Tag Archives: Cardiovascular disease

3 Important Facts about Cardiovascular Diseases and Alternative Treatments

A rise in the mortality rate especially among men caused by cardiovascular disease has been noted in the past years. Considered by many as a silent killer, cardiovascular disease is difficult to detect since there is no clear symptom or indication. Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) has been known to be the cause of majority of sudden deaths recorded.   There are three important facts that you must know about cardiovascular disease and its alternative cures.

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The heart plays a major role in the cardiovascular system.

First, cardiovascular disease is a disease caused by hypertension and atherosclerosis. Hypertension or high blood pressure is one common cause of this disease among adults. When a person has high blood pressure, the heart has to exert more effort in pumping the blood around the body.  This can result to heart attack and death, or it may lead to chronic kidney disease and a shorter life expectancy.  On the other hand, atherosclerosis refers to the hardening and thickening of the arteries. This condition is caused by fats accumulating on the artery walls and as time passes by; the fat hardens and clogs the arteries. Blood flow is impeded and this could cause death. What is dangerous about this is there is no apparent symptom that something is already happening inside your arteries that could easily lead to your death.

Second, because the thickening of the artery walls cannot be easily detected, the best thing to do is to prevent such an event from occurring. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one way of reducing your risk from cardiovascular disease. Healthy lifestyle means having enough exercise, eating healthy foods, and avoiding stress as much as possible. Holistic medicine is considered one way of fighting against cardiovascular diseases.  The disease suddenly kills and therefore, preventing it is the best remedy. Avoid consuming foods that could lead to the accumulation and hardening of the fats in your arteries. Junk foods, fatty foods, sugary foods – over-consumption of these foods must be avoided from childhood to insure that you would not have cardiovascular disease.

Last, there is a group of foods that is considered as an alternative treatment to reduce the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease. Research has identified several possible herbs that can prevent this disease. Among them are garlic, ginseng, hawthorn, and horse chestnut. Foods rich in fiber, omega 3-fatty acids, soy, and nuts could keep you away from strokes and cardiac arrests. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily meal is always beneficial in preventing ailments, including cardiovascular diseases.  Also, while there are negative views about consuming alcohol, various scientific studies have shown that drinking wine in moderation is actually good for the heart. Wine contains alcohol, which is one agent that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. 

Top 5 Things to Know Before an ECG Test

Stop and listen to the beating of your heart. That thump, thump, thump is precious and should always be regarded as a blessing for it means life. When the doctor recommends this test, do not be scared. It does not mean you are alarmingly sick. On the other hand, Knowledge is power. The more you know about your condition, the higher the chances of preventive action being successful in providing you overall wellness and good health conditions.

  1. Understand what ECG means and how it will help you:

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ECG stands for Electrocardiography or EKG coming from the Greek word, kardia meaning heart. It is a medical test that interprets the activity of the heart over a period of time as detected by attaching electrodes to the surface of the skin and recorded by a machine external to the body.

A machine records the electrocardiograph. The Electrocardiograph records the electrical activity of the heart muscle and displays traces on a screen which can be printed on paper. It aims to detect if there is any (heart) cardiac abnormality through the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts in this non-invasive procedure.

ECG is recommended for patients who have experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, irregular heartbeats and chest pain. It is used to diagnose if a person has a heart problem like enlargement of the heart, arrhythmia, poor blood supply and congenital heart defects.

  1. Various heart problems that can be diagnosed by ECG

Appearing below is a list of some heart problems that can be diagnosed by the Electrocardiogram test or ECG.

  • Damage to the heart caused by blocked arteries
  • Abnormal position of the heart
  • Poor blood supply to the heart
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Imbalances in the blood chemicals (electrolytes) that control heart activity
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Abnormal rhythm or Arrhythmia
  • Heart Inflammation or Myocarditis/ Pericarditis
  • Cardiac Arrest during ER or ICU monitoring
  • Disturbances of the heart’s conducting system
  1. Things to do prior to test
  • Be at the hospital early and ask for the location where the ECG Test would be done.
  • No food or drink restriction before the test. It is ok to eat about an hour or before leaving the house, just not exactly before the test itself. You can however drink water to calm yourself.
  • Do not put your heart in any stress, after all, heartbeats would be measured and must be as accurate as possible to your present condition.
  • One should wear clothing that would not get in the way of the wires, in other words, something simple and non-complicated.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any allergies to adhesive tapes that may be used to attach the electrodes to your body.
  1. Long-term benefits
  • ECG is used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats and the effect of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart.
  • The result of the ECG will determine any treatment needed if any condition is determined in the results.
  • Taking this test regularly is recommended especially if the patient has a family history of heart disease, smoking, weight issues, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure for preventive course of action and
  1. Possible side-effects and what to do after ECG

Good news is there are no recorded evidence that proves and side effects from taking this test. The ECG does not send the electric current to the body thus proven safe and no known risk to its takers. However, in some cases patients are allergic to the tape used in connecting the electrodes which may cause reddening of the skin.

