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7 Ways to Stop Heart Attack and High Blood Pressure

heart

 

7 Ways to Stop Heart Attacks and High Blood Pressure

 

 

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination,” said a man who had both — Nelson Mandela. Well, here’s the knowledge you need (a good head) to make sure your cardiovascular system (a good heart) stays healthy for decades more!

 

Unfortunately, ever more folks have high levels of lousy LDL cholesterol (more than 71 million North American adults), are overweight or obese (67 percent of adults), and have hypertension (33 percent of folks 20+). Almost 105 million have prediabetes or diabetes.

 

These are huge risk factors for heart disease. But you can defuse your potential heart problems. Here are our 7 Steps to Heart Health. They’ll also improve your love life and brain function and reduce cancer risks.

 

  1. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke; people who do have 20 percent to 40 percent fewer heart events over two years.

 

  1. Do whatever it takes to get your blood pressure to 115/75.

 

  1. Keep your waist measurement to less than half your height.

 

  1. Manage stress with meditation.

 

  1. Adopt good heart/brain nutrition: Avoid saturated and trans fats, all added sugars and sugar syrups, and any grain that isn’t 100 percent whole.

 

  1. Get active: Your heart will love 10,000 steps daily; 30 minutes of resistance exercise weekly; 20 minutes of cardio three times a week.

 

  1. Consider a supplement regimen: a statin and 200 mg CoQ10 daily, along with two baby aspirins with half a glass of warm water before and after (ask your doc); plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 and 420 mg of purified omega-7 a day.

 

Please call us with your concerns about your personal healtcare.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Heart Attacks in Men

heartattackmen

 Heart Attacks in Men

 

Pain, discomfort, and pressure in the chest are the most common symptoms of heart attack in men. These can include a sensation of fullness or squeezing in the chest. These symptoms are sometimes accompanied by pain in one or both arms, the jaw, back, stomach, or neck. While women are more likely than men to experience symptoms other than the characteristic chest pain and pressure, men can also experience other types of symptoms or mistake a heart attack for another condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux. Other signs and symptoms of heart attack include

shortness of breath,

nausea,

vomiting,

fatigue,

lightheadedness,

fainting,

dizziness,

pressure in the upper back, and

a feeling of breaking out in a cold sweat.

Causes of heart attacks in men

 

Heart attacks are caused when there is an inadequate supply of oxygen-carrying blood to the muscle of the heart. A heart attack is medically known as a myocardial infarction. Blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot and/or atherosclerotic plaque (from coronary artery disease) is the most common cause for the interruption in blood flow to the heart muscle.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tied To Lower Drug Costs

heartdisease

Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Tied to Lower Drug Costs

People with heart disease spend a lot less on medications when they take steps to lower their risk of complications by doing things like getting enough exercise, avoiding cigarettes and keeping their blood pressure in check, a U.S. study suggests.

For the study, researchers focused on adults diagnosed with the most common type of heart disease, known as atherosclerosis, which happens when fats, cholesterol and other substances build up on artery walls.

 

When these patients did as much as they could to avoid so-called modifiable risk factors for heart disease – inactivity, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and diabetes – their total average annual pharmaceutical expenditures were $1,400, the study found.

But patients who did little to modify these risk factors had total average annual pharmaceutical expenditures of $4,516, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

 

“Individuals who are unwilling to modify their lifestyles so as to have a favorable risk factor profile would most likely resort to medications to control the risk factors,” said lead study author Dr. Joseph Salami of the Center for Health Care Advancement and Outcomes at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables.

 

“A person getting little or no exercise has a higher risk of obesity,” Salami said by email. “Someone obese is more likely to have diabetes, high blood cholesterol and hypertension.”

 

For the study, researchers examined 2012 and 2013 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a national snapshot of spending based on surveys of almost 76,000 American patients, families, doctors and employers. The total pharmaceutical costs, reported in 2013 dollars, include patients’ out-of-pocket fees like co-payments and co-insurance as well as the portion of the tab covered by insurance or other sources, Salami said.

Among the survey participants, 4,248 adults aged 40 or older had atherosclerosis, representing about 21.9 million people in the U.S. population. They were 68 years old on average, and 45 percent were women.

 

Overall, average annual drug costs for each participant were $3,432. About a third of this was for cardiovascular disease drugs and another 14 percent was spent on diabetes medicines.

 

The remaining expenditures – more than half of the total – were for non-cardiovascular disease and non-diabetes drugs and were significantly associated with the modifiable risk factors, the study team notes.

Nationwide, this adds up to annual drug spending of $71.6 billion for patients with atherosclerosis, researchers estimated.

