The Dangers of Being Overweight

April 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Education

Obesity and being overweight are now approaching epidemic proportions in much of the developing world. Some researchers point to the modern diet whereas others blame technology for diverting time away from physical exercise. This is especially salient in the current generation of children. No matter what the actual cause, being overweight entails significant risks and dangers.

One is considered to be overweight if they weigh more than their ideal body weight for their height and frame. Obesity is defined as being more than 20% over the ideal recommended body weight. It is well understood that obesity can lead to a plethora of adverse health effects, however, recent studies have shown that some of these risks are also applicable to people who are overweight but fall short of the official definition of being obese.

Being overweight is caused by a mixture of genes and behavior. Obviously, overeating is a prime cause of being overweight. If one does not burn as many calories as they consume, then the inevitable result is weight gain. Some people inherit a slow metabolism which triggers weight gain no matter how hard they try to keep the pounds off. Some medical conditions, including those related to the thyroid gland, also tend to cause weight gain. Proper diet and regular exercise become even more imperative for those who have this type of weight gain predisposition.

Obese People

Obese People

One of the most common maladies associated with being overweight is type two diabetes. Obesity is actually the leading cause of this disease which can lead to amputations and even death. Studies have shown that being overweight, even if not obese, increases the odds of being diagnosed with type two diabetes. High blood pressure is another condition tied to being overweight. Having can lead to and strokes. Overweight people have also been shown to suffer a higher incidence of . These conditions obviously are quite serious and steps should be taken to avoid them.

Being overweight also entails disadvantages within both your professional and personal life. Studies have shown that overweight employees are less likely to get hired and have less chances of getting promoted during the course of their careers. Many companies are loathe to employ overweight people in the sales arena along with other positions which represent the face of the company. It might seem unfair, but society often does judge a book by its cover.

Obviously, members of the opposite sex tend to be turned off by an overweight appearance. Most people who lose significant weight notice an immediate and marked difference when it comes to romance. Additionally, many overweight people lose out on many of life’s enjoyments, such as a day at the beach, because they are insecure about their appearance.

Being overweight entails many dangers and inconveniences. It is never too late to vow to lose weight, and there are many cutting edge products and techniques which can assist you in this often difficult endeavor. Take the first step today by exploring what is out there to help you achieve better health by losing weight.

Tags: Obesity, overweight, fat, Diabetes, cancer, obese, strokes

Heart Disease in Women

December 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death of American women.?? is No. 3. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects a woman???s heart and blood vessels.?? One out of every 10 women between the ages of 45 and 64 has some form of CVD.?? Once a woman reaches 65, this increases to 1 out of every 4.?? Every year about 500,000 women have a and about 370,000 of them die.?? And, almost 100,000 women die each year of stroke.

What are the Cardiovascular Diseases of the Heart?

The most common CVDs are:

  • Coronary is when plaque builds up and blocks or slows down the blood flow through the vessels in the heart. Some symptoms are:
  • Angina ??? chest pain caused when the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart is blocked for a short time
  • Heart attack – when areas of the heart die because the flow of blood and oxygen is blocked off for a longer time
  • Heart failure – when the heart can not pump enough blood out of the heart as it should and the body does not get enough blood and oxygen
  • High blood pressure – when the pressure inside the walls of blood vessels is higher than normal
  • Stroke – when a blood vessel that takes blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or bursts and a area of the brain (and the area of the body the body it controls) can???t work as it should

What are factors put you a risk for CVD?

Risk factors are things that increase your chances of getting a disease.?? Some risk factors you cannot control.?? But, some you can control and even change.?? Some women???s risk are higher than others.

The main risk factors for CVD that you can???t control are age and a family history of CVD.?? The factors you can control or change are:

  • Being overweight
  • Having diabetes
  • Having high blood cholesterol
  • Not being physically active
  • Smoking

What Can you do?

