Keep Your Heart in Tip Top Shape | Fullerton, CA

It is always important to take care of your health by getting regular check-ups. And sometimes, this will include going in to check on our heart’s health. After all, the heart is keeping our blood pumping through our system, so if something goes awry, we know why. To do this, you will need an Echocardiogram.

What is an Echocardiogram?

An Echocardiogram (ECHO) is a special non-invasive office ultrasound examination that determines the health of the heart by evaluating both its anatomy and function.

Who should have an Echocardiogram? Individuals of any age who have any of the following:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart murmur or other abnormal heart examination finding
  • Mitral valve prolapse (MVP)
  • Irregular heart rhythm or palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ankle swelling
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • History of diet pill use
  • History of congenital heart defects

What information does Echocardiography provide? An ECHO examination of the heart will measure the following:

  • The four heart chambers that receive circulating blood (atriums) and then pump the blood (ventricles) to the lungs and body. Both the size of the chambers and the thickness of the chamber walls are measured. (Note: High blood pressure can cause wall thickening and subsequent weakening of the heart muscle.)
  • Pumping function of the heart muscle, while in motion
  • Heart valve structure including prolapse (MVP) or leaking
  • Pressure within the heart and lungs in patients with a history of diet pill use
  • Detects blood clots, masses or infections of the heart
  • Detects inflammation or fluid accumulation around the heart

If you would like more information on Echocardiograms, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding areas.

October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Fullerton, CA

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women, affecting around 230,000 women each year. Raising breast cancer awareness is extremely important as it does not discriminate; it affects people of all ages and races. One of the first steps we can take towards effectively identifying and treating breast cancer is by taking preventive action and being aware of the symptoms that come along with this terrible disease. The following list includes breast cancer symptoms that we should all be aware of:

  • Nipple tenderness, lump or thickening in or near your breast or underarm area
  • Change in skin texture
  • Lumps
  • Change in breast or nipple appearance
  • Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of your breast
  • Recent unexplained asymmetry
  • Slightly inward or inverted nipple
  • Breast, areola, or nipple becomes red, scaly or swollen
  • Nipple discharge (particularly clear or bloody)

Most times these symptoms are not due to cancer, but if you have any breast cancer symptoms you should be seen by your doctor immediately to be sure you’re healthy and cancer free. Even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms, it’s still incredibly important to be seen for regular screenings. Your doctor is always able to check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms.

Keeping an eye on any changes in your breasts is a great way to catch any issues that can arise. There is no rhyme or reason cancer appears in patients – make sure you do everything you can to ensure you aren’t at risk. We are all at risk without a cure.

If you would like more information on breast cancer, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding areas.

Improve Your Life One Goal at a Time | Fullerton, CA

We are our own worst critics. We are all guilty of having many areas of our lives that we would like to improve upon, and all improvement requires hard work and motivation. In walks the month of September…

September marks National Self-Improvement Month, a month to take the time to improve aspects that may be holding you back from being a happier and healthy version of yourself. Try these tips:

Get physical. Physical activity is very important to your overall health. Focus on whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy level, or just cut your salt intake, and set a goal to do so. If you have a certain fitness goal, create a realistic plan that you’ll be able to stick to for the long haul.

Eat a healthy diet. When you eat healthy food, you’re getting the nutrition your body requires. Evaluate your diet and see if there are any eating habits that need improvement. A few small changes in your diet can affect your health and the way you feel about yourself.

Take time to de-stress. Stress can take a major toll on your health and mentality. Be sure that you take some time to yourself by scheduling a designated day each month to take time to do something that you enjoy.

National Self-Improvement Month is the perfect time for you to take step back to evaluate yourself, find the areas you wish to improve and get motivated to take back control of your life.

If you would like more information on high blood pressure, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check Naturally | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension, you may be required to take medication to lower your numbers. But there are other ways you can go about doing so in a much more natural way with these at home remedies:

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is tough on your heart and can also cause sleep apnea (disruptive breathing while asleep), which can further raise one’s blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure immensely.

Exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity, like walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing, can help you avoid it turning into full-blown hypertension.

