Naturally Fight Back Against Heart Disease

Heart disease is a complex and important topic, especially for Americans. Being the number one cause of death in America, it is optimal to be informed about ways that you can naturally prevent your risk of developing some form of heart disease. The sad thing is that many Americans do not realize the excessive damage they are doing to their bodies until it is too late.

Heart diseases can include: hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attack, arteriosclerosis, or even a stroke. Many people develop these diseases because of a long history of eating poorly. An average American gets about 57% of his / her calories from polyunsaturated oils or refined cereals. Behind grains, the third calorie source of calories is sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This type of diet contributes to inflammation and oxidative damage.

Below are 5 tips you can use to naturally fight back against heart disease.

1. Change Your Diet: Making an intervention in your diet can be a great starting point to combating heart disease naturally. Eating lots of grains, hydrogenated oils, sugars, salty foods, processed foods, meat & poultry, and dairy products can have negative long-term effects on your diet. It's crucial to supply your body with a lot of plant-based foods to give your body the essential nutrients it needs while also helping to alkalize your body.

2. Reduce Your Stress: This may seem like it is easier said than done, but there are many ways one can easily reduce stress. First, identify what makes you stressed and then eliminate it or channel that energy towards something like yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi. You can also increase your daily intake of magnesium, as it helps to naturally lower stress. You can take a magnesium supplement or you can Incorporate magnesium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, spinach, raw almonds, pine nuts, cashews, lima beans, chickpeas, or Swiss chard into your diet.

3. Exercise: When it comes to the health of your heart, it is important that you are getting proper circulation. A little exercise goes a long way to helping to promote circulation and reduce high blood pressure. It's important to exercise daily. Start off by incorporating a daily walk into your routine. Make a scheduled time every day to exercise and stick to it. If you are limited by knee, hip, or back injuries, try swimming, yoga, rebounding, or using a recumbent bike. Aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vivid physical activity when you exercise if you want to lower blood pressure or cholesterol.

4. Get Down To The Essentials: Essential oils, which can have a wide variety of healing properties, can help decrease inflammation or other symptoms that are common in patients with heart disease. Depending on your condition or symptoms, you can use essential oils like frankincense, ginger, lemongrass, lemon, or helicrichsum. You can massage these oils into your body, or you add them to baths in order for your skin to absorb their properties. If you have hypertension, consider taking an Epsom salt bath with lavender oil to lower stress levels.

5. Get Garlicky: Garlic is a powerful herb, plain and simple. It has incredible anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that have been known to aid over 150 different illnesses. Not only does it help reduce build-up in the arteries, which is common for arteriosclerosis patients, but it also may lower your risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Garlic

Heart disease is a serious epidemic in America, but you can fight back against it or prevent yourself from developing it if you follow these steps. Additionally, you can consume plant-based foods that are high in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D to stay healthy and promote circulation. Let us know how these tips worked for you and contact us if you have any questions about how Dherbs can help you combat heart disease.

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The Causes Of Heart Disease And Lack Of Cure By Modern Medicine

Heart disease just did not develop out of now to that extent as is today. There are more medications available now than ever before. Yet illness and heart attacks are increasing and not being cured with all its expert knowledge and the many available increasing drug remedies. When you look at the skills of our surgeons around the world, they are able to remove organs from one body to replant into another most successfully. Which is a wonderful achievement and yet there is no cure for simple high blood pressure.

When a medication described for high blood pressure and the patient is on the same medication or similar still years later, or for the rest of his life as many being told, surely this is not a cure, is it? There is information, statin drugs do not lower blood pressure nor prevent heart disease. If drugs would be so good why is heart disease still the number one killer today? High cholesterol is often talked about by the medical profession, is it really such a big issue though? It just has become an endless farewell of pills used only to treat symptoms, not to cure. Doctors do not read independent research reports; they only read drug companies sales literatures. Why is it that drugs do not cure? There is a very good reason for this but it is not a humane one. There is little or no money in cures and prevention. The goal is not to cure, instead to treat people with expensive patent drugs over a long period. Preferably as long as they live because that's where the big money is.

Cholesterol

In a cholesterol study in Japan, researchers could not believe to find the highest deaths occurred in people with the lowest cholesterol levels. One of the major studies published in the journal of critical care has found that reduced cholesterol and triglycerides levels caused a 90 percent increased risk of death within 30 days of following a heart attack. Another fact come out of this which found people taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol were over 80 percent more likely to develop diabetes. Also a survey taken by a cancer research center of 900 women aged 50 to 70 who were taking statin for 10 years or longer has doubled the risk of breast cancer.

Heart Attack

As in cholesterol, this has been confirmed, LDL cholesterol does not cause heart disease. According to findings the most people who die of heart attacks and strokes have normal and low levels of cholesterol. What that also means a high level of cholesterol is not necessary the reason for a heart attack. So the theory of cholesterol and heart disease is mostly false.

However, the trigger of heart disease, cholesterol may indirectly be involved in heart disease because of a change in nature of one of the LDL cholesterol particles. What this means, LDL cholesterol being made up of two types of particles, A and B. Type A is described as a fluffy buoyant particle that safely moves around the arterial. It will do no damage to the lining of the arterial walls nor will it be making any arterial plaque. However, type B is a smaller particle. It is most prone to oxidation, and when this happens it becomes sticky. Because of its sticky effect it can embed in the lining of the arms. Plaque is starting to build and damages the arterial linings, which becomes blockage to the arms. This is where inflammation creates free radicals. This in turn damages the linings of the arteries and oxidizes the LDL particles. This is the combination needed to set the arterial plaque into motion. Inflammation is like an octopus with its tentacles and the cause for many chronic diseases.

