Are You Taking Care of Your Heart?

While I was at the Institute for Functional Medicine Convention a couple of weeks ago, I got to listen to Dr. Mimi Guarneri, a cardiologist from Southern California and the winner of the Linus Pauling award this year for her outstanding work. I just finished reading her book, The Heart Speaks , in which she talks about her journey from being a type A, by-the-book cardiologist to someone who has grown to appreciate and respect the power and influence that thoughts, feelings, emotions, and a sense of believing have on heart health. Because of this, she began support groups for her heart patients that included yoga and meditation, and she was initially laughed at by her peers. Today, her classes are full and her programs are a success. In fact, in her book, she quotes Larry Dossey who said:

“Scientists working in the new field of psychoneuroimmunology have demonstrated the existence of infinite links between parts of the brain concerned with thought and emotion and the neurological and immune systems.

I'm always talking about the importance of a healthy diet, but if you've ever been to one of my talks, then you've heard me speak about 'primary food', which is everything in our life except food (which is considered secondary food). This may include career, relationships, your spiritual practice, etc. Whatever balance may look like for you in these areas, that is to say, whatever combination of factors in your area of ​​primary food make you happy or feel a sense of well-being, if they're not negative, then the negative impact they have on you emotionally in some ways can be just as bad as eating fast food everyday for lunch.

Eating all the kale and quinoa in the world will not prevent an unhealthy balance of hormones that can rise from constant anger, frustration, or despair. And of course, living under a cloud of constant negative emotions will always influence the steps we take-or do not take-to maintain our health.

Dr. Guarneri tells remarkable stories about some of her patients and how it was not until they overcame emotional issues, opened the lines of communication with their spouses, or found a reason to live (one elderly woman got herself a small dog and it changed her world ) that they were able to get on the road to recovery. She also described a high-powered, female executive patient who had no signs of heart disease or risk factors yet who had suffered a heart attack that was greeted on intense anger and an emotional outburst.

And , she tells some fascinating stories about the power of prayer and how one of her patients was transformed by a healer. Not something that you would hear most doctors talk about or even believe in. She certainly did not until she saw a miraculous recovery. She even uses the power of healing touch herself on her patients that helped spare one from surgery.

Overall, this book has me taking a look at my life, my relationships, and anywhere I may be harboring negativity or other low energy emotions that could be harming me physically. It has reminded me of the importance of primary food in my life, in addition to diet and exercise.

One night at the conference, I met Dr. Guarneri. A small group of women were talking, and she mentioned to us half jokingly that she would like to give up her practice and start farming. I told her if she wanted some tips on how to get started to go visit my daughter in Northern California. She smoked …

Think about all the ways you may be hurting your heart and the impact it is having on your life or of those around you. Then, commit to turning those actions around to something positive. You may be surprised how far-reaching your actions go.

{ Comments are closed }

How Exercise Can Lower Your Cholesterol

You know that regular workouts are good for you, that's common sense. An exercise program is vital in controlling cholesterol, along with a healthy diet and natural supplements.

What you may not know is why exercise is so important. Read on to discover the link between exercise and cholesterol.

Research Into Exercise and Cholesterol

There's been much research into the effects of diet and exercise on cholesterol. But one of the difficulties is that these studies have analyzed the results of both diet and exercise changes together. This makes it hard to separate the two, and work out what changes might have the optimum results.

The latest research focuses on exercise and the role it plays in maintaining a healthy blood flow and promoting a balanced cholesterol level.

Researchers in the past assumed exercise helped in lowering cholesterol levels. The question now is what form of exercise is the most effective and how it contributes directly to improved levels of cholesterol.

Whatever you're doing to improve your health, you need to know that it's effective. If you're like me, you'll lose interest pretty quickly in something that does not give you a good return for the energy you put into it.

Does Being Overweight Make a Difference?

It's clear that reducing your waistline and keeping it off is one of the best things you can do for your health – and your cholesterol. And exercise is a key driver in losing weight.

What happens when you're overweight is that it affects the level and composition of LDL (bad cholesterol) in your blood; high levels can lead to heart disease and other problems.

Importantly, exercise affects the makeup of LDL by producing larger proteins, effectively making them less lean which in turn allows the lipoproteins to move through the blood that much easier. When LDL is smaller and more compact it can easily lodge into the sides of arteries and be difficult to remove by the normal flow of blood.

Regular workouts produce enzymes which job it is to move the HDL (good cholesterol) efficiently to the liver where it is used for digestion or removed from your body. That's the simple equation, the more exercise you do, the higher quality your LDL and the proportion of LDL to HDL is improved.

Controlling cholesterol, and the link to exercise, in summary:

  • Creates better quality LDL by producing more protein
  • Losing weight means less LDL
  • More efficient transport of HDL with more enzymes

The Next Step

Now that you know how exercise helps with controlling cholesterol, what do you do about it? Does it matter what type of exercise you do? Yes.

Unless you've been off-planet, you'll know that most health authorities recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for optimum fitness. But before rushing off to renew your gym membership, or look for excuses as to why you can not fit that in to your busy schedule, let's take a look at the best form of exercise to take.

A study from Duke University found that intense exercise is better than moderate exercise. No real surprises there, but it helps to know that the regular stroll you plan on taking around the block will only moderately help your cholesterol levels but a more vigorous walk will help even more.

The type of exercise you select is really down to a personal preference. If you dislike going to the gym, do not do it. Find something you enjoy; walking, biking or working in the garden can work just as well as a professionally prepared exercise regime. The important thing is to keep at it, and whatever you are doing, do it just that little bit harder each time.

Summary

It should be clear that while exercise is a clear factor in controlling cholesterol, it should be seen as a part of a number of lifestyle changes that are necessary, including dietary changes and natural supplements.

{ Comments are closed }

Move to Prevent Heart Disease!

Leading a heart healthy lifestyle is easier than you may think! With all of the health information hurled at us on a daily basis, it can be confusing to know where to turn for clinically sound health advice. Experts, however, agree that there are some very basic lifestyle changes we can make to ensure the health of our heart and prevent serious health risks.