 

One limitation of the study is that it might overestimate expenditures because it’s possible some people prescribed medications for heart disease might be taking them for other reasons, the authors note. Researchers also lacked data on the type of insurance patients’ had or for individual characteristics of patients, doctors or pharmacists that might influence drug costs.

 

Costs should be considered in the context of how well treatments work, and the study doesn’t address this, noted Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston who wasn’t involved in the study.

 

“In some cases, the benefit that patients get from these non-pharmacologic therapies may be much more substantial than the benefit that drug therapy can offer,” Kesselheim said by email. “In other cases, the drug might be more helpful.”

The study also isn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove that people will spend less on drugs when they make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart disease, said Julie Schmittdiel of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland.

 

“It does suggest there is promise that addressing modifiable health behaviors will reduce costs,” Schmittdiel, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

 

Knowing this might help motivate some patients to make changes, said Stacie Dusetzina, a pharmacy researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who wasn’t involved in the study.

 

“I think many of us realize how hard these risk factors are to modify,” Dusetzina said by email. “But having incentives that include feeling better and saving money may help with motivation.”

 

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Dr A Sullivan

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Common Painkiller Increase Risk of Heart Attack

commonheartattack

Common Painkillers Boost Heart Attack Risks

 

Common prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, including ibuprofen, boost the risk of heart attack, according to new research that backs earlier findings linking such drugs to cardiac hazards.

 

The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), finds that higher risk of heart attack depends on dose and arises as early as the first week of use.

But the researchers said the new findings indicate doctors and patients should more carefully weigh the risks and benefits of so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Such medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cambia), celecoxib (Celebrex), and naproxen (Midol, Aleve).

 

Asprin, which is also an NSAID, was not among the painkillers linked to heart attacks and has consistently been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.

“Given that the onset of risk of acute myocardial infarction [heart attack] occurred in the first week and appeared greatest in the first month of treatment with higher doses, prescribers should consider weighing the risks and benefits of NSAIDs before instituting treatment, particularly for higher doses,” the researchers concluded.

 

 

The findings are based on an analysis of studies by an international team of researchers led by Michèle Bally of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), formerly an epidemiology doctoral student at McGill University in Canada.

The researchers examined the medical records of nearly 447,000 people, more than 61,000 of whom had a heart attack, from Canada, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

 

The findings showed that taking any dose of NSAIDs for one week, one month, or more than a month was associated with an increased risk of heart attack.

Overall the increased risk of a heart attack was between 20 percent and 50 percent greater for those using NSAIDs than those not taking them.

The findings also indicated the higher the dose or frequency of taking the drugs, the greater the risk of heart attack.

 

The study is the largest investigation of its kind to examine real-world patient experiences.

 

After previous studies reached similar conclusions, the Food and Drug Administration required cardiovascular risk warnings be added to the labels of all NSAIDs (except aspirin) in 2005, updated those requirements in 2015.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived 2017

Nick Tate

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cut Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in Half!

juicedrinking

Cut Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in Half

 

This is heart healthy month!

 

Research reveals you can cut your risk of heart attacks and strokes in half within one week, just by lowering your risk of blood clots!  If you have already had one heart attack or stroke, then you know that you are 75% greater chance of having another.

A few simple steps will give you almost immediate protection!

 

Ginger Helps Thin Your Blood

Adding ½ tsp of this flavorful spice to your daily diet can lower your risk of forming an unnecessary clot in as little as seven days.   To make iced lemon ginger tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, turn off the heat.  Add 3 tbs, lemon juice and ¼ cup grated ginger root.  Steep 20 minutes, strain into a pitcher.  Add honey or other sweetener (not white sugar) to taste.

 

Smiling stamps out harmful stress

The more often you smile, the less likely you are to ever develop clots. In fact, simply putting on a more upbeat expression on a regular basis helped many people cut their clots risk by 27%. Smiling calms your central nervous system, reducing your output of cortisol, a stress hormone that makes blood cells more likely to clump.  Do you have more weight and inches around the middle of your abdomen than other places, then you have a lot of cortisol in your body?

 

Oatmeal offers hours of protection

Having one cup and only one cup of steel oats for breakfast could lower your risk of a blood clot for up to four hours.  Oatmeal is rich in compounds that stop blood cells from clumping together and sticking to artery walls.   One cup of steel oats, one or two eggs, and a bowl of berries works well together.

 

Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Keeping your blood pressure under control helps protect artery walls from the damage that can lead to clots.  Drinking 4 ounces of beet juice daily can lower your blood pressure 10 points for 24 hours. Find beet juice in most health food stores, and not powder form.  If the taste is too strong, mix it with another juice or a can or diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale.   It is the only drink that contains citrate that cleans out your liver.  Has to be their diet, and has to be Canada Dry.

 

Citrus zest keeps blood vessels young.