About Cure Rather Than Treatment

Alternative health has gained momentum over the years because it advances illness and is better in curing the core problem. This is what you can do to protect your heart and health in general. The fact is, and there is no denying of it, the most sickness is food related or the way food is prepared; this can also include how food is grown in some cases (GMOs).

Limit and avoid processed foods as much possible, which contain refined vegetable fats, sugars and chemical additives. Avoid all sugary drinks that include most fruit juices. A very important point to always keep in mind to avoid anything that has sugar. Sugar is the culprit, not salt as thought over the last few decades of misinformation, although do not use table salt, only natural salt. Most of our wheat today has a chemical that damages your gut flora and can trigger many chronic diseases.

Include in your diet plenty of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, the more the better. You should also have such foods as fatty meats, butter, cream, and cheese, at least in moderation. These will not hurt you. Animal fats neither raise cholesterol nor cause heart disease, nor will it make you obese; our body needs fat. Make sure your body stays hydrated, do not force down water but drink plenty when thirsty and the odd glass between meals, not with your meal. Get moderate exercise at least four to five days per week, even just go for walks. Avoid extreme exercise as this can increase inflammation and free radicals that can damage your arterial linings and oxidize your type B LDL particles.

We all could be much healthier if we learn more, gain knowledge, find out what the body needs because the body is able to do its own repairs.

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Is Cholesterol Healthy or Unhealthy?

'Bad' LDL cholesterol and 'good' HDL cholesterol – the former kills while the latter is beneficial to health. Some people are extremely fit and lead healthy lifestyles, yet have high levels of LDL and very low HDL levels. What is going on?

The truth is that no one knows everything about the workings of cholesterol in the body.

Cholesterol is an insoluble lipid – a fat. That means this compound must travel in the blood by binding to and being transported by protein molecules.

Combinations of fat and protein are unsurprisingly called lipoproteins. There are two types: low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). The former is 'bad' because it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis – furring up of the arteries, which can cause heart attack or stroke.

However, there are many other factors involved with atherosclerosis that add to the confusion, such as immune responses and inflammation.

Cholesterol levels are affected by how much dietary fat is absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut, and how the liver makes 'bad' LDL cholesterol.

There are also genetic factors involved with an individual's cholesterol levels. These are linked to levels in parents and siblings. They may be perfectly healthy, but have elevated levels of 'bad' cholesterol.

While high levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol are known to be protective, there is no evidence that low levels of HDL are in any way harmful. All the blame for atherosclerosis therefore appears to lie with 'bad' LDL cholesterol.

The advice from medical practitioners is to do all we can to reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels to below 3 mmol per liter, and for total cholesterol levels to 5 mmol per liter or less.

In order to do this they suggest having a diet based on plants, fruit and vegetables. They suggest minimizing animal fat intake, and obtaining proteins and fats as much as possible from oily fish. In addition they suggest to lose weight if overweight, and not to smoke.

However, in the light of the new health idea to reverse obesity and heart disease by severely cutting down on sugar, and increasing healthy fats in the diet, these recommendations now seem rather simplistic.

Could it be that today's widespread sugar-filled, carbohydrate-rich diets that are clearly the root cause of obesity might have something to do with high levels of bad cholesterol?

Peripherous excess sugar consumption interfereses with cholesterol metabolism?

That there is a global obesity crisis, and concern over the levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in many people, it seems that there may be a link between these two diseases.

Or depending is it because too much polyunsaturated man-made vegetable oils are consumed? The current recommendations are to 'avoid' natural fats in foods such as butter, whole fat milk, and cheese. Perhaps this 'abnormal' way of being told what to eat is actually causing high levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol?

The results of studies on these ideas should be rather interesting.

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Proof That Butter Is NOT a Heart Risk

Butter is not bad for you, and it does not increase the risk of developing heart disease, research has found.

A major study by scientists from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, has shown that eating a tablespoon of butter a day has no 'significant' link with heart disease and strokes.

The study also found that butter could even marginally help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The research is one of the largest studies ever conducted on the effects of butter on health. This dairy product has for long been accused of being 'bad for you'.

The results of the study add weight to demands for an end to the 'demonizing' of all saturated fats – not only butter.

The study follows reports in June 2016 that the UK Government is reconsidering its advice to 'restrictated fat fat intake'. This is due to two other studies also having found no link to heart disease.

For over thirty years the public has been warned by official health guidelines to avoid eating butter and full fat milk. This advice was given in the hope of reducing the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke.

First issued in 1983, the UK population was asked to significantly reduce its planned fat intake. Now that advice is changing, no doubt much to the relief of the dairy industry.

There has been steadily growing evidence that saturated fats are not to blame for heart disease. In fact there has never been any real evidence.

Indeed, some experts claim that the 1983 guidelines have actually 'increased' obesity levels by encouraging the consumption of more and more carbohydrates. With the disaccharide fructose being added to many processed foods, the suspicion now is that this particular sugar is the main cause of the obesity epidemic.

The Tufts University study analyzed the results of nine other studies published since 2005, from a total of 15 countries. In all, nearly 640,000 adults were covered.

The scientists found that a daily serving of butter of roughly a tablespoon was associated with only a 1 per cent higher risk of death. However, butter consumption was found to have no 'significant' association with any kind of cardiovascular disease. It has no link with coronary heart disease or stroke.

A smaller sample produced results indicating that eating butter every day was associated with a 4 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, the researchers did say that this needs further investigation.

The scientists ended their report suggesting that their findings support only minor changes in public diet guidelines on butter consumption.

It appears that health scientists are at last beginning to ask 'serious' questions about the reliability of current health guidelines. High levels of obesity do not just happen; they are caused by the foods people are eating.