1. Move at work! Many companies are now encouraging their employees to be active while at work. If you work in a downtown area, bring your sneakers to work with you and walk the sidewalks or nearby parks during lunch or break. If the weather is a problem use the hallways in your building. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you spend the majority of your day behind a desk, a stability ball instead of an office chair is an effective way to strengthen your core muscles while simply sitting in front of your desk. Others have found that having an adjustable monitor that allows them to work while periodically standing is a great way to stretch-out stiff muscles. Provided you do not disturb your coworkers, ask for a headset so you can move around while on conference calls.

2. Move with family! Involving your family in your exercise routine can provide the motivation for you to stay active. In spring and summer, dust off your in-line skates, inflate your bicycle tires or air out your camping gear. In fall, visit scenic areas and take a nice hike, or walk around an apple orchard and go apple picking. Check your local store for scenic driving books that include short, easy walking paths. In winter, you and your family can enjoy sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snow shoeing. When vacationing, explore a new city by foot, or engage in fun physical activities for the whole family, such as sailing or snorkeling.

3. Move with friends! Have fun by making it a social event! Meeting a friend after work or on the weekend? Catch-up on recent events by walking while talking. Walking is a great, low-impact exercise that requires no membership or fees, and most communities contain a number of scenic walking paths and parks.

4. Move a little more each day! You do not need to join a gym or climb a mountain to increase your physical activity. Get into the habit of parking just a little bit further away from your destination. Wear comfortable shoes or keep them handy. Choose to shovel some snow or rake some leaves rather than using a snow or leaf blower. Make sure you check your community's calendar of events for activates that will be interesting and fun.

5. Keep track! A general rule of thumb for a healthy level of activity is to make sure you are really active for at least 30 minutes every day. Many people protest that, with their busy lives, they do not have a thirty minute block to carve out every day for exercise. But consider this – nobody said it had to be all at one time! If you can not find a solid block of thirty minutes in which to be active, then find five in the morning, five during your workday, another five or ten during a lunch break, and five or ten more in the evenings. Keep track (honestly) and soon you'll find that you'll easily meet your thirty minute goal for the day. You might even surprise yourself and find you've done more!

While staying active is a key component to keeping your heart healthy, check with your physician before engaging in physical activities and follow up with him or her routinely. There are plenty of resources available to you on line to provide additional and useful tips to maintain healthy activities. Check your state's health department for a start. There you will also find tips on how to eat healthy, quit smoking, understand your biometric screening values ​​and live with existing heart disease.

What are the benefits of staying active? In addition to reducing your risk of heart disease, benefits include alleviating depression, improving overall mood, increasing your energy level and achieving or maintaining your weight management goals. These benefits will lead to a more productive work day, and a more fulfilling home life. Finding time to exercise with friends and family will not only provide health benefits, it will strengthen your relationships with the people who are important in your life. It's worth it.

Remember what your grandma used to say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Join the movement to keep moving to prevent Heart Disease, and taking the time and making the effort will achieve a huge difference in your quality of life. It's a lot more fun, too!

{ Comments are closed }

What Is an ECG?

We have seen doctors using Stethoscope to examine patients. By using the stethoscope doctors listen to the internal sounds of the body, especially heart beating, lungs, intestines etc. During each heart beat, small electrical signals are generated along with the sound. These electrical activity of human heart is measured and monitored by using an electrocardiogram (ECG). Electrodes are attached to the outer surface of the skin, which detects the signals. These signals are amplified and registered on ECG paper by ECG machine.

For diagnosis and monitoring of heart and heart diseases different types of ECG is used.

Resting ECG

A Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to analyze how the heart processes when the person is at rest. This test aids the doctor in evaluating the condition of the heart. It is also used to monitor patients who have undergone an angiogram, angioplasty, cardiac surgery or change in dosage of heart medication. The Resting ECG helps to detect a wide range of heart conditions and takes approximately 15-20 mins.

Stress Test (Exercise ECG)

The ECG obtained when the heart is working harder due to exercise or medication induced stress is termed exercise ECG, or stress test. This test is useful in detecting problems that may not be detected in a resting ECG. It also shows any abnormal flows of blood to muscle tissue. The stress test is done by trained personnel under a controlled environment.

Stress test is used as a screening tool for people with coronary artery disease. This test can help predicting future heart attacks in people with multiple risk factors even if the person does not have any heart disease.

Holter ECG

A Holter monitor is a portable device for continuously monitoring the electrical activity of the cardiovascular system for at least 24 hours. The Holter monitor is named after its inventor, Norman J. Holter. The increased recording period can be useful for detecting arrhythmia, the condition in which the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. The electrodes are placed over bones to minimize the readings obtained from muscular activity. Most Holter monitors employ between three and eight electrodes. These electrodes are connected to a small piece of equipment that is attached to the patient's belt or hung around the neck. This recorder keeps a log of the electrical activity of the heart.

Holter monitoring is used mainly after a heart attack, to diagnose heart rhythm problems and when starting a new heart medicine.

Monitoring in ICU

Using the continuous measurement of the heart's electrical activity, the ICU staff can monitor if the heart is beating abnormally fast or slow and if the heart is following a normal or abnormal rhythm. The ECG is one of the most common monitoring devices used in the hospital. The variations in the heart rate or rhythm may be the first sign of an adverse or abnormal development, and they help to alert the doctor or nurse. Thus it is a reliable and frequently used method of patient-monitoring in the ICUs.

Monitoring in Operation Theaters

Up to 86% of patients experience cardiac arrhythmia during anesthesia and surgery. Many such occurrences are of clinical significance and therefore their detection is very important. The ECG monitor should always be connected to the patient before administration of anaesthesia. This will aid the anaesthetist in detecting changes in the heart rhythms (if any) during anaesthesia.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally and Reduce Stress

Using Food to Help Lower Blood Pressure

For those of you who diet, you are used to watching calories and fat content. Now, there is a new number to watch. It is SODIUM grams. Once you are aware of a problem, you should aim for not much over 1500 grams.

