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 heart attack 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 , 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: Cardiology, Cardiovascular diseases, Aging-associated diseases, high blood pressure, chest pain

Guidelines for Managing Heart Failure

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Guidelines for Managing Heart Failure

If you have just been diagnosed with , this information is for you. It will give you an idea of what you can to and what to expect while you are waiting to see a specialist. There are links to pages that will help you keep records so you can talk with your doctor.

Having heart failure isn’t always easy. But people can still live a full and happy life. Learning how to manage and control heart failure is very important in living a normal life. It is common to have lots of concerns about what you should do to manage heart failure. At the minimum, you should continue follow ups with your regular doctor, see a heart failure specialist and a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist), diet plays a very important part in controlling heart failure. If possible, attend a class at your local hospital or medical center about living with heart failure.

Steps for Managing Heart Failure

  • See your regular doctor on an ongoing basis and talk to your doctor about your treatment plan.
  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctors
  • See a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist) for help with meal planning,  weight loss or weight control
  • Take your medications exactly like the directions say.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Keep a written record of your weight.
  • Cut down your sodium (salt) intake in foods that you eat and medicines that you take.
  • Stay active. Make sure to balance rest with activity.
  • Ask your hospital if they offer a class for people with heart failure.
  • Get a flu shot every fall.
  • Get a pneumonia shot. Most people only need one.
  • If you smoke, STOP! Need help to quit?
  • Check your blood pressure every day and keep a record or your readings. Monitoring your blood pressure can help you keep it under control and prevent problems.
  • Sometimes people with a chronic health conditions become depressed. Finding out if you have depression and then treating it as important as treating other health conditions. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be depressed. Your doctor can ask you some questions to find out if you are having problems with depression.

General Guidelines for Cutting Down On Salt (Sodium)

  1. Avoid or greatly reduce the use of table salt.
  2. Avoid cured, salted, canned, or smoked meats.
  3. Avoid prepackaged dinners – diet or regular
  4. Avoid instant and prepared foods – potatoes, cereals, etc.
  5. Avoid high sodium condiments and sauces (check the ingredients and Nutrition Facts Labels for sodium).
  6. Avoid Snack foods with salted toppings.
  7. Use sparingly: Regular canned vegetables, processed cheese/cheese spreads, & regular peanut butter.
  8. Avoid high sodium, non-prescription medications like Baking soda, Bromoseltzer, Alka Seltzer, Fleets enema, Instant Metamucil Mix.

Beverages and Condiments – Avoid these foods:

  • A-1 sauce
  • V- 8 Juice, unless no salt
  • Celery, Garlic or Onion Salt
  • Sports drinks
  • Mustard
  • Catsup/Ketchup/Chili Sauce
  • Horseradish, prepared
  • Worchestershire Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pickles/Pickle Relish
  • Olives
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Tomato Juice, unless no Salt
  • Barbecue Sauce

Gravies and Sauces – Avoid these foods:

  • Bouillon/Broth
  • Gravies, commercial
  • Meat Sock Sauces
  • Soups, canned and dehydrated
  • Meat Extracts
  • Soups, homemade, except low salt
  • Meat Tenderizers

Meats and Fats – Avoid these foods:

  • Bacon
  • Frankfurters, Hot Dogs – any type
  • Salt Pork/Fat Back
  • Kosher Meat
  • Streak O’lean
  • Luncheon Meats- like bologna, etc.
  • Sausage
  • Salted or Smoked Meats
  • Ham, cured or smoked
  • Canadian bacon
  • Fish, salted or dried, such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, cod, canned tuna, and salmon unless rinsed.

Snack Foods - Avoid these foods:

  • Breads, rolls and crackers with salted toppings
  • Caviar
  • Potato Chips, regular
  • Chitterlings
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut Butter type crackers
  • Nuts, salted
  • Saltines/Butter type crackers
  • Pork Rinds
  • Salted Popcorn

Read labels carefully. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, limit your salt (sodium) intake to 2,000 mg per day.

Manage Your Congestive Heart Failure with This Diary

Heart Failure & Pain Medication

Tags: Organ failure, Aging-associated diseases, Cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, Dietitian

Exercise Tips for People with Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Unless your is severe, your doctor will probably have you do some or physical activity.  This may sound odd if you have heard you should rest often and not get tired.

The type of exercise you will do will keep your body strong, but not overwork your heart.  Before you start any type of exercise, be sure your doctor says it is OK.

Your doctor may have you in a cardiac rehab program.  This program can teach you how to exercise.  You will learn how to go through the exercises safely and gain confidence in how much you can do.

If your heart failure is stable and your doctor gives you an exercise program, then some moderate exercises can be very helpful.  Some moderate exercises are:

  • Brisk walking
  • Riding a stationary bicycle
  • Swimming

Tips for Moderate Exercise

  • The best time to exercise is about 1 hour after eating or taking your medicines.
  • Stretch before you start and cool down after you exercise.
  • Stay away from hard exercises like running and lifting weights above 20 pounds.
  • Don’t exercise when it’s too hot or cold.  It’s best to exercise when the temperature is between 40º and 80º F and the humidity is low.
  • Start slowly and work up gradually.
  • Set goals you can reach without over working your heart.

If you have any chest pain, chest discomfort, shortness of breath that is not normal for you, dizziness or nausea, stop the exercise or physical activity.  Call your doctor if the symptoms don’t get better when you stop or you are worried about your well being.

