Category Archives: Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program

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.gordongunnm.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.gordongunnm.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.

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.gordongunnm.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.

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.gordongunnm.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.

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.gordongunnm.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.

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack | Heart Health Fullerton, Ca

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With all the focus on the American Red Cross and their Go Red for Women campaign this month we thought we’d focus on women’s heart health for this months blog with focus on knowing the signs of a heart attack in women.

You may have heard how women don’t experience the same signs as men do when experiencing a heart attack. So lets be aware and take the warning signs to heart.

Here’s what you should know:

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. Believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. They’re also symptoms that women often brush off as the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather—which could put their lives in jeopardy. 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.

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. 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. (Source: goredforwomen.org)

 

Contact Gordon Gunn, MD. Dr. Gunn can access your health status and put you on the road to a healthier you. Call today at 714-912-2211 or visit our website at gethearthealthytoday.com.

High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure or  hypertension currently affects 1 out of every 3 American adults. High blood
pressure often has no signs or symptoms and is therefore called the “silent killer” as it is one of the most important factors leading to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease and early death.
Blood pressure changes constantly throughout the day to respond to what you are doing, thinking and feeling. Blood pressure readings in a doctor’s office are a snap shot of the overall pressure. Some people have higher readings in the office than at home, a condition called “white coat hypertension”. Measuring blood pressure at home at various times of the day gives the most accurate idea of your true blood pressure. Relatively inexpensive home blood pressure monitors are available at most pharmacies. The pressure should be measured in a sitting position with your elbow supported at the heart level. You should sit quietly for 5 minutes before testing the pressure and take it twice with a brief break in between.
Two numbers are recorded with blood pressure readings. The top number is called the
systolic pressure reflecting the amount of pressure generated when the heart is contracting. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure that reflects the pressure when the heart is relaxing between beats. The latest national guidelines for blood pressure are as follows:
Making healthful lifestyle changes can control or improve blood pressure.
Here are 10 steps that can help to lower your blood pressure:
1) Monitor blood pressure at home. This will result in the most accurate assessment of your blood
pressure.
2) Regular exercise improves blood vessel flexibility and heart function. It can be as simple as
walking regularly and may decrease blood pressure by 10 points.
3) Eat well. The American Heart Association recommends the ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop
Hypertension’ (DASH) diet. This diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products,
whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
4) Lose weight, if overweight. Losing even 10% of your current weight can make a big difference.
5) Discontinue smoking. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and can cause a 20 -point increase in
blood pressure.
6) Drink alcohol in moderation. One drink a day for women may be good for the heart and blood vessels.
7) Limit salt intake. Too much sodium and too little potassium can increase blood pressure in
people who are sensitive to salt. Aim for less the 1.5 grams of sodium and more than 4.7 grams
of potassium daily. Many salt substitutes contain potassium.
8) Sleep at least 6-8 hours a night. Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to high blood pressure
and increased chance of developing heart disease.
9) Reduce stress. Mental and emotional stress can increase blood pressure while meditation, deep
breathing and other stress-reducing activities can lower it.
10) Take prescribed blood pressure medication. Taking blood pressure pills should not make you
feel differently and can keep you from having a stroke or heart attack.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology and women’s health.  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.

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

 

Heart Disease & Stroke – Update 2014

Consider the Following Facts:

  •  Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) includes heart attacks, strokes and peripheral artery disease (abdomen and legs). CAD is the number one cause of death in the United States, resulting in over 900,000 deaths annually and representing nearly one half of ALL causes of death.
  • Additionally, hundreds of thousand of women and men survive their initial attack and frequently with varying degrees of disability.
  • For an excellent overview of cholesterol and the role of plaque in causing heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease visit: www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/cholesterol-and-artery-plaque-buildup

Good News: Over the past two decades major advances in the research of cardiovascular
disease and the role of cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque has demonstrated that this process
is potentially preventable and reversible, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes.
In 2004 I began a clinical study using screening office vascular ultrasound testing to diagnose
the presence of cholesterol plaque within the carotid arteries to the brain, abdominal aorta and
the femoral arteris in the lower extremities. When any plaque is present, a complete diagnostic
carotid artery duplex ultrasound is performed to determine exactly what type and location of
the plaque is present as well as the amount of narrowing (stenosis) of the artery, blood flow
pressures and surface contour of the plaque. This diagnostic carotid artery study establishes a
baseline with which future ultrasounds can be compared for stability, progression or regression.
Results to date: In patients who have made significant changes in their lifestyle habits and have
followed my recommendations, the result has been very encouraging. In nearly 2000 patients
the progression of their disease (as measured by their carotid artery plaque) has been stopped,
stabilized and even reversed. And to my knowledge no events have occurred to date. In fact,
there are a number of patients who NO longer have any evidence of their previous plaque. The
ramifications of these findings are monumental for the potential of significantly reducing the
mortality and the morbidity caused by this disease.
Remember: Plaque may be common as we age, but it is NOT normal. It is a disease and is still
is the Number 1 cause of death and disability in the U.S. However, it has been clearly
demonstrated that plaque can be stopped and even reversed.
 The Key:
o Diagnosing the presence of plaque before it ruptures, causing a heart attack or stroke.
o Treating patients with asymptomatic (subclinical) disease (plaque) in the same manner as
those patients who have had a heart attack or stroke (clinical) and survived.

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.