If you have at least 1 risk factor for CVD you should learn how to control it or prevent. By taking active role in your health care, you can make a difference.?? Tell your doctor or nurse what???s going on with your health.?? Ask questions or talk with about concerns you have.?? Ask if there are any medical tests you should take to see if you already have CVD.

Learn which lifestyle changes can help lower your risks.?? Making changes in your habits is the first step in preventing or controlling CVD.?? Making these changes is very important if you are African-American or over the age of 55.

Do you have any of these risk factors and habits you can control or change?

  • Don???t smoke, or quit if you do.
  • Get up and get active.
  • If overweight, work on losing weight.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose levels in your target range.
  • Reduce your blood cholesterol levels.
  • If you take medicine for blood pressure or pre-diabetes, take it exactly as you should.

The Good News!

Changing your habits isn???t easy – but it works.?? It can lower your risks for CVD.?? If you already have CVD, it can help your heart and blood vessels get healthier.?? Here???s how:

  • Once you stop smoking, within a few years your risks for heart disease will be the same as that of a non-smoker.
  • Getting more exercise can help you lose weight, prevent and control high blood pressure, increase your good cholesterol levels and can even help prevent and control diabetes.
  • By eating less fat and cholesterol, more fruits and vegetables and watching how much salt you use, you can help reduce high blood pressure and bad cholesterol and take off extra pounds.
  • If you take off extra weight it can lower your risk for CVD, help prevent or control diabetes (if you have it) and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

It???s up to you. By making some effort the heart you save may be your own.

Tags: Diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, heart failure, Aging-associated diseases, chest pain, Stroke, Cardiology, Cardiovascular diseases, Coronary heart disease

Open Heart Surgery – A final note – when to call your doctor

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

After you get home you may feel a little nervous and worried about being on your own. Well, don’t sit and worry if you think something is not right about your health or healing. If you have any of the following signs of a or infection call your doctor, cardiologist or . Keep their numbers handy. If the signs tell you it’s an emergency and you are not able to reach your doctors, call 911 immediately.

Your stitches or staples will be removed within 10 to 14 days after . You should check your incision every day. Call you doctor if you have signs of infection listed below.

Warning signs of infection

  • red, hot and swollen incisions(s)
  • smelling discharge coming from an incision
  • a temperature over 100 degrees for a few days
  • chest congestion, coughing, and problems with breathing at rest

Warning signs of a heart attack

  • intense, steady pressure or burning pain in the center of your chest
  • pain that starts in the center of the chest and goes to a shoulder and arm (usually the left) or both shoulders and arms, back, neck and jaw
  • prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
  • nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating
  • shortness of breath, looking pale
  • dizziness, light-headedness or fainting
  • frequent angina attacks like you may have had before surgery
  • a sense of anxiety or doom

Warning signs of an emergency

  • your are bleeding a lot of bright red blood or you see blood clots
  • you have a sharp pain that does not go away with your pain medicine
  • your incision(s) opens
  • if you had leg surgery, your leg turns blue or you lose feeling in your leg
  • your fever goes up fast or is over 101 degrees
  • you have allergic reactions to medicines you are taking
Tags: Myocardial infarction, heart attack, ER, surgeon, cardiologist

Open Heart Surgery – On the road to recovery

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Each patient’s recovery rate is different, especially after a coronary artery bypass surgery. How quickly you recover will depend in part on your physical health before surgery and how complex and extensive your heart surgery was. The first step in recovery is when you can breathe deeply and cough to clear your lungs. When you can do this, your breathing tube will be removed and replaced with an oxygen mask. This could happen as soon as the day after your surgery. Your doctor will then have you moved from the ICU to another area of the hospital. Your care will continue as follows:

  • you will continue to have electrocardiograms to record your heart rhythm
  • you will wear an oxygen mask as needed
  • you will continue to have blood tests
  • your fluid intake and output will be monitored
  • the nurses will help you with turning in bed, coughing and deep breathing exercises
  • you will start with ice chips and sips of fluid, then solid food

