Category: Heart Health

Heart Attack, Makes a Comeback

Pictured above is an open heart surgical procedure, I hope none of you ever need to go through with this. It is a very expensive life saving operation that is a bitch to recover from, and in many cases could have been avoided simply by life style modifications.

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal this morning.

Heart Attack at 49—America’s Biggest Killer Makes a Deadly Comeback

Younger people, women and nonsmokers are more likely to be victims of the crisis in cardiovascular health, driven by skyrocketing obesity and diabetes

Driven by skyrocketing obesity and diabetes. Let that sink in for a moment. Both conditions are entirely preventable and under your control.

One of America’s greatest achievements over much of the past century has been a huge decline in death rates from heart disease and strokes. Anti-smoking campaigns, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol, and surgical advances have extended millions of lives, fundamentally reshaping the U.S. population.

Now, progress has stalled. That’s helping drive down life expectancy in the U.S. after decades in which each generation of Americans could expect to live longer than the one that came before.

The death rate for cardiovascular disease—which includes heart disease and strokes—has fallen just 4% since 2011 after dropping more than 70% over six decades, according to mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Particularly alarming is that the death rate is actually rising for middle-aged Americans.

Look around you, everywhere you go, and note the high rate of obesity in our society. Everywhere you turn, there is someone shoving sugar laden junk food down their piehole like there is no tomorrow, and bitching about the rising cost of health care as if they have no shared responsibility in skyrocketing costs. News flash, as citizens, we all have a part of the shared responsibities of this cost. While government, Big Pharma and Big Medicine play a huge role, you had better take a look in your mirror and see who else is causing this enormous economic problem across the country.
The overall cardiovascular-disease death rate is an under-recognized contributor to the recent decline in U.S. life expectancy. While that has been driven mostly by deaths from drug overdoses and suicides, improvements in cardiovascular health are no longer providing a counterbalance.

How many people do you, or have you known, who go in for heart treatments or procedures who continue to not take personal responsibility for their own health? Odds are, you know someone like this or might even be this type yourself. They want the doctor to siply give them a medicine to make their ailments go away, and then contiinue on with their unhealthy habts that got them down in the first place. As a society in whole, maybe we deserve to not be able to afford medical treatments. What will it take for people to change their ways? What will it take for us to take our health matters into our own hands instead of relying on doctors to fix us?

Heart disease was once on course to fall below cancer as the nation’s leading cause of death, a change public-health statisticians most recently predicted would occur by 2020. No longer, said Robert Anderson, chief of the CDC’s mortality statistics branch. “It’s highly unlikely given the current trend that there will be a crossover anytime soon,” he said.

The obesity epidemic and related rise in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes are key culprits in the new wave of cardiovascular disease mortality, researchers and cardiologists say. Studies have linked obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure and other conditions that increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.

Why, in this day of advanced knowledge over years gone by do we have a damn problem with obesity? When I was a child, it was not the norm for children to be fat and riddled with adult issues such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. In today’s society, this is not uncommon to find anywhere in the country.

Nearly 40% of U.S. adults age 20 and over are obese, another 32% are overweight, and 9.4% of U.S. adults 18 and over have diabetes, according to the CDC.

The consequences of obesity are eroding the enormous gains brought about by public-health campaigns against smoking, along with medical innovations such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Statins, which were introduced starting in the late 1980s, have prevented millions of Americans from developing life-threatening blockages in their blood vessels that can cause heart attacks.

As a society, we are eroding the gains brought about by public health campaigns. Yet we want the health care industry to keep up with us moving the damn goal posts on them. If right now as you read this you are munching down on a doughnut or other sweet treat and washing it down with a soda pop or sugar ladened cup of coffee, think of the difficult circumstances you are creating for these researchers who work to find ways to repair your bad health even though you might never consider taking your own responsibility.

Today’s heart-disease victim is vastly different from the classic patient doctors and the public were trained to recognize a half-century ago: a smoker, usually male, whose LDL, or “bad” cholesterol numbers were “sky high,” said Dr. Nissen. Now, the patients are younger, more obese, much less likely to be smokers and include more women, he said. Many are unaware that they are at risk.

Unaware they are at risk?

Are you kidding me?

Let me be blunt, if you are obese or overweight and unaware that you are at risk of heart disease or heart attack, you are either willfully blind, a special kind of stupid, or both. Does that statement piss you off? Tough shit, suck it up buttercup. If you are fat and out of shape, your ability to perform any kind of physically demanding work is either greatly reduced or non-existent and you damn well know it. If a little exertion has your heart rate going up and causes you to be out of breath, you had better know that your cardiovascular health is poor. If the numbers on your scale skyrocket higher and higher on a consistent basis, and you have high blood pressure and do not understand why, there is a serious disconnect from reality on your part.

