Tag Archives: Womens Health

Are My Arteries “On Fire”?

Role of Inflammation in Plaque Formation and Rupture

Chronic inflammation in the body is the root cause of many medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Other diseases related to inflammation are diabetes, depression, hypertension, and Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation attacks the walls of the arteries and increases the risk of plaque formation and plaque rupture: the cause of heart attacks and strokes. Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight off infection and toxins. If the natural balance of our immune system is disrupted, it can shift into a chronic state of inflammation, adversely affecting our entire body, including our arteries where cholesterol is then deposited and plaque buildup begins. (See ‘How Plaque Causes a Heart Attack or Stroke’ article)

The following three blood tests are independent predictors of risk factors for heart attacks and stroke:

  • CRP-hs (C-Reactive Protein-highly sensitive) is a simple blood test that measures the amount of inflammation in the body.   Lp-PLA2 is a blood enzyme that is released from vulnerable, rupture-prone plaque in the arteries.  Elevated levels of both Lp-PLA2 and CRP-hs increases the risk for a heart or stroke event of up to  5X the normal risk.
  • MPO (myeloperoxidase) is an enzyme in white blood cells that is linked to inflammation and plaque activity. MPO is a marker for vulnerable rupture-prone plaque. Elevated blood levels of MPO predict an early risk of heart attack in patients with chest pain.

For more information: www.clevelandheartlab.com/wp-content/uploads/…/MPO-Practice.pdf

Obvious causes of inflammation include arthritis, infection and injury. Other causes include:

  •  Diet high in sugars, refined flour, trans fats, saturated fats and processed foods
  •  Overweight, especially abdominal fat (Waist: Women – 35” and Men – 40”)
  •  Smoking
  •  Lack of exercise
  •  Stress, physical and emotional
  •  Sleep deprivation of less than 7 hours per night (possible Sleep Apnea)
  •  Toxins (mercury, lead)
  •  Food allergies, such as gluten and dairy
  •  Nutritional deficiencies including Vitamins D, B, C and Omega-3 fatty acids

How can inflammation be lowered?

  •  Diet: LOW in trans/saturated and low glycemic index carbohydrates, HIGH in monounsaturated fats,
  • fruits and vegetables.
  •  Aerobic Exercise – five days a weeks for 30 minutes/day
  •  Smoking cessation
  •  Weight loss – goal of BMI below 25
  •  Omega 3 fatty acid supplements (EPA & DHA)
  •  Fruits and vegetables
  •  Stress management techniques
  •  Adequate sleep
  •  Medications & Supplements, including Statins, Fibrates, Niacin, Vitamin D3, fiber

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology.  Don’t continue to suffer, call his office today for an appointment 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

 

What Every Women Needs to Know About Heart Attacks | Fullerton, CA

overactive bladder, fullertonThere’s always been a debate about women and heart disease: Are their symptoms different from those of men? Ask any woman that has had a heart attack and they will tell you no. Symptoms in women who are having a heart attack are generally not that different than those experienced by men, say cardiologists.  In a heart attack, men feel heaviness in their chests, shortness of breath, nausea or other general discomfort — just the same as women do.

There’s definitely some confusion out there about the differences between men and women and heart attacks but women are more similar to men than different when it comes to their hearts. When it comes to a heart attack the most common symptom for women experiencing a heart attack is still chest pain.

It has long been believed that the story that women’s symptoms are different is a myth. Where the real difference is is how women communicate and report on heart disease. If a heart attack is not at the top of your list when it comes to the symptoms, many women generally pass off symptoms as indigestion. Women need to start realizing that this is their health and the threat is real.

How real is it, you may be thinking?  On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke or heart disease and stroke & heart disease are equal opportunity killers. The scariest fact is that the death rate from cardiovascular disease in women is on the rise. The reasons are not entirely clear, but there are suggestions that there may be a difference in the care some women receive. Women may not be treated by a cardiovascular specialist when they experience symptoms.

It’s not unusual for women to put everything before themselves and their health.  It’s deeply concerning that many women would rather complete the last five items on their to-do list than go to an emergency room when they need one the most.  In fact, it was during a recent study that it was brought to light again how women prioritize. When surveyed on their priorities the results were suprizing:

  1. Children
  2. Their homes
  3. Their workplace relationships
  4. Pets!
  5. Husbands

Women didn’t even place themselves on the list! These results make the point that while women may have symptoms that are similar to those of men, those symptoms may not be taken seriously, especially by themselves.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology and womens health. Don’t continue to suffer and make yourself a priority, call his office today for an appointment at 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

200,000 heart disease, stroke deaths a year are preventable | Fullerton, CA

Rates of avoidable deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure by U.S. county, 2008 to 2010. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Rates of avoidable deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure by U.S. county, 2008 to 2010. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

It’s easy to think of heart disease and stroke as an almost inevitable part of aging in a developed country like the United States. After all, they are our leading causes of death and disability. But the truth is that these are largely preventable conditions.

New estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that one-quarter of all deaths from heart disease and stroke are preventable. And that is almost certainly an underestimate.

According to a report, published September 2, 2013 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, among American adults under age 75, approximately 200,000 of deaths caused each year by heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure (hypertension) are avoidable and preventable. Surprisingly, more than half of those preventable deaths occurred among individuals under age 65.

During a press conference to present the study results, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said, “As a doctor, I find it heartbreaking to know that the vast majority of people who are having a heart attack or stroke, under the age of 65 in particular, and dying from it didn’t have to have that happen.”

It’s possible that the rate of preventable deaths is lower among those over age 65 because they are covered by Medicare, and so may be more likely to see doctors and receive preventive treatment.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology and women’s health.  Don’t continue to suffer, call his office today for an appointment 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

Do-it-yourself approach No matter what your age and how good things look today, your future risk of heart disease, stroke and other related diseases is high. It’s true for all of us. That’s why it’s so important to do all you can to lower your risk: Don’t smoke. If you smoke, it’s never too late to quit. Your risk of a heart attack starts to decrease within weeks of quitting. Aim for or maintain a healthy weight. Take steps to help keep your blood pressure in the healthy range. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and limit salt intake. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to do the job, there are a number of medicines that work. Reduce your consumption of saturated and trans fats. This will help improve your LDL (bad) cholesterol level. Instead, use more olive oil and other unsaturated oils. Some people may also need a statin drug to lower LDL. Over the next 10 years, we have the knowledge and means to greatly increase the number of preventable deaths from heart disease, stroke, and from many other diseases as well. As a nation, we could take a huge step forward by becoming more physically active and adopting other healthy lifestyle changes.

New Model to predicting cancer in Women | Fullerton, CA

Branch of dogwood blossoms against a dark backgroundScientists have developed a new model that can predict a woman’s risk of developing breast, ovarian and endometrial (womb) cancer.

The model uses easily obtainable information on known risk factors for these cancers, according to the researchers.

Researchers developed these models by using data from two large US studies that included white, non-Hispanic women aged over 50 years and by including commonly known risk factors, such as parity (the number of children a women delivered), body mass index (an indicator of the amount of body fat), use of oral contraceptives, and menopausal status and use of menopausal hormone therapy.

Researchers said the new models are able to predict individual women’s risk of each cancer.  For instance, individual women’s risk for endometrial cancer calculated using this model ranged from 0.5% to 29.5% over the next 20 years depending on their exposure to various risk factors.

“These models predict absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers from easily obtainable risk factors and may assist in clinical decision-making,” researchers wrote.

“Limitations are the modest discriminatory ability of the breast and ovarian models and that these models may not generalize to women of other races,” they added.

The findings are published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology.  Don’t continue to suffer, call his office today for an appointment 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

Story written by Christine Hsu for www.counselheal.com.  Story is dated July 30, 2013

 

Do you suffer from an Overactive Bladder? | Fullerton, CA

 overactive bladder, fullerton

Do you have to get up more than once in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? When you are in public do you find yourself always looking for the restroom? Having an overactive bladder can make daily life hard. However, there is hope. With dietary changes and therapy, overactive bladder can be treated.

Dietary Changes can help manage your overactive bladder. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners can help decrease bladder activity.

Other treatments include:

Pelvic Muscle Exercises

These type of exercises help prevent and/or alleviate symptoms since they strengthen the pelvic floor. They send a signal to the bladder to relax and resume filling. Through regular exercises, you can build strength and endurance to help regain and maintain bladder control.

InterStim Therapy

The process of delivering electrical stimulation directly to the sacral nerves. It is shown to be successful in 4 out of 5 patients. InterStim therapy involves two stages. First, a test. Second, a permanent implant. The implant delivers electrical stimulation without having to revisit the doctor. It is an outpatient procedure. The implant is surgically placed under the skin in the upper buttock or abdomen. It stimulates the sacral nerve using electric pulses.

Contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn, M.D., a specialist in female urology. Don’t continue to suffer with overactive bladder. Call his office today for an appointment 714-912-2211 or visit his website at www.gordongunnmd.com.

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

Stress: Symptoms, Causes and Managing | Fullerton, CA

womens wellness-stress

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness is a dynamic process and it 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.  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.

Common Symptoms of Stress:

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

Common Causes of Stress:

  • Health problems
  • Financial concerns
  • Communication issues at work and home
  • Social isolation

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.

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
    • Recurrent acute anxiety (episodic anxiety): Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan), or Alprazolin (Xanax). These drugs work very rapidly to alleviate symptomatic anxiety and should not be taken for more than two weeks.
    • Depression: When anxiety is part of an underlying depression or a more generalized anxiety disorder the following medications may be considered: Selective serotonin-uptake inhibitors: Fluoxetin (Prozac), or Paroxetine (Paxil) or other antidepressant medication. These drugs can take up to six weeks to achieve their full therapeutic effect.
    • Insomnia: Zaleplon (Sonata), Zolpiden (Ambien) or Temazapan (Restoril), short term use.

