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 Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Fullerton, CA

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of this disease. While several woman may be aware of breast cancer, very few take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage other women to take the same steps. Taking the proper steps to detect breast cancer is vital for women’s health. Breast cancer is one of the most common type of cancers in women. In fact, about one in eight women born in the U.S. will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Those statistics are scary, however, as I mentioned earlier, there are steps that you can take to become aware of the symptoms that come along with this terrible disease. To help you detect the symptoms of breast cancer I have complied a list of the signs and symptoms that all of us should be aware of.

Change in the way breast or nipple feels

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

Change in Breast or Nipple Appearance

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

Any Nipple Discharge

  • Particularly if you have clear discharge or bloody discharge

Most of the time these symptoms are not due to cancer, but if you have any breast cancer symptoms you should be seen by your doctor immediately to be sure you are healthy and cancer free. Even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms, it’s still vital to be seen for regular screenings. Your doctor is always able to screen for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms.

If you would like to take the first step towards good 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 Self-Improvement Month

happy woman

As you’ve probably heard, we are our own worst critics. Many of us are guilty of focusing on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. There are many areas of our lives that we may like to improve, however, improvement requires hard work and motivation.

September marks National Self-Improvement Month. During the entire month of September, you can take the time to improve aspects of yourself and your life that may be holding you back from being a happier and healthy version of yourself. Below is a list of ways that you can celebrate National Self-Improvement Month:

  • Get physical- Physical activity is very important to your overall health. Focus on the physical aspects of your life that could use some improvement. Whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy level, or just cut your salt intake, you can set a goal to do so. If you have a certain fitness goal, create a realistic plan that you’ll be able to stick to for the long haul. This could be exercising 30 minutes a day or at least 3 days a week.
  • Eat a healthy diet- When you eat healthy food, you’re getting the nutrients your body requires. Nutrition is one of the main foundations to overall health. Evaluate your diet and see if there are any eating habits that need improvement. Making even just a few small changes in your diet can affect your health and the way you feel about yourself.
  • Take time to de-stress- Stress can take a major toll on your health and mentality. Be sure that you take some time to yourself every month. Schedule a designated day each month that you take time to do something that you enjoy. Whether it be getting a massage or taking a hike, the “me time” will do your body good.

National Self-Improvement Month is the perfect time for you to take step back to evaluate yourself, find the areas you wish to improve and get motivated to take back control of your life. There is always room for improvement in anyone’s life.

If you would like to learn how you can take control of your health, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit our website at www.gordongunnmd.com for more information regarding overall health. 

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

5 Ways To Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

Heart Healthy

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, you may be worried about having to take medication to lower your numbers. While it’s true, medication can lower your blood pressure, there are also other ways you can go about lowering your blood pressure.

Most people can actually bring down their blood pressure naturally without medication -by using at-home remedies. If you can successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to avoid medication completely. Here are five lifestyle changes that can naturally lower and control blood pressure:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Blood pressure typically increases as weight increases. Being overweight can also cause sleep apnea (disruptive breathing while asleep), which can further raise one’s blood pressure. Losing weight is one of the most effective ways you can lower your blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure immensely.
  2. Exercise on a regular basis. Regular physical activity can help you lower your blood pressure. It’s important to be consistent because if you aren’t, your blood pressure can increase again. If you already have slightly high blood pressure, physical activity can help you avoid it turning into full-blown hypertension. The best kind of exercise to lower blood pressure include, walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing.
  3. 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. It can be difficult to change your eating habits, but with determination it’s possible.
  4. Be smart with your salt intake. Even just a small reduction in your sodium intake can reduce blood pressure. 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 not add salt to meals.
  5. 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.

As you can see there a simple ways you can go about lowering your blood pressure naturally without the use of medication. If you would like additional help lowing your blood pressure, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 today. Or visit our website at www.gordongunnmd.com for more information regarding high blood pressure. 