Also, keep a record how tired you feel each day.  If you are too tired to get out of bed that day, or the day after you exercise, you need to cut down on how much exercise you are doing.

Tags: exercise, Dyspnea, heart disease, exercise program, heart failure

Tips for Controlling Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

  • Make a schedule exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Then take your medicine according to the schedule and then write it down each time you take your medicine. The schedule should include the name of the medicine, how much you should take (dose) and when you should take it. Take this record with you each time you see your doctor.
  • Don’t take any medicine, including over-the-counter medicine, unless your doctor tells you to or says it is ok.  Even over the-counter medicine can cause problems with your heart medicine.
  • What you eat and drink is very important for managing .  Your doctor may ask you to:
  • Eat less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day
  • Limit alcohol to 1-2 servings per week (1 serving = 1½ oz of 80 proof liquor or 5 oz of wine or 12 oz of beer)
  • Limit caffeinated beverage to one per day
  • Limit fluids to 8 cups per day (64 oz)
  • Avoid intense exercise.  Don’t do too much at one time. Rest or stop if you have symptoms.
  • Avoid lifting anything over 20 pounds.
  • Avoid very hot and very cold temperatures, like working out side in the hot sun or being out in the cold too long.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Weigh yourself everyday at the same time and wearing the same clothing.  If you gain 3-4 pounds in 1-2 days call your doctor.  This usually means your body is holding fluid and can cause your heart to work harder.
Tags: over-the-counter medicine, control heart failure, heart failure, cups, wine

Guidelines for Managing Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

If you have just been diagnosed with , this information is for you. It will give you an idea of what you can to and what to expect while you are waiting to see a specialist. There are links to pages that will help you keep records so you can talk with your doctor.

Having heart failure isn’t always easy. But people can still live a full and happy life. Learning how to manage and control heart failure is very important in living a normal life. It is common to have lots of concerns about what you should do to manage heart failure. At the minimum, you should continue follow ups with your regular doctor, see a heart failure specialist and a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist), diet plays a very important part in controlling heart failure. If possible, attend a class at your local hospital or medical center about living with heart failure.

Steps for Managing Heart Failure

  • See your regular doctor on an ongoing basis and talk to your doctor about your treatment plan.
  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctors
  • See a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist) for help with meal planning,  weight loss or weight control
  • Take your medications exactly like the directions say.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Keep a written record of your weight.
  • Cut down your sodium (salt) intake in foods that you eat and medicines that you take.
  • Stay active. Make sure to balance rest with activity.
  • Ask your hospital if they offer a class for people with heart failure.
  • Get a flu shot every fall.
  • Get a pneumonia shot. Most people only need one.
  • If you smoke, STOP! Need help to quit?
  • Check your blood pressure every day and keep a record or your readings. Monitoring your blood pressure can help you keep it under control and prevent problems.
  • Sometimes people with a chronic health conditions become depressed. Finding out if you have depression and then treating it as important as treating other health conditions. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be depressed. Your doctor can ask you some questions to find out if you are having problems with depression.

General Guidelines for Cutting Down On Salt (Sodium)

  1. Avoid or greatly reduce the use of table salt.
  2. Avoid cured, salted, canned, or smoked meats.
  3. Avoid prepackaged dinners – diet or regular
  4. Avoid instant and prepared foods – potatoes, cereals, etc.
  5. Avoid high sodium condiments and sauces (check the ingredients and Nutrition Facts Labels for sodium).
  6. Avoid Snack foods with salted toppings.
  7. Use sparingly: Regular canned vegetables, processed cheese/cheese spreads, & regular peanut butter.
  8. Avoid high sodium, non-prescription medications like Baking soda, Bromoseltzer, Alka Seltzer, Fleets enema, Instant Metamucil Mix.

Beverages and Condiments – Avoid these foods:

  • A-1 sauce
  • V- 8 Juice, unless no salt
  • Celery, Garlic or Onion Salt
  • Sports drinks
  • Mustard
  • Catsup/Ketchup/Chili Sauce
  • Horseradish, prepared
  • Worchestershire Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Pickles/Pickle Relish
  • Olives
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Tomato Juice, unless no Salt
  • Barbecue Sauce

Gravies and Sauces – Avoid these foods:

  • Bouillon/Broth
  • Gravies, commercial
  • Meat Sock Sauces
  • Soups, canned and dehydrated
  • Meat Extracts
  • Soups, homemade, except low salt
  • Meat Tenderizers

Meats and Fats – Avoid these foods:

  • Bacon
  • Frankfurters, Hot Dogs – any type
  • Salt Pork/Fat Back
  • Kosher Meat
  • Streak O’lean
  • Luncheon Meats- like bologna, etc.
  • Sausage
  • Salted or Smoked Meats
  • Ham, cured or smoked
  • Canadian bacon
  • Fish, salted or dried, such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, cod, canned tuna, and salmon unless rinsed.

Snack Foods - Avoid these foods:

  • Breads, rolls and crackers with salted toppings
  • Caviar
  • Potato Chips, regular
  • Chitterlings
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut Butter type crackers
  • Nuts, salted
  • Saltines/Butter type crackers
  • Pork Rinds
  • Salted Popcorn

Read labels carefully. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, limit your salt (sodium) intake to 2,000 mg per day.

Manage Your Congestive Heart Failure with This Diary

Heart Failure & Pain Medication

Tags: allergic reactions, Salt Barbecue Sauce, heart disease, heart failure, Tomato Juice

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