Improving Your Heart Health in 2019

Improving your heart health in 2019 means seeking healthy habits for your heart, and taking steps to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Dr. Cuiffo is here to help you start 2019 out right. When you come in for your check-up, Dr. Ciuffo will assist you in discovering the healthy habits that will improve your heart health in 2019. Healthy Habits for your Heart Healthy habits for your heart begin with what you eat. Choosing more vegetables and whole grains, lean meats, and limiting your intake of fats, sugars, and sodium, is an excellent place to start. A healthy heart diet does not mean giving up favorites or flavors. It simply means making better choices and moderation. Indulge in more fresh fruits and vegetables, and load your plate with brightly colored, antioxidant-rich foods. Indulge in a fine filet of fish, baked with a flavorful dry rub or fried in heart-friendly olive oil, and plate it with brightly colored vegetables, following the meal with a dessert of fresh fruit. There are ways to enjoy your favorite comfort foods without overloading your diet with carbs, sodium, and heavy fats. Dr. Ciuffo will be happy to help you develop a diet plan that works for you. Other healthy habits for your heart include getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and developing a fitness program that fits into your lifestyle. Talk to Dr. Ciuffo about the changes you can make to your lifestyle to improve your heart health. High Blood Pressure High blood pressure is one of the most difficult challenges for your heart to overcome. When you lower your blood pressure, you...

Healing from Scaring After Heart Surgery

Heart surgery is a procedure that often leaves scars on the chest, sternum, back, abdomen. or other places in which an incision is made. Healing from these scars does not mean that the scars will disappear. However, they will become less pronounced over time, and there are secondary procedures which can be performed following the surgery to reduce or remove these scars. Furthermore, while some incisions are bound to leave major scars, there are a number of incisions that minimize scaring during heart surgery. What Scaring Will There Be? The type of scars that will develop after heart surgery depends upon a number of factors. Most important among these is the type of heart surgery being performed. Open-Heart Surgery is highly invasive and typically requires large incisions be made within the chest and sternum. Heart transplants, valve repairs or replacements, and a number of other procedures are often performed using open heart surgery. There are other forms surgery, which are similarly invasive but do not require cutting open the chest. One such surgery includes the repair of an aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs whenever there is a bulging blood vessel within the body. Thus, this type of “heart surgery” may occur in areas of the body far away from the heart. At the same time, some aneurysm repairs may be minimally invasive. Other forms of minimally invasive heart surgeries include: Certain forms of heart valve replacements or repairs Transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMR), which requires a small incision be made within the chest so that the heart muscle can be exposed to a high-energy laser. This relieves angina by helping the...

Recovering from Heart Surgery

Recovering from heart surgery can take anywhere from a few days to several months. The rate of recovery depends largely upon the type of surgery performed. While open heart surgery will require a longer recovery time, minimally invasive surgeries typically take a much shorter period. There are also other steps involved to ensure complete recovery. Following certain recommendations can also speed up recovery. Nonetheless, heart surgeries often require overall lifestyle changes. Steps to Ensure Complete Recovery Many people want to get out of the hospital as soon as possible after a surgery; however, a complete recovery can often be made much quicker within a hospital. Under the careful observation of medical practitioners, a person can be more able to ensure complete recovery. Whether a person chooses to recover at home or in a medical facility is an issue that the patient, family of the patient, and physician should discuss together. In either case, a personalized plan for recovery should be requested by the patient. If possible, the patient, his or her and family, and the physician will create a plan for recovery together. Can You Speed Up Recovery? There are certain steps that can be taken by all individuals to speed up their recovery after a surgery: Be patient with the healing process, and do not overexert yourself too quickly. This might mean pausing work, exercising less, or doing other things to allow the body the time it needs to heal. Eat a healthy diet. After heart surgery, a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, CoQ10, folate, vitamin K, monounsaturated fats, magnesium, and other nutrients are recommended. These...

A Beginner’s Guide to Heart Anatomy

The heart is the symbol of love, affection, and intimacy for many. However, not everyone knows much about actual heart anatomy. What is the difference between a valve and a chamber? What are the major arteries and veins? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then this is article is for you. Heart Chambers The heart is divided into four main parts called chambers. These four chambers are divided into two groups: The Atriums are located within the upper part of the heart. There is one is on the right side, and the other is on the left side. Oxygenated blood is pumped through the left atrium into the body. Once the blood has deposited oxygen to other parts of the body, it is pumped into the right atrium of the heart where it is recycled. The Ventricles are on the bottom of the heart and often considered its main chambers which collect blood from the left atrium and expels it toward the lungs. Heart Valves Blood flows through the heart in one direction from one chamber to the next through a series of valves. These valves consist of tissue that is about as thick as a piece of paper. Like the heart chambers, there are four heart valves between each of the chambers. Major Arteries and Veins Arteries bring oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins, on the other hand, return deoxygenated blood to the heart. There are many major veins and arteries within the body. Several major arteries and veins include: The pulmonary artery which transports blood with low levels...

How Does a Low Sodium Dies Affect My Health?

Moving to a low sodium diet might help save your life. A high sodium diet is all-too-common with the prevalence of fast food restaurants and processed foods growing throughout the world. High sodium levels, however, pose many risks to the health of the heart. On the contrary, a low sodium diet reduces all of these risks and increases overall health. What is a Low Sodium Diet? A low sodium diet is exactly what it sounds like. It is a diet that includes low levels of sodium. To lower the level of sodium within a diet requires removing or minimizing the amount of foods that are high in sodium while replacing them with low sodium alternatives. Processed foods which are often found in cans or boxes are typically the highest sources of sodium. Food purchased at many restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, are also often high in sodium. As well, salt is extremely high in sodium. Reducing salt is one of the most effective methods of adhering to a low sodium diet, but there are many other ways to remove high levels of sodium from one’s diet. For example, nutrition labels let people know how much sodium is present per serving. Many restaurants also publish nutritional information which can be examined to determine what low-sodium dishes could be purchased in lieu of high sodium alternatives. Lastly, meats and dairy include much higher levels of sodium than fruits and vegetables. Reducing the amount of meat and dairy in one’s diet is one step toward lower sodium. Replacing them with fruits and veggies can also aid in creating a low sodium diet....