How to Take Your Own Blood Pressure

Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, or are simply considered at a higher risk for high blood pressure due to smoking, alcohol use, stress levels, hereditary factors, or other reasons, your doctor may recommend that you monitor and take your own blood pressure at home. With an inexpensive blood pressure cuff available at most pharmacies or online, it’s easy to take your own blood pressure at home and monitor for spikes that might indicate heart disease. Timing You may experience spikes in your blood pressure due to stress, drinking caffeinated drinks, taking certain medications, cold temperatures, or smoking. Take those factors into consideration when deciding upon a time to take your blood pressure. Thirty minutes after your second cup of coffee, for example, you may get an elevated measurement. Choose a consistent time to check your blood pressure every day to get a good idea of whether it’s fluctuating. Your doctor may want you to take it more than one time per day to check for changes throughout the day. Prepare and Relax Prepare to take your blood pressure by finding a quiet space. You’ll need to be able to hear your heartbeat. Empty your bladder before you begin- a full bladder may affect your reading. Make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed. You’ll want to sit in a chair with your arm resting comfortably at heart level for five to ten minutes to allow your heart to settle into a steady rhythm that gives you an accurate reading. Find your Pulse Gently press your index and middle fingers to the inside...

Signs You Could Be Diabetic

Signs You Could Be Diabetic Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the US today. It can lead to heart disease, to chronic pain and numbness in the extremities, loss of eyesight and even amputation of toes and feet if not kept under careful control. Early symptoms are often overlooked. Being familiar with the signs may help you catch diabetes early and prevent long term cardiovascular damage. Type I Diabetes Type I diabetes usually comes on before the patient is an adult. In Type I diabetes, the patient’s pancreas simply stops producing insulin. It can be a result of heredity or of an infection or injury to the pancreas. Typically symptoms are far more severe and develop more quickly than in patients with Type II diabetes. Symptoms when diabetic may include rapid weight loss, lethargy, dehydration and a significant increase in urination. Type II Diabetes Type II diabetes is far more common than Type I in adults. It may be caused by heredity, by the strain excess weight puts on the body, or by poor eating habits. Type II diabetes symptoms may come on more slowly and be less noticeable at first than the symptoms of Type I. They may include: Frequent urination Chronic, insatiable hunger that returns even after eating Insatiable thirst Dry, itchy, flaky skin due to dehydration Blurring vision Sudden weight loss unrelated to diet or exercise Unexplained fatigue and lethargy Slow healing of cuts or bruises Gum disease Factors that Contribute to Diabetes Certain factors can influence your chances of becoming diabetic. While Type II diabetes is often connected with being overweight,...

5 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

You only get one heart. With that in mind, making your heart health a priority just makes good sense. Heart disease is a silent killer, often not showing serious symptoms unto substantial damage has been done to your heart. By engaging in some basic preventative measures, you can keep a healthy heart for a lifetime. Stop Smoking Everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past fifty or so years knows by now that smoking is bad for your health. Cancer comes to mind most frequently when people think about the dangers of smoking, but heart disease is also linked with smoking. If you’re already a smoker, talk to your doctor about cessation treatments. If you’re not, don’t start, and avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible. Get Plenty of Exercise Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day is one of the best gifts you can give your heart. If 30 minutes a day seems unattainable, start with shorter bursts. Even small steps can be beneficial. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and park further away from your destination. Consider getting a step-counting device to track your progress. Aim for raising your heart rate for at least 20 minutes at a time. Get Fit Excess weight is your heart’s worst enemy. Talk to your doctor about the best way to lose extra pounds and to reach your ideal weight or close to it. Diet and exercise are the best approach. Your Alpha Care doctor can help you develop a diet and fitness plan to achieve results. Eat Well For A Healthy Heart Diet and exercise go hand...

Signs You Need To Get Your Heart Checked

Heart disease is sometimes referred to as a “silent killer.” It earns this grim reputation because it’s easy to ignore the signs of a problem until there’s permanent damage, or worse. By understanding the signs of potential trouble, you can head off heart problems at the pass and potentially save your own life, or that of a loved one by getting your heart checked out. Your Overall Health If you are age 60 or older, are even slightly overweight, or are diabetic, regular heart checkups should be routine. Age, excess weight, and systemic malfunction can put serious strain on your heart. Regular checkups can help pinpoint any problems early, so your doctor can help you decide upon an appropriate course of treatment. Chest Pain If you’re experiencing chest pain, tightness, or pressure, or experience shortness of breath not associated with vigorous exercise, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your cardiologist to get your heart checked out. Tingling, pressure, nausea, cold sweats, and chest pain may be signs of a heart attack. If you experience those symptoms, don’t hesitate; call for medical help immediately. Pain Below the Chest While people commonly associate chest pain with the heart, the pain is not always located in the chest area. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or stomach pain may also point to a problem with the heart. If you experience what feels like indigestion or nausea, especially if you haven’t recently eaten anything spicy or rich, you may need to have your heart checked out. Fatigue Feeling tired all the time, run down, dragging, waking up feeling as if you haven’t had...

When Should You Get A Second Cardiologist Opinion? | Canton, OH

Being diagnosed with a heart condition can be a frightening experience. You rely upon your cardiologist’s expertise and experience to help you get and stay healthy. What if your doctor is recommending treatments you’re uncomfortable with, or tells you certain treatments are unadvisable because of your condition? It may be time to seek a second opinion. Your Cardiologist Told You Heart is Too Weak for Surgery- Get Second Opinion This is a common conundrum for heart patients. They need surgery- to insert a stent, remove a blockage, or repair other damage. Your cardiologist knows that the surgery is your best option for living a longer, healthier life, but says that your heart is too weak to withstand traditional heart surgery. At this point, you may feel trapped and unable to get the treatment you need. Don’t let this feeling get you down. Minimally invasive bloodless heart surgery may be a viable option. Since the procedures we use aren’t as traumatizing to the body as traditional surgery, patients are better able to tolerate the surgery. Medication Management If your cardiologist prescribes numerous medications and doesn’t take the time to carefully explain the treatment goals associated with each one, it may be time to invite an evaluation of your case by a second doctor. All doctors have extensive training. All doctors also have personal opinions about which treatments are best under specific conditions. While your doctor might be quite competent and knowledgeable, it never hurts to get a second opinion when it comes to your heart health. You Want a More Holistic Approach to Your Heart Health If medication management and medical...