Consult the Specialist for Your Heart Treatment

The heart has the function of circulating blood to different parts of the body. Without the heart, it is impossible to live. If the body will not receive blood, then there is no way it receives nutrition to do any physical work. The working of the heart is affected by many diseases. These diseases are either congenital or develop as we age. In both the cases, there is trouble in circulating the blood. This is the time when you need heart treatment.

There are different types of diseases which have the potential to hit our heart. Symptoms shown by each of them are as follows -

• Coronary artery disease

Chest pain, also known as angina is the most common symptom. There is discomfort, heaviness and painful feeling in the chest. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness, dizziness, and sweating.

• Heart attack

Heaviness and pain the chest particularly below the breastbone. There is discomfort which radiates to the back and jaw. Along with all of these, there is sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Initially, there is the only discomfort but it can elevate to excruciating pain.

• Arrhythmia

It is distinguished by an irregular heartbeat. Those heartbeats may be too fast or slow. The symptoms observed include fluttering of the heart, pounding in the chest, dizziness, fainting, fatigue etc.

• Heart valve disease

Difficulty in breathing which occurs mostly when you are doing daily physical activities is the main symptom. There is also a feeling of extra weight put in the chest along with weakness and dizziness.

• Heart failure

While coughing, there is white sputum coming out. There is a rapid gain in weight. Other symptoms include dizziness, weakness, swelling in ankles, legs, and abdomen.

Just like the symptoms, there are different causes of the diseases. Some of the causes are mentioned below -

• Coronary artery disease

This disease is caused in the body due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This plaque narrows the coronary arteries which lead to a lesser flow of blood. It happens due to different reasons such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.

• Heart attack

It occurs when the flow of blood is blocked. It happens due to the buildup of cholesterol. It is also known as atherosclerosis. One or the other plaques rupture and spill cholesterol or other substances into the bloodstream.

• Arrhythmia

These irregular heartbeats are caused due to a heart attack which is occurring right now. There may be a prior heart attack which has scarred the heart tissue. Other reasons may include drug stress and sleep apnea.

• Heart valve disease

There are two main causes of valve diseases. They are regurgitation and stenosis. In the former one, blood leaks backward as the valves don’t close properly. In the latter one, valves become narrow leading to reduced blood flow.

• Heart failure

It occurs due to the accumulation of other conditions that have already weakened the heart. Some of the conditions which lead to heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, faulty heart valves, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis etc.

Following are the tests which help in the accurate diagnosis of heart problem -

• Electrocardiogram – Also known as ECG, they record electrical signals which help in finding out the irregularities in the heart’s rhythm and structure.

• Holter monitoring – you need to wear this portable device to record a continuous ECG, usually for 24 to 72 hours. Heart irregularities which are not found in the tests are recorded in this test.

• Echocardiogram – It is a non-invasive test in which ultrasound of the chest is done to show the details of the heart’s structure and function.

Some of the common procedures to treat the heart of the irregularities are explained below -

1. Coronary Angioplasty

This procedure involves the insertion of a tiny balloon which widens the clogged artery. It is often combined with a stent to diminish the chances of narrowing the arteries again. Angioplasty is mainly done to treat atherosclerosis. It is the buildup of fatty plaques in the blood vessels. If lifestyle changes are not enough, then angioplasty will be suggested to you. It is recommended to you in case of a heart attack or chest pain or some other related symptoms.

2. Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)

CABG is a major surgery in which the flow of blood is redirected around a section of the blocked artery. The new pathway improves the blood flow. The healthy vessel can be taken either from your leg, arm or chest. This surgery is an option when there is a narrowing of several arteries. If angioplasty is not working, then this surgery is suggested. It is also used in emergency situations such as a heart attack. Lifestyle changes are a must after the surgery.

3. Heart transplant

A transplant is a surgical procedure which is done to replace a diseased and non-functioning heart with the help of a working one taken from a deceased donor. It is done to treat end-stage heart failure which is caused by coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, congenital heart defect, arrhythmia, amyloidosis etc. It is not a cure for heart disease but a life-saving treatment in itself.

BLK Hospital has the most experienced doctors who are known for giving the finest heart treatment in India. People from all over the world come here to undergo heart transplant.

Tomorrow I Am Going To Do Something About My Cholesterol

If you’ve said that you’re like many other Americans who share a concern about the risk of coronary heart disease. But if you’ve never quite gotten around to doing something about it, keep reading. You’ll find answer to some of the most common questions that people have about cholesterol, and what you can do to control it. Happily, you’ll find that taking control of cholesterol is a lot easier and better tasting than you thought!

Why is cholesterol suddenly such a big deal?

