Tag Archives: women’s issues

Five Best Exercise Programs for Your Health* | Fullerton, CA

If you’re not an athlete or serious exerciser — and you just want to work out for your health or to fit in your clothes better — the gym scene can be intimidating. Just having to walk by treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines can be enough to make you head straight back home to the couch.

Yet some of the best physical activities for your body don’t require the gym or ask you to get fit enough to run a marathon. These “workouts” can do wonders for your health. They’ll help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, and even ward off memory loss. No matter your age or fitness level, these activities can help you get in shape and lower your risk for disease:

Swimming. You might call swimming the perfect workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing. Research has found that swimming can also improve your mental state and put you in a better mood.

Water aerobics is another option. These classes help you burn calories and tone up. Most YMCA’s have water aerobics programs.

Tai chi. This Chinese martial art that combines movement and relaxation is good for both body and mind. In fact, it’s been called “meditation in motion.” Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next. Because the classes are offered at various levels, tai chi is accessible — and valuable — for people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older.

Take a class to help you get started and learn the proper form. You can find tai chi programs at your local YMCA, health club, community center, or senior center.

Strength training. If you believe that strength training is a macho, brawny activity, think again. Lifting light weights won’t bulk up your muscles, but it will keep them strong. If you don’t use muscles, they will lose their strength over time –a condition called sarcopenia. Muscle also helps burn calories. The more muscle volume you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s easier to maintain your weight. Similar to other exercise, strength training may also help preserve brain function in later years.

Before starting a weight training program, be sure to learn the proper form. Start light, with just one or two pounds. You should be able to lift the weights 10 times with ease. After a couple of weeks, increase that by a pound or two. If you can easily lift the weights through the entire range of motion more than 12 times, move up to slightly heavier weight.

Walking. Walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.

All you need is a well-fitting and supportive pair of shoes. Start with walking for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Over time, you can start to walk farther and faster, until you’re walking for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.

Kegel exercises. These exercises won’t help you look better, but they do something just as important — strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles can go a long way toward preventing incontinence. While many women are familiar with Kegels, these exercises can benefit men too.

To do a Kegel exercise correctly, squeeze the muscles you would use to prevent yourself from passing urine or gas. Hold the contraction for two or three seconds, then release. Make sure to completely relax your pelvic floor muscles after the contraction. Repeat 10 times. Try to do four to five sets a day.

Many of the things we do for fun (and work) count as exercise. Raking the yard counts as physical activity. So does ballroom dancing and playing with your kids or grandkids. As long as you’re doing some form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, and you include two days of strength training a week, you can consider yourself an “active” person.

*For additional information on this and other questions about getting started on a healthy exercise program, buy Starting to Exercise, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

If you would like more information about reducing healthy exercise programs, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Celebrating American Stroke Month | Fullerton, CA

Heart Health

May is the month we celebrate American Stroke Month, a time to raise stroke awareness. Strokes do not discriminate; they can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. According to the American Stroke Association, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds, and that’s in the United States alone.

We shouldn’t stand idly by while this disease ruins and takes the lives of our loved ones, especially when it is preventable, treatable and beatable. The following list is a few things that everyone should know about stroke prevention:

Not just an age thing. Stroke risk does, in fact, increase with age. However, young adults, children and even unborn babies can suffer from a stroke.

Keep calm. High blood pressure is a stroke’s first target. Keeping your blood pressure under control reduces your risk and prevent stroke.

It’s treatable. There are blood clot-busting drugs and medical devices have made stroke largely treatable. However, every second counts, nearly 2 million brain cells die each minute a stroke goes untreated.

Know the signs. By learning the signs and symptoms, you too can save someone from suffering from a stroke. F.A.S.T. is an acronym used to detect the strokes: Face dropping, Arm Weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call 9-1-1. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call for help right away.

American Stroke Month wants to help others by increasing their knowledge of strokes, so that they may be able to save a friend, family member or their own life one day. Make it a mission to help build a healthier life for you and the ones you love to prevent against stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

If you would like more information on stroke signs and symptoms, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

On the Road to Recovery After a Heart Attack | Fullerton, CA

After having a heart attack, you may feel overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, like your world has be flipped upside down. After all, you’ve just survived a life and death situation – thanks a pretty sobering experience. It takes time to fully recover from a heart attack but don’t let that stop you from pushing forward. But you are going to need to make a change or two. Lifestyle change is the best way to recovery, and listed below are a few common lifestyle changes you may want to take into consideration going forward:

Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes is one of the primary risk factors in heart disease. One of the most important things you can do is quit smoking cigarettes. In just one year after quitting your risk for heart attack drops severely.

Healthy diet. Eating a well-balanced diet keeps blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight within healthy rages, which can greatly reduce risk of heart attack.