So do take the ECG Test immediately when recommended by your physician, do not be afraid for this is for a good purpose. It will help improve your overall wellness by recording necessary data to help determine the course of action necessary to prevent any unwanted life threatening disease or to improve your present heart condition.

A healthy happy heart is necessary in living a long fulfilling life. Time is valuable and should not be wasted.  Make sure the thump, thump, thump of your heart equates to a long well lived life.

Garlic and Its Healing Wonders for the Heart

The heart gives life, love and vitality. Matters of the heart and our overall health should be prioritized for it determines the course of our lives. Having a broken heart can literally kill you in this case.

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World Health Organization

According to the World Health Organization, 17 Million people as of 2011 died of cardiovascular diseases. Having said this, scientists all over the world have taken great extent in finding solutions for disease prevention, protection from it and possible alternative treatments that could reduce risks and improve symptoms in patients.

 

  • Top on the list was Ischaemic heart disease killing 7 Million people for the year 2011 alone.
  • In second place as the most deadly killer, the stroke claiming 6.2 Million lives the same year world-wide.
  • In third place, the lower respiratory infections taking 3.2 Million people all over the world.

Today, Alternative and Complementary medicines are gaining popularity world-wide as more and more scientific studies provide safe and easy administration that produce significant results in alternative treatments.

A recent study was published by the Department of Family Medicine of Aga Khan University by WarisQidwai and TabindaAshfaq, on an open access article, showing the Role of Garlic Usage in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention as of March 2013.

Garlic (Latin: Allium sativum) as a medicinal remedy and potential herb has been used and acknowledged for over 6000 years. Significant use appearing in centuries Traditional Egyptians text and Indian Ayurveda traditional medicine, Garlic has played an important dietary, culinary and as well as medicinal role in human history through the ages.

Hypertension is an important risk factor leading to cardiovascular disease. Regular consumption of garlic has shown some association with blood pressure control and is used as a remedy by many people worldwide. According to one survey, approximately 29% of people are using garlic for their blood pressure control. 

This fact was tested among patients with cardiovascular disease by giving garlic powder tablets allicor, and their 10-year prognostic risk of acute myocardial infarction and sudden death were assessed. It was seen that after 12-month treatment with allicor, there was significant decrease of cardiovascular risk. 

Conclusion

Similarly, it was also suggested that AGE preparation if taken as a dietary supplement by healthy individuals may be beneficial in protection against cardiovascular disease through inhibition of platelet aggregation

A trial using garlic pearls containing 250 mg of garlic among hypertensive patients for 2 months demonstrated decrease in blood pressure level and also showed decrease in biomarkers responsible for oxidative stress in blood (plasma-oxidized LDL, plasma, and urinary concentration of 8-iso-Prostaglandin F2alpha) ultimately decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease 

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We conclude that the beneficial effect of garlic preparations on lipids and blood pressure extends also to platelet function, thus providing a wider potential protection of the cardiovascular system through its major effects on cholesterol reduction. However, its efficacy in blood pressure reduction is mild with some beneficial effects on platelet aggregation.

Different Tests in Diagnosing Heart Diseases

Having a heart problem is a serious case whether the condition is just in the first stage. Heart failure conditions are caused by many factors. Some of these are birth defects, infections, changes in electrical activity of the heart and hardening of the arteries.

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The heart is a muscle that pumps oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the rest of the body. When the heart does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood, heart diseases may occur and leads to many serious problems such as chest pain and heart attack. Heart problems may also cause arrhythmia which is the irregular or abnormal beating of heart. However, there are already modern ways in diagnosing and preventing some types of heart diseases.

In diagnosing heart disease, a medical history is first done. The doctor will have an interview to the patient to review medical history. Then the cardiologist will conduct physical examinations which include listening to the heart and other test like laboratory test, electrocardiogram, stress test, echocardiogram, angiogram and electrophysiology test.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that checks for problem with the electrical activity of the heart. It is done to find the cause of unexplained chest pain, which could be caused by a heart attack and inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart. It is also use to find the cause of symptoms of heart disease such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and irregular heartbeats and check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart. Furthermore, electrocardiogram like ECG in Pompano Beach is done to check the health of the heart when other disease and conditions are present such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking or diabetes.

  • Angiogram is another test done by cardiologist. It is an imaging test that uses x-rays to view body’s blood vessels. Cardiologist often uses this test to diagnose a variety of vascular conditions such as blockage and enlargement of arteries, kidney artery conditions, problems in the arteries that branch from the aorta, malformed arteries and problems with the veins.
  • An electrophysiology study is a test that records electrical activity and electrical pathways of the heart. This test is needed to determine the cause of an abnormal heart rhythm, to locate the site of origin and to decide the best treatment for an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • A type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device is called an echocardiogram. This ultrasound test like echocardiogram in Sunrise has a device called transducer which picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of the heart. The echoes are turned into moving pictures of the heart that can be seen in video screen.

With the help of these tests, a cardiologist like in Titusville may have the necessary information to diagnose, treat and prevent any heart diseases. The test will depend on the type of disease you may have. If you are not sure of the test, ask and speak to your cardiologist for further information.