Category Archives: Heart Attack

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.

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.

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.

December 30th Is National Bacon Day | Fullerton, CA

Heart HealthIn a day and age where people are becoming more and more health-conscious, it I s nice to know that there is still a day dedicated to what could very well be the perfect meat – bacon. Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.  Just to bond everyone together…talk about American.

Yes, that salty treat comes in a variety of meats, from traditional pork to the leaner turkey. Both are delicious in their own right, but the other white meat is not quite what one would ever consider to be healthy by any means. In fact, not only does the high sodium rate and saturated fat content affect our heart health negatively, but eating too much can raise our cholesterol to the point that it is going to adversely affect our chances for developing worse health issues, like diabetes and other forms of heart disease and cancer. A study done by researchers at the University of Zurich found an association between processed meat and higher risks of dying from heart disease or cancer. Processed meat contains nitrates, preservatives that, when absorbed by the human body, convert into N-nitroso, a compound that could cause cancer. Also, a study conducted by Columbia University found a direct link between consuming cured meats and developing chronic pulmonary disease.

But bacon isn’t always a culprit. I also bring you good news about this deliciously salty food. It may help out your bun in the oven. A research study published by scientists at the University of North Carolina shows that the chemical choline helps fetuses develop regions of the brain linked to memory. Of course, choline is also present in much healthier foods, like yogurt or chicken, but the chemical is found in foods like eggs and pork, so it may not be such a bad thing to indulge in a few slices every so often. It’s helping your little one! Another vitamin found in bacon, and other much healthier foods, is vitamin B3. In a study published in Nature Chemical Biology, researchers found out that the niacin (Vitamin B3) in foods like sun-dried tomatoes, peanuts and bacon, could help you live a longer life. When the researchers fed roundworms a ton of niacin, they lived one-tenth longer than the worms who weren’t fed any niacin. While we recommend getting your niacin from healthier food options, bacon does include substantial amounts of the vitamin. See? This really does give cause to celebrate!

If you would like to take the first step towards good 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.

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Tips | Heart Health Fullerton, CA

happy woman

Every year, millions of Americans suffer from a heart attack, and nearly half of those heart attacks are fatal. As for strokes, they are the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in men and women. It’s very important to know what steps you can take to prevent heart attack and stroke from occurring, it’s time to take control and get heart healthy. The following include tips you should take to heart to prevent heart attack and stroke:

  • Don’t Smoke– If you’re already a smoker, you should stop or find programs to help you quit. As you should already know, smoking is very unhealthy. Nicotine actually narrows and restricts blood vessels.
  • Exercise- You should exercise daily, or at least walk two miles a day. You don’t need to walk those two miles all at once, exercise doesn’t just burn calories. Exercise also activates genes that are very beneficial to your health.
  • Reduce Stress- Stress contributes to heart disease, and if it is severe enough it can cause a heart attack or even sudden death. Try to reduce stress by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, volunteering and laughing. Also, try to avoid stressful situations and people that make you anxious or angry.
  • Watch Your Cholesterol- Having high levels of LDL (“Bad”) cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be improved with exercise and healthy eating habits.
  • Eat Heart-Healthy- Eating a healthy well balanced diet can reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Make sure to eat your fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Take care of yourself by getting heart healthy today! For more information about heart health, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to learn more.

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

Lifestyle Change after a Heart Attack | Heart Health Fullerton, CA

 

Senior Woman Enjoying Hot Drink

After having a heart attack you may feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, you may also feel like your world has be flipped upside down. It takes time to fully recover from a heart attack but don’t let that stop you from pushing forward. A lifestyle change is the best way going about recovering, listed below are a few common lifestyle changes you may want to take charge of.

