Unlike cavemen, barbarians and knights, we don’t face extreme danger very often. Unfortunately, every-day stress also triggers your alarm system.
Work. Commute. Kids. Relatives. Friends. Death of a loved one. Money. Everything in life can cause stress.
Stress takes a toll on your body — including your heart. Because stress can linger, your body continues to produce extra adrenalin and cortisol.
When your body’s alarm system doesn’t turn off, you may eat more, exercise less, lose sleep, argue more, forget things, get depressed, or smoke or drink more than usual. These things put an added burden on your heart and increase your risk of heart disease. Recent studies have shown that laughter and positive thinking promote heart health, while anger and job stress can increase the risk of heart attacks.
Here are some tips to protect your heart from stress:
About half of all Americans have at least one of the three main risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Other risk factors include diabetes, overweight/obesity, poor diet, inactivity, alcohol use and family history.
More people die from heart disease than any other medical condition. Controlling these risk factors is the most effective method of prevention.
What is your risk for heart disease? Find out by taking a free online Heart Risk Test.
If you need care, we have a team of cardiologists who can evaluate your risk, show you how to reduce that risk, and help you take the first steps to a healthy future.
Five tips for finding a cardiologist:
Convenience. Care close to home or work makes life easier. Swedish has more than 35 cardiologists in 20 locations throughout the Greater Puget Sound area.
Credentials. Cardiologists at Swedish are board certified by their national professional organizations.
Quality. The American College of Cardiology has recognized Swedish cardiologists for being leaders in safe, high-quality care that reduces the risk of death among heart patients. Find out more about our quality outcomes.
September is also National Cholesterol Awareness month!
Do you know your numbers? It is important to know your cholesterol levels as they influence your risk of stroke. Talk to your provider today to find out where you stand!
Do you have trouble remembering “good” cholesterol versus “bad” cholesterol? An easy way to keep them straight is to think HDL = happy (“good” cholesterol) and LDL = lousy (“bad” cholesterol). Check out the American Heart Association’s Meet the Fats for memorable information about cholesterol.
How does cholesterol affect stroke risk? Build-up of cholesterol plaque within your arteries increases your risk of stroke by blocking normal blood flow. This reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area.
How can you improve your cholesterol numbers?
This post is reposted with permission from Spike O’Neill – see his original post here.
Some of you may have heard of my recent health scare. For those of you who heard and sent along your well wishes, I thank you. For anyone who hasn't, please allow me to share a scary story of ignorance and arrogance that almost cost me big time.
About a month ago, I was carrying my 8 year old daughter on my shoulders. We were leaving a family outing and she was griping about being tired. I didn't have to carry her very far, but when I put her down I noticed a weird ache in my jaw and in both arms, as well as a dull thick ache and a kind of puffiness in my hands. It went away pretty quickly and I blew it off as a pinched nerve or something. But when I felt the same thing a week later after lifting a few boxes in my garage I was a bit more concerned.
I tried again to dismiss the incident, but I have to give it up for my family, who INSISTED that I go see my family doctor just to be sure. I saw my Doc, who had just given me a complete physical a couple months ago, He checked me over, gave me an EKG and suggested a stress test just to be sure. I figured what the hell? Better to be safe than sorry right?
I had no idea how good that advice really was.
I took my stress test 4 days later at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill facility. A stress test is just you on a treadmill, wired to a bunch of stuff that measures heart function, pulse and blood pressure. Well, the normal EKG they gave me before the test started went completely sideways a few minutes later when they fired up the speed and incline of the treadmill. That's when they brought in Dr. Peter Demopulos, cardiologist.
Dr. Demopulos said that...
SEATTLE, March 30, 2012 - Seattle NBC affiliate KING Television (Channel 5) aired a story during their 5 p.m. PT newscast tonight about a relatively new, FDA-approved medical device called LifeVest ®. The wearable defibrillator is a treatment option for sudden cardiac arrest that offers patients advanced protection and monitoring as well as improved quality of life.
LifeVest is the first wearable defibrillator. Unlike an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), the LifeVest is worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. This device continuously monitors the patient's heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, and thus allows a conscious patient to delay the treatment shock. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a Blue™ gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.