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Archive for the ‘Heart Disease’ Category

Sep
07

Let’s face it; the subject of heart disease should terrify anyone. What most people don’t know is that heart disease can affect individuals at a young age. For most people who reach forty this is a subject to consider in order to maintain good health.

There are two ways to understand this problem that affects millions of people in the world. First is how is the disease treated, and the second part and even more important point, is prevention of the disease from the start!

How do doctors treat me if I’ve already developed heart disease?

This is by far the more scary of the two subjects; treatment versus prevention. As treatment implies, you already have the disease. How is heart disease treated becomes the main focus.

Today, doctors have several ways of analyzing the situation and determining the course of treatment. A blood lipid panel is the most basic starting point. The next step can include a stress test to determine the degree of coronary blockage and how the heart is working.

The stress test is only accurate in determining blockage somewhere in the sixty percent range. As a backup to the stress test, often a cardiologist will recommend doing a test that involves what is called nuclear medicine.

In this procedure, a tiny amount of isotope in injected into the blood stream. What this does is determine how heart disease is treated by revealing in great detail the degree of coronary blockage from inside the heart. This test while sounding scary is actually very accurate. I can attest to this from personal experience!

What other measures are available for treatment of heart disease?
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Assuming the tests have determined that you are indeed suffering from heart disease, another treatment option is to insert a stent into one or more arteries to effectively re-inflate the artery in order to increase blood flow. Obviously this is more intensive and is usually in lieu of a complete surgery to repair damage.

The drawback to this option is that over time the stent wears out and the procedure needs to be repeated again. This can be emotionally as well as physically draining.

Are there options to reverse heart disease?

Depending on the degree and type of heart disease, there are options available to help reverse early stage heart disease. In order to reverse damage to your heart, your doctor may recommend a regimen of statin drugs that reduce cholesterol which is the main cause of coronary blockage.

Your medical team also has clot buster drugs at their disposal. These meds are given through the veins and referred to as thrombolytic therapy to break up blood clots in the coronary artery. These are effective steps to reverse heart disease assuming that reversal is still a possibility.

Aspirin therapy is also another option in a whole range of measures to reverse heart disease. Nobody should think that simply popping an aspirin at home is going to reverse heart disease by itself; but there are many benefits to taking a low dose aspirin on a daily basis.

Prevention of heart disease

We have saved prevention for last to illustrate the entire trauma that can be avoided by simply making a few lifestyle changes. Better to avoid the problem completely by getting moderate exercise on a daily basis, and eating a healthy diet including the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids!

By avoiding saturated fat in animal fat products like too much red meat and dairy products, and eating more Omega 3 rich foods like vegetables and fruit, you can lower your cholesterol. Remember, cholesterol is the number one contributor to heart disease!

The fatty acids contained in Omega 3 fish oil include DHA and EPA. These fatty acids fight bad cholesterol by promoting HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol at the expense of the bad cholesterol known as LDL.

So powerful is the efficacy of treatment with Omega 3 fish oil in combating bad cholesterol, that in Rome, at the San Filippo Neri Hospital, heart attack patients are given fish oil rich with DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids as a standard regimen to reverse bad heart health.

Diets rich with Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the primary ways to avoid heart disease from ever developing in the first place. Remember we are what we eat.

Conclusion

Now that you know the facts, doesn’t it make sense to avoid poor heart health by taking preventative measures starting from today onward? The single best way to take care of your heart is to eat a healthy diet and watch your weight while making sure to consume healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. What are you waiting for?

Sep
06

Heart disease is an umbrella term that covers a number of heart ailments that negatively affect its performance. The heart is one of the most important organs of our body. It is a muscle that continuously pumps blood, oxygen and other vital nutrients to all parts of the body. An impediment in this pumping mechanism can lead to vital parts of our body like brain and kidneys being negatively affected.

Main Symptoms of Heart Disease

Generally heart disease is not something that takes a person by surprise. There are a number of signs and symptoms portrayed by the body when its most important organ is not working right.