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

How to Boost Women’s Health

overactive bladder, fullerton

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 close to natural foods as possible. That means including fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.  Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods, also choose leaner meat and fish. Be sure to also include low-fat dairy products in your diet too. Eating healthy can help maintain a proper weight for your height, which is important because obesity can lead to a variety of illnesses.

Exercise. Heart disease is one of leading causes of death among women in the United States. 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. Walking, jogging, swimming biking and dancing are all good for women’s health.

Manage stress. No matter the stage in life, a women 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. Women can also manage stress with exercise, relaxation techniques and meditation.

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. According to some women’s health studies most women can consume one alcoholic beverage a day.

Sunbathe safely. Too much exposure to the sun’s rays can cause skin cancer, which can be deadly. To help protect yourself from the harmful rays, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPH) of at least 15 if you are going to be outdoors for a little bit. You should still check for signs of skin cancer, even if you do wear sunscreen.

Check for breast cancer. While the American Cancer Society no longer recommends monthly breast self-exams, it still suggests them as an option for women. 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. Mammograms are the most effective way to check for breast cancer in its earliest stages.

As you can see there are simple things you can to do boost women’s health. If you would like to learn more about how you can ensure your health, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 or visit our website at www.gordongunnm.com for more information regarding women’s health. 

 

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

Heart Disease Prevention Tips

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of about 610,000 people every year. However, there are certain risk factors that make some people more likely to develop heart disease. Those risk factors are divided into two categories; modifiable risk factors which you can control, like weight, and non-modifiable risk factors which you can’t control, such as genetics.

Fortunately, your lifestyle choices can influence your heart health immensely. With lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, exercise, quitting smoking and managing blood pressure, diabetes and stress you can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease. The following list includes steps you can take towards preventing heart disease:

Quit Smoking- If you do smoke, one of the most crucial steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease is to quit smoking. Smoking causes plaque buildup in the arteries, which will eventually lead to the hardening of the arteries. Not only does smoking damage your organs, it also worsens other risk factors for heart disease. It lowers your amount of good cholesterol and raises blood pressure, which in turn, can cause increased stress on your arteries. In just one year after quitting, your risk for heart disease is reduced by 50%.

Heart Healthy Diet- Your nutrition and diet play a big role in heart disease prevention. According to research, a diet that’s high in raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids can go a long way in reducing your risk of heart disease. You’ll also need to avoid or limit food or beverages that can worsen heart disease. This includes foods and drinks high in salt and sugar, alcoholic beverages, and foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. It’s also important for you to watch your calorie intake. Focus on eating foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories.

Exercise- Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are both vital in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Most experts recommend getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, or most days of the week. Your exercise doesn’t even have to be intense. Activities such as taking your dog for a walk, doing some gardening or cleaning your house all count as exercise. The main goal of exercising is to maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will help lower blood pressure and reduce risks for other health complications.

Lower Blood Pressure- Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is known as “the silent killer” since it usually goes without symptoms in most people. High blood pressure can contribute to heart disease and cause increased stress on your cardiovascular system. You can lower your blood pressure by exercising, eating heart healthy, managing weight, avoiding stress, and smoking. If you do have high blood pressure, work closely with your health care provider and monitor your blood pressure regularly.

Avoid Stress- Though it’s still not fully understood, there is a link between people who experience high amounts of stress for long periods of time and heart disease. Stress can cause pain, headaches, sleep loss and body exhaustion. If you deal with chronic stress, it can cause your heart to work harder and worsen any other risk factors for heart disease you may have. Exercise, yoga, meditation and letting go of worries are all things you can do to reduce your stress.

Manage Diabetes- Diabetes is a very serious risk factor for heart disease. If you do have this medical condition, be sure monitor your blood sugar levels. Your health care provider may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under control. Those certain lifestyle changes will help reduce your risk for heart disease.

While being diagnosed with heart disease can be quite alarming, there are many lifestyles choices you can make to help prevent this terrible disease. All of the things mentioned above can have a significant impact on heart disease prevention.

Make yourself a priority and ask Dr. Gordon Gunn about his Lifestyle Longevity Program by contacting his office in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information.

Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Diamond Bar, Walnut Creek and surrounding area.

American Stroke Month

mom and teen daughter

The month of May marks American Stroke Month, a time to raise stroke awareness. Strokes do not discriminate, they can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. According the American Stroke Association, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds, in the United States alone.

Those statistics are alarming and we shouldn’t stand idly by while this disease ruins and takes the lives of our loved ones. While it’s true that stroke threatens millions of lives, it is preventable, treatable and beatable. The following list is a few things that everyone should know:

  • Stroke Risk increases with age, however, young adults, children and even unborn babies can suffer from a stroke. You are three times more at risk to suffer from a stroke if one of your parents had an ischemic stroke before the age of 65.
  • High Blood Pressure Is Stoke’s Number One Target, however, keeping your blood pressure under control reduces your risk and prevent stroke. Three out of four people who suffer their first stroke have high blood pressure.
  • Stroke Can Be Largely Treatable. There are blood clot-busting drugs and medical devices have made stroke largely treatable. However, every second counts, nearly 2 million brain cells die each minute a stroke goes untreated. The faster you’re treated, the more likely you’ll be able to recover without any permanent disability.
  • People Often Save Others From Stroke. By learning the signs and symptoms, you too can save someone from suffering from a stroke. F.A.S.T. is a simple way to remember sudden signs of stroke; F.A.S.T. is an acronym used to detect the strokes. F.A.S.T. stands for Face dropping, Arm Weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call 9-1-1. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call for help right away.

American Stroke Month wants to help others by increasing their knowledge of strokes, so that they may be able to save a friend, family member or their own life one day. Make it a mission to help build a healthier life for you and the ones you love to prevent against stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

Make yourself a priority and ask Dr. Gordon Gunn, MD about his Lifestyle Longevity Program by contacting his office in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information.

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

What is Patent Ductus Arteriosus? | Heart Health

Heart Health

A Patent Ductus Arteriosus, more commonly referred to as PDA, is a condition where the heart’s ductus arteriosus doesn’t close, leaving an unclosed hole in the aorta. The ductus arteriosus is a vessel that’s an essential part of fetal blood circulation and is connected to the major arteries – the aorta and pulmonary artery. Before a baby is born, the fetus doesn’t need to use their lungs to get oxygenated and the ductus arteriosus allows the blood to skip the circulation to the lungs.

However when a baby is born, their blood must get oxygen from their lungs and the patent arteriosus is supposed to close within the first few hours or days after birth. If the patent arteriosus remains open, the blood can skip a necessary step of circulation and allow oxygen-rich blood from aorta to mix with the oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery. A Patent Ductus Arteriosus can cause strain to your heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries, affecting your heart health.

Although, PDA is a congenital heart defect seen at birth, but it can be missed and identified later on in life at any age. If your baby has a PDA but otherwise is still heart healthy, the PDA may shrink and go away. However, some children and adults require treatments to close their PDA.

How does the PDA affect me?

If the PDA is small, it won’t cause many symptoms or problems with your heart because the blood flow and pressure in the heart and lungs aren’t changed much from normal. The only abnormality that a doctor may find would be a distinctive type of heart murmur.

If the PDA is large or moderate, you may become breathless more easily due to reduced heart function and high pressures in your lungs. High pressure can occur in your lung vessels because more blood is being pumped there than normal. Over time PDA can cause permanent damage to your lung blood vessels.

How does the PDA affect my heart?

Normally the heart’s right side only pumps blood into the lungs and the left side pumps blood to the body. If you have PDA, extra blood is circulated and extra blood get pumped from the body (aorta) artery into the lung (pulmonary) arteries. If your PDA is large, the extra blood being pumped into the pulmonary arteries makes the lungs and heart work harder, and your lungs can become congested.

It’s crucial to pay attention to your heart health to live a healthy and fulfilling life. To get heart healthy today, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211. Visit www.gordongunnmd.com if you would like to learn more about heart health.

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