It's pretty amazing the results you will have just by watching the sodium. The night I went to the hospital because of extremely high blood pressure, my blood pressure reached 210/110. Immediately, I was told to watch sodium, and my blood pressure started lowering within days.

If you slow down the consumption of packaged foods, your sodium content will decrease. Every label on packaged foods has the sodium content on it. Add up how many sodium grams you are eating during the day.

Then there is POTASSIUM. It is the nutrient you want to load up on. It basically counteracts the sodium, so if you find your sodium numbers too high, load up on potassium-rich foods, which especially include bananas, almonds, raisins, and lots of other fruits and vegetables.

Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is a huge contributor to high blood pressure. So take a minute and think, “What is it that's stressing me out the most?” If you are like me, things can get piled up, literally as well as in my mind.

  • Make a list every night of the things you need to do the next day. Somehow, that actually should help you to sleep better if your to-do list is on paper and somehow easing your mind. Cross things off as you complete each item.
  • If there are phone calls you have not made, set an hour an a day and start dialing those numbers and connecting with people, whether it's for business or pleasure.
  • Breathe – take four deep breaths to a count of seven; then hold for a count of seven; now blow out to a count of – you guessed it – seven! Now repeat four times. You'll be able to actually FEEL your body relax a bit.
  • Plan a vacation, even if it is a year away. When I start looking at places like the beach, or a cruise, I can actually feel my body relax.

Lowering Blood Pressure with Exercise

I know the story; in fact I've said it many times myself! “But I do not have time for exercise!” You might ask how exercise is going to help with to lower your bp? Well, think about it. We exercise to make our muscles stronger. What muscle in your body could be more important to strengthen than the muscle that keeps all your blood circulating, your heart?

If you are just starting out, take a walk for 30 minutes, or do things like take the stairs instead of the elevator. Doing activities that make your heart work a little harder is going to start to strengthen your heart. When your heart is stronger, that makes it easier for it to pump the blood through your body.

Home Blood Pressure Monitors

One of the first pieces of advice I was given (in addition to watching the sodium) was to invest in my own home monitor. Would not you know that this piece of advice was in itself stress-relieving! There are several brands out there both in drugstores and online. I found one that was very easy to understand and use. If you saw how very non-technical I am, you know that's saying a lot! Having my own monitor at home actually keep me peace of mind knowing what my blood pressure numbers were doing without having to make frequent doctor trips. When the numbers started coming down – well, I guess you could say I did a little happy dance!

{ Comments are closed }

Atherosclerosis Facts: For a Healthier Heart

Our busy lifestyles are taking a toll on our health and giving way to health problems. As our quality of life improves, we are forced to spend more money on our deteriorating health. Our busy lifestyles do not leave any room for a regular health and fitness period to keep our hearts, mind, body, and soul healthy. The most common afflictions today affect our most vital organ-the human heart. We are eating the wrong kind of food accompanied by unhealthy lifestyles which put our hearts at risk and are a cause for alarm. One of the most common problems is atherosclerosis. There are a few atherosclerosis facts we should all know and be aware of to ensure that we keep our bodies healthy.

Atherosclerosis refers to the medical condition also known as hardening of the arteries. Arteries are important to supply blood to all parts of the body and ensure all bodily activities are carried out normally. The treaties basically became lined with plaque. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that are blood constituents. They slowly start lining the inside walls of the arteries. This blockage does not happen overnight. It is a very slow and gradual process, which can even start in childhood. It's important for all of us to pay attention since the condition may go unnoticed until it's severe enough to cause problems with bodily functions. Any artery of the human body, be it in the brain, heart, kidney or arms can be affected by it. So it becomes vital to take necessary precautions. Soft plaque tenders to get washed at times by blood flow and can cause blockage elsewhere if it gets stuck. This is a major cause of concern as it could lead to strokes and even death in some cases.

There are a few other atherosclerosis facts that are important to be aware of if you wish to prevent atherosclerosis from happening. First, understand that prevention is most important. So, start early and build towards a better and healthier lifestyle. Pay attention to any signals your body gives: shortness of breath, feeling of nausea, cramps, deviation in blood pressure etc. Visit a doctor regularly and have a full body health check-up. Maintain your weight and height with the healthy range of body mass index. Any high deviations should be done away with controlled diet and exercise. Exercise regularly and eat healthy, even if it means cutting down on that extra bar of chocolate. Enjoy life but know that you can not take your body for granted; it describes the respect you expect of others. Maintain your health, mind, soul and body for a healthy and long life.

{ Comments are closed }

Surprising High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

Worried about stroke risk? Here's some important news on high blood pressure risk factors. Keeping your numbers under control is one of the best things you can do to bring down your risk of dangerous, debilitating stroke, still number 4 on the leading causes of death in America.

Amazing that even today, estimates suggest that every 40 seconds someone in the US suffers a stroke. Building awareness of this often overlooked danger is the mission of the American Heat Association and American Stroke Association.

The concern for doctors is that many of us do not realize we're at risk for hypertension and stroke. Usually without any outward symptoms, high blood pressure does damage to the critical organs of your body silently, over time.

Here are the major things that put you at risk for developing hypertension, three that you can not change …

– Family history – if you have a parent or close blood relative with high blood pressure, you're at risk. You can pass this risk to your own children. You should try to learn all you can about your family medical history so that you're aware of your own risks for diseases. Also, regular blood pressure checks help you know where you stand.

– Getting older – as the years pass we are all at higher risk of hypertension and heart disease. This happens because blood vessels naturally lose their flexibility with age, and this causes more pressure to be put on your cardiovascular system as a whole.

– Your gender – men have a greater likelihood of suffering with high blood pressure up until age 45, between 45 – 50 and then again from 55 to 64 years, the risk for hypertension is almost the same for both sexes. Once you get past 64, women become the more likely to suffer from high blood pressure compared to men of the same age.

And others that, thankfully, you can do something about …

– Inactivity – too much sitting around (at your desk at work or couch at home) ups your risk of high blood pressure along with weight gain. Getting regular exercise (moderate to vigorously intense), as many days of the week as you can, is a natural, side effect free way to strengthen your body and bring blood pressure numbers in line. Being active is good for both your heart and circulation.