Man-made products such as polyunsaturated spreads and cooking oils are looking like the chief causes of illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. Butter, especially that made from the milk of grass-fed cows has far more nutrients than any man-made alternatives.

Is it really no wonder that butter should no longer be demonized?

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Heart Surgery And The Pain Management You’ll Need

Heart surgery is a serious surgery, that is not anything you do not already know, right? After all, you would not be reading this right now if you or someone somebody you knew was not about to have a heart surgery. And you're probably curious as to how painful this will be during and after, and you should know, it's going to be pretty painful. But your doctor will put you on a pain management regimen before you're discharged.

However, by discharge time, your pain will be at a mild to moderate level, because if it is not, then your doctor most likely will not release you. You'll be prescribed pain management medication when you go home, be sure to take it as instructed. This is prescribed to assist you in getting up and moving around. Do not worry about being addicted to it as long as you take it only as prescribed.

Then when your appointment for follow-up comes around, your pain level will be at a minimum level by then. There are patients that have expressed concern about chest and shoulder pains, causing them alarm that it may be angina. This is understandable and you should not hesitate to call your doctor if you do experience this pain.

However, this is typically nothing more than your bones and muscles aching. Again, do not be afraid to call your doctor, though! Better safe than sorry.

With effective pain management medication, you will heal faster and in comfort. This medication you're prescribed will keep possible complications risks minimal too. Believe it or not, you will be up walking around quick because your doctors will a physical therapist teach you breathing exercises. Those exercises will get your strength back sooner and they are also good for pain management.

Where Will The Pain Be Felt?

During your recovery period, you'll feel burning, pain, or pressure in your chest and especially around the incision site while the tubes are still in place. When the doctor and nurses remove the chest tubes, you'll have some discomfort and you'll find it painful as you begin to move around and when you a cough, sit up, walk.

You will have pain in other areas as well. Your throat will be scratchy and sore from the breathing tube that was inserted during your surgery. If the doctor took an artery or vein from other areas of your body, you will have some pain there as well. And you'll have some soreness and stiffness from lying down during your surgery and while you were in ICU. Again, your doctor will prescribe pain management medication and treatments that will alleviate the discomfort and pain.

Incision Area Numbness

Some patients have complained about having temporary numbness in their arm, chest, hand, or leg where an arterial line was inserted. This is completely normal and will improve over time. It can take months for some people and others just a few weeks. This happens because of the manipulation during surgery to the nerves.

Controlling and Monitoring Your Pain

Once the anesthesia you are under has worn off in the ICU, you will be given pain management medication by an IV line and after you are returned to your room your pain management medication will be in pill form or a suppository if you're unable to swallow.

Or you may be kept on an IV line for another day or two. The nursing staff will keep regular checks of your vitals and ask you about your pain level so they can keep you comfortable following the doctor's orders for pain management medicines.

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What Is Blood Pressure and Why Should I Care About It?

Blood pressure is the measure of the force created by the pumping of the heart as it sends blood through the blood vessels of the body. The blood vessels which are called arterial are the pathways that send blood to all of the organs of the body. When the heart pumps, it pushes blood out of the heart into the arteries. This pressure when the heart contracts is called the systolic pressure. When the heart relaxes after each contracting, the pressure inside the heart falls and valves opens to allow blood to go into the main pumping chamber (ventricles). This is called the diastolic blood pressure. A typical pressure might be 120/80 with the 120 representing the “systolic” pressure when the heart contracts and 80 being the “diastolic” pressure when the heart is relaxed. We measure these pressures in millimeters of mercury which is abbreviated “mmHg”.

We care about these numbers because high pressure (“hypertension”) can cause damage to blood vessels (from big arteries such as the aorta to small arterioles that go to the very small capillaries). High blood pressure can and does damage all of the treaties but causes particularly noticeable havoc to the treaties of the heart, the brain, the kidneys, and the eyes. When blood is too high, the force of the blood causes direct damage to blood vessels and leads to such problems as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and actual blood vessel rupture. So we care about high pressure because we want to prevent all of these problems. By controlling blood pressure along with fixing other risk factors such as high cholesterol, excess weight, high sugar and smoking, over years, the arteries avoid the damage and patients tend to do much better.

Two misconceptions are common about high pressure (“hypertension”). First, many people think that when doctors refer to “hypertension”, that we are talking about someone who is anxious (too much tension). While it is true that anxiety and stress can raise blood and cause hypertension, the term “hypertension” does not refer to someone who is tense. People who are perfectly calm can still have hypertension.

Second, many people think that they can “feel their blood” but in most cases, high blood pressure is a “silent killer”. Specifically, people may have headaches that they think is caused by their pressure and say that they can feel when their pressure is up. Basically the anxious feelings or pain due to the tension headache (often due to contracting of the muscles of the scalp) may cause the high pressure. So the high pressure and stress or pain may be associated but usually the blood pressure does not cause the headache (unless a blood vessel has ruptured which is usually severe and fairly dramatic and not the run of the mill headache).

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Bust The Myths On Cholesterol

The following article is heavily based on the books “Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You” by Ulfe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, and “Cholesterol Clarity” by Jimmy Moore. I highly recommend that you read these books for further insights on the controversial topic of cholesterol. Furthermore, deciding whether to be under statin or not, should be thoroughly discussed with your trust-worthy health professionals before making any decisions.

It is widely accepted today that elevated cholesterol levels increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases. But did you know that cholesterol is not a deadly poison , but rather a superhero in our bodies? They help us absorb vitamin D, digest fat, regulate salt and water levels, produce steroid hormones and so much more. Read on to find out more about cholesterol and maybe even shift your acclaimed pessimistic views on cholesterol.

