Category Archives: Health

Getting Some Exercise During Coronavirus | Fullerton, CA

Not many of us are aware, but May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. Getting regular physical activity can benefit everyone – children, adolescents, and adults alike. Unfortunately, with the various lockdowns in position these days, it gets a bit tricky to get all the exercise you’d like. Especially if you are one that prefers to work out at a gym. But this shouldn’t be a reason to slow down your workouts – they just need a bit of tweaking. What better time than now as things are beginning to leave our homes?

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Yet in California nearly 53.1% don’t get enough physical activity.

As we begin to try more outdoor activities, take things in moderation as you become used to these new circumstances. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.

Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights and using exercises bands – at least 2 days a week.

If you are quarantined with your family, turn it into a family affair! Here are just some of the benefits of physical activity:

Children and adolescents. Physical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.

Adults. Physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Older adults. Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like judgment and learning).

If you would like more information on exercising during Coronavirus, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Menopause | Fullerton, CA

Whether we like it or not, ladies, menopause is a reality we all eventually need to face. But how familiar are you with what actually happens when the time comes? Do you know what the signs and symptoms are? Let’s take a moment to review some of the basics so you are well-versed once the time comes. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the easier it is to make the adjustments with ease.

Menopause is a natural occurring event that all women will experience, usually in their early 50’s, when their ovaries cease producing estrogen. The solution was hormone replacement therapy. 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) study designed to test the effects of hormone therapy on heart disease, bone fractures, breast cancer and colon cancer. 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.

Millions of women in the U.S. stopped their hormone out of fear and they entered into “hot-flash hell”. A recent careful re-analysis and follow up review of the data has revealed that the actual risks of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease were NOT increased over time and were, in fact decreased; especially in women who were perimenapausal when they initiated hormone therapy.

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.

If you would like more information on menopause, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go? | Fullerton, CA

When we have our heart broken, it is often difficult to envision a day when the pain we feel will dissipate. We fall into a sad place for a while, but eventually, things turn around and we begin to heal. But what if the pain is very physical? Like a heart attack, broken heart syndrome has similar symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Broken heart syndrome, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can strike even the healthiest of people, but the exact cause is still unclear. Women are more likely to experience sudden chest pain (a surge of stress hormones), caused by the emotionally stressful event. Known triggers of broken heart syndrome are unexpected death of a loved one, divorce or separation, betrayal, or even a surprise party. This seems to be an apropos time to think about these stressors.

In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart enlarges for a short period and doesn’t pump as well, while other parts of your heart function just fine. The problem is, it seems very similar to a heart attack, so how can we tell the difference? Here are some basics of broken heart syndrome – you’ll see it isn’t an obvious diagnosis:

  • EKG test results aren’t the same as someone who is having a heart attack
  • Tests show no signs of blockage in the coronary arteries
  • Blood tests show no or little signs of heart damage
  • Tests show ballooning of the lower left heart chamber
  • Fast recovery time, typically within days or weeks

In some cases, broken heart syndrome can be life threatening, but the good news is most people tend to make a full recovery. Be careful with your heart – not just physically, but emotionally as well.

If you would like more information on broken heart syndrome, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Am I Having a Heart Attack Right Now? | Fullerton, CA

Heart Health

Did you know that women don’t experience the same signs as men do when experiencing a heart attack? It’s true. That said, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms in order to ensure you get proper care if and when it happens.

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. May not seem dangerous at first glance but believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. And this is why many women don’t believe it’s anything more than a cold. As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But it’s important to note that women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

These are common symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Women who consider themselves healthy often misdiagnose the symptoms of a heart attack because they don’t think it could happen to them. Unfortunately, no one is free from risk of a heart attack. That is why it’s crucial to learn about heart disease and stroke, know your numbers, live a heart-healthy lifestyle and be aware of the risk factors of heart disease. Take care of yourself, ladies. Not everything is just as it seems.

If you would like more information on heart attacks, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

It’s a New Year. Relax. | Fullerton, CA

Now that we are done with the holiday season and well into a new year, it is time to start assessing our lifestyle choices and make some changes to how we live our lives. One of the ways we can do this is to lower our stress levels. Because it’s tough to admit, but our lives have become more stressful as we age, and this stress can lead to illnesses as a result. 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. This is why it is imperative to notice signals our bodies are telling us.

Understanding your current state of wellness improves your knowledge, helps you set goals and empowers you to make better choices for a healthier life. Here are some basics you need to know about stress and how to deal with it:

First, the symptoms:

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

Here are some causes. Do any look familiar?

  • Health problems
  • Financial concerns
  • Communication issues at work and home
  • Social isolation

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 more information on stress, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Tips for Keeping Your Heart Healthy During the Holidays | Fullerton, CA

We have finally come to the end of the year, which means the Holiday season is almost over. We can soon get our normal routines back and begin to decompress. Because let’s face it – the holidays are stressful. It’s extremely important to keep your heart health in mind during the holidays. These tips will help you reduce stress and to keep heart healthy as you enjoy this festive time of year:

Move it or lose it. It’s important to stay active, keep your heart health in check and avoid excess weight gain. Exercising for just 15 minutes to reduce stress and keep yourself heart healthy.

Make meals healthy. Before you dig into all of the delicious holiday’s meals and sweets, keep your heart health in mind. Heavy meals and sweet treats have extra calories and sodium, so try eating a healthy snack before indulging to give you the nutrients you need.

