Category Archives: Stroke

The PDA Your Heart Doesn’t Want | Fullerton, CA

Some people love a bit of PDA with someone they love. But there is one form of PDA that no one wants to experience. 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.

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. 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, causing strain to your heart and increased blood pressure in the lung arteries.

If the PDA is small, it won’t cause many symptoms or problems beyond 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.

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. This extra blood being pumped into the pulmonary arteries makes the lungs and heart work harder, eventually becoming congested.

If you would like more information on PDA, 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.

Keeping Your Heart Healthy During American Heart Month | Fullerton, CA

It may be the end of the month, but there is never a bad time to get heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association, a devastating 6.2 million Americans have heart failure. Scary, isn’t it? Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Striving to live a heart healthy life can be simple if you’re dedicated. Simple changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in your heart health. So, in honor of celebrating this very precious organ in our bodies, here are some ideas for getting you started toward a heart healthy life:

Schedule an appointment with doctor to talk about your heart health. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups, even when you’re not sick. You can partner up with your doctor to set goals to improve your heart health.

Add exercise into your daily routine. You could start the day off by talking a 15-minute walk, 3 times a week. Then slowly begin to increase your time to 30-minute walks, 3 times a week.

Increase healthy eating. Sure, it’s easy, but why not try to cook heart healthy meals at least 3 times a week to help balance your diet out? Also make your favorite recipe lower in sodium by swapping out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.

Take the first step to quit smoking. If you smoke, quitting can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. This isn’t news to anyone.

Take your medication as prescribed. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, talk with your doctor about your prescribed medication. If you’re having any issues taking your medication or have any side effects, contact your doctor.

If you would like more information on your heart 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.

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.

Foods to Make Your Heart Healthy | Fullerton, CA

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States? And women who have had their ovaries removed are especially at risk. So, what’s a girl to do with these odds stacked against us? Eat yourself healthy 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 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. These make great snacks, salad additions, and toppings. A ¼ cup a day can boost your protein and lower your cholesterol.

Tomatoes. This veggie is high in antioxidants that protect the heart and is a super easy add-in to any recipe.

Fish. Fish are high in Omega-3s, which are known to benefit the heart, so try to eat fish 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.

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

Dark chocolate. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate a few days of the week 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.

Maintain Your Blood Pressure Naturally | Fullerton, CA

Because heart disease is such a common disease for Americans, it is important that we all try to do our best to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep our systems in working order. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, you may be prescribed medication to keep your blood pressure down, but there are things you can do on your own to not have to rely on meds. Here are just a few of the ways you can keep your heart healthy for years to come:

Watch your weight. Blood pressure typically increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure immensely.

Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity can help you lower your blood pressure. Consistency is key, as your blood pressure can increase again. The best kind of exercise to lower blood pressure include, walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing.

Maintain 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.

Careful with the salt. Even just a small reduction in your sodium intake can reduce blood pressure. To decrease your sodium intake, you can read food labels, eat fewer processed foods and not add salt to meals.

Reduce your stress. 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 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.

Keeping Our Hearts Healthy | Fullerton, CA

It’s a scary fact but heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. Heart attacks are commonly caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which leads to the blockage of oxygen and blood flow to the heart muscle. The good thing is that there are ways you can improve and manage your heart health to live a long healthy life. Here are five ways you can go about improving your heart health:

Stay active. Staying active doesn’t mean you have to work out for endless amounts of hours. You can do anything physical that keeps your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes. Need Ideas? Try jogging, walking, biking or hiking.

Stop smoking. Most people know that if you are smoking tobacco products you are more like to develop heart disease. So, if you do smoke…drop the habit and quick, for your heart’s sake.

Shut down. When you are sleep that’s when your body is recovering and rebooting. While you sleep you heart rate is lowered which gives your heart a much-needed break. Make it a priority to get a proper amount of sleep.

Chill out. Learning how to relax does wonders for your heart. When you are under pressure your body ramps up adrenaline, which can exhaust your heart. Need ideas on how to handle stress? Try doing yoga, going on a walk, listening to calming music, or even talking to a trust friend or professional.

Healthy eats. The way to eat heart healthy hasn’t changed in hundreds of years, so the classic choices are still your best bet. Try incorporating whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds into your diet.

If you would like more information on heart health, 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.

Getting Some Exercise During Coronavirus | Fullerton, CA

Not many of us are aware, but May is 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. Unfortunately, with the various lockdowns in position these days, it gets a bit tricky to get all the exercise you’d like. Especially if you are one that prefers to work out at a gym. But this shouldn’t be a reason to slow down your workouts – they just need a bit of tweaking. What better time than now as things are beginning to leave our homes?

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.

As we begin to try more outdoor activities, take things in moderation as you become used to these new circumstances. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, 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.

If you are quarantined with your family, turn it into a family affair! Here are just some of the benefits of physical activity:

Children and adolescents. Physical activity can improve muscular fitness and bone and heart health.

Adults. Physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Older adults. Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like judgment and learning).

If you would like more information on exercising during Coronavirus, 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.

It’s a New Year. Relax. | Fullerton, CA

Now that we are done with the holiday season and well into a new year, it is time to start assessing our lifestyle choices and make some changes to how we live our lives. One of the ways we can do this is to lower our stress levels. Because it’s tough to admit, but our lives have become more stressful as we age, and this stress can lead to illnesses as a result. 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. This is why it is imperative to notice signals our bodies are telling us.

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 some basics you need to know about stress and how to deal with it:

First, the symptoms:

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

Here are some causes. Do any look familiar?

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

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 more information on stress, 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.

Prevent Heart Disease with These Menopause-Friendly Foods | Fullerton, CA

Heart Healthy

Believe it or not, but heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. And if that wasn’t bad enough, women who have had their ovaries removed are especially at risk. But there are a few changes we can make to our diets that can help prevent heart disease:

Whole grains. 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.

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. 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. 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. Adding just a little bit of dark chocolate to those berries and you’ve got yourself a divine, guilt-free dessert. 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 more information on menopause-friendly 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.