Tag 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.

Improve Your Life One Goal at a Time | Fullerton, CA

We are our own worst critics. We are all guilty of having many areas of our lives that we would like to improve upon, and all improvement requires hard work and motivation. In walks the month of September…

September marks National Self-Improvement Month, a month to take the time to improve aspects that may be holding you back from being a happier and healthy version of yourself. Try these tips:

Get physical. Physical activity is very important to your overall health. Focus on whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy level, or just cut your salt intake, and 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.

Eat a healthy diet. When you eat healthy food, you’re getting the nutrition your body requires. Evaluate your diet and see if there are any eating habits that need improvement. 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 by scheduling a designated day each month to take time to do something that you enjoy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.