Zest, the colorful outer skin of citrus fruits.  It is natures number on source of hesperidin, a plant compound that could cut your risk of a stroke, or heart attack triggering clot as much as 29%.  Similar to L-arginine, but after 90 days L-arginine will actually hurt your blood vessels then help them.

 

Contact us for your Personalized Health Care Plan

Everyone is different!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Your Heart and Your Health: A Two-way Conversation

heartandhealth

Your Heart and Your Head: A Two-Way Conversation

New Brain Health Science

 

Would it surprise you to learn that your memory and other brain functions are tied to your heart health?

 

Your body is an intricate system of parts that perform their own jobs but depend on each other to thrive. It makes sense for a lot of body parts to depend on a healthy heart but your cognitive activity might be a less obvious connection.

 

Studies show that when your heart is healthy, your cognitive abilities can flourish but when your heart is weaker, so too is your mind.

 

Further investigation is needed for us to understand the whole picture but this insight alone should be further motivation to take action and protect your heart.

 

What do the studies show so far?

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Your Heart

Blood circulation affects your ability to think. Poor circulation can cause symptoms that look like Alzheimer’s. According to Harvard Health Publications, as many as ⅓rd of initially diagnosed dementia and Alzheimer’s cases are actually the result of vascular problems and poor blood flow.

 

As we know, your heart is responsible for pumping your blood and issues like high cholesterol and clogged arteries can create blood flow problems for your whole cardiovascular system. Turns out, not only could you be at risk for heart disease and stroke, but these issues can also lead to cognitive decline.

 

While there are certainly other factors at play when it comes to memory loss and the onset of conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, Ornish.com attests that “several conditions known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease—such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Autopsy studies show that as many as 80 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s also have cardiovascular disease, but still most scientists agree that the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unclear.”

 

Not only do we not know exactly how or why Alzheimer’s develops, we also don’t have a cure for it. Researchers are confident that it is a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that causes Alzheimer’s.

 

We might not be able to do anything about our genetic predisposition, but we can do something about our lifestyle choices and environment. It stands to reason that if heart conditions can contribute to cognitive decline, maintaining good heart health should be part of that strategy.

 

 

Your Memories, Your Heart

Alzheimer’s isn’t the only cognitive issue that could arise due to heart health concerns. The Women’s Brain Health Initiative referenced a recent study where, “participants with decreased heart function, i.e., a low cardiac index, were two to three times more likely to develop significant memory loss. Given that one out of three participants in the study met the medical definition for low cardiac index, these findings are of great concern. This study marks the first time that cardiac index has been recognized as a risk factor for significant memory loss or dementia.”

 

As more of these studies are conducted and we understand this connection more intimately, there may be hope for treatment. Once scientists and doctors can map out the cause precisely, it’s much more likely that they will figure out how to prevent or reverse cognitive decline. However, these discoveries could be years, even decades away.

 

In the meantime, these discoveries are helping us to comprehend how our bodies work so we can take steps to keep our minds sharp.

 

A two-way conversation

Your brain and your heart are talking. No, not small talk, gossip or debates. It’s more like communicating through signals.

 

You’re probably aware that your brain sends signals all over your body “telling” your various parts what to do. Research from scientists at HeartMath now suggests that the heart is also able to send signals back to the brain and affect brain function.

 

One example of this communication at work is your stress response.

 

HeartMath.org explains: “HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. (This helps explain why we may often act impulsively and unwisely when we’re under stress.) The heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes—actually serving to reinforce the emotional experience of stress.”

 

This is, again, new research. Further studies are required to understand the intricacies of this relationship.

 

In this example, you can see that your heart’s response to a stress stimulus shuts down your brain. Your heart inhibits your ability to focus, recall information or make new memories. If you’re under a lot of stress, this may be happening on a daily basis. It’s a major indicator of how key the heart/brain connection is to our daily lives.

 

 

HOW to protect your heart, to protect your brain

There are many measures you can take to ensure better heart health.

 

One specific approach encouraged for participants in some of the studies mentioned is outlined by CognitiveTherapeutics.com. This is a 7 step program that promotes a healthy overall lifestyle. They recommend:

 

“Avoiding Tobacco

Managing Weight Level

Engaging in Physical Activity

Eating a Healthy Diet

Monitoring Blood Pressure Levels

Controlling Cholesterol Levels

Reducing Glucose Levels”

Other sources recommend more specific dietary choices, like reducing meat and dairy consumption and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.

 

When choosing foods for your heart, go for berries, dark-colored vegetables and nuts. These are great sources of antioxidants and other heart-healthy nutrients.  Also, consider eating more fish, because it’s high in the omega–3 fatty acids that your heart and brain need.

 

Other healthy sources of fat to consider supplementing with are seed oils like sunflower or flax.