“I’ve been working in a coronary-care unit for 40 years, and the patient that comes in now looks completely different from the patient when I was starting out,” he said. “It is an absolutely striking difference.”

He calculated the median BMI of patients in the unit one day recently. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or above. The unit’s median was 34, he said. Several patients had BMIs over 40.

Signs of Cardiac Arrest

Neither myself or my co-author Brenda Sue are physicians, therefore we cannot in any way shape or form make any type of medical diagnosis, nor can we prescribe any treatments or therapies for what ails you. We are however, American Fitness Professionals and Associates certified Nutrition and Wellness consultants. Our professional mission as such is to provide you, the reader, with comprehensive healthy nutrition practices, along with strategies to improve your nutrition for healthy weight loss and improvement of your health and well being. We are here to give you the essential tools that are necessary in order to hopefully avoid many of today’s nutrition related ailments that so many suffer such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, heart disease, cancer and more. Once you are down with any of these ailments, you need to always consult with your physician for your individual best course of treatment. We can answer your nutritional questions, however, for us to best serve you, you cannot omit important information such as sickness, medications, surgeries and other medical procedures you may have recently received.

We feel it is not only important for you to understand good nutrition and fitness practices, but also that you know and understand risk factors of many nutrition related ailments. Poor dietary habits lead obviously to obesity, but they also lead to an elevated risk of heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest.

Sadly, too many people not only do not know the warning signs of heart attack and cardiac arrest, they also do not know there is a difference. Spotting the signs early is imperative to saving your life. And with so many of our readers being new to healthy dietary habits and physical fitness, I want to take the time to inform you. You never know when heart attack or cardiac arrest will strike, and your odds of suffering either are much higher when you are obese.

  • Heart attack happens when a problem occurs with our circulation. It happens when blood flow is stopped by a blocked artery.
  • Cardiac arrest is essentially an electrical problem that occurs when our heartbeats are thrown off and our hearts are failing to pump efficiently. This can lead to immediate death if not treated.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) when a person is in cardiac arrest, they will be either gasping for air or they will have stopped breathing. If you have never seen this, I assure you it is not pretty. I strongly encourage folks to get trained in CPR as there may be little time to spare for your loved one who is laying there on the floor quite possibly near death’s door.

If you are paying attention to your health and well being, there are often symptoms of cardiac arrest you might notice up to a few months before it happens to you. By having a little knowledge of these symptoms you could easily save your own life or that of a loved one.

  1. Chest pain. Chest pain, tightness or discomfort are the most common warning signs of cardiac arrest. You might feel as if you have an elephant standing on your chest. This pain is a result of not having sufficient oxygen circulating in your blood and not reaching your heart. This pain is likely to begin in your left arm and last anywhere from a few moments, hours or even days.
  2. Radiating pain. You may also suffer pain in other areas of your body that you may not associate with being a heart issue. These would include your back, shoulders, neck, throat, stomach, even your teeth and jaw. These symptoms are usually suffered by women more so than men.
  3. Shortness of breath. If you are normally able to easily climb stairs, jog or run, perform highly physical activities and then find yourself unable to catch your breath, this is not a good indication in any way, shape or form. Research has shown that people who experience this symptom have a higher risk of dying from heart disease than people who do not experience any of these symptoms, especially those who suffer chest pain.
  4. Excessive sweating. If you do not normally sweat very much and then find yourself drenched in it, you could very well have a heart issue. When your heart cannot pump blood through clogged arteries, your body responds by sweating. Women, if you are going through menopause and are experiencing excessive sweating, get checked out by your doctor if you have not already done so. This could be a heart issue instead of hot flashes.
  5. Flu like symptoms. Nausea, fatigue, weakness, vomiting, lightheadedness, stomach pain and dizziness are all signs of heart issues, especially in women. Harvard Health studied 500 women with a history of heart issues, and found that 71% experienced extreme tiredness the month before their heart attack. Heart diseases are the main cause of death for women yet many still view it as more of a mans issue and ignore the warning signs and symptoms.
  6. Sense of impending doom. A lot of the time when people begin suffering the symptoms of cardiac arrest, they will go into denial. Hell, who has time to go to the doctor for a nagging pain, right? A lot will even ignore their chest pain too. They might assume their discomfort is only from a bad case of gas. Yet, despite their open denial, your loved one could actually be terrified of what is happening in their body.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, get yourself into your doctor’s office right away. Think of this, if you are terrified of what could happen, you had damn well be terrified of what will happen if you do not get yourself checked out. If you avoid going to your doctor because of the cost, think how much it will cost if you suffer cadiac arrest and survive, This will be quite possibly much more expensive than preventative measures. If expense is an issue to you, then think what your funeral is going to cost your family along with any possible emergency hospital care you incurred when doctors were attempting to save your life.