Category Archives: Heart Health

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.

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.

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.

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.

10 Foods to Help Heart Health During Menopause | Fullerton, CA

Heart HealthyIt’s frightening but it’s a fact: Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. And if that wasn’t bad enough, women who have had their ovaries removed are especially at risk. So what’s a girl to do? Beat the odds by replacing the junk food in your cupboard with these heart-healthy foods, recommended by the American Heart Association!

Whole grains. Whole grains, like brown rice and quinoa, are packed with many nutrients that refined grains are stripped of, like fiber, folate and iron. 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. They are easy to find and are very versatile in recipes.

Extra-virgin olive oil. This healthy fat can make a great heart-healthy substitute for butter. See where you can make the switch in your next recipe!

Raw, unsalted almonds and walnuts. These make great snacks, salad additions, and toppings. A ¼ cup a day can boost your protein and lower your cholesterol. Just be careful, eating too much more than that, could lead to packing on a lot of unnecessary calories and fats.

Tomatoes. This veggie is high in antioxidants that protect the heart. Plus, this convenient little fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) is a super easy add-in to any recipe.

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. They may be tiny but grapes are packed with antioxidants, making heart health a little sweeter. 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. Now that’s a change I can make to my diet, am I right, ladies? Adding just a little bit of dark chocolate to those berries and you’ve got yourself a divine, guilt-free dessert. Of course, this doesn’t give you the green light to eat chocolate all day, but 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 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.

National Stress Awareness Month

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Every April since 1992, National Stress Awareness Month has been observed. This national month is held to raise public awareness about both the causes and cures for stress.

Life is full of stress, and I’m sure every one of us has no doubt experienced some type of stressful situation within our lifetime. Whether it be a bad day at work or worry over debt, stress affects us all, and in different ways at that. In fact, if you suffer from long term stress it can lead to many illnesses, ranging from depression to heart disease. Fortunately, by understanding the connection between the mind, stress and health, one can better manage stress and improve their overall health and well-being.

Fight or Flight Response

The sympathetic stress response, commonly known as the fight or flight response, is a physiological reaction that’s essentially “hard wired” into our nervous systems. This reaction is necessary mobilizing quick reflexes when there is immediate danger, such as having to swerve to avoid a car accident.

When your body perceives a threat, stress hormones are rushed into your bloodstream, thus increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Other hormones can also suppress functions like digestion and immune system, being one of the many reasons why chronic stress can leave you susceptible to illness.

While danger triggers the stress response, unfortunately, so can things such as conflict at work, money problems, bad memories and anxiety. Although, one bad day won’t compromise your health, weeks and months of stress can weaken your immune system and raise your risk for disease.

Take Action against Stress

If you’re suffering from chronic stress and can’t change the situation causing it, then you may need to change your approach. Keep in mind, you do have the ability to choose your response to stressors, and you may have to try many options.

  • Realize when you don’t have control over something, and let it go.
  • Try not to get anxious about situations you can’t change.
  • Take control of your reactions, and try to focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.
  • Develop goals for healthy living, wellness, personal/professional growth. Be sure to set realistic goals.

Take Time for Yourself

Make time to relax and recharge so you’ll be able to handle the stressors life throws your way. Take some time from your day to take care of yourself, even if it’s only for 10 to 15 minutes. Everyone has their own ideas of what helps them unwind. The following are a few ideas that may help you relax:

  • Take a walk
  • Go for a run or jog
  • Have a hot cup of tea
  • Play a sport of your choosing
  • Spend time with family or friends
  • Meditate
  • Do some yoga

Stress can occur at any moment, and while you can’t completely avoid it, you can learn to minimize and better cope with it by changing the way you choose to respond to it.

To celebrate National Stress Awareness Month, start implementing these healthy habits into your life today. Don’t let stress stand in the way of having a wonderful day, every day.

If you would like more information on how stress can affect your heart health, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

American Heart Month | Live Heart Healthy

Heart Healthy

The month of February marks American Heart Month, the perfect time to get heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association, a devastating 951,000 Americans will be told that they have heart failure this year. Heart disease causes 1 in 4 deaths a year and is the leading death for men and women in the United States.

Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Striving to live a heart healthy life can be simple if you’re dedicated. Simple changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in your heart health. Here are some ideas for getting you started toward a heart healthy life:

  • Schedule an appointment with doctor to talk about your heart health. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups, even when you’re not sick. You can partner up with your doctor to set goals to improve your heart health.
  • Add exercise into your daily routine. You could start the day off by talking a 15 minute walk, 3 times a week. Then come mid-month you could increase your time to 30 minute walks, 3 times a week.
  • Increase healthy eating. Start cooking heart healthy meals at least 3 times a week. Also make your favorite recipe lower in sodium by swapping out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.
  • Take the first step to quit smoking. If you smoke, quitting the terrible habit can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Take your medication as prescribed. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure or cholesterol medication. If you’re having any issues taking your medication or have any side effects, contact your doctor.

Take charge and start living a heart healthy life today. For more information regarding your heart health, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211. Visit www.gordongunnmd.com for to learn more about how you can live a heart healthy life.

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