Eat a healthy diet. Consuming a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy can help lower your blood pressure. Be sure to avoid foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, as these foods can increase blood pressure.

Be smart with your salt intake. The effect of sodium intake varies among different groups of people. To decrease your sodium intake you can read food labels, eat fewer processed foods and avoid adding salt to meals.

Reduce your stress. Chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, as well as occasional stress, if it leads you to eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol or smoking. To reduce your stress levels, you should take some time to think about what is causing your stress in the first place. Once you figure out what is causing your stress, think about how you can eliminate or reduce it.

If you would like more information on high blood pressure, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Maintain Your Heart Health at Any Age | Fullerton, CA

We all want to look and feel our best at every age, which is why it’s important that we make smart lifestyle and health choices. There are many simple things women can do every day to help ensure good health throughout their lifetime:

Eat a healthy diet. You want to eat as many natural foods as possible, including fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.  Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods, also choose leaner meat and fish.

Exercise. Exercise can help keep your heart healthy and in good working condition. To ensure good heart health, work out for 30 minutes, five days a week or every day.

Manage stress. A woman often deals with a lot of pressure and stress. Professionals encourage women to take a few minutes from her day to take a step back and relax. Mental health is very important to women’s health.

Avoid harmful habits. Women should stay away from tobacco products and people who smoke. Don’t use any drugs. If you do drink alcohol, drink it in moderation.

Sunbathe safely. Too much exposure to the sun’s rays can cause skin cancer, so wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPH) of at least 15 if you are going to be outdoors.

Check for breast cancer. You should keep an eye out for changes in your breasts and report your concerns to your doctors. Women 40 years of age of and over should get yearly mammograms to check for breast cancer in its earliest stages.

If you would like more information on heart health, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Munch Your Way to Unclogged Arteries | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

Here are the facts: Heart disease is among one of the deadliest killers in the world, killing on average 2,200 thousand Americans a day. One of the key risks for developing heart disease is clogged arteries. Here are foods that can help unclog your arteries of plaque buildup:

Garlic. Garlic can prevent coronary artery calcification and blood clots, while garlic powder can reduce the buildup of nanoplaque.

Chia seeds. This superfood can help keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, lowering triglycerides and reducing LDL cholesterol.

Coconut oil. Regular consumption of coconut oil can help reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.

Broccoli. This vegetable is loaded with vitamin K which can help prevent the hardening and calcification of arteries while also preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Avocado. Studies have shown that avocado can lead to improved blood cholesterol, while lowering LDL and triglycerides and increasing the HDL, the good cholesterol that help keep arteries clear.

Asparagus. Full of fiber and minerals, asparagus can also help lower cholesterol prevent blood clots that could potentially cause serious illness.

Green tea. Green tea contains high levels of catechins, which hinders the absorption of bad cholesterol during digestion. It can also help reduces blocked arteries and improve blood-lipid levels.

Coldwater fish. Fish rich in healthy fats such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help reduce inflammation and plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease.

Turmeric. By adding turmeric to your diet, you can reduce inflammation and damage to your arterial walls.

Cranberries. Full of antioxidants, cranberries can help improve cardiovascular health by reducing LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol levels.

If you would like more information on clogged arteries, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

The ABC’s of Urinary Tract Infections | Fullerton, CA

Every year, over 11 million women develop a urinary tract infection, (also known as a UTI, a bladder infection or acute cystitis). These infections are more common in women than men, primarily due to the normal female anatomy, with the urethra (tube leading from the bladder to the outside), located very close to the vaginal opening. This allows bacteria from the vagina, and especially the rectum, to enter the bladder, and subsequently cause an infection. Sexual activity is the most common cause for developing a UTI, but pregnancy, advancing age, lack of estrogen, and diabetes are common contributing factors for developing these infections. For women who are more prone to bladder infections, prevention is key:

  • Women who are sexually active should void both before and after intercourse to limit the amounts of bacteria in the bladder. Also, some lubricants, oils and spermicidal jelly may also make an infection more likely.
  • Drinking an adequate amount of liquids will continually wash out the bladder. Water is preferred, as soda, coffee and tea may make it more likely to get an infection.
  • After a bowel movement or urinating, wipe from the front of the vagina to the back toward the rectum, away from the urethra.
  • Frequent changing of sanitary napkins or tampons can limit infections.
  • Avoiding hot tubs or highly chlorinated pools, as well as removing your wet swimsuit as soon as possible, can also limit bacterial exposure.
  • Cranberry juice and cranberry pills (no calories) have been proven to reduce UTI’s.