– Too much salt – salt helps the body to retain extra fluid, which can increase the burden already placed on the heart and thus increasing the risk of hypertension. A diet that's full of essential nutrients that come from a variety of foods is best. Experts recommend that adults keep sodium intake to a maximum of 1,500 mg a day.

– Too much alcohol – drinking heavily and regularly can bring a dramatic rise in blood pressure and may be the cause of dangerous heart failure, devastating stroke and even irregular heartbeat. If you do drink alcohol, limit yourself to a maximum of one drink per day for women, two per day for men.

– Being overweight / obese – is a strain to many body systems – just imagine the effort required by your heart to pump blood through all that fat and you can see why being too heavy is a problem. If your BMI falls between 25.0 and 30.0 you are carrying too much weight and need to lose. The good news? Even a small weight loss of 10 or 20 pounds can bring a significant improvement in blood pressure readings.

By doing what you can to reduce your high blood pressure risk factors, you do the best thing possible to cut your chance of having a stroke and bringing those serious, lasting consequences into your life and the lives of those you love.

{ Comments are closed }

Know the Signs of Fluid on the Heart

Symptoms of Fluid on the Heart

In the early stages of fluid buildup, it is possible that the afflicted individual does not experience symptoms and, quite often, fluid buildup around the heart does not become symptomatic until there is a high level of pressure placed upon the heart from the intruding fluid. The four most common symptoms of fluid on the heart are shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat and lightheadedness. Fluid accumulation reduces the ability of the heart to effectively pump blood throughout the body, so a heart that is compressed due to the presence of fluid can not distribute enough oxygen to the body and limbs, which may also result in chronic fatigue.

This fluid buildup on the heart is often referred to as pericardial effusion. Some of the most obvious symptoms of this condition involve coughing and shortness of breath. Respiration rate can rise significantly, and therefore breathing can take significant effort. Lying down may not alleviate these symptoms and often taking deep breaths can cause extreme pain.

Treatment for Pericardial Effusion

To test for fluid on the heart, doctors will often recommend that a Chest MRI scan or ECG be done. These specific tests will help determine and show signs of an enlarged heart and signs of inflammation. Fluid on the heart may result from a bacterial infection, puncture, lupus, cancer, arthritis or surgical complication. Depending on the severity of the condition, pericardial effusion often goes away without the need for invasive medical treatment. In the event that medical treatment is needed, the administration of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs is typically sufficient to alleviate this condition. Physicians may also simply prescribe aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. In the rare instances that invasive treatment is needed, excess fluid is removed from the cavity by draining it with a needle, or surgery is used to correct any damage or defects to the cavity wall that is allowing fluid to enter the heart cavity.

Fluid buildup in the heart may lead to pain, tiredness and discomfort, but it is a condition in which surgery is usually only needed to repair either severe injury or structural defects to the pericardial cavity. In the event of fluid buildup within the cavity, it is important to seek the advice of a doctor to determine if the cause of the excess fluid is the result of another emergent medical condition. If a patient is experiencing sever chest pain, an immediate visit to a physician is recommended to ensure optimal health of the heart and body, and to prevent further injury from occurring.

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Recent statistics show approximately 650,000 people die annually from heart disease. Every year approximately 800,000 people also experience their first heart attack often leading down the road to more serious heart disease. The cost of care for heart disease runs well over 10 billion annually. This disease takes a great toll of many people's lives. There are numerous things you can do to help less your risk of developing heart disease. Most people think of coronary heart disease which is the narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart. However there are many different types of heart disease. These include arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, blood vessel disease, heart failure and congenital heart disease among others.

Arrhythmia: The heart normally beats 60 to 100 times per minute. When there is any abnormality it is considered an arrhythmia. This can occur in various forms; a rhythm change or a rate change to higher or lower than normal. Coronary heart disease: This is when the arteries harden often leading to potential heart attacks. This is due to a decrease in the oxygen that goes to the heart. Heart Failure: This actually is referring to the heart not pumping as effectively as it should. This affects over 5 million Americans, particularly people over the age of 65. It could result in water retention, swelling and shortness of breath. Congenital Heart Disease: This is a disorder that someone is born with. Sometimes the symptoms appear immediately but occasionally they may not appear until the person becomes an adult. Often this is hereditary or the result of some type of viral infection the fetus may have been exposed too. Congenital heart disease can affect the heart structure or blood vessels.

Testing for Heart Disease: There are many diagnostic tests that can be performed to determine if you have heart disease. Your doctor will determine which tests are best for you based on various factors including symptoms and medical history. An initial physical exam will include listening to your heart with a stethoscope to check for any abnormal sounds or rhythms. Your blood pressure will be checked and x rays may be taken to view the shape of the heart to check for abnormalities. If the doctor feels you need more testing that will be determined based on the results of the initial physical exam.

Dietary Considerations: It is important for everyone to follow a heart healthy diet. Doing so will help lesson your risk of developing heart disease in the future. If you have heart disease it is even more important to eat a healthy well balanced diet. This will reduce bad cholesterol also known as LDL, and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Eat Good Fats Only: Good fats are ones that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in fish such as salmon and tuna. It is also found in vegetable oils such as olive and canola oil. You should limit saturated fats and trans fats as these are unhealthier for the heart. Increase dietary fiber: This also helps to lower LDL levels. Fiber can be found in vegetables, whole grains, beans and fruit. Lean Protein: Incorporate lean proteins in your diet. These can be found in chicken, turkey, seafood. Occasional lean cuts of beef are okay but beef does not have higher levels of saturated fat so moderation is in order. Complex Carbs: These carbs are good for you and include whole grain bread and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates because they contain sugar. Examples include soda, cookies, ice cream, etc. Regular meals: Avoid skipping meals or any type of crash diets. You need to always eat a healthy well balanced diet and have three complete meals daily. Or five to six mini meals is another option. This will help keep blood sugar levels stabilized as well. Limit your sodium or salt intake.

