Heart Health


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...

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...

Do You Have to Diet Before or After Heart Surgery?

Heart surgery is one of the most critical types of operations that can be done on the human body, and it is usually only pursued if other, less aggressive treatments have been exhausted. To provide the optimum conditions for a successful procedure, preoperative and postoperative guidelines must be observed. One of those guidelines pertains to the patient’s diet. What to Eat Leading up to Surgery? Simply put, one of the biggest problems complicating heart surgery is obesity. The more overweight a patient is, the more difficult the recovery will be. Diets designed to help prepare a person for heart surgery, then, are often focused on losing weight. Time is of the essence, and the more time before surgery the patient has to focus on this goal, the better. If the patient has at least two weeks before heart surgery, they might benefit from emphasizing fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein, whole grains, and low sodium in their diet to help lose weight and lower blood pressure as much as possible. The total number of calories per day, on average, to consume pre-heart surgery is fairly low, at 1,200 to 1,800. Diet recommendations include more servings of fruits and vegetables than whole grains, proteins, or healthy fats. Restrictions are suggested for sweets, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. What to Eat After Surgery? As with the pre-surgery diet, what to eat after surgery often leads to a leaner, heart-healthy diet. Recommended is a diet with extra omega 3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and unsaturated fats. On the other hand, it is not recommended that saturated and trans fats, high sodium foods, processed...

What is Pulse Deficit?

What is a Pulse Deficit? The concept of a pulse deficit can be both confusing and frightening if you’re not a member of the medical community, but it has a direct bearing on the health of your heart and can be life threatening if not treated properly and allowed to get worse. It sounds confusing, but is quite simple. When your heart beats, it sends blood through the arteries of your body. This produces a noticeable pulse which can be felt. Normally these two events are in synch, but it is when they are not in synch, the pulse and the beat of your heart, that problems can arise. What Causes a Pulse Deficit? There are several causes for a pulse deficit, some of which are not necessarily indicators of heart disease, such as heavy exercise. Other causes of a pulse deficit are not so innocent, however, and can include low blood pressure, periods of extreme anxiety or stress, extended periods of chronic pain, and bodily injury or trauma, including blood loss. What happens when there is a pulse deficit is that when the heart beats, but there is no pulse of blood that comes after. This creates a pulse deficit. How is it Treated? Observing that someone has a pulse deficit is fairly straightforward. A doctor or nurse listens to your chest with a stethoscope and notes the heartbeat, but when they attempt to take your pulse, do not notice the same number of pulse beats. The symptoms of pulse deficit include a noticeably decreased resting heart rate and a long-term consistent history of having a different resting...

All About LIMA LAD

LIMA LAD is a life-saving procedure for your heart. What LIMA LAD does is open your heart’s blood flow by involving two different arterys. These are the left internal mammary artery and the left anterior descending artery, or LIMA LAD for short. This minimally invasive procedure results in a tiny scar that hides under the fold in your breast. What Do The LIMA LAD Organs Do? Your LAD is meant for being able to carry your blood around the heart. It does this by traveling between your right ventricle at the front of your heart and the left as well. When blocked, blood can’t make its way to its appropriate destination. When this happens, it means your heart struggles as well. The LIMA, on the other hand, is on the heart’s left side. When blockages settle in the vessels around your heart due to heart disease, it puts a strain on your heart. That, in turn, will keep your heart from pumping the way that it should. When you can receive a heart surgery that is both bloodless and invasive on a minimal level, it will create a new route for your blood to flow. A catheter will be placed into the area of the blockage, and it has a balloon tip. The balloon is inflated to stretch the vessel gently. When it does this, it will release the blockage.   What Benefit Do We Receive from a Minimally Invasive Surgery? When you have minimally invasive surgery, particularly a bloodless one, the procedure is low impact and one of the best options. With these new techniques being adopted, the...