'heart health' posts
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.
While there are key steps that we can all take to be healthier – don’t use tobacco, limit or abstain from alcohol, make exercise a part of our daily routine – I want to focus on a few simple ways to change the way we eat.
I think Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and other books on food, said it best: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
So how can you get started and make it permanent?
1. Eat real food
Foods that can sit on a shelf for years are usually loaded with salt, genetically modified ingredients, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives. This is not the food our body was meant to eat. Instead ....
It’s that season again! The time when Seattleites will shell out upwards of $30-40 per pound of the magnificent creature we know as the Copper River salmon. What’s so amazing about this humble little fish that keeps us coming back for more?
Omega-3 fatty acids, to be precise. Copper River salmon is prized for its high body fat content, which is used to fuel their 300 mile trek to their spawning destinations. Omega-3 fatty acids not only provide delicious, rich flavor but are also essential for human health. These include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found almost exclusively in fish. EPA and DHA are labeled “essential” as the human body cannot manufacture them itself therefore they must be derived from our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for vital functions of the human body to promote a longer and healthier life.
EPA fatty acids provide great heart health benefits:
- Stabilizes abnormal heart rhythms to regular rates
- Decreases ....
Carotid stenosis is a build of up plaque in the large arteries that supply the brain with blood. This buildup of plaque increases the risk of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke. Risk factors for carotid artery stenosis include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and tobacco use. Symptoms of carotid artery stenosis include facial droop, weakness or numbness on one side of the face and body, slurred speech, garbled speech, gait instability, dizziness, and visual disturbances including blurred vision, loss of vision and double vision.
Carotid artery stenosis can be diagnosed with several diagnostic studies including carotid ultrasound, MR angiography (MRA), CT angiography (CTA), and cerebral angiogram.
Treatment options for carotid artery stenosis vary depending upon the severity of stenosis, history of TIA or stroke, and...
“Did my stress cause this rash?!”
A patient recently asked this question half-jokingly, but as we talked further about his life circumstances, he came to the answer of his own question. Issues between him and a loved one came tumbling out, his persistent unhappiness with the present state of affairs made it clear that yes, very much so, his stress is playing a role in his rash.
How can this be possible? And if it is true, that our mental states can give rise to very straightforwardly visible physical maladies, how are we to respond?
The interplay of our minds and bodies runs deep. The more time I spend in the practice of medicine, the more amazed I am at the powerful effects that run back and forth between the two poles of our being, the physical and the mental aspects of our selves. Physical events, such as broken bones, strokes, and degenerative disease strike ...