CHOLESTEROL LOWERING DRUGS: STATINS

The biggest reason why medical doctors and the general population are afraid of high cholesterol levels is that it is known to directly predispose individuals to heart diseases and atherosclerosis. Once diagnosed with a form of cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol levels, the most common treatment modality is lifelong administration of statin drugs.

There's mounting research that statins raise the possibilities of diabetes, coronary calcification, cancer and other countless adverse reactions. Furthermore, it is true that the cholesterol campaign partnerships vast prosperity for researchers, doctors, medical journals and pharmaceutical companies. A good example is the new NHS guideline, where statins are normally prescribed to people with 20% risk of CVD, but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that should be reduced to 10%. This basically suggests that healthy individuals should take statins, and to some extent, enforces the medical doctors to prescribe statins rather than focusing on the root causes of heart diseases. Such proposition puts at a risk of creating a culture of negligence towards the importance of educating the public to make healthier lifestyle choices. The most important thing to understand is that, it's not lowering cholesterol that solves everything; it is avoiding the inflammatory processes in your system and thus atherosclerosis by practicing a natural and proactive approach to health and wellness.

IS HIGH CHOLESTEROL REALLY THAT BAD?

In certain aspects, high cholesterol is actually better than low cholesterol . 15 years ago, American researchers have found that low cholesterol predisposes to an increased risk of mortality from infectious diseases of the stomach, intestines and the lungs.

LDLs (Low Density Lipoproteins) are usually known as the “bad cholesterol”, as it is estimated to contribute in the development of heart diseases. But did you know that LDLs have a function of taking care of microorganisms and their toxic products?

In the book, “Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You” by Ulfe Ravnskov, the author cites a study performed by Dr. Willy Flegel and his co-workers at Heidelberg University in Germany where they confirmed that LDL cholesterol function to neutralize bacterial toxins. To add, another study performed by Professor Kenneth Feingold and his group at the University of California performed studies in a controlled environment on rats, which confirmed the above hypothesis. Furthermore, high cholesterol is known to protect us against allergy and that people with high cholesterol actually lives the longest!

Which makes us ponder on the question, whether it's the cholesterol levels alone that predispose individuals to heart diseases, or is inflammation and cholesterol levels two separate things? Would it be really wise to artificially lower our cholesterol levels with drugs which has been proven to cause a myriad of other health problems? Or to lower the level of inflammation through healthy diet and lifestyle choices?

THE VERDICT

There are prominent health professionals today that claim that – the cholesterol theory of heart disease is nonsense , and that the condition of “high cholesterol” is a disease invented by man . But in contrast, there's a lot of research and medical doctors who suggest that suffering from high cholesterol and doing nothing about it (not taking statins) is essentially waiting for something to go bad . Such conflicting ideas and evidences confuse the general public as to what to believe. So what should you do if you are diagnosed with high cholesterol?

Before you decide to take action about your cholesterol levels, you should do your own research and question your go-to doctor and make inquiries about the latest scientific evidence on statins and high cholesterol on its associations to heart diseases and general health. But my best advice is to fight and correct the underlying cause of “inflammation” and not to artificial lower your cholesterol levels with statins. There are many ways you can achieve this, but most obvious methods are undertaking healthier lifestyle choices on a daily basis, such as developing healthier habits in diet, lower alcohol consumption and exercises.

Statins are medications that you take lifelong and there's no coming back. There are many people who successfully control their cholesterol levels (if they see the need to) in so many natural ways. Health is something you adapt and adopt to, not something you buy in a form of a pill.

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Cholesterol & Heart Diseases – How to Tackle?

Cholesterol – the dreaded word, which most Indians believe it to be a sign of heart related issue. However this is not completely true. Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance present in the body cells. It is found in certain kinds of food and is produced in the body too. It is essential for the body so that it can make Vitamin D, hormones and other factors needed to digest food.

Like everything else, an excess of cholesterol is harmful to the body and is the leading cause of many cardio vascular diseases. But what is really harmful is that there are no visible signs to recognize that someone has high blood cholesterol. Like slow poison, it could keep damaging your body from within till one day you realize it, sometimes after serious damage has been done to your system.

The liver produces 80% of the required cholesterol and the remaining is available to the body through food. Such as foods derived from animal products like cheese, meat, poultry, fish.

Lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the blood. There are four kinds of lipoproteins in the body:

  • High density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol”
  • Low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad cholesterol”
  • Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), which are really bad forms of cholesterol
  • Chylomicrons, actually have very little cholesterol but a lot of another harmful fat called triglycerides

Who is Safe?

People often trick them into believing that they can not have a certain disease. Similar with cholesterol. Women believe that they can not have high cholesterol; only men are likely to have it. Some believe that its only once they cross into their fifties then they have to worry about cholesterol. Some even think that being thin is their ticket to safety. Unfortunately, all of them are wrong. Anyone can have high cholesterol.

In fact one should start getting checked for it after 20 years of age. With the advent of smartphones and computers, the younger generation has adopted a sedentary lifestyle where exercise has reduced to tap of thumbs on their phone screens. The food choices have also changed from simple but healthy food to dishes soaked in butter and garnished with extra cheese. Putting them at higher risk of high cholesterol levels.

If you are over-weight or have a history of high cholesterol in the family or if you suffer from other diseases like diabetes, you should be extra careful. Smokers or obese people should also get tested regularly.

The Guilty Foods

A heart healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help you control excess cholesterol. Avoid foods with high saturated fats. Animal produces like veal; pork, beef, eggs, milk and cheese are the usual suspects.

Coconut oil, palm oil or cocoa butter is equally guilty. And finally your favorite munchies like cookies and chips are loaded with saturated fat. Steer clear of these as much as possible.

What Are the Signs?