If you would like more information on urinary tract infections, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Are You at Risk of a Stroke? | Fullerton, CA

According to recent survey, 425,000 women suffer from stroke each year. The problem is, most women are unaware of the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, making the occurrence of a stroke a likelihood. In order to familiarize yourself with strokes in general, let’s take a moment to break down what a stroke is and how you could possibly prevent it. After all, awareness of the issue is the key to prevention.

So, how do I know if you’re at risk? Here is a basic list of health issues that could eventually lead to a stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight

If you believe you may be prone to strokes, there is a quick acronym to remember when you may feel symptoms arise – because they may come FAST:

F – Face drooping when smiling

A – Arm weakness or difficulty raising

S – Slurred speech

T – Time to call 9-1-1

The good thing is, there are ways you can reduce the risk with small lifestyle changes. Things like watching your diet and quitting tobacco products will definitely increase your chances for overall health issues. Exercising and making an effort to keep yourself healthy will not only help you lose weight, but will also reduce your chances of diabetes and high cholesterol.

If you want to start reducing your risk for stroke, ask about the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program to gain an understanding of your risk, increase your awareness for heart disease, and be empowered with healthy solutions.

If you would like more information on stroke prevention, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Is Hormone Therapy Bad for Me? | Fullerton, CA

The history of hormone replacement in women has seen many swings in popularity over the past few decades. In 1991, the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) launched the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), designed to test the effects of hormone therapy on heart disease, bone fractures, breast cancer and colon cancer. One group of women who had undergone a hysterectomy received oral estrogen (Premarin) alone [estrogen replacement therapy or ERT]. A second group received a combination of Premarin and progesterone (PremPro) [combination hormone replacement therapy or HRT]. A third group received a placebo, which contained no hormone. In 2002, the study was stopped because the Provera group was associated with a slight increase in the incidence of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots.

In April 2011, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a follow-up study of the women in the WHI who took estrogen alone. The finding: a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer over time. Among the women with a prior hysterectomy treated with estrogen alone and followed for 11 years, there was NO increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, hip fracture, colon cancer or mortality.

After a decade of fear and confusion regarding the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy, medical studies have now clearly established its safety and its health benefits. In March 2012, the North American Menopause Society released a statement that supports these findings, stating that combination hormone therapy (both estrogen and progesterone) initiated around the time of menopause is safe.

If you would like more information on hormone therapy, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.

Stress Just Isn’t Healthy for You | Fullerton, CA

Now that we have begun another year, it’s time to re-evaluate our current health practices. Not only does this include your diet and fitness routines, but every aspect of your lifestyle. Your overall wellness is a dynamic process that changes with age and circumstance. Understanding your current state of wellness improves your knowledge, helps you set goals and empowers you to make better choices for a healthier life.

We all think stress is a typical part of life we cannot avoid, but stress can greatly affect your wellness. Understanding more about stress and how to limit your stress can help lead you to a path of wellness. Investigating symptoms of stress. Chronic stress is believed to raise the risk of increased blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic back pain, depression and a reduced immune response.

Common symptoms of stress:

  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Irritability
  • Loss of concentration

Effective steps for dealing with stress:

  • Discuss your symptoms and your feelings about them
  • Keep a diary to gain insight into your concerns and emotional patterns
  • Exercise regularly engaging in both aerobic and weight training
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation deep breathing exercises
  • Maintain your immune system by eating well balanced meals, exercising regularly and
  • getting sufficient sleep
  • Avoid destructive behaviors, including overindulgence of alcohol, caffeine or smoking
  • Seek professional help if any of your symptoms persist, interfering with your sense of well-being and/or your personal/work relationships.
  • Medications

If you would like to take the first step towards a stress-free lifestyle, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.