Taking part in your recovery

As you become more active, you will become more involved in your own recovery – even while you are still in the hospital. Here are some activities you can do:

  • eat right – healthy food helps you heal
  • keep your lungs free of fluid, which can lead to pneumonia, by practicing your deep breathing and coughing exercises
  • get out of bed as soon as you can so your muscles stay strong; start slowly sitting on the side of the bed, then the chair, then short walks, then longer walks
  • do the recommended leg exercises to keep your legs muscles strong
  • wear elastic or support stockings if your doctor ordered them
  • use a chair with a firm back when sitting with pillows on the chair arms; raise your feet to the same height if your legs or feet swell, but don’t cross your legs (this slows blood flow)

Because of your surgery and limited movement right after, fluid can build up in your lungs. This fluid can cause pneumonia and keep you keep you in the hospital. Therefore, it is very important that you take deep breaths and cough often. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you breathe correctly. To ease the pain when you cough, support your chest incision with a pillow or your hands.

Good days and bad days

After the first few days when you’ve come through the worst of it, your emotions may get the best of you. Don’t be surprised if you have good days and bad days. You may cry more easily, have bad dreams, not be able to concentrate or just feel afraid or down. Some of this is related to stress, lack of sleep and the effects of the anesthesia and other medicines. It’s not pleasant, but it’s normal after what you’ve been through. Don’t pretend you feel OK when you don’t. Let your family and the hospital staff know. Both you and your family may benefit a lot by talking to a rehabilitation counselor.

Better days ahead

As you near the end of your hospital stay, you will become really anxious to return home. Your mental outlook will improve and your physical recovery may even speed up once you’re home. Family, familiar surroundings and peace and quiet can help a lot.

Before you leave the hospital, you will receive instructions from your cardiac health care team about a number of things. These include :

  • how to care for your incision(s)
  • your new heart-healthy diet
  • a list of physical activities you can do during the next 6-12 weeks
  • recommended exercises
  • a list of special equipment, medicines or supplies you will need
  • the date of your first follow-up visit

Once you’re at home, pace yourself. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Be aware of how you feel during everyday activities. You will be able to tell when you can increase the amount or level of activity. When you are tired, rest. When you’re hungry, eat – but eat heart healthy foods.

Congratulations! You’re on your way. There are better days ahead!

A final note – when to call your doctor

After you get home you may feel a little nervous and worried about being on your own. Well, don’t sit and worry if you think something is not right about your health or healing. If you have any of the following signs of a or infection call your doctor, cardiologist or . Keep their numbers handy. If the signs tell you it’s an emergency and you are not able to reach your doctors, call 911 immediately.

Your stitches or staples will be removed within 10 to 14 days after surgery. You should check your incision every day. Call you doctor if you have signs of infection.

Warning signs of infection

  • red, hot and swollen incisions(s)
  • smelling discharge coming from an incision
  • a temperature over 100 degrees for a few days
  • chest congestion, coughing, and problems with breathing at rest

Warning signs of a heart attack

  • intense, steady pressure or burning pain in the center of your chest
  • pain that starts in the center of the chest and goes to a shoulder and arm (usually the left) or both shoulders and arms, back, neck and jaw
  • prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
  • nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating
  • shortness of breath, looking pale
  • dizziness, light-headedness or fainting
  • frequent angina attacks like you may have had before surgery
  • a sense of anxiety or doom

Warning signs of an emergency

  • your are bleeding a lot of bright red blood or you see blood clots
  • you have a sharp pain that does not go away with your pain medicine
  • your incision(s) opens
  • if you had leg surgery, your leg turns blue or you lose feeling in your leg
  • your fever goes up fast or is over 101 degrees
  • you have allergic reactions to medicines you are taking
Tags: surgeon, chest incision, rehabilitation counselor, Surgery, Cough CPR, heart attack, heart surgery

Why should you stop smoking?