Stress and anger. When stress or anger are uncontrolled it can lead to increased risk of heart disease. Skills Such as yoga, relaxation and time management can lower risks.

Body weight. Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight to lower your risk of heart attack. Being overweight makes the heart pump harder due to having to support the extra weight.

Exercise. Physical activity is a key factor in maintaining long-term heart health after suffering from a heart attack. Enrolling in cardiac rehabilitation is a recommended step towards resuming normal physical activity.

Medication. Taking medication is considered a lifestyle change because taking your medication at the right times can be vital and takes some time to adjust to a new schedule.

If you would like more information on recovery after a heart attack, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD at 714-912-2211 or visit www.gordongunnmd.com to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

Why a Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body | Fullerton, CA

A mouth can tell a lot about a person’s overall health, not just dental health. A lot of non-oral health issues have manifestations in the mouth or mouth area. The following are a few examples of ways your dental health affects your overall health. This is why dental hygiene is so important. If you find you have some of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist:

Heart disease. Bright red or purple gums

Type 2 diabetes. Bleeding gums sensitive to touch although there is no noticeable plaque

Kidney disease. Breath has sweet ammonia-like smell; very noticeable and pronounced

Acid reflux. Worn down teeth; teeth affected dependent on where acid settles while person is in sleeping position

Oral cancer. Gums and oral tissues with white spots; MUST last for at least two or more weeks

Leukemia. Bright red and swollen gums; differentiated from diabetes via blood test

Osteoporosis. Black spots that denote air pockets and dead bone; show up on x-rays

Stress. Cracked teeth or gums that have contracted away from teeth (can develop into infection)

Sleep apnea. Swollen gums and tongue in areas which air passes through

Pregnancy. Swollen gums could imply hormonal changes

Bulimia. Paper-thin front teeth; most enamel worn down; different from acid reflux since it affects different teeth

As you can see, the mouth can display ailments are not even related to the mouth or mouth areas. Early detection of multiple diseases and health problems can often be life-saving. It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis to ensure your mouth is healthy.

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

Dr. Gunn proudly serves Fullerton and all surrounding areas.

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.

When You Can’t Hold It Anymore | Fullerton, CA

An estimated 27 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence, but did you know that 75-80% of those patients are women? It’s a startling fact. Urinary incontinence, also known as bladder incontinence, is the loss of bladder control. The degrees of loss can vary from slight to full loss of control. The problem is that this issue is more than just medical problem; it can affect emotional, psychological and social life as well.

There are many people who think urinary incontinence comes with age, but it is actually a symptom that can be caused by many conditions and those causes differ between men and women. Urinary incontinence is separated into three different types, and some may experience various symptoms. In order to learn more about incontinence and how it may affect you, let’s take a look at what it is to suffer from each type:

Stress incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence occurs when you apply pressure on your bladder by exercising, laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting something heavy. Does this sound familiar? How often have we heard that someone “peed a little” from laughing too hard? What happens is that the activity causes the sphincter to weaken and release urine.

Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence occurs when you feel the sudden, intense urge or need to urinate. This may sound like something that everyone does in their daily life, but often times, after feeling the urge to go you won’t have time between the urge and the loss of urine to make it to the restroom.

Overflow incontinence. This incontinence type occurs when you experience frequent dribbling or urine, due to the fact that your bladder doesn’t empty completely when using the restroom.

If you would like more information on 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.

What You Need to Know About Menopause | Fullerton, CA

Whether we like it or not, ladies, menopause is a reality we all eventually need to face. But how familiar are you with what actually happens when the time comes? Do you know what the signs and symptoms are? Let’s take a moment to review some of the basics so you are well-versed once the time comes. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the easier it is to make the adjustments with ease.

Menopause is a natural occurring event that all women will experience, usually in their early 50’s, when their ovaries cease producing estrogen. The solution was hormone replacement therapy. 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 designed to test the effects of hormone therapy on heart disease, bone fractures, breast cancer and colon cancer. 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.

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 menopause, 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.

What Is the Role of Cholestrol? | Fullerton, CA

When it comes to our health, we always hear about ways we can lower our cholesterol levels. But have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly cholesterol is and why we need to be so concerned with its levels? Let’s take a quick look…

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. Herein lies the issue: Lipids cannot circulate alone in the blood stream (fat and water do not mix) – they require a transport system. How do we transport those lipids? ‘Water-soluble’ proteins called lipoproteins transport cholesterol in the blood.

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 their cholesterol levels and “ratio” are either normal, or if abnormal, their ‘good’ cholesterol is ‘OK’. The problem is 50% of women who suffer their first heart attack or stroke have ‘normal’ cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association.

If you would like more information on cholesterol, 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.