By atherosclerosis the inside of the arteries are thickened, hardened and stiffened, causing the space for blood flow to be narrowed or closed. This will decrease the oxygen supply to local or distant tissues. The primary symptom of this is pain, poor organ function and bad general condition. The further consequences are tissue damage, sometimes acute damage because by stop of blood flow caused by a sudden blood clot formed in the narrowed areas. THE MECHANISMS AND CAUSES OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS The inner walls of the arteries consist of an innermost layer of endothelial cells (surface cells) and under these a layer of smooth muscle cells. The changes by atherosclerosis take place under the endothelial cells and in this muscle layer. The changes consist of: A certain degree of cell proliferation or tumour, gathering of cholesterol and fat. Deposition of calcium salts. Deposition of blood elements like fibrin. The deposits are called atherosclerotic plaque or atheroma. Atherosclerosis is one of several types of artery thickening and hardening. A common name for thickening and hardening of arteries is "arteriosclerosis". Often atherosclerosis is also just called arteriosclerosis. The development of atherosclerosis probably begins by a damage in the endothelium. This damage causes cholesterol and fat to penetrate into the vessel walls and deposit there. This also induces cells to proliferate. Later also calcium salts are deposited. Factors that cause endothelial damage and thus atherosclerosis are: -High content of cholesterol in the blood. -High content of blood fat and especially saturated fat. -Inflammation in the blood vessels. A sign of such inflammation is the presence of a substance called c-reactive protein. -High amount of oxidation agents in the blood. -High blood pressure. -High content of low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood serum, and low content of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood. Lipoprotein is a combination of a protein molecule and fat or cholesterol. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol or fat from place to place. -Diabetes. -High age. -Smoking. -Men have a somewhat higher chance of getting this condition than women. -High content of the amino acid homocystein in the blood serum. Many of these factors are ultimately caused by a bad diet and lack of daily exercise. THE SYMPTOMS AND CONSEQUENCES OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS Since atherosclerosis can affect all body parts, the symptoms will vary. However, general symptoms from the affected body parts are: -Decreased performance, easy to tire out. -Pain by physical activity, so called anoxic pain. -By severe impairment of blood flow, tissue damage or sores can occur. When the heart is affected, the symptoms will be: -General bad condition. -Anoxic pain from the heart and surroundings by physical activity, called angina pectoris. -Feeling of not getting enough air, or breathing problems. Atherosclerosis can cause blood clots that close the blood flow. There are several ways this can occur: -The atherosclerotic plaque can rupture, making a sore in the inner wall of the vessel. At such a sore blood can coagulate, making a blood clot. -The atherosclerotic plaque itself can grow to close a blood vessel. -Blood coagulated at an affected area can tear loose, float with the blood stream to another place and prop a blood vessel at the new place. -A portion of the plaque itself can tear itself loose and clog another blood vessel. When the heart is stricken by a blood clot, heart tissue is suddenly destroyed, a condition called heart infarction, causing sudden heart failure or death. When a blood clot strikes the brain, brain tissue is destroyed or impaired, causing paralysis, decreased consciousness, coma or other sudden functional impairments. THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS Atherosclerosis can be prevented and to some extend be cured by these measures, of which most are lifestyle adjustments: -Eating just a little or moderate amount of fat. -Eating just a moderate amount of sugar. -The fat eaten should be a blending of different types of unsaturated fat from sources like: Olive oil, rape oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, walnut oil and fish. Then you will get enough of mono-unsaturated fat, omega-3-unsaturated fat, and omega-6-poly-unsaturated fat, but not too much of any of them. -Eating much fish and just a little red meat. -Eating a good amount of fruit and vegetables each day. -Supply of enough vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. -Only consuming moderate amount of salt. -Stop smoking. -Getting high blood pressure treated if lifestyle measures do not bring blood pressure down. -Daily exercise fitted for one's own condition. -Eliminate stress in the daily life and at the job. -Stressing down and getting enough rest. By high cholesterol levels that do not react properly to lifestyle measures, cholesterol lowering medication can be used, such as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. By serious local narrowing of an artery, surgery to clean out or widen the artery is sometimes performed. Sometimes the artery is replaced by a graft taken from another body part or by an artificial vessel. When this is done in the heart, it is denoted as bypass surgery. Alternative treatment to clean out the arteries is an option. There is for example a treatment consisting of using the substance EDTA to carry constituents of plaque away from the arteries. The molecules of this substance have the ability to grip around other molecules, for example cholesterol molecules, and carry them away. There is however a controversy about the effectiveness of this treatment, called chelating therapy.
So angiogram was in my immediate future. I'm told this is a safe and relatively painless procedure and not to worry. There were plenty of things to worry about however. They don't want to shove a camera up through my body and into my heart because of no reason. Still, an angiogram is an outpatient procedure where the cardiologist opens an artery in your leg and works a camera into the heart muscle arteries. It sounds a lot worse than it is but the benefit is that you know exactly what the status of your heart and arteries are at that point in time. So I'm ready! At least this will finally answer how serious a problem, if any, I truly had. The Cardiologist however must have been concerned because he scheduled the angiogram 4 days later. On the day of this adventure, I checked into the Cardiology center at a local hospital and prepared to undergo the angiogram. An IV was inserted and I was ready to go. Once in the angiogram theater, I was given sedatives that although kept me conscious, there was no pain, nor did I hear anyone working as they sent through me to check out the problem.