  • Angina or chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of heart disease. This is characterized by a heaviness or fullness in the chest region. Though such pain or squeezing sensation generally occurs in the chest, it might also occur in the back, neck or jaws.
  • Uneven beating of the heart, shortness of breath and sweating can also be signs of an existing heart problem.
  • Nausea and heart palpitations

While these symptoms are also common for several other health conditions, they should never be ignored. Getting these symptoms thoroughly checked by a physician will help ensure that heart disease doesn’t catch you unawares.

Risk Factors That Can Contribute To an Ailing Heart

  • High Blood Pressure: This is a major risk and can often lead to heart attacks if ignored.
  • Increased Levels of Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a fat like substance in our blood which is required for the proper formation of our cell membranes and tissues. Any excess cholesterol which is not used by the body gets deposited in our arteries. Such cholesterol deposits can lead to clogging of arteries which can in turn lead to coronary heart disorder.

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  • Diabetes: A diabetic is much more vulnerable to heart ailments as compared to someone who is non-diabetic. Controlling your sugar levels is extremely important as these can lead to heart problems.
  • Life Style Risk Factors: Smoking is a major cause of heart attacks. Eating a diet rich in fats and oils is another contributor to heart problems. A sedentary life with very little exercise can also lead to heart diseases.

Treatment Options for Heart Diseases

  • Angioplasty is generally done to treat coronary heart disorder. In this the plaques blocking the arteries are blown away using a balloon which is inflated next to them.
  • Surgery or bypass: If the arterial block is too big then a surgery might be performed and a stent put to provide an alternative route for the blood and oxygen to flow from.
  • Medication: Blood thinners are often given to heart patients as these can help the blood flow normally even through clogged arteries.

Life style changes are the single biggest influencing factor when it comes to preventing heart diseases. A healthier lifestyle with regular exercising, low fat diet and total cessation of smoking can go a long way in treat heart problems.

Jul
25

Cholesterol is nothing but a chemical compound that is produced in the human body, and is a combination of fats and steroids. People are increasingly looking for information on cholesterol these days because a good number of people in the present developed world have high cholesterol levels.

The developments in science and technology have opened several new job opportunities, but most of the modern day jobs do not require extensive physical movement. The human body is designed to have a lot of movement and when we cannot ensure sufficient physical activities in our life, we are exposing ourselves to serious health hazards.

Cholesterol is produced by the human liver and this consists of 80% of the total cholesterol production, the rest coming from our diet. The main sources of dietary cholesterol include poultry, fish, meat and dairy products. Organ meats contain a high percentage of cholesterol while plants usually do not contain any cholesterol at tall. Cholesterol is absorbed by the intestine and is stored in your liver for future usage. Now this can be a little bit confusing because if cholesterol is needed by our body, why is it considered as a problem?

LDL and HDL Cholesterol

  • Cholesterol levels are considered bad when LDL cholesterol is high in your body. This is because excessive LDL cholesterol will be deposited on the artery walls and the formation becomes a thick layer called cholesterol plaque. The excessive buildup of cholesterol plaque narrows the arteries and this condition is called atherosclerosis.
  • HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol because of its ability to fight atherosclerosis by breaking down the cholesterol plaque from the artery walls and disposing them through the liver. It should now be clearer how a high level of LDL and a low level of HDL can pose serious health hazards.

Both heredity and diet can influence your LDL and HDL ratio.

Why reduce LDL?

Even if you have an excessive amount of LDL in your blood because of hereditary reasons, the good news is that you can still significantly reduce your blood cholesterol level. Here are the reasons why you should:

  • If you reduce your LDL cholesterol, you can stop or reduce the plaque formation on your artery walls.
  • By preventing the buildup of cholesterol plaques or breaking down cholesterol plaques, there are less chances of blood clotting and the blockage of blood vessels.
  • Widening arteries result in a lower risk of heart diseases.
  • Similarly, the chances of a heart attack or a stroke are decreased.