  • Stop Smoking- Smoking cigarettes is one of the primary risk factors in heart disease. One of the most important things you can do is quit smoking cigarettes. In just one year after quitting your risk for heart attack drops severely.
  • Healthy Diet- Eating a well-balanced diet keeps blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight within healthy rages, which can greatly reduce risk of heart attack.
  • Control Stress and Anger- When stress or anger are uncontrolled it can lead to increased risk of heart disease. Skills Such as yoga, relaxation and time management can lower risks.
  • Body Weight- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight to lower your risk of heart attack. Being overweight makes the heart pump harder due to having to support the extra weight.
  • Exercise- Physical activity is a key factor in maintaining long-term heart health after suffering from a heart attack. Enrolling in cardiac rehabilitation is a recommended step towards resuming normal physical activity.
  • Medication- Taking medication is considered a lifestyle change because taking your medication at the right times can be vital and takes some time to adjust to a new schedule.

If you fear you may be at risk of having a heart attack and would like more information, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn, MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to learn more about heart health.

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

Echocardiogram

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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.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology and womens health. Don’t continue to suffer and make yourself a priority, call his office today for an appointment at 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

Are My Arteries “On Fire”?

Role of Inflammation in Plaque Formation and Rupture

Chronic inflammation in the body is the root cause of many medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Other diseases related to inflammation are diabetes, depression, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation attacks the walls of the arteries and increases risk of plaque formation and plaque rupture: the cause of heart attacks and strokes. Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight off infection and toxins. If the natural balance of our immune system is disrupted, it can shift into a chronic state of inflammation, adversely affecting our entire body, including our arteries where cholesterol is then deposited and plaque buildup begins. (See ‘How Plaque Causes a Heart Attack or Stroke’ article)

The following three blood tests are independent predictors of risk factors for heart attacks and stroke:

  • CRP-hs (C-Reactive Protein-highly sensitive) is a simple blood test that measures the amount of inflammation in the body.   Lp-PLA2 is a blood enzyme that is released from vulnerable, rupture-prone plaque in the arteries.  Elevated levels of both Lp-PLA2 and CRP-hs increases the risk for a heart or stroke event of up to  5X the normal risk.
  • MPO (myeloperoxidase) is an enzyme in white blood cells that is linked to inflammation and plaque activity. MPO is a marker for vulnerable rupture-prone plaque. Elevated blood levels of MPO predict an early risk of heart attack in patients with chest pain.

For more information: www.clevelandheartlab.com/wp-content/uploads/…/MPO-Practice.pdf

Obvious causes of inflammation include arthritis, infection and injury. Other causes include:

  •  Diet high in sugars, refined flour, trans fats, saturated fats and processed foods
  •  Overweight, especially abdominal fat (Waist: Women – 35” and Men – 40”)
  •  Smoking
  •  Lack of exercise
  •  Stress, physical and emotional
  •  Sleep deprivation of less than 7 hours per night (possible Sleep Apnea)
  •  Toxins (mercury, lead)
  •  Food allergies, such as gluten and dairy
  •  Nutritional deficiencies including Vitamins D, B, C and Omega-3 fatty acids

How can inflammation be lowered?

  •  Diet: LOW in trans/saturated and low glycemic index carbohydrates, HIGH in monounsaturated fats,
  • fruits and vegetables.
  •  Aerobic Exercise – five days a weeks for 30 minutes/day
  •  Smoking cessation
  •  Weight loss – goal of BMI below 25
  •  Omega 3 fatty acid supplements (EPA & DHA)
  •  Fruits and vegetables
  •  Stress management techniques
  •  Adequate sleep
  •  Medications & Supplements, including Statins, Fibrates, Niacin, Vitamin D3, fiber

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology.  Don’t continue to suffer, call his office today for an appointment 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

 

What Every Women Needs to Know About Heart Attacks | Fullerton, CA

overactive bladder, fullertonThere’s always been a debate about women and heart disease: Are their symptoms different from those of men? Ask any woman that has had a heart attack and they will tell you no. Symptoms in women who are having a heart attack are generally not that different than those experienced by men, say cardiologists.  In a heart attack, men feel heaviness in their chests, shortness of breath, nausea or other general discomfort — just the same as women do.