When the nurses and technicians talked directly to me in a loud enough voice however, I was able to respond. The good thing about an angiogram is that if blockages are found, the cardiologist can usually place metal stents or pipe like devices in the arteries to maintain blood flow if needed. This is a far cry from the open heart, crack your chest type of surgery that would have been required just a few years ago. After about an hour, the doctor apparently lowered the dosage of sedative as I remember him giving me a status on my condition. The Verdict! The bad news was that I did have calcium deposits on the inside walls of my arteries. This was what they had seen with the other tests. The good news however was that my arteries or pipes were absolutely smooth on the inside and were considered very large. Big pipes with a thin smooth coating of calcium equaled a potential problem only. Being a big person from a family of big people for many generations, the fact that my arteries were considered "big" didn't surprise me. I can't prove it but have to think that the vitamins and minerals I've been taking for over a decade have protected me from developing a life threatening heart disease at this point in my life.
The cardiologist however continued to be concerned for long term survivability given the high calcium scores from the blood tests. Where we go from here! So it's changes in lifestyle for me. I've gone from a relatively sedentary person to one who rides an exercise bike almost 7 miles a day, everyday. I continue although now on doctors orders, to take an adult aspirin daily and have changed my eating habits. It's a process so there's some good days and some worse but I'm now sensitive to how much and what I eat. Although my bad cholesterol is at 90 (anything under 110 is considered good) the Cardiologist has prescribed statins to lower the bad cholesterol even more. Once again I can't prove it but I do believe that statins will soon be considered a critical part of living a long healthy life. So that's my story.
Exercise and an aspirin a day to thin out the blood. Statins to lower bad cholesterol even more and daily vitamins just because I've done so well with them up to this point. With any luck, I'll live long without having to deal with the debilitating effects of serious heart disease.
Heart attacks are a very serious heart condition that 'attack' suddenly. They can be characterized by a spectrum of chest pains and discomfort as well as sweating, vomiting and nausia. Sometimes these symptoms can even result in a complete loss of consciousness. Heart attacks occur when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted. This interuption causes both death and scarring of the tissue in the local area of the heart. Due to the fact that the interuption can vary in size, as can the area that is affected. Large or small, heart attacks are serious and often life-threatening. Deemed as such they are a medical emergency which needs immediate attention from an emergency medical service.
Staying on top of heart attack symptoms as well as the combination of complete medical history, blood tests and ECG findings are what make up the diagnosis for heart attacks. In recovery the most important thing is restoring the flow of blood back to the area of the heart that has been interrupted. This is acheived through thrombolysis and/or angioplasty. Thrombolysis is a procedure in which the clot is dissolved in the artery enymatically. Angioplasty is the procedure in which a balloon is used to push open the artery. Great importance is placed on monitoring for various complications, that could prevent a secondy heart attack. Through this monitoring work is done to help eliminate any risk factors that may exist, which helps to reduce the odds of further heart attacks.
It's time for women to start doing more of what they're already good at-talking. But even though most women think they have the gift of gab, there's always room for improvement. Especially when it comes to talking to your doctor about an issue close to your heart-heart health. A conversation of the heart may be one of the most important conversations you can have with your doctor. In fact, a good heart-to-heart may help prevent the number-one killer of women-heart disease. Because good communications with your doctor can be vital to your heart health, Bayer® Aspirin recently launched Conversations of the Heart™, a national educational program designed to help women talk to their doctors about heart disease and improve their heart health.
Just as there are different personality types, every woman has her own unique approach to solving problems that influences how she seeks and processes information or advice about her health. Some women need detailed information to take action, while others are instinctively geared to follow their doctor's advice once provided with the rationale. Some just want the bottom line to better health and others need a hands-on demonstration before deciding to implement change. Which type are you? To help you find out, Bayer Aspirin has partnered with Kathy Kolbe to develop the Conversations of the Heart™ Health MO+™, an engaging Web-based resource powered by the Kolbe A™ Index that helps you discover and evaluate your problem-solving instincts and then offers concrete steps to improve communication with your doctor. All you have to do is take a short questionnaire to determine how you respond to a variety of situations and you'll get personalized feedback, based on how you take action, including a customized report and audio discussion that will help make the most out of your next doctor visit. The Health MO+ provides results that help women discuss potential prevention strategies every woman should discuss with her doctor, including aspirin, a simple, cost-effective and highly effective drug in the fight against heart disease. For example, after accessing the Health MO+, a woman who needs a lot of facts and details in order to make a decision will learn how to use this instinct to her advantage. She will be given tips on how to effectively communicate to her doctor the information needed to determine what prevention strategies are right for her such as diet, exercise and aspirin therapy. These tips may include: • Make a list of questions you have and bring it with you. • Ask your doctor to be as specific as possible and to explain your situation to you. • Let the doctor know that you need to form your own opinions based on all the facts. • Visit Web sites such as ConversationsoftheHeart2006.com to gather supporting information. Having the right tips and resources on hand can make all the difference when it comes to making the most of your doctor's visit. Once you've got what you need, have a Conversation of the Heart with your doctor.
Heart attacks come in all sizes, from minor to major, and the symptoms of a pending heart attack can be deceiving in many cases. Some symptoms of a pending heart attack may have been showing up for quite awhile and were ignored as something else. Pending heart attack symptoms mask themselves as indigestion, being overworked and tired all the time, and taking naps several times a day. During a real heart attack, you may feel feverish, have a nauseous sick feeling, shortness of breath, labored breathing, sweating, tingling in arms, chest pain, heaviness in the chest area like someone is pushing on your chest and various other indications. Your life may depend on you making the right decision within minutes, is what you are feeling a heart attack... as a quick response time in calling for help... 911... could be the determining factor that saves your life. Its better to be wrong, than to be right and not get help on the way ASAP! One of the major causes of a heart attack is the restriction of blood flow to the heart muscle, which causes any number of symptoms. But the bottom line is, how severe is your heart attack. That will in many ways determine what symptoms you experience. The more severy the blockage, the more severe the heart attack symptoms in most cases. The blockage may occure due to a blood clot, or material buildup inside the artery walls that breaks loose. Many hospitals are not fully equipted to deal with heart attack victims, and will transfer the patient by air to a hospital or medical center with a heart attack specialist who can determine how bad it was, and one who has the skill to repair the damage caused by the heart attack. The quicker the blood flow to the heart muscle is restored, the better your chance for a complete recovery from your heart attack.
