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The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet

The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet

The Benefit of a Low Sodium Diet Anyone who has a family history of hypertension has heard the term “low sodium diet.” It sounds like a bland way of eating that deprives the eater of flavor and interest in food, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As Americans, we consume a constant stream of processed foods, but given the chance, it’s possible to retrain ourselves to enjoy a wider range of flavors. We are dedicated to helping you find the healthiest opportunities for your body. Starting a low sodium diet is the perfect place to begin that journey. Low Sodium Diet While at first, the idea of reducing one’s salt intake may imply the loss of flavor, the exact opposite is true. In processed foods, salt is used to mask the flavor of chemicals and to replace the natural flavors lost in the cooking and preservative processes. When salt is reduced in our diets, those flavors have a chance to emerge, and our tastes adjust to enjoy the natural flavors in foods once again. Choosing a low-sodium diet isn’t just better for your overall health, it opens up new vistas of enjoyment in your eating that will make you fall in love with food again. If you are looking for ways to incorporate new flavors into your diet as well, this use of less salt can be a chance to try other spices. There are many recipes out there to try that require no salt at all. The key is being open to new experiences and flavors that may replace your desire to use salt in your...

Heart Valve Replacement Survival Rate

Having invasive surgery for a heart valve replacement is sometimes necessary, but it doesn’t have to be. Open heart surgery is a major operation and requires a hospital stay of at least a week, with part of that in the intensive care unit in most cases. Depending on your age, general health, and how severely damaged or faulty your heart valves are, invasive surgery may not be necessary. Although studies have shown that the heart valve replacement surgery survival rate is very high, there are other less invasive treatments for valve repair or replacement, such as minimally invasive aortic valve replacement or minimally invasive mitral valve repair. Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Aortic Stenosis (AS) is a heart disease affecting the aortic valve. This valve is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. With AS, the aortic valve is too narrow, causing a very high internal pressure due to the heart working extra hard to pump blood through it. This pressure triggers the cardiac muscle to thicken to increase its strength, and eventually tires out and results in a life-threatening condition. The majority of patients with AS, with or without symptoms present, need to have minimally invasive aortic valve replacement to replace the defective valve with a new mechanical or biological heart valve prosthesis. If there has been a diagnosis of severe AS, even if symptoms are not present, patients should be evaluated as soon as possible for surgical intervention. Clinical evidence shows that delaying surgery is dangerous. Severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis is a lethal condition that requires effective aortic valve replacement. No other...

Emotional Side Effects of Open-Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is one of the most invasive and stressful procedures doctors perform. Emotional side effects of open-heart surgery are to come after the procedure. In open-heart surgery, the heart is exposed for major repairs, a long incision in the chest is made, the breast bone is broken, and a heart-lung machine is used to pump blood in place of the heart. All of this places great stress on your body. Open heart surgery is not minimally invasive heart surgery. Living with, and through, the physical effects of open-heart surgery can be daunting. Included are pain at the incision site, muscle pain, or throat pain. If you have chest tubes for drainage, those can also be uncomfortable. Despite the discomfort, post-surgical pain usually disappears after 6 – 8 weeks. However, other kinds of problems can linger? The emotional side effects of open-heart surgery might surprise you. Personality and Emotional Side Effects of Open-Heart Surgery People who have had open heart surgery report mood changes, as do people close to them. Anxiety and depression are the most commonly experienced emotions after heart surgery. Anxiety can be caused, in part, by worries about possible physical aftereffects of the surgery. Keep in mind that full recovery from open heart surgery can take up to one year. Depression Patients who experience depression for more than several weeks after open-heart surgery may have something more than a typical, post-surgical mood change. One way to tell is if a person has difficulty in doing simple, daily tasks, like making their bed, getting and staying properly dressed, or keeping a routine. If an individual was...

A Deep Dive into Aortic Valve Replacement

A normal functioning aortic valve has three leaflets, usually referred to as cusps, and is positioned at the end of the left ventricle. This valve is the main pump that delivers oxygenated blood to the entire body. An aortic valve replacement is required if someone suffers from Aortic Valve Stenosis or Aortic Valve Insufficiency. These two issues can cause a significant number of problems and can be life-threatening. Understanding the components that are involved in an aortic valve replacement is important, especially if you are considering one. When to Consider Aortic Valve Replacement As already mentioned, there are two reasons as to why someone would need an aortic valve replacement. When suffering from aortic stenosis, the valve is narrow, causing it to be harder for the blood to go through. Basically, the muscle in the heart begins to thicken, causing a hissing sound, which is oftentimes confused with a murmur. With aortic valve insufficiency, the valve tends to “leak” when it is closed. This make the heart work twice as hard to make the blood flow correctly and in the right direction. To repair this, doctors have created a minimally invasive technique that is much safer and easier on patients. What to Consider for a Aortic Valve Replacement Since the breastbone is not being cut into, this replacement procedure is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, which allows for healing to begin and end much faster. Your doctor will make a small, approximately two inch, incision between the third and fourth rib bone on the right side of the body. From this point, your doctor can securely place the new...
A Beginner’s Guide to the Hearts Structure

A Beginner’s Guide to the Hearts Structure

The heart is the symbol of love, affection, and intimacy for many. However, not everyone knows much about the actual the hearts structure. 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 blog is going to answer all of your questions about the hearts structure. Heart Chambers The hearts structure 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 hearts structure 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. The tricuspid valve is the right atrioventricular valve. The bicuspid or mitral valve is the left atrioventricular valve is. The pulmonary semilunar valve is between the right ventricle and pulmonary trunk. The aortic semilunar valve is between the left ventricle...

What Causes Pulse Deficit?

When you are enjoying an athletic activity you will notice your heart beats faster than when you are just resting and reading a book. When you exercise your body may need three to four times your normal cardiac output. This happens because your muscles need more oxygen when you exert energy. So what causes pulse deficit and what is it? Pulse deficit is when one finds a difference in count between heartbeat and peripheral pulse. So what causes pulse deficit in people? In this blog, we will address what pulse deficit is, the causes, how to take a pulse, symptoms, and treatments. What is Pulse Deficit? Pulse deficit occurs when the heart is contracting and the pulse is not reaching the periphery. Pulse deficit can be dangerous if not treated properly, this is especially true if heart conditions run in your family. No need to worry because once you know the signs and what causes pulse deficit you will know to reach out to a doctor to get help for yourself or a loved one.  Taking a Pulse If you are wondering if your family member has a pulse deficit it is important to know how to properly take a pulse. You can begin taking a pulse by putting two fingers on a person’s neck or wrist.  When Measuring Pulse in Someone’s Wrist: Have the person’s arm held out straight, with the palm of their hand facing upwards Place your first finger and middle fingers on their wrist, near the base of their thumb Pull out a clock that shows your the seconds clearly, count how many beats you...