If you’ve noticed that cholesterol has received increased attention over the past few decades, you’re right. In 1985, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health launched the national Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). The program’s goal is the reduction of illness and death from coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing the number of Americans with high blood cholesterol. The impetus behind the NCEP was smoking-gun evidence that lowering high blood cholesterol reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. As a matter of fact, a one-percent decrease in cholesterol yields a two-percent decrease in the chance of a heart attack!

Surveys also indicated that neither physicians nor the general public were adequately informed about the relationship between cholesterol and CHD. This led to an aggressive strategy of public and professional education. So yes, you have been hearing more about cholesterol, because there’s a lot more to hear.

What is coronary heart disease?

Over time, cholesterol as well as other blood born substances deposits themselves on the interior walls of the coronary arteries. When this build-up restricts the flow of blood through the arteries, too little oxygen reaches the heart. At best, CHD victims suffer chest pain (angina); at worst, a deadly heart attack – the kind that accounts for 30 percent of nearly two million deaths in the United States each year.

While elevated levels of blood cholesterol seriously increase a person’s risk of CHD, tacking on smoking and high blood pressure, the other main risk factors, multiplies that risk.

How many Americans have high cholesterol?

The American Medical Association published these figures based on NCEP estimates: Thirty-six percent of Americans have cholesterol levels that are high enough to warrant being under the care of a physician. About 102 million Americans ages 20 years and older are candidates for medical advice and intervention for high levels of blood cholesterol.

On top of that, there are millions more who should take immediate steps to bring their blood cholesterol levels into the “desirable” range.

In other words, if your cholesterol level could stand some tinkering, you’ve got something in common with better than one-out-of-every-two Americans!

What role does age play?

If you are between the ages of 20 and 39, the likelihood is one-in-five that your cholesterol level is too high. That rate jumps to one-in-two between the ages of 40 and 59. Over the age of 60, there’s a 60-percent chance that you have a problem.

Should you be screened for high cholesterol?

If you’re over the age of 20 you should! The NCEP suggests that you have the test done at least once every five years.

Your initial evaluation will determine your total cholesterol level and assess risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure and your personal as well as family health history. Often, cholesterol screening is carried out during the course of a routine physical examination, but advances in finger-stick testing procedures (where the finger is pricked in order to draw a minute quantity of blood) make widespread initial screening in non-clinical settings a practical and convenient alternative. Borderline-high or high levels of blood cholesterol found using the finger-stick method should be confirmed by your family physician.

The important thing is that you know your cholesterol level. Blood cholesterol is measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl). Levels below 200 mg/dl are classified as “desirable blood cholesterol,” those between 200 and 239 mg/dl are “borderline-high blood cholesterol” and above 240 mg/dl are “high blood cholesterol.” At 200 and above, the risk of CHD steadily increases.

In general, the NCEP recommends that persons with blood cholesterol levels between 200 and 239 mg/dl adopt heart-healthy dietary habits and be retested annually. If additional risk factors are present, further testing will likely be required.

Persons with blood cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dl should have additional testing to determine a course of treatment in order to lower their blood cholesterol level.

Should children be screened?

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition believes that children with family histories of either early CHD or high cholesterol should be evaluated. “Early” means prior to the age of 50 in men and 60 in women.

For a variety of reasons, the Academy doesn’t believe in universal testing for children, but its view isn’t shared by all. Cory Servaas, MD, Director of the Children’s Better Health Institute, says that between 20 and 30 percent of the children under the age of 12 that her organization tests “have cholesterol levels higher than we think they should be… 180 mg/dl.” And she adds: “Since the screen test is inexpensive and easy to do, why not do it? Often we don’t know what the family history is in order to know whether a child should be tested.”

Is there really ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol?

Absolutely! But first, it’s important to understand that everyone, regardless of age, needs cholesterol. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes and for the manufacture of bile acids. It’s also the chemical precursor of hormones such as progesterone, testosterone and estrogen. All cells in the body can manufacture cholesterol – 80 percent is produced by the liver – and there is no known physiological reason to supplement the body’s own cholesterol with dietary cholesterol.

In order for cholesterol to get from where it is manufactured – in the liver, for example – to where it is needed to support metabolism, it is transported as a lipoprotein. (Lipoprotein are substances that allow insoluble fats like cholesterol to travel around in water-based blood.) Low density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry cholesterol outbound from where it is manufactured, while high density lipoproteins (HDLs) transport it to the liver. At this point, the cholesterol can either be metabolized further, or passed into the intestine for elimination. Because HDLs limit the amount of cholesterol in the blood, they provide protection against dangerously high cholesterol levels. High levels of HDLs have been associated with a lower incidence of CHD.