What IS Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that's stored in the fat (lipid) content of one's blood stream. It's actually important to have a certain amount of "good" cholesterol in one's system. Cholesterol, and our other body fats, cannot dissolve in our blood. They must be transported by special carriers called lipoproteins.
While there are numerous kinds (too many to cover here), the two that are most important are the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and the low-density lipoproteins (LDL). There is a third kind, which is referred to as Lp(a), which can increase one's risk of heart attack and stroke. We'll cover that one here, as well. HDL, LDL, & Lp(a)...What ARE These? High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are known as "good cholesterol". Most experts agree that HDL moves the cholesterol from the arteries to the liver, where it is broken down and leaves the body through the natural evacuation process. A higher HDL level seems to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Keep in mind, though, that a lower HDL level in one's body (-40 mg/dL in men, -50 mg d/L in women) is a warning signal of greater risk of one or both. HDL seems to remove excess cholesterol from the plaques which build up in one's blood vessels, thereby inhibiting or slowing their growth. This is what makes it so important to the human body. Approximately 1/3 to 1/4 of the cholesterol in our bodies is carried by the HDL. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the major transporters of cholesterol in our blood. One can experience a build up on the walls of the arteries which supply blood to our hearts and brains, if too much LDL enters the blood stream. When combined with other substances, it forms plaques. Plaques are hard, thick coatings that can clog one's arteries and decrease blood flow to the heart or the brain. Should the blood not move swiftly enough, there is danger of a blood clot forming near the plaques. When this occurs in the arteries leading to the heart, one is at greater risk of a heart attack. If it happens in the arteries which lead to one's brain, there is a higher risk of stroke. If one's LDL level is 160 mg/dL or higher, this is an indication of a greater risk of heart disease. And if one has already been diagnosed with heart disease, it is strongly recommended that one maintain a level of less than 100 mg/dL. A little known (by the general population) lipoprotein that can also cause a greater risk is the Lp(a) cholesterol lipoprotein. This is a generic variation of plasma (the "fluid" which carries the blood cells through one's blood stream) LDL. When one's Lp(a) level is higher, one can more quickly develop the plaque build up which physicians and specialists refer to as "arthersclerosis". Although there has been no conclusive evidence drawn as to WHY Lp(a) contributes to the increased risk of heart disease, it is commonly believed that the natural lesions which occur in our artery walls may contain substances that interact with it. This may lead to the build up of the fatty deposits. From Where Do We Get Cholesterol? The general consensus is that the human body is capable of producing the cholesterol that one needs to remain healthy. The body - most especially the liver - produces roughly 1,000 mg per day. Therefore the cholesterol consumed (by the average person eating the typical foods such as whole milk dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and seafood) is not really necessary to maintain the healthy level which one needs. Two of the biggest culprits which contribute to the excessive consumption of cholesterol are transfats and saturated fats. But other fats consumed in foods can also raise blood cholesterol. While some of the excess fat is removed from the body by the liver, most heart specialists recommend that the average person limit himself/herself to less than 300 mg daily. And if one has been diagnosed with heart disease, that level should be less than 200 mg daily. If one has been diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol, even more drastic measures may be necessary to bring it under control. How Do I Control My Intake? A proven and accepted measure of control is to limit one's intake to no more that 6 ounces of lean meat/fish/poultry daily, and to consume only low fat/no fat dairy products. Effective substitutes for the protein necessary for good health can be found in beans and vegetables with high protein content. Two excellent sources for determining which foods have high protein content can be found at: http:// vegsoc. org/info/protein. htm and http:// vegparadise. com/protein. html#Charts It is also recommended that one adopt a regular exercise regimen. Even a moderate amount of daily activity can help to increase the movement of blood through one's body. Physical activities such as leisurely walking, gardening, light yard work, housework and slow dancing are often prescribed as ideally suited for those who need a daily routine to help control the cholesterol levels. A more intense regimen can include brisk walking, jogging, swimming and weight-lifting. Aerobic exercising is an excellent way to increase one's breathing and heart rates. Side benefits of a regularly scheduled exercise program can include weight control, reducing one's risk of developing diabetes, and helping to keep one's blood pressure at a healthy level. Regular moderate to intense exercise can also help to strengthen one's heart and lungs. To Smoke or Not to Smoke... Most physicians and specialists recommend that no one smoke. And it has been proven that tobacco smoking increases the risk of heart disease. One's intake of oxygen, which is a necessary component for good vascular circulation and health, is drastically reduced. Plus, smoking is detrimental to HDL cholesterol levels and increases the possibility of blood clots, not to mention the risks of causing cancer in one's body. The Effects of Alcohol on Cholesterol Levels The moderate consumption of alcohol has shown, in some studies, to actually promote higher HDL cholesterol levels. With that said one must weigh the risks of alcoholism, obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, and sometimes depression. Exercise moderation (not more than 1-2 drinks daily for men, not more than 1 drink daily for women). And if you don't drink, don't start. There are better and safer alternatives for controlling one's cholesterol. Synopsis: - HDL is "good" cholesterol - LDL is "bad" cholesterol - An exercise regimen can help in lowering LDL and increasing HDL - Cholesterol can be controlled with a sensible diet, for many people - Smoking can increase the risks of lower HDL levels and the possibility of blood clots Consult your physician or health care provider before embarking on any exercise regimen, or the consumption of alcohol, as a method to control one's cholesterol. He or she can direct you to what steps you need to take in order to ensure the best results for your efforts. Have an annual screening (usually a blood drawing) to determine your cholesterol levels. Be sure to discuss family history and other issues which your doctor may want to know before deciding whether or not you should be checked for the Lp(a) lipoproteins. He or she can better determine your risks, the diagnosis, and possible treatment (which may include prescription medication) when fully informed.