Exercise: To help prevent heart disease an exercise program is very important. If you already have heart disease it is equally important to stay active and fit. This should always be done with the authorization of your medical doctor to avoid any risks to your health. Your doctor will determine a program that is appropriate for you and your particular condition. What exercise does for the heart is amazing. The heart muscles themselves become strong and blood flow is improved as well. Of course exercise also keeps your weight under control and also helps raise your HDL or good cholesterol levels.

You should be doing a combination of cardiovascular and aerobic type exercise. Aerobic exercise is the most beneficial for your heart. This exercise lowers blood pressure as well as heart rate. Cardiovascular exercise is also good as it works the large muscle groups of your body. It increases oxygen levels and helps to strengthen your heart and lungs. Some good aerobic exercise choices would be walking, bike riding or any type of aerobic dance activity, among others. You should aim to exercise 3 times weekly for 30 minutes at a time. You can break up the 30 minute program into three-ten minute exercise spurts at different times of the day. To avoid any problems always do a warm up and cool down when exercising to ease your body into physical movement. Does not exercise immediately after eating; always wait at least one hour. It is important to find an exercise program that you are comfortable with and that you can stick with. Consistency is the key. Finding someone to exercise with can also help you to stay committed as it provides additional encouragement and support.

Precautions: If you have heart disease you should always take precautions when exercising. If you feel any of the follow symptoms you need to immediately stop exercising. These include; chest or arm pain, trouble breathing, heart palpitations or extreme fatigue. Elevate your feet in a resting position and contact your doctor. Your doctor will know best if this is a sign that you need a change in medication or changes in your diet. As with any changes in diet or lifestyle always consult with your medical doctor first especially if you have any disease or are taking prescription medications.

{ Comments are closed }

High Blood Pressure Worries

Can we hope?

High blood pressure is a serious concern to millions, as it can kill with little notice, this is genuinely scary to me so off I went to do some research. High blood pressure has been called the silent killer that often has no symptoms, that was even more scary! There must be a sensible hope despite the information that high blood pressure may be stealthily involved in the following:

  • Raised coronary heart problems
  • Risk of congestive heart failure
  • Increased risk of strokes

What Is IT?

To be put simply “high blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure increases and lasts high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.

Everyone at some stage may experience circulatory problems, the majority of times it is only for a short amount of time. Many other people though, must cope with this sensation on a regular basis. This condition, called intermittent claudication, is caused by lack of blood to the problem area. This can be due to hardening of the treaties. There are many other forms of circulation problems.

A boost in circulation and blood flow through the body will have many health benefits, such as healthy legs and veins, healthy breathing and respiratory function and healthy joints and connective tissue. A boost in circulation and blood flood flow will also help in reducing high blood pressure.

Is There a Secret? We Do not know!

Are we missing the natural secrets about our wonderfully brilliant designed body. It is only natural to want to hunt and hope for a wise help support on this issue … well that's my opinion. So hunting on further … if we look at high blood pressure as a symptom, we can then look for the underlying reason first. Viewing it as a symptom has a different perspective. Many do not even realize or view high or low blood pressure as a disease. The Western mindset has an automatic-like habit of throwing drugs at any problem rather than taking time to look for the undering problem. So many are only “band-aiding” health issues, rather than reversing the underlying problems and blockages that are limiting the potential power of our beautiful body's.

List of Possible Side Effects:

My friends tell me of the following side effects from their blood pressure drugs such as:

  • diarrhea or constipation
  • Smelly body odor
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Kidney failure
  • Headaches
  • Light head and dizzy
  • Impotence
  • Teary and even severe depression
  • Liver damage
  • Eye sight damage

That's utterly dangerous and horrible in my opinion. My family used Chinese herbal pills in the past years called Ping Ya that were based on well known, effective Asian medicines. They always reversed blood pressure issues safely and quickly. Another one of my mother's health finds in downtown Melbourne. Anyone can be clever like my mother, and search for natural remedies for hypertension, especially on the internet-library today.

Solutions I Have Found:

By keeping the arteries clear of sticky muck then they can be both open and youthfully flexible. This will make it easier for blood to flow the way it perfectly designed to do without increased pressure.

Aloe Remedy – “Miracle Plant”

I have found on the internet researchers that the use of pristine quality aloe vera may help to keep them steeled in clean order as well as boost the overall health condition naturally. I have even come to crave the taste of the natural aloe vera juice and all its benefits. By choosing a pristine aloe vera, supports the rebalancing of high blood pressure. Vast reports on the aloe vera plant demonstrate the value to the immune system and the restoration of high blood pressure balance while regular daily use can help revitalize natural good health.

Aim – Protect and Strengthen Heart:

Your arteries and muscles (the heart is a super muscle “machine”) need vital oxygen-rich blood to flow to keep the heart strengthened and protected. This may be assisted by taking several daily drinks of Reishi and taking some tips from the efficient honey bee along with a good source of superior Omega 3. The use of bee pollen and bee propolis has been long considered a support and protection for heart health.

“Herb of Immortality”:

The Reishi herb is a red mushroom that is traditionally referred to as the “Heavenly Herb” or the “Blessed Herb” or the Herb of Immortality. Those are strong words from old Asian records to denote the power they consider the reishi herb to have to radically increase the dynamic power of the immune system and lower blood pressure. It is commonly identified as Lingzhi (Ganoderma Lucidium) and found naturally on plum trees. This reishi mushroom is known traditionally for its anti-tumor and blood pressure lowering as it helps the immune system. Reishi is classified as a superior herb and is therefore known to be non-toxic and with no side effects. It is highly acclaimed in Asia for its benefits to promote long and healthy life and used extensively to balance blood pressure. Since 1972 the Japanese began harvesting this amazing natural product in large numbers for the large scale world demands for reishi. It is possibly the hidden secret for balancing blood pressure. Researchers have found that it boosts the liver function and oxygenises the arteries throughout the entire body. The plaque build-up in the arteries adds pressure and the reishi herb helps to decrease this to enable the blood pressure to balance.