If your cholesterol tests in the “high” range, or if you are “borderline-high” with additional CHD risk factors, your physician will do additional tests to establish the relationship of LDLs to HDLs.

What can you do to maintain a heart-healthy diet?

You don’t have to be a professional dietitian, or eat a boring diet in order to reduce or maintain a desirable cholesterol level. You also don’t have to carry a calculator around in order to add up milligrams of this or that. What you do need to know are some basic principles.

Eat less fat! There are three types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. A heart-healthy diet requires that you reduce your consumption of saturated fats.
They’re found in meat and dairy products, as well as in commercially prepared baked goods made with coconut oil, and cocoa fat. Read the labels!
Instead of eating foods high in saturated fats, shift your emphasis toward complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables), seafood and poultry sans skin. If you do eat meats select lean cuts and remove as much of the fat as possible before cooking. By cutting back on fat, you’ll also dramatically reduce calories, since fat contains twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates.

Substitute polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats for those that are saturated. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can actually help you to reduce your cholesterol. And recent studies conducted at the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, indicate that monounsaturated fats lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while leaving HDL (good cholesterol) levels intact. Canola oil is a wonderful source of monounsaturated fat. It’s one of the principal cooking oils in Japan, a country widely regarded for its low rate of heart disease.
Reduce dietary cholesterol. Avoid organ meats altogether and eat fewer egg yolks.
Increase dietary fibre. Never before has fibre been easier to introduce into your diet. Lately we’ve been hearing a great deal about oat bran as a source of fibre, and for good reason. Studies indicate that oat bran, when eaten regularly, can reduce cholesterol by up to 19%.
Exercise! Exercise has shown to reduce the risk of CHD by increasing level of good cholesterol HDLs in the blood.
Stop Smoking! Exercise raises HDL levels, but smoking reduces them. Smokers run an added risk of CHD.
Do school lunch programs support heart-healthy dietary standards?
Jayne Newmark, national spokesperson for the American Dietary Association, cautions that school lunch programs are self-supporting, and therefore, sell foods that kids are most apt to buy. “Our job is to get kids to like foods that are heart-healthy. Today, you see a lot of hamburgers and French fries because that’s what kids like. We have a selling job to do. That’s why we’re trying to get nutrition into the curriculum. But education really starts at home and it can’t begin too soon,” says Newmark.

What are the additional benefits of a heart-healthy diet?

A high-fat and low-fibre diet has been linked to cancers of the colon and breast, as well as to diverticular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and even osteoporosis. And if that isn’t enough, there’s always obesity to appeal to the vanity in us all.

There are millions hits on the internet search drive for Wellness – from mental to physical health, cardiac fitness, cancer, yoga, how to overcome certain ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stoke, and tips on weight loss and how to grow taller, with many other ideas getting honorable mention. It takes quite a bit of research to find any one site that has so much to offer on all these fronts, let alone one that can combine all the needs for your innermost wellness – joy, bliss and beyond. For wellness’ sake you can stop looking out there, and take some time for yourself, a sort of one-stop-shop: BalancedLifestyleWikipedia.

Study Links Drug Use to High Rates of Syphilis

A connection between drug use and high syphilis rates in the United States was established by a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sarah Kidd, lead author of the report, pointed out that two major health issues, namely addiction and syphilis, seemed to be colliding with each other.

The report displayed a connection between drug use and instances of syphilis in heterosexual men and women. As per the report, the usage of heroin, methamphetamine, and other injection drugs by the aforementioned group almost doubled from 2013 to 2017.

The report however, did not display a similar increase in drug abuse in gay men suffering from syphilis. According to the researchers, the results of the study indicated that risky sexual behaviors associated with drug abuse may be one of the key driving factors for this increase in syphilis among the heterosexual population.

People using drugs more likely to engage in unsafe sexual activities

According to experts, people abusing drugs are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual activities, thereby making them more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Syphilis significantly increased among heterosexuals especially during the ‘crack cocaine epidemic’ prevalent during the 1980s and 1990s. It was observed that during this particular time period, the usage of drugs was connected with the higher transmission rates of syphilis.

According to Patricia Kissinger, professor epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, it is common tendency among people abusing drugs to indulge in unprotected sex, exchange sex in lieu of money or drugs, and have multiple sex partners. All these are considered as significant risk factors contributing to the spread of the disease.

Syphilis rates are setting new records

At the national level, the occurrences of syphilis jumped by around 73 percent at an overall level and 156 percent in case of women patients between 2013 and 2017. While syphilis had been almost eradicated, of late, the highest resurgence of the disease was reported in California, Louisiana, and Nevada. Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can cause organ damage and even death in some cases. In women, congenital syphilis typically occurs when a mother transmits the disease to her unborn baby, leading to cases of premature birth and newborn fatalities.