    Contact Gordon C. Gunn, M.D. in Fullerton, CA for more information on stress, women’s wellness or for any other gynecological or urology needs. Call 714-912-2211 or visit his website www.gordongunnmd.com.

Cholesterol and Plaque | Fullerton, CA

Pure, Natural, BeautyWhat is the Role of Cholesterol?

  • 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.
  • Problem: Lipids cannot circulate alone in the blood stream (fat and water do not mix).

They require a transport system.

  • Solution: ‘Water-soluble’ proteins called lipoproteins transport cholesterol in the blood.

Think of ‘dump trucks’ designed to carry specific types of cholesterol. The amount of

These lipoprotein ‘dump trucks’ determines how much cholesterol can be transported.

  • 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.

Contact Dr. Gordon Gunn today at (714) 912-2211 to schedule an appointment.

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

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month | Fullerton, CA

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. Getting regular physical activity can benefit everyone – children, adolescents, and adults alike.

Dr. Gordon Gunn is teaming up with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, he challenges you to include 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Yet in California nearly 53.1% don’t get enough physical activity.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that people:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights and using exercises bands – at least 2 days a week.

No matter what shape you are in, together we can rise to the challenge to get more active during the month of May!

Here are just some of the benefits of physical activity:

  • Children and adolescentsPhysical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.
  • AdultsPhysical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
  • Older adultsPhysical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like judgment and learning).

Call Dr. Gordon Gunn and make an appointment to see what his Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program can do for you.  Call Dr. Gordon Gunn at (714) 912-2211 or visit our website.

Menopause and Hormone Therapy | Fullerton, CA

iStock_000014235018SmallMenopause is a natural occurring event that all women will experience, usually in their early 50’s, when their ovaries cease producing estrogen. Post-menopause is diagnosed when a woman has not menstruated for one year and marks the end of the reproductive period of her life. Gunn Center of Fullerton, CA offers some interesting and useful information on menopause and hormone therapy.

Peri-menopause is diagnosed when the menstrual cycles vary in frequency and length and may be associated with psychological, emotional and/or physical symptoms (discussed later). These disturbances are due to a declining ovarian production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone that may be periodic or continuous. Women born prior to the 1930’s had a life expectancy of about 50 yrs. Today, a woman can expect to live well into her 80’s with over one-third of her life occurring after menopause and be subject to the physical changes discussed later in this paper.

The history of hormone replacement in women has seen many swings in popularity over the past few decades. In 1991 the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) launched the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study involving about 161,000 healthy postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years with an average age of 63 years. The study was designed to test the effects of hormone therapy on heart disease, bone fractures, breast cancer and colon cancer. One group of women who had undergone a hysterectomy received oral estrogen (Premarin) alone [estrogen replacement therapy or ERT]. A second group received a combination of Premarin and progesterone (PremPro) [combination hormone replacement therapy or HRT]. A third group received a placebo, which contained no hormone. In 2002 the study was stopped because the Provera group was associated with a slight increase in the incidence of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots.

Millions of women in the U.S. stopped their hormone out of fear and they entered into “hot-flash hell”. A recent careful re-analysis and follow up review of the data has revealed that the actual risks of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease were NOT increased over time and were, in fact decreased; especially in women who were perimenapausal when they initiated hormone therapy.

In April 2011 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a follow-up study of the women in the WHI who took estrogen alone. The finding: a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer over time. Further, those women 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. This finding is now contrary to the persistently held belief that estrogen causes breast cancer and increases the risk of heart attacks.

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. In March 2012 the North American Menopause Society released a statement that supports these findings, stating that combination hormone therapy (both estrogen and progesterone) initiated around the time of menopause is safe.

Contact Dr. Gordon Gunn today at (714) 912-2211 to schedule an appointment.

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

Gynecology Robotic Surgery is the Future | Fullerton, CA

Pure, Natural, BeautyGynecology robotic surgery is robotic assisted surgery for several gynecological conditions. Using a robot, this enables the doctors of Gunn Center in Fullerton, CA to perform the surgery with the utmost control and precision and with only a few small incisions.

Gynecology robotic surgery can be used for the following conditions:

  • Ovarian cysts and masses
  • Fibroids
  • Prolapse of pelvic organs
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Some endometriosis
  • Ask your doctor about the many other procedures offered

Robotic surgery is less evasive than traditional surgery that involves making a large incision in the abdominal area. The benefits of a smaller incision are less pain during recovery, less scarring and quicker recovery time.

Surgery doesn’t have to be complicated, contact Dr. Gordon Gunn to learn more about the treatment options available at (714) 912-2211 to schedule an appointment.

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