Prevent Heart Attacks

Your heart muscle needs oxygen and nutrients to work as it should. A heart attack (aka myocardial infarction) usually occurs when blood flow to the heart is suddenly cut off. When this happens, the heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood. In just a short period of time, part of the heart can be damaged or die. That’s why immediate care is critical—it can spare your heart and save your life. See a blocked artery before and after agioplasty (stent placement).

Heart Attack Before  |  Heart Attack After

 

Total blockage of the coronary artery is the result of two processes; One is a slow growing atherosclerosis. This is deposition of fat/cholesterol material slowly over a period of time. The arteries start collecting this material and the deposits grow so slowly that they can remain undiagnosed for many years. The artery is good enough to carry significant amount of blood to the heart till the deposits grow to roughly 70% of its diameter.

The second process is when the slow growing fat deposits (atherosclerotic plaque) become rough or break and promptly form a blood clot within minutes. This soft blood clot then completely blocks the partially blocked artery. Thus a person who was exercising yesterday can have a heart attack today because of a sudden formation of a blood clot on top of a fat deposit. Both these processes of atherosclerosis and formation of blood clots are preventable. That is reason enough to know the dos and don’ts for the same. To learn more about Heart Attacks please click here.

An “Ideal” life style should be pursued by all of us, whether we have a problem or not, we have had an angioplasty or not and whatever age we are. Basic principles of ideal life style include diet, exercise, stress management, abstinence from tobacco and adequately treating risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol  and diabetes.

A Healthier Diet is a Solid Start

Diet should be of simple home cooked meals most of the times.  In general eating a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods including a mix of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, lean meats, poultry, legumes, nuts, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Saturated fat in the form of fried items, butter, cheese, red meat and eggs should be avoided as much as possible. Click here to learn more about a heart-healthy diet.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
- Hippocrates

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WOrkout

Your Heart is a Muscle too - Exercise Daily

Exercise is one of the most important ways to keeping your heart healthy. Leading an active, healthy life style may be one of the best things you can do for your heart health but importantly for your over all wellness. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily on at least 4 days of the week  in the form of jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing is important to maintain good cardiovascular fitness. If you can’t find a full 30 minutes to exercise, remember that doing something is better than nothing. Ten-minute bursts of activity—running in place, doing jumping jacks or other movements to get your heart rate going— three times a day have also been shown to have health benefits equal to doing 30 minutes all at once. As always, talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program or if you have concerns. You should stop if you felt any of the following: sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain or chest pressure, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea or symptoms that are unusual for you. For more information on exercise click here.

“Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.”
-John F. Kennedy

 

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
-Confucius

Managing Day-to-Day Stress

Prolonged stress can increase stress hormones and chemicals that promote heart disease. Exercise is a good way to counteract this and give your body a surge of the mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins. Deep breathing and mindfulness-based meditation can also ease tension, helping to train your mind to focus on the present and turn your thoughts inward to what matters most to you. Whether it’s through exercise, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or other activities that help you unplug, it’s important to relieve stress and stay positive. To learn more about Stress Management click here.

 

“Your body hears everything your mind says.”
-Naomi Judd

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Stop Smoking Today

Abstinence for Smoking

For smokers, kicking the habit is one of the best ways to improve your health and reduce risk for heart disease, cancer and other conditions. Quitting might make sense, but it isn’t easy. We are all along with you to help you fight the fight. Click here for tips on how to stop smoking.

“Believe you can and you are half way there.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Know Thy Numbers

You may have heard that you need to “know your numbers,” which refers to key markers of heart health like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Although doctors test most of these numbers at annual check-ups, it’s important that you know your numbers and understand what they mean. In todays connected world the best way to know and follow your numbers is to get connected to your own chart via patient portal. Ask our staff how to get you connected. The following are important to know:

Blood pressure

measure your blood pressure at home and bring it to the visit. Our staff can give you a form to put your blood pressure log and instructions for proper blood pressure measurement. Normal blood pressure is <119/<80, borderline hypertension (aka prehypertension) 120-139/80-89 and hypertension >140/>90. For more information on how to tell your blood pressure click here.

High cholesterol

Cholesterol and triglyceride tests are blood tests that measure the total amount of fatty substances cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Sometimes your cholesterol may not seem high but show signs of heart disease including a heart attack. We may ask you to take cholesterol medications regardless of your cholesterol numbers. Click here to learn more about cholesterol.

Family history of heart disease

Is heart disease or stroke in your family? If so, your risk may be higherDid your father have a stroke? Did your mother have a heart attack? Did any of your grandparents have heart disease? Those might seem like random questions, but they’re very important when it comes to understanding your risk for these diseases. Knowing your family’s health history can help you avoid both heart disease and stroke. It is also important that you share this information with your doctors. Click here to learn more about how your family history of heart disease affects you.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease. If you have diabetes, it’s very important to have regular check-ups. Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes. Your primary doctor checks your hemoglobin A1c (aka A1c) to see if your diabetes is controlled in between visits. The number should be below 7.0. This number is good to know in addition to the day to day blood glucose you check at home.

The beginning of feeling better and living the life you deserve can only start when you make the call for an appointment today.

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