High cholesterol is a disguised disease. It never shows any symptoms. Most people discover it only when it results in a more serious health concern like

  • A heart attack – caused by the blockage of arms of the heart
  • Angina – pain caused by the narrowing of the arteries
  • Stroke – caused by blockage in the treaties of the neck or brain
  • Pain on walking – caused due to blockage in a ring of the leg

What Can I Do?

Regular testing can help detect and treat high cholesterol.

Considering the Indian lifestyle, doctors suggest that your first test should happen at the age 20 years, to determine the baseline of cholesterol and then you should get tested every 5 years. If you have family history or other illnesses or lifestyle as mentioned above, you should get tested more often.

Adults with coronary artery diseases should get tested at least once a year, just for those suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

The lipid panel and lipid profile are the most common tests for checking cholesterol levels, which you can get done at almost all diagnostic centers. But if you see your physician, upon physical examination, he might suggest some other tests too.

Following a healthy lifestyle and getting your preventive diagnostic test done regularly is the key to enjoy a good healthy life and keep all the other health issues created with cholesterol away.

Live healthy to enjoy life fully !!

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Eat Your Way to Heart Health

It's February, and that means it's American Heart month! After all the talk about heart health, I think we honestly forget what a big deal Heart Disease is in this country. It is the number one cause of death in the United States. Numero Uno. That is not something to take lightly. Certainly we've taken steps to try and combat this epidemic, but yet heart disease remains the most likely cause of death of an individual in this country. According to the Heart Foundation, a person suffices a heart attack every 34 seconds. The heart-healthy message is not getting across.

The frustrating thing is, heart disease is absolutely preventable, yet I have met countless people who seem to think it is just something you “get.” Although most will admit they could have ateen healthier or exercised a tad bit more, they perceive it to be mostly out of their control. This perception is not entirely their fault, however. Some doctors rarely even mention diet or exercise (although some do, or refer to RDs, and kudos to them). In most cases, meds are dispensed and symptoms are monitored.

But that's why I'm here. I'm here to tell you that number one, heart disease is preventable and reversible. Number two, there are a plethora of healthy foods you can eat to “treat” yourself to better health. Let's visit a few categories.

Omega 3s

Omega 3 fatty acids are heart healthy fats. They help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce overall inflammation in the body. Whenever there is inflammation there is a higher likelihood of oxidized LDL being deposited in the arteries. We need to keep LDL at healthy levels and decrease inflammation in the body. Omega 3 fats can help us do that. Where do we find them? Unfortunately Omega 3s are not prolific in the food supply, but there are some great foods rich in Omega 3s that you can start incorporating in your diet. Examples include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, grass fed beef, and plant based foods such as walnuts, flaxseed, and soy.

Other Healthy Fats

Beside Omega 3s, there are other healthy fats that make up a heart healthy diet. Unsaturated fats, such as those from olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are great for the heart. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats are not all that bad either. In fact, coconut oil, butter and eggs can be heart healthy choices as well, provided they are in moderation and part of a diet that avoids or limits refined carbohydrates. While in research we have seen saturated fats cause increases in LDL cholesterol, it's actually diets high in refined carbohydrates (sweets, bread, pasta, etc) that lead to the dangerous, atherogenic type of LDL cholesterol that leads to heart disease. I'd prefer you give up the pastries before you give up the butter.

Fiber

We all know fiber is healthy, but it is especially helpful for heart disease, especially when it replace refined carbohydrates in the diet. One particular fiber, soluble fiber, is known for its ability to lower LDL cholesterol, but all fiber is helpful. High fiber foods are all of the whole grains and plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Foods that are specifically high in soluble fiber include nuts / seeds, oats, buckwheat, apples, pears, soy and legumes. Eat more of these foods. Eat less refined carbohydrates, especially those high in sugar.

Antioxidants

Antioxidant rich foods are wonderful! Think of those plant based foods that are vibrant in color and full of flavor. That color and distinct taste are often a result of the phytochemicals, aka antioxidants. What do these antioxidants do for you? They help scavange free radicals so they are not left to do damage to your arms or other organs. They essentially neutralize them. Since inflammation in the body tend to increase free radicals, antixodants are very important for heart disease. Good food choices? Colorful berries (think blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc), grapes, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, all types of vegetables, green tea, and even coffee. But this list is certainly not exhaustive. All plant foods have some sort of antioxidant component (and many of them work synergistically together), so eat a wide variety of plant based foods and you can not go wrong.

Lean Protein

Protein is obviously an essential part of our diet. While higher fat meats are not unnecessarily unhealthy if part of a balanced diet, they can lead to weight gain which is not what you want if at risk for heart disease. Lean protein therefore is ideal because it's not typically excessive in calories and helps keep your blood glucose stable, thereby helping you maintain a healthy weight. Make sure to have some sort of protein source with each meal. Healthy options include lean chicken, pork, grass fed beef, seafood, organic soy / tofu, low sugar dairy products and nuts / seeds.

There we go. Those are the key components of a heart healthy diet. If you focus on the foods in these groups while simultaneously cutting out the refined carbohydrates (typically sugar), you will be on a good path towards better health. Seems easy enough, right?

But what if it's not? As with most things on the internet, including this article, words on paper do not exactly translate to actions at home. I totally get it. I can read all day about accounting on the internet but I'm not one who gets those concepts on my own. I need help, hence I have a book keeper! The same goes for diet. Do not be accused if you have more questions. That's why us Registered Dietitians are here.

The beauty of a visit with an RD is that we get to sit down with you for an hour (and sometimes even longer) to discuss and create the best diet for YOU. Unlike in a doctor's office, you have time to ask all your questions and receive lengthy feedback. Often people are confused as to where to start, what are appropriate portion sizes, what are some good meal ideas, etc. We can walk through this with you and create a plan that will work for you and your lifestyle. While some are afraid, thinking of us as the “food police,” we should be though of instead as the “food guidance counselor.” We are not here to judge, just to guide. We might suggest new diet options and new lifestyle goals, but always alongside you and with your complete agreement.

