Category Archives: Heart Disease

Diamonds Are Made Under Lots of Pressure | Fullerton, CA

Heart HealthHigh 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. Here are some steps that can help to lower your blood pressure:

Monitor blood pressure. This will result in the most accurate assessment of your blood pressure.

Regular exercise. Keeping active improves blood vessel flexibility and heart function. It can be as simple as walking regularly and may decrease blood pressure by 10 points.

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.

Lose weight. Losing even 10% of your current weight can make a big difference.

Quit smoking. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and can cause a 20 -point increase in blood pressure.

Drink alcohol in moderation. One drink a day for women may be good for the heart and blood vessels.

Limit salt intake. Too much sodium and too little potassium can increase blood pressure, so aim for less the 1.5 grams of sodium and more than 4.7 grams daily.

Sleep at least 6-8 hours a night. Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to high blood pressure and increased chance of developing heart disease.

Reduce stress. Mental and emotional stress can increase blood pressure while meditation, deep breathing and other stress-reducing activities can lower it.

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.

If you would like more information on high blood pressure, 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 Away Your Chances of Developing Heart Disease | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

Heart disease kills thousands of Americans every day and clogged arteries are the main culprit. Clogged arteries don’t happen overnight, and is caused by diet, genetics and lifestyle choices. However, you can reverse the clogging with these foods:

Garlic. According to studies, 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. Despite popular belief that all saturated fats are bad, 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 and 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 help lower cholesterol prevent blood clots that could potentially cause serious illness.

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

Cold water fish. Fish rich in healthy fats such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help clear arteries.

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

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 heart disease, 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 Is the Role of Cholestrol? | Fullerton, CA

When it comes to our health, we always hear about ways we can lower our cholesterol levels. But have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly cholesterol is and why we need to be so concerned with its levels? Let’s take a quick look…

Cholesterol is an essential building block for the normal metabolism of the body. Cholesterol is a lipid (fat). The liver produces 90% of the body’s cholesterol (usually during sleep). This is primarily a genetic factor; only 10% comes from food. Herein lies the issue: Lipids cannot circulate alone in the blood stream (fat and water do not mix) – they require a transport system. How do we transport those lipids? ‘Water-soluble’ proteins called lipoproteins transport cholesterol in the blood.

There are three main types of lipoproteins that transport cholesterol:

HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Referred to as “good” cholesterol, because it removes cholesterol from arterial plaque and transports it back to the liver to be metabolized.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Referred to as “bad” cholesterol, because it deposits cholesterol into the inflamed plaque of the artery wall.

VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein). This lipoprotein is directly related to the level of   triglycerides.

Total cholesterol is the sum of all three types of lipoproteins. Measuring these and the triglyceride level produces a lipid profile. The ratio is the total cholesterol divided by the HDL level (the lower, the better).

Women are frequently told their cholesterol levels and “ratio” are either normal, or if abnormal, their ‘good’ cholesterol is ‘OK’. The problem is 50% of women who suffer their first heart attack or stroke have ‘normal’ cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association.

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

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

Protect Your Heart’s Health | Fullerton, CA

It is a scary thought to know you are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, it is a truth we all need to accept. Every year, millions of Americans suffer from a heart attack, and nearly half of those heart attacks are fatal. Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in men and women. It’s time to take control and get heart healthy. In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to heart attack and stroke prevention:

Quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, you really need to consider quitting. As you already know, smoking is very unhealthy, not only for your overall health, but for your heart. Nicotine actually narrows and restricts blood vessels.

Exercise more. 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.

Learn to de-stress. Stress contributes to lots of health issues, including heart disease. If you find that you are stressed often, try reducing 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, or “bad” cholesterol, increases your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be improved with exercise and healthy eating habits.

A heart-healthy diet. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet can reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to maintain consistent good health.

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

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

Your Broken Heart May Be Cause for Concern | Fullerton, CA

Of all the emotions one tries to avoid at all costs, it would have to be heartbreak. The end of a relationship or situation that you are emotionally invested in can not only affect your spirit and cause a spike in your sugar intake but can actually cause health issues. Believe it or not, but broken heart syndrome is real and closely imitates a heart attack. 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 a sudden chest pain caused by an 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. 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. It can be life-threatening, but most make a complete recovery. So, before you write off your feelings as just that, take a look at these signs and symptoms:

  • EKG (test that records hearts electric activity) 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

If you would like more information on broken heart syndrome, 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.

Am I Having a Stroke? | Fullerton, CA

Heart HealthCardiovascular disease, which includes coronary artery heart disease, stroke and peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is the leading cause of death of both American women and men. Statistics show that women and men have different outcomes from this disease. Women are more likely than men to die from a heart attack or stroke than men. However, the misconception still exists that cardiovascular disease is not a real problem for women.

CAD is a condition in which one more of the heart’s arteries is narrowed or blocked by cholesterol plaque called “atherosclerosis” in which decreases the blood flow to the heart muscle. Chest discomfort or pain called angina can occur when the heart muscle does not receive adequate blood and oxygen, such as during exertion, strong emotions or extreme temperatures. The discomfort typically lasts less than ten minutes.

Women are more likely than men to have a hidden or sub-clinical type of CAD, which may cause only chest discomfort (rather than pain), minor EKG abnormalities or minor abnormal stress tests. This hidden type of heart disease does not involve the larger arteries supplying the heart, but it is due to disease of the small branches of the coronary arteries called micro vessels. Frequently, normal arteries are found on angiograms of the heart in women.

Other causes of chest discomfort that are not related to the heart include acid reflux, inflammation of the chest wall or lung inflammation. If you have episodes of chest discomfort, you should see your physician for an evaluation.

If you would like more information on stroke symptoms, 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.

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.

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.

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.