Here's some news you can take to heart: Experts say more than 70 million Americans currently live with a cardiovascular disease. And coronary heart disease is a leading cause of premature, permanent disability in the U. S. workforce. Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to reduce the health threat posed by heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, much of the burden of heart disease and stroke could be eliminated by reducing major risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes, physical inactivity and poor nutrition. For example, studies suggest a 10 percent decrease in total cholesterol levels may reduce the development of coronary heart disease by as much as 30 percent. Twenty-five years ago, the treatment for heart attacks was simply bed rest. Today, doctors have medicines that can stop a heart attack in midstream as well as other high-tech treatments. And more good news is on the way. According to a survey by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), there are 146 new medicines currently in development to treat heart disease and strokes. To help Americans get the information they need to fight heart disease and strokes, PhRMA has launched a new multimedia national health education campaign. "Coronary vascular disease impacts one in every three Americans and is the number one killer according to the American Heart Association.
It's important for patients to know that there are steps they can take today that can reduce their chances of developing these killer diseases tomorrow," said Billy Tauzin, president and CEO. PhRMA's public service health information campaign stresses the importance of consulting with health care providers, as well as visiting helpful Web sites that provide information on preventing and treating coronary disease. "PhRMA members and their scientists want to help Americans find answers to their questions about heart disease and strokes," said Tauzin. "I hope everyone will take a moment to visit these sites and get the information they need to learn how to treat and ultimately prevent these killers."
Cardio Exercise Machines – Common Cardio Workout Mistakes Cardio exercise machine workouts are great and fun for burning excess body fat and building good cardiovascular health. These exercises not only help to burn body fat fast it will also strengthen your heart and lungs and thus reducing your chances of getting high blood pressure, stroke and heart diseases. Regular cardio exercises can also reduce bad cholesterol and raise the level of good cholesterol. However, are you getting the most out of your cardio machine workouts? Are you using the cardio workout machines efficiently to gain maximum benefits of the exercises? Well, you probably are not if you are an average gym user without any personal trainers to guide you because you will probably commit common cardio machine mistakes when exercising. We shall now examine the more popular cardio workout machines and the common mistakes people commit when using these machines for their workouts. Common mistakes when using cardio workout machines are :- • Step up stair climber – This is perhaps the most common mistake for not getting the most out of the step up stair climber machine. Almost invariably, everyone when exercising with this machine will rest their arms on the railing. By doing so, the railing now becomes sort of like a crutch as it will now support some of your body weight making the exercise less intensive. • Treadmill – The treadmill is perhaps the most popular cardio workout machine in the gym. A careful observation will show that many treadmill users run with too much up and downs. This mistake will wear out the person’s ankle and knee joints over time. The correct method is to take long, smooth and purposeful strides during the exercise. • Stationery Bike – When exercising on the stationery bike, do adjust the height of the seat to a comfortable level. I really don’t understand why many stationery bike users adjust their seats to be either too high or too low. I mean, why be uncomfortable when exercising when you can be comfortable. When the seat is too low, it adds strain to your knees and spine. When too high, your will butt will rock from side to side. So besides not getting the best from your cardio workout on the stationery bike because your body weight will be involved when you peddle, you will also look weird. It is such a silly workout mistake right? Another common mistake is that I often see stationery bikers reading a book when exercising. That means that they exercise at a very low intensity level. Hey, how can low intensity cardio exercises work your heart and lung effectively? • Elliptical Trainer – This is also another bewildering common cardio workout mistake. You use the elliptical trainer to tone your body and to exercise for your cardiovascular fitness right? Then why is it I often see people who use the elliptical trainer exercising at a high speed? So what is the mistake? The mistake is that they have set the resistant level too low. You see, if you do not puff, pant and breakout in sweat, you are not getting the best out of your cardio exercises. Is it any wonder then that people are not losing weight and not improving on their cardiovascular health even when they are doing their cardio exercises regularly? Now that you know how to avoid these common cardio machine exercise workout mistakes, you can now head for the gym and get the best out of these exercises. In a very short time, you will see your body toning up nicely, improvement on your cardio health being felt and visibly losing excess body fat.
The exercise bike has long been the type of exercising that people just love to do. Why? It is relatively easy to do and it allows people to exercise at virtually any time, in a number of different ways. It is through these bikes that people can tone muscle or lose weight. They can find an excellent amount of help through these bikes as well. If you are one of the many that love to work hard and want an exercise bike that will work for you, then this may just be the right option to think about. But, wait; did we mention the various types of exercise bikes on the market? Just Look At The Options!
The exercise bike has really come a long way from the days of a stationary bike that you can ride. They used to be quite similar to those bikes that are rode out of doors, but now they have become complex machines. Now, although you can choose any of the exercise bike options that you find, it is important to realize that the true benefit to the bike comes only from getting on it and getting in that workout. In other words, you need to invest the time in the bike to gain anything from those features.
Some of the features that you will find on exercise bikes are those that will enhance your performance. One of the major problems or differences between the stationary bike and those that are real bikes is that you don’t get the up and down of hills that help to intensify a workout. But, this is possible and does happen when you use an exercise bike that you can tighten and release the tension off of. Also, some exercise bikes can be inclined at different levels to simulate the effects of bike riding. Exercise bikes can also monitor your performance better.