Analyzing the syphilis cases that occurred between 2013 and 2017, the researchers discovered that methamphetamine abuse was the biggest contributor. The report revealed that more than one-third of women and a quarter of heterosexual men suffering from syphilis were reported to be abusing methamphetamine within the last year. The California Department of Public Health reported that methamphetamine use by people suffering from syphilis, doubled in case of heterosexual men and women between 2013 and 2017.

Why is it difficult to treat sexually transmitted infections?

Owing to the overlapping instances of substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it becomes challenging to identify and treat people suffering from syphilis. That is because, typically, people using drugs are less likely to visit a doctor or report their sexual activities or partners.

Likewise, pregnant women may refrain from seeking prenatal care and get themselves tested for syphilis owing to concerns such as their gynecologists reporting their drug abuse. To combat this issue, the CDC urges to bring about more collaboration between programs treating substance abuse and programs addressing STIs.

Fresno County reported highest rate of congenital syphilis

According to the report, the highest rate of congenital syphilis was reported in Fresno County in California. The county’s community health division manager, Joe Prado, said that the California Health Department analyzed around 25 congenital syphilis cases in 2017 and more than two-thirds of these women were abusing drugs.

To address this issue, the country took proactive measures such as offering STD testing for patients getting admitted into inpatient drug treatment centers. Patients coming back for reports were provided incentives including gift cards. Apart from this, for patients undergoing drug treatment, the county offered a care package comprising of contraceptives and education materials about STIs.

Challenges faced

While it is significant to have an increased collaboration between STD clinics and drug treatment providers, it is not always that simple, since these two entities have not worked together previously. Usually both these units tend to focus only on their relevant specialties and often fail to screen people for associated ailments like syphilis or other forms of STIs or for drug abuse.

According to Jeffrey Kalusner, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in order to fight the rising rates of syphilis more resources are needed. He added that though policies can be implemented towards syphilis testing, these policies need to be accompanied with appropriate resources.

Seeking treatment for drug abuse

Drug abuse is often associated with the development of physical ailments like hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), syphilis and other STDs. These infections can be severe and result in rapid deterioration of overall health. The best way to avoid the contraction of these diseases is to avoid taking drugs or if addicted, to seek addiction treatment help at the earliest.

The drug rehab centers of Hillside Mission offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for substance abuse. Whether selecting an inpatient, outpatient, or a residential plan, the detox process at Hillside Mission is designed to minimize the patient’s discomfort and result in a shorter treatment cycle.

9 Strategies for Saving Money on Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs sometimes cost a fortune. Most hospitals and doctors prefer prescribing branded drugs, which for many patients becomes a difficult to cope with situation. However, there are ways you can save money on prescription drugs such as:

#1. Find an Online Pharmacy

Using such an online portal, which is usually run by a licensed pharmacy, you can get your requirements at marginally attractive rates. You also have options to buy from a mobile app. When you install and sign up on an app, they might offer you discounts or credits, which you can use for your purchase.

#2. Go for Deals

There are many online places where you can find attractive deals to lower the cost of your purchase. Some deal portals give you gift coupons that can be used for shopping, dining or entertainment.

#3. Buy in Bulk

Some medical conditions require long-term medication. If you have to buy prescription drugs for a month or longer, you should buy them in bulk. This way, the retailer can offer you discount on your prescription medicine.

#4. Find and Buy from a Distributor:

Distributors source their supply directly from the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Therefore, they may have attractive low price offers for you. You can locate a nearby distributor on brand website.

#5. Buy from the Brand Store:

Finding a distributor could be a confusing task. However, locating a brand store is certainly not. You can get massive discount on prescription drug from a brand store.

#6. Look for a Government-Owned or -Aided Pharmacy:

The government makes many efforts in the interest of its citizens. They have opened drugs stores across the country to sell prescription drugs at affordable rates. You can purchase your prescription medicines from one such store.

#7. Generic Drugs:

Generic drugs are copies of branded drugs and are allowed for sales in the country. They cost lower than the branded formula. When visiting a pharmacy, ask for generic drugs to save money. There are less chances that you will find these drugs at a brand store.

#8. Ask the Doctor for Options:

Doing so will help you compare the prices of prescription medicines of different brands and make a smart buying decision. You will also learn which brands or medicines work best for you.

#9. Don’t Fall Ill:

This is the best way to save money on your annual prescription drug expenditure. Lead a healthy, mindful and disciplined lifestyle that blocks the chances of diseases and disarrays. And then, you will not have to spend a single penny on any kind of medicines.:)