, has a top speed of about 60 mph and is “refueled” with a built-in air compressor. Why can not we do that in the US?

The best way to treat heart disease is to prevent it. Clean air, it looks, is a must.

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Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms – When to See a Doctor and a Secret to Prevent This Disease!

Today I'm going to share the top congestive heart failure symptoms and some ideas to prevent this problem. Having car failure is bad, same thing with relationship failure, but heart failure is by far the worst.

Your body is made up of all these organs and cells that have different jobs and roles. Just like employees need cash to go to work these cells and organs need blood. Blood does not have a mind of its own, so it needs something to push it and that is the heart. With this condition the heart still works, but it's like an employee working on a late Friday afternoon. It just does not do that good of a job.

This is why some of the symptoms have to do with lack of energy or shortness of breath. Yes your mind also needs blood so if there is a little bit of failure with the heart can you guess what is going to happen? Yea, someone probably will have a harder time concentrating.

Also as the heart starts to slow down kidneys have a harder time doing their job and so fluid starts to build up in tissues. This could be swelling in the feet, ankles, stomach area and some weight gain.

Next up a person could experience a faster heartbeat, it could be irregular and there could be some chest pains.

I know what you might be thinking and that is when should I see a doctor. According to the American Heart Association if you feel severe weakness like you're about to fault then it could be serious and you should see a doctor. Other potential serious signals could be a sudden severe shortness of breath and coughing up a pink fluid. Lastly would be chest pains and an unusual heartbeat. You probably should seek professional medical attention if you feel for a second that you have a serious health problem.

It's also true that taking an aspirin if you feel any of these symptoms could save your life. Aspirin helps stop inflammation and blood clots, which helps blood flow better.

If you're interested in preventing congestive heart failure it's best to look at what causes it. Mostly this is high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight and blockage with arms. Making changes in your life such as not smoking tobacco, getting exercise, managing stress and eating healthy food can all reduce the odds of heart failure.

The next thing is drugs. Due to the fact heart disease is the number 1 killer just in the United States the amount of money being made through prescription drugs is huge. The bad news with prescription medicine is that they can cost a lot of money, have side effects and create free radicals that cause damage.

The good news is that there are herbal remedies that can really help the heart that are safer, less expensive and do not give off free radicals and bad side effects.

One idea is policosanol. In a study at the University of Bonn in Germany researchers tested this herb on patients that had high cholesterol levels that clog up arteries. Scientists wave 10 to 20 mg a day to these patients and the results were amazing. It lowered total cholesterol by around 19 percent and LDL cholesterol by 24%.

To sum everything up the top signs of heart failure would be.

  • Chest pains
  • Irregular Heart Beat
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Flood build up in the ankles, legs or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up a pink fluid

To prevent this disease get enough exercise, manage stress, eat healthy food and take policosanol.

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Statins, Are You, Or Someone You Love On Them?

This topic really hits home with me, as I have had first-hand experience with family members and friends just what these are doing to us as a population.

A New Study Reveals What Happens When Patients Complain of Statin Side Effects to Their Doctors.

I have taken Lipitor for several years. I now notice numbness in my feet and sporadic memory loss, difficulty balancing my checkbook and using the computer. I have a Ph.D., so this is alarming. My doctor says Lipitor is not to blame. My cholesterol is great and not to stop. Is there any evidence that Lipitor could have been connected to these symptoms?

I have been on cholesterol-lowering medication for some time. I had been telling my doctor that my medication was doing something to my muscles and he would not believe me. I changed doctors and the new one discovered that my muscles enzymes were 800 (normal is 200). When I went on a different statin, they climbed back up again.

My doctor insists I must take statins to lower my cholesterol even though I experience pain with all of them. Sometimes the pain gets so bad that I struggle not to cry when I walk down the hall of my child's school. My doctor says I should accept “a little discomfort. My doctor says this pain is rare but I know a lot of people who have had the same muscle pain.

It has been proven that statins can cause numbness in the limbs, cognitive and memory problems, muscle pain and severe muscle injury. Neverheless, many doctors still insist that statins do not cause side effects. So why would you say that that can not be from the statin?

A research team at the University of California, San Diego, undertook an investigation of doctors' behavior when dealing with patients who complaints of statin side effects. When patients provided good descriptions of their symptoms, did doctors acknowledge the possibility of statin side effects and assist the patients accordingly? Did doctors submit reports to the FDA? Led by Dr. Beatrice Golomb, the researchers published their results in August 2007.

The researchers focused on three types of side effects commonly caused by statins. The first type involved muscle pain, tightness, cramping, or weakness. In private consultations, patients described their symptoms to 138 doctors. According to the patients, fifty-three doctors (38%) acknowledged the possibility of statin side effect. Eighty-five doctors (62%) dismissed the possibility.

Patients presented symptoms of cognitive disorders, including impaired memory or thinking, to 56 doctors. Sixteen doctors (29%) acknowledged the possibility of a statin side effect. Forty doctors (71%) dismissed the possibility.

Patients presented symptoms of nerve injuries (neuropathies) including pain, weakness, or loss of function to 49 doctors. Seventeen doctors (35%) acknowledged the possibility of a statin side effect. Thirty-two doctors (65%) dismissed the possibility.

One might ask whether the doctors received enough information to make a connection between the statins and the side effects. In preparation for their consultations with the doctors, patients received materials to help them provide ample descriptions to the doctors. Indeed, separate analysis of patients' symptoms determined that nearly 80% of the cases met the scientific criteria for a definite or probable drug reaction.