Following a low cholesterol diet plan and including cardiovascular workouts into your regular routine are some techniques that can help you fight your cholesterol issues. It is very important to maintain lower cholesterol levels because the consequences of high cholesterol are really dangerous and are often overlooked. By reducing your cholesterol levels, you can make sure you have one less thing to worry about. There is no better way for you to bring peace of mind for you and your family than to have a healthy living. So make sure you consider adapting a healthy diet plan today and do not take it lightly.

Jun
24

Sad to say that many young adults neglect to have their blood work done at least once a year. Probably until they have this burdensome feeling, then that’s the time they see a physician. Without them knowing, their cholesterol level had actually skyrocket. This can be a turning point when they set out to be more conscious of their diet. However, for some people, it may be too late to lower cholesterol normally. As an alternative, their doctor may have to order a medicine to help reduce their cholesterol levels.

As a general rule, anything that’s consumed in excess is most often dangerous to us. Same thing applies to the cholesterol quantity in your body. If you’re not particularly interested in the nutrients of the meals that you eat, you may lose tabs on the quantity of cholesterol you’re taking in your body. Obviously, it’s absurd that you calculate the cholesterol in the food you eat. By far the most practical and precise method to have your cholesterol administered is actually getting a fat profile test every now and then.

The cholesterol levels are different from person to person. Age, lifestyle or diet plan cannot be the sole basis of a person’s health. There are people who seem to be in top shape and are leading a healthy lifestyle but on the contrary they nurse some cholesterol problems. On the other hand, it is also possible for a couch potato to be in the pink of health despite his lousy lifestyle. Thus, you cannot really judge a person’s health condition based on his physical attributes alone. Generally, factors that may affect a person’s heart condition are his genes, his lifestyle habits, or his eating habits. When you are investigating the root cause of a health problem, you can eliminate the causes one by one.

As you check your cholesterol level, it’s also extra helpful if you know and comprehend the cholesterol level chart. It doesn’t mean that you will not have your physician interpret the results but with some knowledge you get to understand your health status as well. Based on the total cholesterol level chart, if your cholesterol range is somewhere below 200, then that simply indicates that you are spared from the risk of acquiring coronary diseases. However, if your cholesterol range is between 200 to 239, then that is considered as borderline high. Meaning, there is a possibility that you will develop heart disease. Lastly, if your cholesterol level fall between 240 and above, then you will just double the risk of acquiring heart disease.

The chart does not mean to scare you. It only serves as your guide in keeping a healthy heart.

Jun
23

If your cholesterol numbers are high, they got there for a reason. In this article, I’d like to discuss the purpose and function of cholesterol in your body, and the reason why cholesterol levels get high. When you understand this, you will better understand what foods you need to avoid.

First, what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a white sterol (alcohol) found in most of our cells. It is an anti-oxidant, protecting your body from dangerous free radicals. It helps in our digestion, plays a role in dealing with stress, and is used by the body to repair damaged arterial walls. It is found in the foods we eat (mother’s milk is very rich in cholesterol!), and is also produced in our bodies by the liver.

When the body is weakened by damaged arteries or damaged intestinal walls, cholesterol is the material the body uses to fix them. It’s a repair substance that acts like putty to mend a hole in the wall, or to strengthen a weak spot. When it accumulates in one or more spots, it can easily restrict the flow of blood. The result is higher blood pressure and risk of blockage.

But what causes blood vessels to become weak and in need of repair?

According to Dr. Beiler, “fats do their greatest harm to the body when they are used as shortening or cooking oil, that is, when they are heated with other foods, especially the starches. Fried bread or potatoes, doughnuts, hot cakes, pie crust, cakes and pastries – all offer altered cholesterol. And when you eat these highly regarded confections, the result is imperfect artery lining, erosion of the arteries, atherosclerosis. The greatest offenders are doughnuts and potato chips…”

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  • Polyunsaturated fats ( most vegetable oils) are particularly susceptible to heat because of their unsaturated bonds, and are likely to form free radicals in the presence of high heat. Their outer rings have empty spaces (thus the term ‘unsaturated’), and react readily with other compounds.
  • Hydrogenated or trans fats are created by taking polyunsaturated oils (usually), subjecting them to even more intense heat and pressure, mixing them with tiny metal particles, gassing them, emulsifying them with soap-like substances, and finally steam-cleaning them. This produces a product that is even more toxic to the body – one that the body does not recognize.