Yes, they can tell you how well you are doing. Many exercise bikes are equipped with mileage counters. Some have calorie burner counters as well. Still others will track your speed. On top of these elements, you will find heart rate monitor bikes that will actually track and monitor your heart’s beat throughout the course.
Want to analyze this data? Some exercise bikes will allow you to download the information to your computer or will allow you to track and use it right on the bike. Just remember, as much as you want to have these excellent features, you have to commit to the exercise as well. That means that you have to get on the bike and get the workout done, regularly because if you don’t nothing is gained. Take some time to find just the right features and priced exercise bike for you and get to working out! If you use your exercise bike fully and regularly, then you will reap the rewards of increased health and wellness that loss of weight and increased muscle tone can do for you.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association launched different guidelines related to peripheral arterial disease in order to help doctors and all healthcare professionals to treat in a better way this common condition. According to statistics, more than 12 million people suffer from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in the United States. PAD is a really serious illness, since it can cause amputation of the extremities, rupture of an aortic aneurysm, severe hypertension, kidney failure, but also heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death. It is a disease in which arteries supply blood to the arteries outside the heart, to parts such as legs, feet, kidneys, and intestines. This arterial disease can cause damages to physical health of people, by diminishing for instance their ability to walk. According to experts, the new guidelines supply a succinct diagnostic and treatment guidebook for patients suffering from PAD and for physicians, doctors' assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses who are now offering care to treat them.
“A key source of the power of these recommendations is that they are so broad-based in their origin from every vascular specialty, as they attempt to reach a broad-based audience of clinicians. Everyone can use these Guidelines and a large segment of the public can benefit from them,” said Alan T. Hirsch, chairman of the writing committee. Some highlights of the guidelines include recommended questions and observations that can uncover hidden signs of peripheral arterial disease; recommendations on when an aneurysm should be treated with surgery or catheter-based therapy, as well as when “watchful waiting” is the best way; among other things.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart does not pump the blood through the body properly. When the blood is not properly pumped throughout the body, the oxygen that the blood carries is not appropriately dispersed to the muscles and other places that require oxygen. At this time in medical technology, Congestive Heart Failure is not curable. However there are medical treatments for the condition and adhering to these treatments helps patients with CHF to live as comfortably and as normally as possible. There are ways to cope with CHF. First, when a patient is diagnosed with CHF, he or she needs to find a heart specialist that he or she goes to regularly. The patient also needs a regular practitioner to be able to keep on top of prescriptions and other things. Certain medications will be prescribed and one of the best things that a CHF patient can do is to take medications on time regularly and in the correct amounts. Another thing that will help your doctor determine the right combination of medications for you is to record when you take your medications and how you feel after taking your medications. If a certain medicine is causing side affects, your doctor might possibly be able to prescribe a substitute for that particular medication. Another important aspect of keeping a relatively healthy and comfortable lifestyle is diet. Most patients are placed on a restrictive diet. Many are required to eat heart-healthy low-fat, low-sodium diet. In most cases, 2 g of sodium is the daily limit. Excessive sodium in a diet may cause water retention, making it difficult to breathe. Since CHF already causes problems with water retention, it is helpful to retain as little water with diet as possible. Another thing that causes water retention is drinking excessive liquids. This is another thing the doctor may limit. Besides medicine and adjusted diet, exercise is a way to cope with Congestive Heart Failure. Many people with CHF think that physical activity will harm them. However, though strenuous activity is not be appropriate, light to moderate activity can be healthy when done carefully. Another way to cope and live comfortably with Congestive Heart Failure is to make sure you reduce stress as much as possible. Stress has a very negative effect on your heart and as a result, has a negative effect on the functions of your body. Any worry or burden that your family, friends, or caregivers can take from your shoulders is a positive action toward relieving your stress. Obviously health risks such as smoking should be ceased. The use of nicotine uses up precious available oxygen in the system and therefore should be stopped to allow as much oxygen as possible to exist in the body. One last thing to remember is to watch physical symptoms. Always record how you feel and make sure you tell your doctor of the slightest change in the way you feel. Listen to the signs your body is giving you in order to stay on top of your condition. Remember, CHF is a condition that can be coped with and treated, but you must alter your lifestyle to get the best quality out of your life.
In 2003, The American Heart Association reported that nearly one in three adults, or 65 million people had hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common and treatable condition. You have high blood pressure if your blood pressure has a reading of 140 over 90 or higher (140/90mm Hg). Prehypertension is a reading of 120-139/80-89 mm Hg. The AHA reports 59 million adults have prehypertension. Sixty nine percent of people who have a heart attack and seventy seven percent of people who have a stroke have high blood pressure. When you have hypertension there are no symptoms you can feel or see. The only way to tell is to have your blood pressure checked. In most cases, diet and lifestyle changes can help control mildly high blood pressure. But sometimes, your doctor will prescribe medication as well as lifestyle changes.
Here are some tips to help lower your blood pressure. Stop smoking, smoking narrows your blood vessels causing blood pressure to dramatically rise. You should also try to maintain a healthy weight. Eat fewer high fat foods and increase your physical activity. Exercise regularly, aerobic exercise tones your heart, blood vessels and muscles and helps keep your blood pressure low. Drink alcohol in moderation and limit your salt intake.
A diet high in salt causes the body to retain water, which increases the volume of blood in circulation and increases the pressure in the arteries. If you are required take blood pressure medication, take all the medication as prescribed. Try to take your pills close to the same time each day, and never skip a dose. If you have side effects or don’t believe your pressure is high, see your doctor about your concerns. Make sure you refill your prescriptions before they run out. Do not stop medication because your blood pressure is normal, chances are it’s is normal due to the medication. © Copyright Fitness-Pulse. com, All Rights Reserved.
