Tag Archives: Managing Heart Health

Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart Today | Fullerton, CA

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States, even more so for women that have had their ovaries removed. That’s a scary statistic. So, what’s a girl to do? Start by replacing the junk food 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, that 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, so add 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. Grapes are tiny packages of antioxidants and phytochemicals, making heart health a little sweeter.

Berries. Filled with fiber and antioxidants, berries make great, heart-healthy desserts any time of the day.

Dark chocolate. Add a little bit of dark chocolate to those berries and you’ve got an extra heart-healthy dessert option. A small amount of dark chocolate every so often can help lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow.

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.

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.

Protect Your Heart’s Health | Fullerton, CA

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

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

Exercise more. You should exercise daily, or at least walk two miles a day. You don’t need to walk those two miles all at once, exercise doesn’t just burn calories. Exercise also activates genes that are very beneficial to your health.

Learn to de-stress. Stress contributes to lots of health issues, including heart disease. If you find that you are stressed often, try reducing stress by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, volunteering and laughing. Also, try to avoid stressful situations and people that make you anxious or angry.

Watch your cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, increases your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be improved with exercise and healthy eating habits.

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

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

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

Should I Get Hormone Therapy? | Fullerton, CA

As women progress into their 50’s, it is likely that they will begin to experience menopause. Menopause is a natural occurring event when their ovaries cease producing estrogen, thereby marking the end of the reproductive period of her life. The problem is women are living so much longer than they were, living well into their 80’s, which means menopause can even take up a third of their lives.

Peri-menopause is diagnosed when the menstrual cycles vary in frequency and length and may be associated with psychological, emotional and/or physical symptoms. These disturbances are due to a declining ovarian production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone that may be periodic or continuous. In order to deal with the drastic changes going on, many sought relief in hormone therapy. However, symptoms arose with those additional hormones and studies were conducted to see if any other health issues arose by using hormone therapy, like breast cancer, stroke and heart disease.

In April 2011, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer over time, and those who did develop breast cancer were 63% less likely to die from their disease. Among the women with a prior hysterectomy treated with estrogen alone and followed for 11 years, there was NO increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, hip fracture, colon cancer or mortality. Importantly, there was a persistent decrease in the risk of breast cancer.

After a decade of fear and confusion regarding the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy, medical studies have now clearly established its safety and its health benefits.

If you would like more information on menopausal hormone therapy, 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.

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

Of all the emotions one tries to avoid at all costs, it would have to be heartbreak. The end of a relationship or situation that you are emotionally invested in can not only affect your spirit and cause a spike in your sugar intake but can actually cause health issues. Believe it or not, but broken heart syndrome is real and closely imitates a heart attack. Like a heart attack, broken heart syndrome has similar symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Broken heart syndrome, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can strike even the healthiest of people, but the exact cause is still unclear. Women are more likely to experience a sudden chest pain caused by an emotionally stressful event. Known triggers of broken heart syndrome are unexpected death of a loved one, divorce or separation, betrayal, or even a surprise party. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart enlarges for a short period and doesn’t pump as well, while other parts of your heart function just fine. It can be life-threatening, but most make a complete recovery. So, before you write off your feelings as just that, take a look at these signs and symptoms:

  • EKG (test that records hearts electric activity) results aren’t the same as someone who is having a heart attack
  • Tests show no signs of blockage in the coronary arteries
  • Blood tests show no or little signs of heart damage
  • Tests show ballooning of the lower left heart chamber
  • Fast recovery time, typically within days or weeks

If you would like more information on broken heart syndrome, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

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

Am I Having a Heart Attack? Fullerton, CA

Heart HealthWith all the focus on the American Red Cross and their Go Red for Women campaign this month we thought we’d focus on women’s heart health. What better way to keep our hearts in tiptop shape than by knowing the signs of a heart attack? After all, women don’t experience the same signs of a heart attack men do. So, let’s be aware and take the warning signs to heart…

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. Believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. Seems familiar, doesn’t it? They’re also symptoms that women often brush off as the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather—which could put their lives in jeopardy.

The most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort, like men. 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/jaw pain. Other 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. It’s crucial to learn about heart disease and stroke, live a heart-healthy lifestyle and be aware of the risk factors of heart disease.

If you would like more information on symptoms of a heart attack, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

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

Am I Having a Stroke? | Fullerton, CA

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

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

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

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

If you would like more information on stroke symptoms, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

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

Keep Your Heart in Tip Top Shape | Fullerton, CA

It is always important to take care of your health by getting regular check-ups. And sometimes, this will include going in to check on our heart’s health. After all, the heart is keeping our blood pumping through our system, so if something goes awry, we know why. To do this, you will need an Echocardiogram.

What is an Echocardiogram?

An Echocardiogram (ECHO) is a special non-invasive office ultrasound examination that determines the health of the heart by evaluating both its anatomy and function.

Who should have an Echocardiogram? Individuals of any age who have any of the following:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart murmur or other abnormal heart examination finding
  • Mitral valve prolapse (MVP)
  • Irregular heart rhythm or palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ankle swelling
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • History of diet pill use
  • History of congenital heart defects

What information does Echocardiography provide? An ECHO examination of the heart will measure the following:

  • The four heart chambers that receive circulating blood (atriums) and then pump the blood (ventricles) to the lungs and body. Both the size of the chambers and the thickness of the chamber walls are measured. (Note: High blood pressure can cause wall thickening and subsequent weakening of the heart muscle.)
  • Pumping function of the heart muscle, while in motion
  • Heart valve structure including prolapse (MVP) or leaking
  • Pressure within the heart and lungs in patients with a history of diet pill use
  • Detects blood clots, masses or infections of the heart
  • Detects inflammation or fluid accumulation around the heart

If you would like more information on Echocardiograms, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health. 

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

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.