After the interviews with the doctors, patients described their doctors' attitudes about their symptoms (Table 1 below). Some flatly denied that statins caused any side effects or that statins caused these specific side effects. Yet practicing cardiologists know that muscle symptoms occur in about 35% of statin users, even though the drug companies' claim an incidence is only 5%.

Overall, these results demonstrate that according to patients' reports, nearly two-thirds of the doctors in this study failed to diagnose obvious statin-related adverse effects. These findings are disturbing because they indicate a very poor level of medical care among doctors prescribed statin medicines. The implications for patients are alarming.

On a helmet scale, doctors' refusal to make an obvious diagnosis of statin side effects suggests that these same doctors would not submit a report to the FDA. The FDA Medwatch system is our primary means of identifying dangerous drugs and taking proper remedial steps. Medwatch rests mainly on reports submitted by doctors to indicate whether a drug is safe or harmful. This study provides strong evidence that with statin side effects, the number of reports received by Medwatch represents a gross underestimate of the scope of the problem. This is simply horrible news for us, the patients!

Some known side effects as stated by the Mayo Clinic:

• Muscle pain and damage
• Liver damage
• Digestive problems
• Rush or flushing
• Increased blood sugar, type II Diabetes
• Neurological side effects … Memory loss or confusion.

Are There Side Effects of Statin Drugs as stated by WebMD?
Most people who take statin drugs tolerate them very well. But some people experience side effects.

The most common statin side effects include:
• Headache
• Difficulty sleeping
• Flushing of the skin
• Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
• Drowsiness
• Nausea and / or vomiting
• Dizziness
• Abdominal cramping and / or pain
• Bloating and / or gas
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Rash

Statins also carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. It's important to remember that statins may also interact with other medications you take.

Who's at risk of developing statin side effects as stated by the Mayo Clinic?
Not everyone who takes a statin will have side effects, but some people may be at a greater risk than others. Risk factors include:

• Taking multiple medications to lower your cholesterol
• Being female
• Having a smaller body frame
• Being age 65 or older
• Having kidney or liver disease
• Having type 1 or 2 diabetes
• Drinking too much alcohol (More than two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger and more than one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65), so basically all men and women who have one or more drinks a day.

There are supplements that will help you lower your Cholesterol levels and have no side effects. Red Yeast Rice w / CoQ10, our All Natural Proprietary Cholesterol Support, Beta-Sitosterol, Omega 3's, Psyllium Husk, Curcumin-Turmeric, and a few others …

If you are taking a statin drug and you encounter any symptoms that might be a side effect, whether listed above or not, research it yourself before you go to your doctor. If the doctor is more concerned about defending the drug than helping you, find another doctor. Trust me, finding another doctor could save your life!

In Summary, for those who took the statin for 5 years:

Benefits in Percentage
• 96% saw no benefit
• 1.2% were helped by being saved from death
• 2.6% were helped by preventing a repeat heart attack
• 0.8% were helped by preventing a stroke

Harms in Percentage
• 2% were harmed by developing diabetes
• 10% were harmed by muscle damage

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Treating Mild Heart Failure With CRT

A recent study concludes cardiologic resynchronization therapy (CRT) can be effective in treating certain patients with mild heart failure (HF), according to a presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

The MADIT-CRT trial investigated the use of CRT in treating patients with mild HF and concluded that the additional therapy was useful for patients with a specific condition called left bundle branch block (LBBB).

The study found patients who did not have this condition did not benefit from CRT and it may actually increase certain risks in patients who do not have the LBBB condition.

CRT involves placing a small pacemaker below the collarbone to monitor heart rate and correct abnormal heart rhythms.

It is currently used primarily for patients with abnormal heart rhythms and moderate to severe cardiac failure. The pacemaker stabilizes heart rhythms and relieves serious symptoms like shortness of breath.

The trial tested the theory that CRT could help patients with mild heart failure by keeping them from progressing to higher levels of HF.

More than 1,800 patients were MADIT-CRT participants and each received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which detects and corrects abnormal heartbeats. About 60% of trial participants received CRT in addition to standard therapy for their condition.

More than 1,250 of the participants were found to have LBBB.

CRT differs from ICD in that a second electrode is placed over the left ventricle of the heart to help synchronize the heartbeat and improve cardiac function.

Patients were followed for seven years. Findings isolate the patient group that can benefit from adding CRT to current treatment standards for mild heart failure. Results were met with positive response from cardiologists, but they said further research is needed to better understand when CRT is appropriate for patients with mild heart failure.

The study found participants with the LBBB condition who received the CRT had a 41% reduced risk of death as compared to patients who received only the traditional ICD.

The study was the longest follow-up of CRT for patients with mild heart failure yet. At the end of seven years, the probability of death from all causes was 18% for CRT patients with this condition, as compared to 29% in the ICD group for the LBBB patients. The five-year survival rate was 90% for the CRT patients and, at seven years, the survival rate was more than 80%.

In addition, the same subset of patients had a 62% reduction in risk of a heart failure event, in comparison to the control group. This study was the first to demonstrate significant survival benefits of CRT for patients with mild symptoms or patients with no symptoms but with cardiac dysfunction.

Nearly 5 million Americans currently live with heart failure.

CRT is a common therapy for patients with moderate to severe heart failure and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and has been shown to improve outcomes for this population.

An ICD is a device that uses electrical pulses or shocks to help patients maintain normal heart rhythms. When an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, the ICD shocks the heart to restore normal rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death.

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