There are different ways of measuring your blood pressure, which lets you measure your true blood pressure and get a list of blood pressure measurements. Electronic or digital devices are the easiest ones to use. Digital blood pressure monitors can also be considered the same way. They are especially convenient for anyone who is not used to testing his or her own blood pressure. Testing your own pressure is more convenient than visiting the doctor, as was once required. It allows you to test your blood pressure regularly, keep an accurate record of the readings and have the information ready for your doctor at each visit. Digital monitors have either manual or automatic cuffs, and come with a built-in LCD screen that shows the reading. Some models allow for wrist or finger readings. Most of these digital blood pressure monitors come with self-inflating cuffs that inflate once the cuff has been secured and the device has been turned on. These monitors also have the feature of digital readouts that help the patient get a more accurate pressure reading. And is a good option for people who are hard of hearing or have poor eyesight. They also detect blood surges underneath the blood pressure cuff.
Many digital blood pressure monitors also include a paper printout to provide a handy hard-copy record for your doctor. In addition to all these, it is also important to consider the location and size of the cuff to check the accuracy of the monitor. The accuracy of the monitor or the reading can be checked if the reading is compared to the reading of a professional measuring device. Also, the monitors have to be tested for accuracy before use at least once a year.
There's good news for those feeling the pressure to know more about high blood pressure and heart disease. Nearly one in three adults has high blood pressure. Since the condition has no warning signs or symptoms, it's important to know your risk factors. High blood pressure management is imperative to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease-the single largest killer of Americans. Fortunately, a free online tool has been created that offers information and ways to create a personal heart health profile to let you know your personal treatment options. The tool-called Heart Profilers-includes an integrated index of medical terminology to ensure that patients understand their condition and all treatment options. The tool can also connect interested patients, at their request, to nearby clinical trials so that they learn about qualifying for experimental treatment programs.
While anyone can develop high blood pressure, regardless of race, age or gender, it is possible to prevent and control high blood pressure by taking steps, such as maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, following a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, and choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium. About 70 percent of people who have a first heart attack and nearly 80 percent who have a first stroke have blood pressures higher than 140/90 mm Hg. A 10 percent decrease in blood pressure levels may result in an estimated 30 percent reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease. "Heart Profilers helps patients assess their risk for heart disease and offers them a list of treatment options," said Dr. Clyde Yancy, associate professor of medicine/ cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "It's a major advance in online technology that has the potential to change the way patients and physicians interact with each other. This tool takes some of the mystery out of surfing the Web for health information." In addition to high blood pressure, Heart Profilers also covers cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and coronary artery disease. For more information, visit americanheart. org/heart profilers. The American Heart Association also has a detailed site dedicated to high blood pressure
When the pressure of the blood that is exerted against the walls of the blood vessels after and during every heart beat is lower than normal, you have low blood pressure. This can result in insufficient blood flow to the important body organs like the heart and the brain. And this can lead to various low blood pressure symptoms. You may detect low blood pressure symptoms during the use of various drugs such as those used for surgery, anti-anxiety agents, treatment for high blood pressure, diuretics, heart medicines, antidepressants, narcotics, alcohol, and other types of drugs. You may notice the low blood pressure symptoms also because of dehydration, heart failure, or heart attack, anaphylaxis, shock, diabetes (especially in advanced stage), etc. The most common low blood pressure symptoms are dizziness and lightheartedness. But there are other low blood pressure symptoms, and they are: a tendency to faint, black or maroon stools, chest pain, wheezing, irregular heart beat, consistent high fever, head ache, back pain, or stiff neck. If you happen to spot any of the low blood pressure symptoms, it is recommended that you consult a doctor as soon as possible. Because of low blood pressure not enough blood reaches to all parts of the body and thus the cells do not receive the correct amount of oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, the waste products in the blood are not removed. Don’t overlook the risk of low blood pressure if you cough with phlegm or if you are suffering from prolonged diarrhea, or if you are unable to eat or drink, or if you experience burning urinary symptoms or even if you are taking new medicines, because all these are low blood pressure symptoms. When you start experiencing low blood pressure symptoms remember that the brain is the first organ to malfunction in such situations because it’s located at the top of the body and as a result you will experience dizziness or even fainting. You should be aware that if you don’t treat low blood pressure seriously it might lead to brain damage. When you have low blood pressure, blood is not adequately supplied to the heart muscles and therefore breathlessness and chest tightness forms one of the common low blood pressure symptoms. When you have prolonged low blood pressure all organs start malfunctioning and this leads to shock. You must take precautionary measures to avoid the situation from getting worse when you have low blood pressure and you must take your doctor’s advice. You must try to be more physically active and must try to lose weight. You should also maintain a healthy diet and limit your alcohol intake. All these will help you to keep your low blood pressure symptoms under control. In spite of all the harmful aspects of low blood pressure, researchers say that it is better than high blood pressure because people experiencing low blood pressure symptoms tend to live longer than people suffering from high blood pressure symptoms do. If you suspect you are suffering with low blood pressure you should consult your primary care physician straight away.
When someone talks of blood pressure problems, in most cases they refer to issues of high blood pressure. But low blood pressure is also a fairly common condition and it needs attention. What are the causes of low blood pressure? It turns out there are quite a few of them. Unearthing the causes of hypotension is important because they have to be dealt with before treating the clinical conditions of low blood pressure. Anti-hypertensive drugs are one possible cause. If someone with high blood pressure continues to take such drugs without adequate supervision, it can result in a buildup of the drug in the body which can cause blood pressure to drop below acceptable levels. That is why patients on beta-blockers must be monitored closely to ensure that they do not end up with adverse effects like hypotension. Diuretic medications can cause this problem if the drugs are overused. In fact, they can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels if not taken correctly.