I have been using reishi for over 30 years so I am a fan of “The Herb of Immortality”. In fact, I prefer to start the day with a reishi tablet combination with Ginkgo Biloba along with numerous cups of chocolate reishi with ginseng through the day. It is normal then for me, and so many others too, to use this normal natural herb for the good norms of blood pressure health in the well-designed body.

Garlic Remedy:

In United States the role of garlic as a blood pressure remedy has been studied on record since 1921. Garlic is a powerful support to the heart. Garlic has been found to aid in health blood pressure and aid in reduction of plaque build-up in arms as well as boosting the immune system of the whole body. Adding garlic to the diet is easily and tastefully done.

Not a doctor …

I am definitely not a doctor or a licensed health operator. But I like you with a good brain that sees my beloved family and wonderful, dynamic friends needing the time to help find the facts on blood pressure issues. So on my website you will get my opinions, the facts I find and the solutions we use. It is then up to you to make your own wise decisions or consult with your medical doctor on blood pressure issues. Fair enough then! We are wonderfully made to last well so there must be more one of us can do about blood pressure issues.

{ Comments are closed }

What Is Cholesterol and What Are The Ways You Can Lower Your Cholesterol Level?

We have all heard of the word cholesterol but what exactly is it?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that is a natural part of our cell membranes in our body. It is essential and is needed for our bodily functions.

We have all heard of LDL and HDL. So what exactly is LDL and HDL?

LDL and HDL

LDL is short form for low-density lipoprotein and is commonly known to be BAD while HDL is short form for high-density lipoprotein or commonly known to be GOOD. The sum of the LDL and HDL in your blood is called the total cholesterol.

What's the function of LDL and why is it BAD?

LDL transfers cholesterol from the liver to your body tissues and cells. However, if you have high LDL, a process known as atherosclerosis occurs wherey faty deposits clog our artery walls and consequently, this narrows our arteries' space for blood flow to our heart thereby increasing the chance of heart attack … Thus the reason why it is considered BAD.

What about HDL?

HDL performs the reverse process as it transfers excess cholesterol from our body tissues and artery walls to our liver and which the body removes it.

When you are healthy, the LDL and HDL functions are in perfect balance. However, when you have high LDL and low HDL, this perfect balance is lost and the risk for heart attack and stroke is increased. Thus, high HDL decreases the chance of heart attack … Thus the reason why it is considered GOOD.

What are Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are another type of blood fat that are transported in the bloodstream and are also deposited inside blood vessel walls.

In summary, it is desirable to have high HDL and low LDL and triglycerides levels.

What affects your level of LDL and HDL and triglycerides?

The following factors affect your cholesterol level:

1. Body Weight.

2. Smoking.

3. Alcoholism.

4. Genetics.

5. Diet.

6. Age.

7. Frequency of Exercise.

8. Medications.

9. Other disease / illness.

10. Stress.

If you have high cholesterol level, it is of utmost importance that you try to reduce it to prevent the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.

To lower your LDL cholesterol, you may modify your daily diet by observing the following:

1. Eat lots of plant-based food, including fruits and vegetables.

2. Do not eat poultry skin.

3. Cut down on animal fat in your food.

4. Cut down on consumption of seafood such as prawn, squid, crab, crayfish and abalone.

5. Eat egg white and not egg yoke.

6. Cut down on consumption of cheese and meat.

7. Avoid food containing trans fats.

8. Use canola oil or olive oil in cooking.

9. Take low fat milk.

10. Cut down or totally avoid consuming livers and kidneys, and processed meats such as luncheon meat.

Alternately, you may take medications or supplements to lower your cholesterol.

If you see your physician or general practitioner, they will usually prescribe statins to help bring down your LDL cholesterol levels, ie to treat your high cholesterol levels.

Other medication that has a moderate effect in decreasing your LDL cholesterol levels are Niacin or nicotinic acid and Bile acid sequestrants.

Supplements that many suggest which may help lower cholesterol include flax seeds, garlic, fish oil, plant sterols but more studies are still required to gather scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

Although medications may help lower your LDL cholesterol, they have their side effects too which should be of serious concern. The following are generally the side effects expected from consumption of these medications.

Side Effects Of Statins

Consumption of statins would generally produce the following side effects:

1. Stomach pain, gas, cramps and constipation.

2. Myopathy or muscle weakness, muscle aches and pains.

3. Liver toxicity and kidney failure.

4. Amnesia.

Women who are pregnant should not take statins as well, so limiting the medication options for pregnant women who need to bring down their high cholesterol.

People taking statins should not consume grapefruit too.

Side Effects Of Niacin Or Nicotinic Acid

Consumption of Niacin or Nicotinic acid would generally produce the following side effects:

1. Liver problems.

2. Gout.

3. Gastrointestinal problems.

4. Diarrhea, nausea, gas and indigestion.

5. Higher level of blood sugar.

6. Fainting.

7. Facial flushing and itchiness.

8. Breathlessness and fast heartbeats.

9. Jaundice.

10. Muscle weakness and muscle pain.

Side Effects of Bile Acid Sequestrants

Consumption of bile acid sequestrants would generally produce the following side effects:

1. Gastrointestinal problems.

2. Stomach pain, gas, constipation.

3. Nausea.

To minimize or avoid side effects that come with consumption of cholesterol lowering medications, you may like to explore here on alternative, natural, safe and fast ways to lower your cholesterol level.

Let us all work together to achieve better health, well-being and happiness always.

{ Comments are closed }

Can I Treat Cholesterol Issues Naturally?

Low intensity walking has remarkable effects on controlling cholesterol even a tread mill or vibration walker machine can be a solution. Reducing your weight by 10 pounds causes the average cholesterol levels to drop about 5%. Of course, it's always good to cut back on sugars which include fruit, and drink alcohol moderately, as well as reduce caffeine and stop smoking cigarettes.

Taking these measures is very helpful but watching your diet and supplementing with vitamins is a crucial key to better health. The following suggestions are effective natural ways to help improve cholesterol that I have found in my research on cholesterol problems.