Please, if you have or are at risk for heart disease, incorporate these foods mentioned above. If you have never seen an RD before, I highly recommend finding one in your area. Maybe it's just a one time visit, but at least you will get tailor advice and guidance to ensure you are doing things the right way. Eating should not be rocket science, but in our day and time it's starting to become that way. Take charge of your health and let's together reduce the incidence of heart disease in this country.

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Three Most Common Causes For Low Blood Pressure

Poor circulation and low blood pressure is more common than generally believed. As health practitioners and patients keep focusing on hypertension, hypotension is usually overlooked or neglected. Yet, many of us may be experiencing blood pressure dips without being aware of it.

Sporadic bouts of fatigue, chronic exhaustion, frequent yawning, daytime sleepiness, mental dullness, poor memory and even brittle nails all may be signs of insufficient circulation.

The causes of hypotension may vary from person to person and depend on genetic, environmental and circumstantial factors. However, many of those can be controlled, provided that the individual is aware of them. Here is a list of just three most common controllable causes for low blood pressure.

  • Dehydration : Experts say that one should drink 8 glasses of water a day, yet this is pretty straightforward advice we often end up below the guidelines. It is because many of us are truly alone on the sense of thirst. Yet, thirst has been found to be consistently unreliable. It simply can not be used as a hydration gauge.
  • Nutritional deficiency : Everyone knows that nutrition is a very important determinant of health. Heart can not pump without energy and blood can not flow without being propelled. For that you need nutrients, and lots of them. Yet, a multivitamin won`t do in this case as crucical macronutrients for blood flow must come from food, not from pills. Among the most vital circulatory macronutrients are: sugars, electrolytes, and protein. These three are responsible for increasing blood pressure.
  • Adrenal fatigue : Stress, worry, and grief are very hard on the body and if prolonged they may lead to adrenal fatigue or even adrenal exhaustion. Fatigued adrenals alter production of hormones and neurotransmitters which in turn cause changes in the blood flow. Adrenal fatigue is a large under-recognized phenomenon, although its extreme form called Addison`s disease is a well-known to health practitioners reason for chronic hypotension.

The above conditions are three most common reasons for low blood pressure. Fortunately, they are also easily reversible, especially if one works with a qualified health care provider that is capable of detecting the causes, determining the needs, and also the one that will be assessing the progress.

Causes for hypotension however, are not limited only to dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and adrenal fatigue. There are also other reasons. Among them are: hidden blood loss, anemia, nervous system failure, dysautonomia, food sensitivities, POTS, and others. Regardless of the underlining reasons follow these four simple circular boosters below, so you can experience an immediate improvement in your well-being:

  • Keep on drinking plenty of water and if possible drink it extra cold. Cold water has been shown to boost circulation to the same degree as coffee does.
  • Do not skip meals; low blood sugar that results from non-eating can contribute to hypotension
  • Add a pinch of salt to food; sodium lost during digestion and sweat must be replaced. Insufficient sodium contributions to low blood pressure and chronic fatigue
  • Adjust your diet to support adrenals; adrenals need large quantities of vitamin C. Add oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, and lemon to your diet to ensure a good supply of this nutrient.

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How Common Is Fluctuating Blood Pressure?

We all know about dangers of hypertension, although recent studies have pointed out that it is actually pressure fluctuations, not just high blood pressure, that is most ominous. It is no longer just hypertension as previously thought, but erratic blood pressure that causes most of the cardiovascular accidents. Strokes, heart attacks, shortness of breath, sudden weakness, and falls can be traced back to excess cardiovascular swings.

Cardiovascular statistics in developed countries are not favorable. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in North America. And since one third of all adults have hypertension we only can ponder how many people actually “suffer from” the larger danger, circulatory ups and downs.

The answer is surprising, but hopefully not scary. Fluctuating blood pressure is common to ALL of us. We all have it regardless regardless of whether we are actively looking for it or not. Yet I must clarify. It is not just any fluctuations, but erratic fluctuations that should concern us. So, although we all experience fluctuations we first must distinguish the good from the bad or, to be more exact, the erratic from the normal. Only then we can make any conclusions about our heart health.

Healthy circulation is dynamic and intelligently responsive. It changes according to time of the day and adjusts to different circumstances. For example, healthy blood pressure goes up during exercise and then down during sleep. It goes up during laughter and down again during meditation.

Healthy heart should never keep the numbers at 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure that does not change is a sign of a seriously compromised circulation. In fact, the numbers should swing effortlessly from hypertension to hypotension if life demands it. Here are just two examples.

  • It is normal to get into the hypertensive zone when lifting heavy objects
  • It is normal for healthy people to go into hypotensive zone overnight.

However, not all fluctuations are good. Some are a sign of compromised health. Here are just a few examples of such:

  • The numbers drop on standing; in a healthy body they should go up when one stands up
  • One has white coat syndrome; this indicates difficulty coping with stress and increases chances of developing hypertension in the future
  • The numbers keep low during the day; this may substantively increase dementia risk; hypotension has many negative long-term effects including hearing loss, glaucoma, depression, and anxiety.

We are told to measure blood pressure while sitting, but by the time we find something wrong with the numbers at rest, we have likely missed at least a decade of circulatory problems. With heart diseases being so widespread it would be foolish not to know own heart details in advance.

Do not count on your doctor to give you an early warning. It will not happen. The term “erratic blood pressure” has not been entered in a medical dictionary as of yet. And as it is with every “just discovered” phenomenon, early detection of such is near impossible. Today when health care practitioners are looking mostly for hypertension, fluctuating blood pressure is left unnoticed.