Cardiac problems can, of course, cause low blood pressure. Problems like tricuspid regurgitation, which is a valve-related issue, can result in the condition. Traumas such as severe burns can lower blood pressure drastically. Burns affect the permeability of blood vessels which triggers the problem. Heat stroke is another possible cause of lowered pressure because it disrupts the fluid mechanism in the body. Inflammation to organs like the pancreas may result in hypotension. So can respiratory problems like pneumothorax, as well as dysentery and other severe gastro intestinal problems. Patients on nitrate medication may have a tendency to suffer from this condition.
This is particularly true if they consume alcohol. For this reason, doctors usually advice against alcohol consumption when the patient takes nitrate drugs. In reality, what constitutes low blood pressure often depends on the patient. There is a fine line between healthy low pressure and clinical hypotension. As you can see, there are many possible causes of low blood pressure. Your health care giver’s judgment is crucial in deciding if you have hypotension and what treatment it requires.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in most developed countries around the world, and the number of cases is rising constantly as a result of both modern lifestyles and increased overall longevity. While developing the condition can have a devastating impact on the sufferer's life, modern medicine has developed several effective treatments for heart disease, ranging from drugs and lifestyle improvements right through to surgery. Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so before we look at some of the symptoms of cardiac disease we'll look at some of the ways you can help your body ward off the risks. Living a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to reducing the chances of developing cardiac problems, but there is unfortunately an element of inherited risk, so even those with excellent overall health may find that they're genetically programmed towards heart disease in later life. Thankfully, the greatest influence genetics has on heart disease is that of making us more susceptible to certain causes, and with careful adjustments of our lifestyles we can greatly improve our prospects of avoiding it. The two most deadly contributors to cardiac problems are smoking and obesity. Both of these can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels, putting extra strain on the heart. Smoking causes the build up of fatty deposits within the arteries, also causing circulation problems. Being overweight also tends to mean that a healthy diet is not being followed, and so the body may well be short of essential minerals and nutriments that the heart needs to keep on functioning healthily. Stopping smoking and other unhealthy practices such as excessive drinking, along with improving diet and taking up exercise to reduce weight can go a long way towards averting problems. The symptoms of a developing heart problem can be both subtle and dramatic. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms can also signify other less dangerous conditions, and so a diagnosis of heart disease is often made later than it could have been. If you come across more than one of the symptoms below, then a trip to your doctor is highly advisable. Breathlessness when engaged in physical exercise is normal to some extent for almost everyone, but if you find you're becoming breathless more and more easily then this is a clear sign that your general fitness levels aren't all they could be, and that your heart may be struggling under the pressure. Palpitations, that is a heavily or unevenly beating heart, can be a sign of anxiety or can come on after extreme exercise, but if neither of these situations apply then heart problems could well be the culprit. A tingling feeling in bodily extremities such as fingers, toes or lips is often a sign that your cirulation system isn't delivering enough oxygen, again a sign of possible heart problems. Should your extremeities go on to develop a blueish colour then this is certainly not a good sign, and medical attention should be sought at once. The final and most obvious sign of cardiac problems is a feeling of tightness or pain in the chest, a condition known as angina. If you feel chest pain with any regularity, even if not particularly severely, a medical check up is advisable to make sure you catch any problems as early as possible. Angina can be controlled very well by medication in many cases, and doesn't necessarily have to develop into full-blown heart disease. In summary, living a healthy lifestyle while keeping an eye out for the symptoms will greatly reduce the risk of your life being devastated by heart disease.
Mitral Valve allows blood to flow in one direction from the atrium (upper chamber) to the ventricle (lower chamber). It is one of the four valves separating different chambers of the heart. Mitral valve causes problem if it doesn’t open and close as per its functionality. It causes blood to leak backwards into the upper chamber of the heart, leading to a 'heart murmur'. This is called as Mitral Valve Prolapse. The functioning of your heart is normal at this point of time. This does not worsen over a period of time, but is one of the main reasons for cardiac problems.
Mitral valve prolapse is very common among women although men are targeted too. It can strike in early adulthood. It is considered to be a hereditary problem. Mitral Valve Prolapse syndrome is also called as dysautonomia. One of the main reasons which cause an increase in mitral valve prolapse syndrome is stress.
The cause of stress can be due to childbirth, drastic events, and life turning experiences and day to day stress in life. Nearly 60% of the patients with MVP do not show symptoms. The other 40% does show some sign, which you should be aware of. Some Signs and Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome -Irregular Heartbeat -Fatigue -Chest Pain -Racing Heart -Dizziness -Headaches -Shortness of Breath -Palpitation -Anxiety Causes of Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome -Hereditary -Stress -Caffeine -Stimulants -Sweets -Alcohol -Smoking -Menopause -Skipping Meals -Dehydration Measures to be taken Complications in this condition are very less. Attributable to the fact, that it does not affect much of your health. But people who suffer from this condition have to take extreme care. You may have to cut down on your physical activity, have a surgery and may be put you on medications - beta blockers. You may have to follow a strict diet routine. Do not have any stimulants in your diet like coffee, tea, colas and even chocolates. Intake of sugar should come down. Have high-protein snack for afternoons. Drink as much water as you want. Fresh fruit juice is also good. Regular exercise is good to maintain good health. Do not exert yourself. You should consult your doctor before doing any physical activity. Being aware about your condition would help you from any bacterial infection from any kind of surgery. Inform your doctors in advance about your condition, to avoid complication. Home Care Cinnamon helps in reducing high cholesterol and triglycerides. These can be used in your daily diet. Flax seed oil contributes with good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. This helps your cardiovascular system by reducing bad cholesterol including lowering blood pressure. Hawthorn Berries helps with a clean and clear cardiovascular system. It is very good for your heart.
