Tag Archives: signs and symptoms

Signs and Symptoms: Heart Attack and Stroke | Fullerton, CA

Heart Health

With the Coronavirus still running rampant through our world, it is important that we take care of ourselves and loved one that have weakened systems. And if we ignore certain symptoms, it is possible that we are putting ourselves in an even greater risk conducting our day-to-day lives. Because knowledge is power, it is a good idea to know what to look for when it comes to having a heart attack or a stroke.

Cardiovascular 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 but have different outcomes. Women are more likely than men to die from a heart attack or stroke than men.

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

Women are more likely than men to have a hidden or subclinical 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 would like more information on signs and symptoms of cardiovascular issues, 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.

Celebrating 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 women may be aware of breast cancer, very few take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages, while encouraging other women to take the same steps. Detecting breast cancer early is vital for women’s health because 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, there are steps that you can take to become aware of the symptoms that come along with this terrible disease. Here is 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
  • 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

If you would like more information on detecting breast cancer, 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.

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.

Did You Check the Girls this Month? | Fullerton, CA

As we wrap up National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important that we are aware that the statistics of breast cancer are staggering. 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, breast cancer does not discriminate; it affects people of all ages and races. In case you aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, here is a quick breakdown of things to look out for as you give yourself self-examinations:

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 make sure to see professional 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
  • Recent 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

It is important to know that most times these symptoms are not due to cancer, but it’s important to be seen for regular screenings. Your doctor is always able to check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms.

If you would like more information on breast cancer, 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.