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Ischaemic Heart Disease

Signs and Symptoms

In the initial stages of the disease it is illegally for any symptoms to manifest.

The primary symptoms that will be present after the disease has progressed will include angina pectoris and heart failure.

Angina Pectoris

Angina Pectoris is chest pain that may occur in times of emotional distress, in cold weather conditions and during physical activity. It may radiate from the chest area to the jaw, shoulder blades, neck and left arm. There are cases of ischaemia that will not exhibit any form of angina attacks and in such cases it is defined as silent ischaemia.

Heart Failure

Heart failure may result from ischaemic heart disease. This may cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing which worsens during physical activity or when lying flat, pronounced coughing, reduced ability to perform normal activities and or swelling of the ankles.

Risk Factors

Although the specific cause of Ischaemic heart disease is unknown there are some factors that tend to increase the likelihood of developing the disease.

Having a family history of certain other conditions may increase overall risk. These include diabetes, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and hypertension.

  • Lacking proper nutrition, in particular consuming foods that are high in fat.
  • Being a smoker especially one who smokes at least one pack of cigarettes per day.
  • Having suffered from a heart attack of stroke at least once.
  • Being significantly overweight or obese.
  • Leading a very stressful lifestyle.
  • Having elevated cholesterol levels
  • Suffering from uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension
  • Being a diabetic
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle or lacking sufficient levels of physical activity to maintain health.

Diagnosing and Treating the Disease

Diagnostic tests

Once angina is suspected after experiencing chest pain, tests are performed to confirm the likelihood of an angina attack. The chest pains will first be determined to have materialized as a result of physical activity that is alleviated by rest or from being exposed to cold conditions or because of lying flat. An electrocardiogram or ECG may be performed to observe the changes that occurs during an attack. It is also possible to administer a dose of sublingual nitroglycerin that relieves the associated pain of angina in a matter of minutes. These methods of testing will confirm if these attacks are in fact angina attacks.

There are also tests that are performed to establish the intensity of the ischaemia and also to identify probable coronary artery disease. The tests will generally be carried out using electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, x-rays of the chest, exercise tolerance test, thallium stress test, coronary angiogram and or cholesterol and blood tests to analyze total fat, lipoproteins and cholesterol levels.

Treatments

A part of the treatment will include personal management and changes in lifestyle.

  • It will be necessary to decrease or completely stop smoking which will significantly worsen the progress of the disease.
  • It will require a change in diet and a strict adherence to nutritional guidelines that will dictate the levels of fat and cholesterol that should be consumed daily; essentially this will be a low fat and low cholesterol diet.
  • Drugs may be administered to lower cholesterol levels.
  • An exercise regimen will be suggested to greatly improve overall health.
  • A method of stress management and reduction may be recommended.
  • If hypertension is present treatment for that condition with a low sodium diet and medication will be critical.
  • Maintaining an ideal body weight will also greatly improve the chances of managing the disease.
  • A balloon angioplasty may be incorporated. This will involve the use of a small uninflated balloon that will be passed up the affected artery and inflated to free the obstruction. Although this type of treatment will alleviate many of the associated symptoms of the disease it will not need to control the disease itself.
  • In extreme cases it may be vital to have bypass surgery performed. This will in effect, bypass the affected coronary arteries.
  • Treatment may also include medicines such as nitrates, calcium channel antagonists, beta blockers and anti-platelet drugs. Beta blockers will lower the heart rate when resting because decreases the demand for oxygen. Nitrates will eliminate an angina attack. Calcium channel blockers will hinder blood vessel constriction and consequentially prevent artery spasm. Anti-platelet drugs like aspirin will prevent platelets from sticking to blood vessel walls therefore reducing the likelihood of further narrowing of the vessels.
  • If the disease has progressed beyond repair or when normal treatment is not applicable then a heart transplant may have to be performed.

Prognosis

If treatment ensues before grave damage is done to the heart then the outlook is generally fair. Adopting a doctor regulated regimen will improve overall quality of life and longevity. It is possible for aggressive treatments to hinder the course of the disease and reverse some of the damage that has already occurred. The long term forecast for the disease will be contingent upon several factors, including: the ability of the heart to pump effectively, the extent or progress of the disease when identified and age upon diagnosis.

Preventing Heart Disease in General

Having a knowledge of the associated risk factors and measures to successfully reduce the development of heart disease can be beneficial in minimizing the likelihood of being affected by it. Eliminating smoking, incorporating a good exercise routine into daily life, consuming less fatty foods, controlling other pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertensive and maintaining an ideal body weight are fairly good measures to lessen the probability of being afflicted by any of these types of heart disorders.

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Lifestyle Changes You Should Embrace To Reduce Heart Disease Risks

Heart disease is one of the diseases that kill people today. Fortunately, by making a few lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk of serious cardiovascular diseases. Below are some changes you can start working on today to improve your health and reduce disease risks.

Watch your weight

Excessive weight is large associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and they are all contributors to heart disease. When you lose weight, you reduce your risks of developing the condition. To know what your ideal weight should be so that you can maintain it, you need to know what your BMI is. This is the body mass index obtained from calculating your weight against height. A BMI that falls between 18 to around 22.9 is considered to be ideal.

Quit smoking

Even with the awareness that smoking can cause lung cancer, it still proves to be a challenge for most people to quit smoking. However, what very many smokers do not know is that their chances of suffering heart attacks are even higher than those of developing the lung cancer. Smoking affects the heart by clamping down blood vessels because of the inhaled nicotine thereby forcing the heart to pump faster and harder so that blood can be pushes through the small vessels. The lining of the blood vessels is affected and it becomes easy for calcium and fat deposits to accumulate narrowing the arteries even further. Oxygen supply to the tissues is also reduced by the carbon monoxide that's found in cigarette smoke. Make up your mind to quit smoking and come up with a strategy to work on this and get all the help you can get to make it a success.

