Tag Archives: Heart Attack

What Is Cholesterol? Fullerton, CA

We are all aware that having too much cholesterol isn’t good, so we tailor our diets when things begin to go awry with our health. But how much do you actually know about cholesterol and what it does to our bodies?

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. The problem is lipids cannot circulate alone in the blood stream because fat and water do not mix.

They require a transport system.

‘Water-soluble’ proteins called lipoproteins transport cholesterol in the blood, and the amount of lipoprotein determines how much cholesterol can be moved. 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 by their physicians that their cholesterol levels and “ratio” are either normal, or if abnormal, their ‘good’ cholesterol is ‘OK’. The problem with this message is the fact that 50% of women who suffer their first heart attack or stroke have ‘normal’ cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association criteria.

If you would like more information on cholesterol, 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.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go? | Fullerton, CA

When we have our heart broken, it is often difficult to envision a day when the pain we feel will dissipate. We fall into a sad place for a while, but eventually, things turn around and we begin to heal. But what if the pain is very physical? 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 sudden chest pain (a surge of stress hormones), caused by the 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. This seems to be an apropos time to think about these stressors.

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. The problem is, it seems very similar to a heart attack, so how can we tell the difference? Here are some basics of broken heart syndrome – you’ll see it isn’t an obvious diagnosis:

  • EKG test 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

In some cases, broken heart syndrome can be life threatening, but the good news is most people tend to make a full recovery. Be careful with your heart – not just physically, but emotionally as well.

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

Am I Having a Heart Attack Right Now? | Fullerton, CA

Heart Health

Did you know that women don’t experience the same signs as men do when experiencing a heart attack? It’s true. That said, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms in order to ensure you get proper care if and when it happens.

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. May not seem dangerous at first glance but believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. And this is why many women don’t believe it’s anything more than a cold. 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.

These are common 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. Unfortunately, no one is free from risk of a heart attack. 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. Take care of yourself, ladies. Not everything is just as it seems.

If you would like more information on heart attacks, 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.

Prevent Heart Disease with These Menopause-Friendly Foods | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

Believe it or not, but heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. And if that wasn’t bad enough, women who have had their ovaries removed are especially at risk. But there are a few changes we can make to our diets that can help prevent heart disease:

Whole grains. 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.

Extra-virgin olive oil. This healthy fat can make a great heart-healthy substitute for butter.

Raw, unsalted almonds and walnuts. A ¼ cup a day can boost your protein and lower your cholesterol.

Tomatoes. This veggie is high in antioxidants that protect the heart.

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. 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. Adding just a little bit of dark chocolate to those berries and you’ve got yourself a divine, guilt-free dessert. 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 more information on menopause-friendly foods, 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 Your Way to Heart Health | Fullerton, CA

Heart disease is among one of the deadliest killers in the world, killing on average 610,000 Americans a year. You’re right – it’s a staggering number, especially when there are ways that we can help prevent it from happening. Clogged arteries can be caused by diet, genetics and lifestyle choices. Because diet and lifestyle choices go together, let’s focus on foods that can prevent that plaque from building up:

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. 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. Broccoli can also help prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol which can lead to serious heart problems.

Avocado. Studies have shown that avocado can lead to improved blood cholesterol, while lowering LDL and triglycerides and increasing the HDL, the good cholesterol.

Asparagus. Full of fiber and minerals, asparagus is one of the best veggies for clearing arteries.

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

Coldwater fish. Eating fish twice a week can help reduce inflammation and plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease.

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

Cranberries. Cranberries reduces LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol levels.

If you would like more information on heart healthy foods, 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.

Summertime: Relieving the Stressors of Life | Fullerton, CA

Let’s face it – life is stressful. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to change the circumstances. Health problems, money issues and personal relationships can all be contributing factors to your stress. But it’s summertime – a time to relax and enjoy the sunshine with loved ones. If you find that your lifestyle leaves you very stressed out, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms in order to rectify the situation before it turns into something much worse. Understanding your current state of wellness improves your knowledge, helps you set goals and empowers you to make better choices for a healthier life.  Here are common symptoms of stress:

  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Irritability
  • Loss of concentration

It is important to investigate symptoms of stress as prolonged stress poses a potential health threat. 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. Because of these additional health problems, try to lower the risk by adding these suggestions into your daily lifestyle:

  • 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

If you would like more information on stress prevention, 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.

Updated Stroke Information that Could Save Your Life | Fullerton, CA

This is a scary pill to swallow but 50% of American women die as a result of a heart attack or stroke. Heart attacks and strokes are preventable, according to new medical evidence. However, the main issue is that women aren’t aware that they are at risk and underestimate their personal risk level. By participating in the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program you will gain an understanding of your risk, increase your awareness for heart disease, and be empowered with healthy solutions.

So, what kinds of risks are we looking at? It all depends on your lifestyle and genetic makeup:

Heredity. Family history is an important indicator of your future risks, especially if your father had a heart attack before the age of 45 or your mother before the age of 55.

Personal. Factors that contribute to an elevated LDL, an elevated CRP-HS, can be aging, existing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, metabolic syndrome, and poor lifestyle choices are all factors that can play a part in a stroke or heart attack.

Over 90% of heart attacks and strokes are due to plaque within the walls of arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the vital organs of the body. When the surface capsule of the cholesterol plaque ruptures, releasing cholesterol core material directly into the blood stream, a significant and sudden event occurs – a blood clot is formed causing a potentially fatal blockage of blood flow and oxygen supply.

If plaque rupture occurs in the coronary arteries of the heart, the result is a heart attack. If a plaque rupture occurs in the carotid arteries supplying the brain, a stroke occurs.

If you would like more information on heart attack and stroke prevention, 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.

Are You at Risk for a Stroke? | Fullerton, CA

According to recent survey, 425,000 women suffer from stroke each year. Most women are unaware of the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, so it is important to talk to your doctor about any future complications you may have in order to take preventative measures. After all, a healthy lifestyle will ensure longevity, and who doesn’t want a long healthy life? Unfortunately, you may be at risk for a stroke and you may not be able to control that. How do you know if you’re at risk? Here are some of the risk factors involved with a stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight

Did you find one that matched with you? Don’t worry – there are things you can do to keep that stroke at bay. To reduce your risk of stroke, you will need to make some lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking. Exercising and eating a healthier diet can help you lose weight and reduce your chances of diabetes and high cholesterol. These are just a few things we should be doing to maintain a long healthy life, so these changes are going to be good overall, not just at preventing a stroke.

If you want to start reducing your risk for stroke, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn and ask about the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. By participating in the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program you will gain an understanding of your risk, increase your awareness for heart disease, and be empowered with healthy solutions.

If you would like more information on stroke prevention, 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.

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.