 

A lot of the foods that support your heart are also great for your brain and for preventing memory loss, which I’m sure will no longer surprise you. To learn more about these foods, check out my recent post on the subject.

 

What kinds of additional studies are needed?

More studies need to be done to look at heart health and cognitive function in a wider range of age groups, as well as across racial and socio-economic lines. In addition, longer-term studies involving larger numbers of participants are needed.

 

What we know for sure

A healthy heart is vital for a long and healthy life. Now we know that you can help to make sure that your mind keeps pace with your body by treating your heart well, too.

 

Focus on maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Make healthy food choices, stay hydrated and stay active. Also, avoid toxins, like cigarette smoke and other synthetic chemicals.

 

Other heart-healthy activities are also recommended. Keep your stress levels low by getting plenty of rest — even practice meditation. Surround yourself with love and support by fostering healthy relationships with friends and family. Even having a pet has been shown to benefit heart health.

 

If you can manage all that, you’ll be on a steady path for preventing illness and encouraging longevity, as well as intellectual and emotional quality of life throughout your later years.

If you need help, call us for a Personalized Health Care Plan that fits your body, your lifestyle and you health.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness

Heartburn Drugs May Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack

heartburn

Heartburn Drugs May Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack

Do you burb and beltch, have gas and think this is normal.  It is not!

Are you among the 20 million Americans   taking an acid inhibiting drug to treat your heartburn?

Please be aware that for most, the risks far outweigh the benefits as there are plenty of alternative effective strategies to eliminate heartburn without serious side effects.

Previous research clearly shows that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, are severely over prescribed and misused.

Indeed, PPIs are among the most widely prescribed drugs today, with annual sales of about $14 billion — this despite the fact that they were never intended to treat heartburn in the first place.

Proton Pump Inhibitors Were Not Designed to Treat Heartburn

PPIs, the most powerful class of antacid drugs, were actually designed to treat a very limited range of severe problems, such as bleeding ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition that causes excess stomach acid production), and severe acid reflux, where an endoscopy has confirmed your esophagus is damaged.

PPIs were never intended for people with heartburn, and according to Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, “about 60 to 70 percent of people taking these drugs have mild heartburn and shouldn’t be on them.”

If you’re taking a PPI drug to treat your heartburn, understand that you’re treating a symptom only; you are in no way addressing the underlying cause. And, by doing so, you’re exposing yourself to other potentially more dangerous health problems, courtesy of the drug itself.

These drugs were initially released during the first years of my practice in the late ’80s. It is important to note that, these drugs could only be obtained with a prescription and were not recommended to use for more than ONE WEEK. Today, they’re sold over the counter and frequently used continuously by many!

The recommendation is to use them for a maximum of two weeks at a time, no more than three times per year, but many ignore this and stay on them far longer, which could have serious consequences.

For example, reported side effects of PPI drugs include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bone loss
  • Hip fractures
  • Infection withClostridium difficile, a harmful intestinal bacteria (this risk is particularly heightened in children11)

It’s also important to realize that while PPIs suppress the production of stomach acid—which in some severe cases may be warranted, short-term—the vast majority (about 95 percent) of heartburn cases are not caused by too much stomach acid, but rather from having too little.

Hence taking these drugs will actually worsen your condition over time… Reducing stomach acid also diminishes your primary defense mechanism against food-borne pathogens, thereby increasing your risk of food poisoning. PPIs simply do nothing to treat the underlying cause of ulcer pain.

PPIs May Raise Your Risk for Heart Attack

More recent research has also linked PPIs with an increased risk for heart attack, even if you have no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Lead author Nigam H. Shah of Stanford University in California told Reuters Health:

“[G]iven the underlying biology and the effect of these drugs in reducing nitric oxide in the blood vessel walls, the observed association is not super surprising…”

However, he also noted that: “Although the results are compelling, this study does not prove that PPIs cause MI [myocardial infarction]…”

What he’s referring to is that nitric oxide (NO) has the effect of relaxing your blood vessels, so by reducing the amount of NO in your blood vessel walls, PPI’s may raise your risk of a heart attack.

To assess whether the use of PPIs were associated with a heightened cardiovascular risk among the general population, the team mined clinical data from more than 16 million medical records on 2.9 million patients.

This revealed that patients with gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) who took PPIs had a 16 percent increased risk of heart attack. Moreover, as reported by Scientific American:

“Survival analysis in a prospective cohort found a two-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in PPI users… H2 blockers, which include famotidine (Pepcid AC) and ranitidine (Zantac), were not associated with increased cardiovascular risk…

“Consistent with our pre-clinical findings that PPIs may adversely impact vascular function, our data-mining study supports the association of PPI exposure with risk for MI in the general population,” the authors write.”

Have the healthcare providers at : Health and Wellness Associates help you out.

Please feel free to share this with family and friends.

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