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Almost forty million Americans have stopped smoking. Most succeed by going “cold turkey”. Others taper off by changing to low tar and nicotine brands, smoking each cigarette only halfway down or using nicotine replacement therapy. Research shows that it isn’t the method you use that determines your success; it is your determination to gain control over your own behavior that gives you the power to quit. Exercise, relaxation, and stress management often ease the way to new nonsmoking habits.

Within 24 hours of smoking cessation, your exercise tolerance will improve, as your body rids itself of carbon monoxide. A few days later you may notice an improved sense of taste and smell. Although you may cough more initially, (your body???s way of repairing itself), in a few weeks you will recover from your smoker’s cough. You won’t produce phlegm anymore unless you have a cold.

Smokers have a high risk of and death from bronchitis, emphysema, and . Your risk of having a heart attack decreases by one half in the first year of quitting and is normal within five years. Although some lung and blood vessel damage is not reversible, after 10 to 15 years, your risk of death from bronchitis, emphysema, and cancer is nearly the same as a person who never smoked.

Changing to snuff or chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking.

Your risk of mouth and throat cancer remains high with tobacco in any form. replacement therapy may help very heavy smokers who are addicted to nicotine. If you think this would be helpful to you, discuss it with your physician. You will need to acquire a prescription if you choose this approach in your efforts to stop smoking.

Stopping smoking early in pregnancy greatly reduces your risk of having a low birth weight baby. Children who grow up in non-smoking homes get only half as many colds as children of smokers. Your family will be safer from fires, since one quarter of home fires are attributed to smoking. Non-smokers have fewer car accidents. You may even qualify for lower car insurance rates.

You can minimize the withdrawal symptoms of irritability, headache, difficulty concentrating and constipation by increasing exercise and by drinking more juice and water during the first weeks after you stop smoking.

People usually try more than once before they kick the habit for good. Each day without smoking gives your body a chance to heal.

Tags: Smoking ban, heart attack, Habits, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, cancer, Tobacco

Cardiac Rehab: Your Next Step To Recovery

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation (rehab)?

Cardiac rehab helps heart patients get well sooner and get back to a full, active lifestyle.?? Rehab has two parts:

  1. Exercise training helps you safely, strengthen your muscles and get your energy back.
  2. Education helps you understand the health condition of your condition and teaches you ways to change unhealthy habits to new, healthier habits.

Who can Benefit from Cardiac Rehab?

Anyone who has or have had:

  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • a
  • heart surgery
  • heart angioplasty
  • a heart transplant

What are the Benefits of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can make a difference.?? It is a safe, smart way to help you:

  • Feel better faster
  • Get stronger
  • Decrease symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Cut down on stress
  • Lower your risks for future heart problems and related hospital admissions
  • Live longer

What are the Goals of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can help you reach many goals.?? Talk with your doctor or nurse and find out which of these goals are right for you:

  • Taking medicines, as needed
  • High blood pressure control
  • Weight management
  • Cholesterol control
  • Eating healthy
  • Diabetes control
  • Weight training
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Stress management

Who is on the Cardiac Rehab Team?

Your cardiac rehab team may be made up of many health care providers including:

  • Doctors (such as family doctor, heart doctor (cardiologist) and/or your surgeon)
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Exercise specialists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists or behavior therapists

How can the Cardiac Rehab Team Help?

Only you can change your health habits to those that are necessary for a healthier life.??But your cardiac rehab team can make these changes easier for you.?? They can help you:

  • Learn about your heart condition
  • Learn what you can do to help your heart
  • Know the right questions to ask
  • Know if you have any new problems
  • Build confidence in what you can do
  • Follow your treatment plan
  • Move safely through your exercise program

No matter how hard it seems, cardiac rehab will have benefits that last a lifetime. Many insurance companies pay for some or all of the cost of cardiac rehab.

Tags: heart attack, exercise, cardiac rehabilitation, attack, Live

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