All things in moderation. It can be quite stressful working holiday events into your normal routine. During these times you may find yourself having to wake earlier or work later, but make sure not to overexert yourself. Plan your days ahead of time to reduce stress.

Drink responsibly. Most holiday parties and festivities typically involve alcoholic beverages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make healthy choice. Rather than choosing to drink a sugary cocktail, try choosing a red wine or club soda with your choice of liquor instead.

Relax. Make sure you make time to focus on yourself. Do something that makes you happy, like meditating, reading a good book, taking a long bath or cooking something you love. Taking time to treat yourself helps minimize stressors and increases positivity.

If you would like more information on holiday health, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Prevent Heart Disease with These Menopause-Friendly Foods | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

Believe it or not, but heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. And if that wasn’t bad enough, women who have had their ovaries removed are especially at risk. But there are a few changes we can make to our diets that can help prevent heart disease:

Whole grains. A study by the Whole Grains Council proved that replacing refined grains with whole grains can lower the risk of heart disease by up to 28 percent.

Leafy greens. Greens such as kale and spinach are great sources of fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals that contribute to heart health.

Extra-virgin olive oil. This healthy fat can make a great heart-healthy substitute for butter.

Raw, unsalted almonds and walnuts. A ¼ cup a day can boost your protein and lower your cholesterol.

Tomatoes. This veggie is high in antioxidants that protect the heart.

Fish. Fish are high in Omega-3s, which are known to benefit the heart. Many doctors recommend adding fish to your diet at least a couple times a week.

Beans and lentils. Versatile and extremely healthy, beans and lentils are a great way to add fiber, protein, and iron to almost any meal.

Grapes. In addition to antioxidants, they also provide phytochemicals that protect the cardiovascular system.

Berries. Filled with fiber and antioxidants, berries make great, heart-healthy desserts any time of the day.

Dark chocolate. Adding just a little bit of dark chocolate to those berries and you’ve got yourself a divine, guilt-free dessert. Studies do show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate a few days out of the week can help lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow.

If you would like more information on menopause-friendly foods, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Did You Check the Girls this Month? | Fullerton, CA

As we wrap up National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important that we are aware that the statistics of breast cancer are staggering. 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, breast cancer does not discriminate; it affects people of all ages and races. In case you aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, here is a quick breakdown of things to look out for as you give yourself self-examinations:

Change in the way breast or nipple feels

  • Nipple tenderness, lump or thickening in or near your breast or underarm area
  • Change in the texture of your skin or enlargement of the pores of your breasts
  • A lump in your breast (even if it’s small make sure to see professional for a screening)

Change in breast or nipple appearance

  • Any unexplained change in size or shape of your breast
  • Dimpling anywhere on your breast
  • Unexplained swelling of your breast
  • Unexplained shrinkage of your breast
  • Recent unexplained asymmetry of your breast (it’s common for women to have one breast larger than the other)
  • Your nipple is slightly inward or inverted
  • Skin of your breast, areola, or nipple that becomes red, scaly or swollen or resemble the skin of an orange
  • Any nipple discharge
  • Particularly if you have clear discharge or bloody discharge

It is important to know that most times these symptoms are not due to cancer, but it’s important to be seen for regular screenings. Your doctor is always able to check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms.

If you would like more information on breast cancer, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Urinary Incontinence: What You Need to Know | Fullerton, CA

When we are kids, we learn to control our bladders. Not only did it help with embarrassing situations, but it meant we didn’t need to wear diapers anymore. So, when we develop urinary incontinence as an adult, it can become a problem. An estimated 25 million people, 80% which are women, suffer from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence, also known as bladder incontinence, is the loss of bladder control. In some cases, individuals suffer from a total loss of bladder contents or it may just cause minor leakage. While this issue is completely natural, it’s more than just medical problem; it can affect your emotional, psychological and social life as well.

There are many people who think urinary incontinence comes with age, but it is actually a symptom that can be caused by many conditions, and they differ between men and women. Urinary incontinence is separated into three different types, and some may experience a mix of the types or all three. Here is a quick breakdown:

Stress incontinence. This type of incontinence occurs when you apply pressure on your bladder by exercising, laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting something heavy. The activity causes the sphincter to weaken and release urine.

Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence occurs when you feel the sudden, intense urge or need to urinate. Often times, after feeling the urge to go you won’t have time between the urge and the loss of urine to make it to the restroom.

Overflow incontinence. This type occurs when you experience frequent dribbling or urine, due to the fact that your bladder doesn’t empty completely.

If you would like more information on urinary incontinence, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Eat Your Way to Heart Health | Fullerton, CA

Heart disease is among one of the deadliest killers in the world, killing on average 610,000 Americans a year. You’re right – it’s a staggering number, especially when there are ways that we can help prevent it from happening. Clogged arteries can be caused by diet, genetics and lifestyle choices. Because diet and lifestyle choices go together, let’s focus on foods that can prevent that plaque from building up:

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. A 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. Broccoli can also help prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart problems.

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

Asparagus. Full of fiber and minerals, asparagus is one of the best veggies for clearing arteries.

Green tea. Green tea contains high levels of catechins, which is an antioxidant plant phenol that hinders the absorption of bad cholesterol during digestion.

Coldwater fish. Eating fish twice a week can help reduce inflammation and plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease.

Turmeric. Adding turmeric to your diet can help reduce inflammation and damage to your arterial walls, which are leading cause to plaque buildup and blood clots.

Cranberries. Cranberries reduces LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol levels.

If you would like more information on heart healthy foods, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.