There’s definitely some confusion out there about the differences between men and women and heart attacks but women are more similar to men than different when it comes to their hearts. When it comes to a heart attack the most common symptom for women experiencing a heart attack is still chest pain.

It has long been believed that the story that women’s symptoms are different is a myth. Where the real difference is is how women communicate and report on heart disease. If a heart attack is not at the top of your list when it comes to the symptoms, many women generally pass off symptoms as indigestion. Women need to start realizing that this is their health and the threat is real.

How real is it, you may be thinking?  On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke or heart disease and stroke & heart disease are equal opportunity killers. The scariest fact is that the death rate from cardiovascular disease in women is on the rise. The reasons are not entirely clear, but there are suggestions that there may be a difference in the care some women receive. Women may not be treated by a cardiovascular specialist when they experience symptoms.

It’s not unusual for women to put everything before themselves and their health.  It’s deeply concerning that many women would rather complete the last five items on their to-do list than go to an emergency room when they need one the most.  In fact, it was during a recent study that it was brought to light again how women prioritize. When surveyed on their priorities the results were suprizing:

  1. Children
  2. Their homes
  3. Their workplace relationships
  4. Pets!
  5. Husbands

Women didn’t even place themselves on the list! These results make the point that while women may have symptoms that are similar to those of men, those symptoms may not be taken seriously, especially by themselves.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology and womens health. Don’t continue to suffer and make yourself a priority, call his office today for an appointment at 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

Heart Attacks & Strokes in Women | Fullerton, CA

Grandparent and daughterUpdated Information That Could Save Your Life

Consider this:

50% of American women die as a result of a heart attack or stroke. Heart attacks and strokes are preventable, according to new medical evidence. Many women underestimate their personal risk level. By participating in the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program you will gain an understanding of your risk, increase your awareness for heart disease, and be empowered with healthy solutions.

Be proactive! Prevent disease!

What Determines Your Risk of Having Heart Attack or Stroke?

  • Heredity: Family history is an important indicator of your future risks, especially if your father had a heart attack before the age of 45 or your mother before the age of 55.
  • Personal:  Factors that contribute to an elevated LDL, an elevated CRP-HS, and the amount of atherosclerotic plaque within your arteries (determined by vascular ultrasound)include:

-Aging, existing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, metabolic syndrome, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition.

-Menopause (estrogen deficiency) raises LDL and lowers HDL. Estrogen replacement is preventative.

-Low thyroid function will increase cholesterol levels.

  • Presence of Atherosclerotic plaque within your coronary or carotid arteries, regardless of your hereditary or personal risk profile. Plaque is a disease of the arteries and can rupture at any stage and cause a potential heart attack or stroke.

Good News! All risk factors, except age, can be reduced with lifestyle changes and proper medical care.

What Causes a Heart Attack or Stroke?

  • Over 90% of heart attacks and strokes are due to plaque within the walls of arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the vital organs of the body.
  • Atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) occurs when the immune system tries to heal the inflammation within the arterial wall. LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol is deposited within the inflamed lining. The body’s defense mechanisms attempt to reverse the process. However, during the ‘healing’ process LDL cholesterol continues to be deposited forming a plaque with a thin cap (like a cholesterol blister).
  • When the surface capsule of the cholesterol plaque ruptures, releasing cholesterol core material directly into the blood stream, a significant and sudden event occurs: a blood clot is formed causing a potentially fatal blockage of blood flow and oxygen supply.
  • If plaque rupture occurs in the coronary arteries of the heart, the result is a heart attack. If a plaque rupture occurs in the carotid arteries supplying the brain, a stroke occurs. The size and location of the resulting clot determines the severity of the attack and frequently results in death.
  • It is important to understand that plaque rupture can occur with only mild disease and not just with advanced blockage (stenosis). The presence of any amount of plaque is a diagnosis of disease. This explains the frequently heard story of the friend or neighbor that suffered a fatal heart attack the day after a normal EKG Stress Test.
  • Contact Dr. Gordon Gunn today at (714) 912-2211 to schedule an appointment.

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