Get active

Busy lifestyles have made a great number of people active and it has in turn exposed them to risks of heart disease. Regular exercise can go a long way in keeping the risks minimal and it also helps improve your overall health. Being active does not necessarily mean hitting the gym even though it is still a good idea. It can be made up of simple and enjoyable physical activities such as walking, swimming, jogging and yoga. Besides keeping heart disease at bay and other disorders, regular exercises can also help you lose weight in a healthy way, relieve stress and also help you sleep better. Moderate exercises daily can greatly improve your health.

Give up unhealthy eating

Processed foods, sugary foods and oily or fatty foods are some of the foods you want to avoid. The junk foods are quite unhealthy and they can put you at risk of heart disease and a number of other chronic diseases. Choose foods that are low in sugar, sodium, cholesterol and fat but those that are still high in fiber. Take the time to know your foods so you are aware of which foods are healthy and then you can incorporated them in your diet. The more you know, the easier it will be to make the right choices.

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Vitamin B Heart Benefits – Prevent Deficiency Related Coronary Disease

Heart disease is a major killer of men and women all across the world. While cancer and other serious illnesses claim lots of lives, heart disease is not far behind. Lifestyle changes can help a lot with preventing this disease. If you have already been diagnosed with some form of heart disease, your diet can slow down its progress.

Heart Attack Prevention

Regular exercise plays a vital role in preventing heart disease. Cardiovascular exercise gets the blood pumping and helps to keep the heart in good condition. Avoiding food sources that are high in LDL cholesterol is also good. That helps to keep your body in good shape by maintaining the ideal balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol.

Exercise and Diet Help to Prevent Coronary Diseases

While some people exercise regularly and ensure that their cholesterol levels are at the right place, they may neglect other factors that contribute to heart disease. Researchers have established that B vitamins have an effect on the health of your heart. Without an adequate amount of vitamin B6 and other B vitamins in your diet, you may be putting yourself at risk of developing heart disease.

B vitamins such as Riboflavin and Pantothenic acid are essential for making red blood cells. Without them, the heart will have no blood to pump around the body. B vitamins also help to regulate mood and help human animals to manage stress. All of this has an effect on the heart. Taking a natural B12 supplement or any other B vitamin supplement does help you in a lot of ways.

Folic Acid to Prevent Heart Disease

Folic acid has become known as an important B vitamin when it comes to preventing heart disease. A lot of research has been done on how this particular vitamin works to keep the heart in particular, functioning well. However, folic acid is also important to several other functions inside the body.

If you suspect that your diet is low in folic acid, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about changes you can ensure that you get the right amount of this vitamin in your daily meals. Women who are pregnant and other special groups of people who need higher amounts of this vitamin than normal may also take folic acid tablets to supplement what they receive from their meals.

In the United States, even orange juice is often fortified with folic acid. Lots of foods have folic acid added to them because the deficiencies of it have such serious results. Talk with your doctor about all the ways that increasing your folic acid intake can help you in particular with any health issues you may have.

Get Adequate Amounts of All the B Vitamins in Your Diet

To help prevent heart disease, you must ensure that your diet contains adequate amounts of vitamin B6 as well as all of the other B vitamins. They all have to be present in your body in sufficient amounts for you to experience the maximum benefits with respect to heart health and other aspects of health.

These vitamins require the presence of each other in order to work well. When one is absent from your diet, you may sometimes be unable to utilize the others at all. In that case, the effect would be just like that experienced with a lack of all the B vitamins in your daily diet.

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How To Determine If You Are Having A Heart Attack

Over a million Americans will suffer a heart attack each year. While over half of the victims will die, the survivors will be forced to live with permanent heart damage. The important factor that must be considered, when someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms is immediate medical treatment. If treatment is not rendered immediately the risks of death will increase with every minute that passes.

If you stay with someone, who has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, you should immediately arm yourself with all the information that you can possibly find about this condition. Most heart attacks are linked to a coronary thrombosis (blood clot), which will block the oxygen rich blood flow from reaching the heart.

Inadequate oxygen enriched blood flow to the heart will lead to arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and the most common type is atrial fibrillation. Anticoagulants or blood thinners are prescribed to treat A-fib.

The symptoms of a heart attack include angina (chest pain), pressure or discomfort on the left side of the chest. While the symptoms may subside after a few minutes, they will reappear. The victim may also experience radiating pain, which may involve the left side of the neck, jaw, upper back, abdomen, and both arms. Dyspnea (shortness of breath) is very common and may be linked to the insufficient blood supply to the lungs. Nausea, vomiting, vertigo (dizziness), and fatigue are also symptoms that the victim may or may not experience.

If you or someone else exhibits signs of a heart attack, you should immediately dial 911. If treatment is not rendered within 1-2 hours, death may be inevitable. It is important to get regular checksups, so your physician will run several diagnostic tests, which will determine if you are suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Coronary heart disease is a condition that involves plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. If a piece of the plaque breaks off from the artery, it can travel to the lungs or heart. The clot will cause a blockage of blood flow to the heart, which will lead to a heart attack.

The most common cause of heart disease is cigarette smoking. Illicit drug use such as cocaine is another factor that is linked to coronary artery spasms, which can lead to a heart attack. Other causes are extreme anxiety, hypothermia, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, and severe pain.

By losing weight the healthy way with a diet and exercise regimen will decrease your risks of cardiovascular diseases. If you need a boost in trying to lose weight or just to get started working out daily, you should lean on your friends and family for moral support.

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