Both polyunsaturated and hydrogenated oils tend to become rancid when exposed to heat, and the free radicals that result can injure the arterial walls as well as precipitate the buildup of plaque. This creates an environment in the arteries that calls upon cholesterol to fix and maintain the arterial walls.

If you have high cholesterol, first realize that cholesterol rich foods are not necessarily the cause of high cholesterol in your blood. Cakes, cookies, French fries, potato chips, margarine, and other foods made with polyunsaturated or hydrogenated oils are much more likely to create havoc with your arteries than butter or animal fats. Remember, cholesterol in your blood is there to protect it; if it’s too high, it’s because chemically altered processed foods have rendered your arteries unfit, and cholesterol has responded to prevent a blowout.

Jun
10

Mation and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that is also responsible for the formation of plaque as I have described above. Aloe Vera Gel drunk on a daily basis will provide a level of long term protection against such damage provided the Gel is processed to preserve the Aloe Vera in the purest form.

CoQ10 and L-Arginine

CoQ10 also has a protective influence. It circulates within the LDL preventing the oxidation by free radicals. It has the added benefit of increasing blood flow. Its importance for cardiovascular health cannot be underestimated. For some it is literally a life saver.

Equally important is L-Arginine, sometimes referred to as the “Miracle Molecule”.L-Arginine is an amino acid that the body needs to produce adequate amounts of nitric oxide which in turn is vital to cardiovascular health. The nitric oxide produced from L-Arginine relaxes and dilates the body’s blood vessels which facilitates greater blood flow. In terms of cardiovascular health there can be nothing that is more important than that. Further, L-Arginine is credited by the new school of cardiologists with an ability to block LDL oxidation by supplying an antioxidant effect. That is crucial for the reasons I have described above. Although this amino acid is available in nuts, meat, poultry, dairy products and fish, supplementation with L-Arginine is often required for a number of reasons.

  1. The first is the unfortunate deficiency of nutritional value in so much of the food consumed in Western society.
  2. Secondly, we make less nitric oxide as we get older.
  3. Thirdly, it is thought that those who suffer from type 2 diabetes which is on the rise have a lower conversion of L-Arginine to nitric oxide. They therefore need more L-Arginine than can be gained from food sources as do those already suffering from hardening of the arteries or to give the condition its technical name, atherosclerosis.

The American cardiologists, Drs Stephen Sinatra and James Roberts, in their groundbreaking book “Reverse Heart Disease Now” have this important message for all of us who are concerned about cardiovascular health:

L-Arginine has value for the whole gamut of atherosclerosis-from early signs such as high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction to advanced cardiac events. We feel it offers promise for plaque stabilisation and reversal. It is inexpensive and nontoxic.

There is an exciting new product on the market that takes this recommendation to a new level by adding to an appropriate daily dose of L-Arginine a variety of key vitamins plus pomegranate, well known for its strong antioxidant properties (I have already explained why that is so important), red wine extract to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and grape skin for cardiovascular and immune system health and berries that help neutralise free radicals (again I have already explained the significance of that).

Your heart will thank you for taking L-Arginine and CoQ10 on a daily basis.

May
20

One major health condition that many people are at risk to right now is heart ailments. Heart diseases could be congenital or could be brought about by external conditions of bad diets. Our heart is an important part of the body. It is an organ that moves involuntarily and it allows the transportation of blood across the body. The heart is a vital organ and without it, we could not survive. A lot of things in our modern lifestyle affect our heart and overall health.

It is necessary for anyone to know the heart attack causes in order to be more aware of what you should and should not do. Let us first analyze the mechanism that leads to the attack and how big this issue could get. First, blood clots form at the blood vessels, blocking the passage of blood, usually at the coronary artery. The coronary artery is the one that feeds blood to the heart muscles. If the heart does not get the needed nourishment, it could get damaged and it could result to drastic complications. The heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction was known as an abrupt and fatal condition in the past. Nowadays, better understanding of such a condition has given more light to the condition.