Low blood pressure happens when the blood flow to the brain and other vital organs falls short, due to low pressure in the blood. Some common causes of low blood pressure are dehydration, heavy meal, severe infection, heart attack, heart failure or pregnancy. You will notice some common sign and symptoms like dizziness, lack of concentration, nausea, blurred vision and many more. - Home Remedies for Low Blood Pressure • Drink as much water as you can. Dehydration minimizes the blood volume which causes the drop in pressure. Drink one glass of water per hour; this would help to keep your body hydrated. • Keep your knees flexed as this helps in bringing the pressure back to normal. • As you warm-up before exercising it is very important to cool down after exercising. Stopping in the middle of an exercise routine can drop your pressure, so avoid it. • Drinking alcoholic beverages does not help the low blood pressure condition. Drink healthy juices or any non-alcoholic drinks which can make your life healthy and lot less complicated. • Salt is good for low blood pressure. You can increase your salt intake, but this increase in salt may vary from person to person. • While sleeping keep your head elevated as this may help to adapt to an upright position. • Be health conscious and do stretching exercises which helps to keep a tab on the pressure level. You can squeeze your fists and pump your stomach a few times to help this problem. • A larger meal causes the blood to rush towards the digestive area leading to insufficient supply of blood to other organs. Emphasis on smaller meals, as this would help to provide proper flow of blood in the entire body. • Take a walk after your meals. This helps in bringing the blood pressure level to normal. • Ginseng is a Chinese root, even though its benefits are still unclear, it has been said that it helps in improving low blood pressure. • Soak 10 small raisins in bowl of water overnight. Chew each raisin at least 30 times before swallowing it. Continue doing this for a month. • Soak 5 pieces of almond in water and keep it overnight. Grind them to make a smooth paste and mix it in glass of milk. Boil the almond and milk paste. Drink it warm. Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
: Pheochromocytoma is an important cause of secondary Hypertension. We have adnenal gland located at upper portion of each kidney. It is divided into adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of Adrenal Medulla. Normal function of adrenal medulla is to produce epinephrine or adrenaline. Which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and to help cope with stressful situations. So majority of symptoms of pheochromocytoma are due to excess secretion of adrenaline from adrenal medulla. Most patients of pheochromocytoma have recurrent episodes of headache, sweating and a feeling of high anxiety. The following symptoms are listed from the most common to the least common Headaches (severe) sweating Episodes (generalized) heart palpitations (tachycardia and palpitations) Anxiety nervousness (feelings of impending death) tremors Pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen Nausea (with or without nausea) Weight loss Heat intolerance These symptoms may come by situations which causes pressure over tumor like physical activity, exercise, defecation, anesthesia, or change in body position.
Who should be examined for Pheochromocytoma Those who have uncontrolled hypertension Those who have age between 40 and 60 Those who are already taking 4 antihypertensive drugs but blood pressure is not controllable. Those who have episodes of above symptoms Cause of pheochromocytoma is unknown, however some forms of this tumor runs in families like, a-Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type II (MEN-II). In addition to a pheochromocytoma, people with MEN-II also have thyroid cancer. Other forms of MEN-II include pheochromocytoma with thyroid cancer and hyperparathyroidism (MEN-IIA), and pheochromocytoma with thyroid cancer and tumors of nerves in the eyes lips, mouth and digestive tract (MEN-IIB). b-Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1). Pheochromocytomas can occur in a small percentage of people with NF1, a syndrome that includes multiple tumors in the skin (neurofibromas), pigmented skin spots, tumors of the optic nerve of the eye, and bone diseases. c-Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. People with this rare multi system disorder are at high risk of pheochromocytoma brain eye and kidney tumors. Most pheochromocytomas are benign tumors and they don't spread to other parts of body however some forms do show metastasis (spread) to other parts of body like lungs, bones and brains. Usually only one gland is involved however this tumor can be present in both adrenal glands. Investigations: Blood and Urine tests: We perform blood and urine tests to diagnose pheochromocytoma. 24 hr urine collection is tested for epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.
This test is called VMA. Idea is just to check level of epinephrine and its metabolites in urine. If these are detected in urine in excess quantity, then tumor is diagnosed. Abdominal scan. Now you have diagnosed tumor by blood and urine tests, after that to find out location of tumor, do Ultrasound, CT scan of abdomen. Complications: If high blood pressure remained uncontrolled it may lead to complications of heart failure, infarction, cerebrovascular accident, vision damage and kidney failure. Treatment: First treatment is to control high blood pressure with medication like Alpha Blockers and Beta Blockers.
When epinephrine is secreted by this tumor it acts on alpha and beta receptors present on heart and blood vessels, result is vasoconstriction and increase heart rate. Now if if we take drugs like alpha blocker and beta blocker, epinephrine will be blocked by these drugs to act on these receptors so result is vasodilation and slow heart rate. Common Alpha blockers are Prazosin (Minipress), Terazosin (Hytrin) Phenoxybenzamine( Dibenzaline). Common Beta Blockers are Atenolol(Tenormin), Carvedilol(Carveda), Metoprolol(Mepressor), Inderal. Treatment of choice for this tumor is Surgery. After removal of this gland by surgery, blood pressure becomes normal with a day. There are two types of surgeries. General and Laproscopic surgery. However Surgery is not an option for those tumors which show metastasis to other parts of body. For that we use chemotherapy and radiations.
Whenever you have high blood pressure with any symptom, don't ignore it, you may be the patient of Pheochromocytoma. Always contact your Doctor. If you want to know more about Pheochromocytoma, visit our site highbloodpressuremed. com