Niacin and Vitamin B Solutions:

Cholesterol is being controlled by some people who personally use a diet low in fat and high in oat bran – plus daily doses of the vitamin niacin – vitamin B. I prefer niacin, a vitamin of the B-complex group, in preference to statin drugs , because 1) Statin drugs are expensive and 2) the long term effects of statin are not known. A doctor in a prestigious Viennese Clinic told me that last year.

Start by taking a daily multivitamin supplement with an additional 1,000 Âμg of folic acid, 6 mg of vitamin B-6, and 500 Âμg of vitamin B-12. The B vitamins “normalize” blood levels of homocysteine, – an amino acid that is as much a predictor of heart attack risk as is cholesterol. Add Vitamin C and Vitamin E and Arginine (a powerful amino acid that gets converted to nitric acid which encourages the blood vessels to dilate for greater blood flow) to the diet. Check your cholesterol levels including your total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and HDL “good” cholesterol as well as your triglyceride levels. Aim to get your total cholesterol below 200 with an LDL level no higher than 100.

Quality safe sources of these are not to be bought over the counter any more so it becomes necessary to be very fussy about the sources of these supplements.

More Facts on Niacin:

Niacin has been known to lower total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Niacin also raises HDL and lowers the levels of two other dangerous particles – lipoprotein sub fraction alpha, or lp (a) cholesterol, and small, weak LDL cholesterol, both of which are especially prone to locking in artery walls.

You could take niacin three times a day with each meal and have your liver enzymes checked every six months, since the high dosage required for cholesterol reduction can cause liver disorders. Niacin can also cause flushing and heart irregularities so a doctor's supervision is needed.

Dietary Fats:

To continue the reduction of cholesterol it is recommended that you reduce dietary fats and limit your total fat calories by 30%. For example, reducing the amount of saturated fats you eat in foods such as butter, cheese, meats, and baking products and supplementing with fish oil can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Eating all the fish you want, especially fatty fish, with heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids is a healthy choice. Olive oil is a good oil to use but cut back on trans-fat commonly known as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” fats such as vegetable oil.

Trans-fat raises levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and lowers levels of protective HDL “good” cholesterol. Fast food restaurants which fry their products in hydrogenated fat are another source of trans fat. To reduce you intake of saturated fats, substitute avocados and nuts for meat whenever possible. Consume skim milk instead of low-fat milk products and remove skin from chicken and eat lean cuts of meat to help reduce dietary fats.

A good aid to reduce the body's production of fats from the carbohydrates that are consumed is to get plenty of tamarind / garcenia. It also brings the appetite too.

Avocados Can Be A Help:

Avocados are rich in oleic acid, and mono-unsaturated fat which is a good fat. Avocados are known to help lower cholesterol. According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto, this type of fat found in avocados boosts levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol without raising levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Another study found that people with moderately high cholesterol levels who ate a diet high in avocados for one week had significant drops in total LDL cholesterol levels, and an 11% increase in their HDL cholesterol levels.

Treat Bile with Oats:

You can lower your cholesterol level hugely by eating oat or rice bran. When you eat one cup of oat bran or one and a half cups of oatmeal, the bran binds with the bile in your digestive tract. The bile is then excreted in bowel movements. Other foods high in soluble fiber, such as dried beans, raisins, prunes and aloe vera, as well as figs may all help eliminate bile. You can also take 3 tbsp of Metamucil daily.

Soy and Aloe Vera:

Eating soy can yield another huge drop in cholesterol, by eating approximately 25 grams of soy protein a day. Aloe Vera can help rebalance blood chemistry which lowers cholesterol. A study that was done on Aloe Vera in Korea had very dramatic results reducing LDL by 40 – 80% and triglycerides dropped 20 – 70%. Aloe Vera can help not only with cholesterol rebalancing but it may also aid in restoring the immune system and replenishing lost nutrients, just be sure that the Aloe Vera you intake is of good quality so that your body really is getting the healthy nutrition it needs.

Guggul:

Guggul is an extract from the Mukul Myrrh tree, which is native to India. The Indian government was adequately impressed to approve guggul as a treatment to lower cholesterol. In one study scientists found that guggul both lowered cholesterol and also protected against the development of hardening of the arteries. In another Indian study, 40 patients with high cholesterol, who took a 25 (mg) supplement of Guggul three times a day for 16 weeks, cut their total cholesterol by an average of 21% and levels of HDL cholesterol rose by 35%. If you have high cholesterol, ask your doctor about taking guggul supplements.

Hibiscus:

Chinese researchers found that the Hibiscus flower may help your heart in a similar way to red wine and tea, due to antioxidant properties that help control cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease.

They found rats fed hibiscus extract had lower levels of cholesterol in their blood. Experiments have shown that compounds extracted from red wine and tea reduces cholesterol and lipid build-up in the arteries of rats. This was the first study done to show that hibiscus extract has the same effect. Hibiscus is also used to treat hypertensive and liver disorders.

{ Comments are closed }

Omega-3 Fish Oil – Hope for the Diabetic Heart – Reduce Your Risk of Dying From Heart Disease

There have been a number of studies that have shown the relationship between fish consumption and how it can reduce one's risk of developing heart disease. However, there exists very little data on the benefit of fish oil for diabetics.

Researchers at the prestigious Harvard medical school studied the record of over five-thousand nurses with diabetes type 2 over a period of 16 years, known as the Nurses' Health Study. In analyzing that data, they found that the fish the nurses ate, and more often omega-3 fatty acids they consumed, the lower their risk of developing heart disease or dying from heart disease.

The study was reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association, showing that the diabetic women who ate fish at five times or more per week were 64% less at risk for developing heart disease in comparison with diabetic women who ate fish only once in a while. The study also showed that these same women also had a reduced risk of 52% for dying from heart disease,

In conclusion to that study, the lead author of that study, Frank B. Hu, MD, and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, declared “High consumption of fish – two to four servings per week – can substantively reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and mortality among people with type 2 diabetes. ”

Researchers credit these shows on the high omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish. Although the exact ways that the omega-3 fatty acids are not clear, they have shown wonderful cardiovascular benefits, including lower triglyceride levels in the blood, helping prevent blood clot development, and as well as lessening the risk of a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm .

The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil includes DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These are essential fatty acids that the body can not produce and important for the development and health of the brain and the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye, known as the retina.

Of course, one of the concerns about consuming fish in order to obtain the DHA and EPA is that most of them contain high levels of harmful environmental contaminants including methylmercury, dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). This is why most doctors do not recommend eating fish more than two or three times per week.

There is another type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, called alpha-linolenic acid that comes from plant oils, but it is not as effective as fish oil because the body is only able to convert a small portion of it into DHA and EPA.

A practical and safe way to make sure you're getting sufficient omega-3 fatty acids is to supplement with a fish oil that is fresh, pure and has a high level of DHA and EPA … But not all fish oil supplements are created equal. One must be careful in selecting a fish oil supplement that will definitely benefit you rather than one that will simply be a waste of money.

{ Comments are closed }

High Blood Pressure and High Blood Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure is a chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressures are elevated. About 90% sufferers from the essential hypertension. One is diagnosed with this problem is when the systolic blood pressure is or over 140mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure are over 95mmHg.

High Blood Cholesterol means abnormality in the metabolism of fatty molecule in the body, resulting in above average quantities of cholesterol in blood plasma. In layman terms, it simply means the cholesterol level in the blood is above average, resulting in slower blood flow, which can lead to clogged blood vessels. Metaphorically speaking, there is too much mud in the flowing river; therefore water flow can become easily clogged in shallow water.

These 2 problems go hand in hand, if High Blood Cholesterol is not enriched, it can lead to High Blood Pressure. Long term hypertension can lead to myocardial infarction, heart diseases, hypertensive encephalopathy, hypertension, kidney disease and visual impairment, which is devastating and even life threatening.

The imbalanced diet and age related deterioration of our body can lead to artery atherosclerosis which is the main cause for High Blood Pressure and High Blood Cholesterol. The blood vessel will result in narrowed arteries. As arteries become clogged, the body has to increase blood pressure to push blood through the arteries. Even if the blood pressure remains stagnant, blood flow will become sluggish. This will cause insufficient delivery of nutrients to cells and our brain and limbs will alert us with symptoms of headache, migraine, dizziness and numbness in our hands and legs.

There are many herbs that help lower blood pressure in traditional Chinese medicine . The physician will vary the proportion of the medicines according to the patient's physical condition. Should the patient have their own healthcare routine, he or she can choose to include a drink of out Chinese herbs under the instruction of a Chinese Physician. With constant and consistent consumption, the effect can be beneficial.

Other than that, acupuncture proves to be very effective in treating these two serious diseases and it helps to stimulate internal organ functions. Regular acupuncture can enhance one's health.

An imbalanced diet can cause these two sicknesses, so it is imperative for one to adjust the composition of one's diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits, including beans and coarse grains, high quality protein such as egg white, lean meat, skimmed milk and fish are great for these two diseases. Food that lowers cholesterol such as onions, garlic, mushroom, fungus, kelp seaweed and hawthorn should be consumed as much as possible.

Avoid high cholesterol food such as animal innards, fatty meat, egg yolk and egg roe. High sugar content food, refined flour, rice and processed food should also be avoided. In addition, reduce spicy and pungent seasonings, abstain from cigarettes and liquor. Beside that, food with high salt content, such as salted fish, preserved meat, salted vegetables and any preserved food that include salt, baking powder or baking soda should be reduce to its very minimum.

{ Comments are closed }

Cardiovascular Disease – Diabetes – Cinnamon and the Sugar Trehalose

Cardiovascular disease is the world's largest killer, claiming 18 million lives a year. Over eighty-one million (81,000,000) American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD). That's an awesome count of one in three adults. Thirty-eight million (38,000,000) adults over 60 years of age have CVD.

According to NIH, diabetes affects approximately twenty-six million (25,800,000) people of all ages of the US population. A look at US residents over 65 years of age and older shows nearly eleven million (10,900,000) diabetes in 2010. About 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes – type 1 or type 2 – in the United States in 2010.

Diabetes and heart problems have risen over the last decade with CVD remaining the leading cause of death in the United States. Stress coming from every directions compounds cardiovascular disease. Our objective is to educate our readers on ways to support and improve cardiovascular and diabetic health.

University research across the planet gives us evidence that Royal Sugars, or what I call Smart Sugars, support cell health. Scientists have discovered that polyphenols found in ceylon cinnamon seem to protect omega-3 fatty acids from breaking down so they can better promote cardio health. Furthermore, ceylon cinnamon and trehalose each appear to help suppress inflammation.

Research indicated that cinnamon plays a role in glucose metabolism and blood pressure regulation. Other studies published in Diabetic Care show cinnamon not only helps control blood sugar levels but also triglycerides, total cholesterol and the 'bad' LDL cholesterol in those with type II diabetes.

A group of polyphenolic polymers found in cinnamon function as antioxidants to potentiate insulin action, and therefore, may also be beneficial in the control of glucose intolerance and diabetes.

Ceylon cinnamon and the sugar Trehalose may have significant synergistic benefits. This may or may not be the case. Physicians, professors, researchers, and lay-persons from various countries are methodically observing and evaluating individuals with a wide range of serious physical ailments who are consuming specific sugars as part of their diet to continue to document possible benefits. Self evaluation, family evaluation, and / or care giver-evaluation compounds the overwhelming self evident data.

Americans can save over one trillion dollars per year in healthcare costs by making some simple life saving choices. Good nutrition will provide the body with the necessary nutrients to modulate the immune system to operate with optimum efficiency. Evidence is in that we can extend life expectancy. Scientists have their hands round what may be a big part of the anti-aging answer. Now, we, as the general public, need to get our brains around the simple solutions and take action. Good nutrition including switching from bad sugars and sweeteners to good sugars and sweeteners and eating functional foods have proven to have long lasting health benefits.

{ Comments are closed }