So what are the actual heart attack causes?

Your diet

What you eat can determine your safety and protection from heart ailments like myocardial infarction. Foods that contain very high fat content and high LDL content can increase the risks of heart ailments. People should try putting some more control with their diets by minimizing too much fat, by knowing your cholesterol levels, and by eating foods that are high in fiber, and full of the necessary nutrients and vitamins. You have to be aware that even the fit person can have heart attack due to high cholesterol levels. It is important to put much attention to what you put into your body.

Physical activity

Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risks of heart attack. If you are full of fats across the body, it exerts more pressure across the body and the blood vessels, causing more pressure to the body. Obesity can also prove to be a big issue since it could also lead to issues like hypertension and other heart conditions. It is important to exercise your body. Be sure to do some physical activities. Simple physical activities can really help.

Stress management

It is important nowadays to stay cool and calm. If you are stressed, you can risk yourself of a heart attack. Sudden changes in your emotions can increase your heart processes and if you have other existing health risks, it can aggravate your heart and lead to a heart attack.

Mar
15

I have heard people say that they want to lower their cholesterol levels in order to lose weight. The reason for decreasing your cholesterol levels is not because you want to lose weight. That is putting the cart before the horse. You almost certainly just have a couple of grammes of cholesterol in your body, so reducing that amount is not going to help you look any slimmer.

The reason for losing weight can include:

  • wanting to lower your cholesterol levels;
  • it can also include wanting to reduce your blood pressure;
  • it can include wanting to take weight off your knees;
  • it can include wanting to look healthier.

But there are a number of other reasons as well:

  • losing weight will raise your general feeling of well-being,
  • making you feel healthier and happier in general,
  • reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes.

This piece is about cholesterol and how to lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood.

So, first of all, what is cholesterol?

The first thing to do is clear up the misapprehension that all cholesterol is bad. It is not.

There are two sorts of cholesterol:

– LDL cholesterol is not good for you for certain,

– HDL cholesterol is good for you because it helps mop up LDL.

In fact, not all LDL is bad either, your body requires some LDL to produce bile, vitamin D and maintain the correct balance of hormones, especially in women. So LDL gets a very bad press, but it is not a total villain. The problems begin if you have excess. It is like guests at a party, you have to have some, but too many and there are issues.

If you have excess LDL, it can clog your arteries, causing your heart to have to pump more, increasing blood pressure and consequently raising the danger of kidney failure, strokes and heart attacks.

How do you acquire too much LDL? Most LDL is taken into our bodies by eating saturated fats (animal fats) and hydrogenated or trans fats (usually discovered in junk food).

HDL picks up our surplus LDL and transports it back to the liver where it is dealt with. HDL is to be discovered in nuts, grains, pulses, fish oil and mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats. Therefore, the strategy in a nutshell is, if you are attempting to lower your LDL level through diet is to eat less animal fat as discovered in red meat and dairy products and eat more vegetarian food and fish. In particular, LDL is to be found in high quantities in beef, pork, milk, cheese, butter, cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato crisps, potato chips, et cetera and HDL is to be discovered in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish, whole grains, soya et cetera.

There are also a couple of myths. Some individuals say that eggs, liver and prawns are high in LDL, but the British Heart Foundation says that humans cannot access cholesterol from these foods, so they are safe to eat and others say that coconut is high in LDL too.

It is difficult to find concensus on coconut, but it appears that it raises LDL and HDL, but HDL by a little bit more than it raises LDL. So, not healthy for you if you have high cholesterol levels, but healthy if you have low levels.

Mar
12

Old or young, male or female, sick or healthy. Irrespective of your situation, your cholesterol level is an important consideration that is imperative for you to pay heed to. Failure to adhere to this principle and you will pay the consequences. I will show you Five Foods that you must put in your diet for lower cholesterol today and use as a starting point for a healthy, cholesterol free future

Now everyone loves snacking. Early morning coffee break, or elevenses as we in the UK like to say. Post gym energy supplement or the afternoon craving satisfier before heading home from work. It doesn’t matter when or where, but we all snack. Fortunately, we can use this vice to our benefit. By eating the following five foods, you can effectively use your diet as a way for achieving lower cholesterol.

These five foods are high in fibre, nutrients, vitamins and complex carbohydrates. They will all help keep good cholesterol levels up and bad cholesterol levels down.

1. Soy nuts and Edamame Beans: Both are forms of soy bean and while neither would be the first food most people would reach for when craving a little treat, they are both delicious. Soy protein has long been extolled for its ability to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and both of these foods contain it in abundance.


2. Nuts: A great source of mono-unsaturated fats, these delicious treats can significantly reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol. They are a little calorie ridden, however, so keep your intake to no more than 60 grams a day.

3. Red Grapes: Dark grapes contain nutrients good for your heart. They can protect your arteries from the build up of plaque that forms as a result of high LDL cholesterol levels.

4. Hummus and Vegetables: I have placed these together because they are so well suited. Dip any raw vegetable, (carrots are my favourite) into a bowl of hummus and not only will you get a delicious taste but you will be combining two great foods for your heart. Hummus contains the Garbanzo bean, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Vegetables are high in fibre and that fibre rich foods prevent heart disease is well documented.

5. Sunflower seeds: A great supplier of Vitamin E, which has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease. Keep a bag handy all day to snack on whenever you feel like. Vitamin E helps to prevent blocked arteries and therefore, eventually heart attack.

I trust you will try at least some of my recommendations, if not all. Using your diet for lower cholesterol is really the best and most natural way to remain heart healthy. After all, wouldn’t we all rather keep that visit to the Doctor away for as long as possible, if not forever? Follow my steps and this can easily be achieved.

Jan
27

Are you aware of the fact that the human body is composed of 95 percent triglycerides and that triglycerides are actually then stored as fats in the body? When too much fat is present in the body, this can eventually cause health problems, resulting in the need to use prescription or natural lowering triglycerides medication.

Because of this, many health experts and health authorities advise you to be aware of your weight because being too heavy or being overweight means there is too much fat in the body.

When this happens, a medication to lower triglycerides is often recommended.

When it comes to choosing lowering triglycerides medication, there are two possible options available to you, prescription medications or natural methods.

Prescription Medicines

These types of medications are prescribed by your doctor. They are medicines that you can purchase in a drug store.

Some of the most prescribed lowering triglycerides medication would include fibrates, niacin, and statins.

These medications, in particular the fibrates, are effective in lowering the levels of triglycerides in the body but like many other prescription medicines or drugs, they have undesirable and dangerous side effects.

Therefore, it is advisable when taking these medicines to consult your doctor if you experience any side effects, such as nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, muscle pain, muscle weakness or memory loss.

Natural Methods

Lowering triglycerides medication is now available in the form of natural supplements, which are both safe to use and side effect free.

Natural medications that help with lowering your triglycerides include fish oil, as it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats with a reputation for being heart-friendly.

Omega 3 is renowned for its ability to lower triglyceride levels, but this is largely dependant on the quality of the fish oil supplement you choose and the dosage amount.

Cholesterol lowering supplements are another natural lowering triglycerides medication that are also very effective at lowering LDL cholesterol while raising HDL levels.

Again, the quality of the supplement and the natural ingredients used will determine their success rate.

As a guide, always look for policosanol, beta sitosterol and lecithin oil in the ingredients.

Combine these natural supplements with a healthy diet and regular exercise and you will achieve excellent results.

Following a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fish will also help you lower triglycerides as will getting plenty of exercise every day.

Try to stay away from fast food, fried food, processed food, and pre-packaged food as these foods are high in saturated fats that will cause your LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels to increase.

Choosing natural lowering triglycerides medication is clearly the better option, and the safest one. And not only that, the results achieved are far superior.