Heart Attack/Stroke

image

Do You Take Omega 3 Fish Oils? Are You Taking Enough?

After reading this post see this link for an UPDATE: Should I Take Fish Oils - or Not

The American Heart Association recommends that patients with elevated triglycerides take 2 to 4 grams (that’s 2000 to 4000 mgs) of omega 3 fish oils a day. In my practice, I recommend 4 grams per day for almost everyone – particularly those people with abnormal cholesterol profiles, Metabolic Syndrome, diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease.

That’s the dose I take myself - for prevention - even though my cholesterol profile is normal. But when I ask my patients how much they take, most of the time they say “one a day” – and that is not enough. Read here why more omega 3s are better than not enough.

Read Full Post

image

The Vytorin Controversy: What’s a Patient to Do?

Note; This post was originally published on May 15, 2008 and updated updated on January 16, 2009. Click here to read the update. This has remained one of the most frequently read posts on this blog.

When all the controversy about Vytorin hit the popular press in January 2008, patients immediately began calling my office for more information. They are asking a lot of good questions. They want to know whether they should stay on the drug or stop it; whether it is doing them any good – or more importantly, whether it is doing them any harm. I’m going to try to explain what the controversy is all about and give you some information that will help you figure out what to do.

Read Full Post

image

The Vytorin Controversy One Year Later - An Update

On January 8, 2009, the FDA issued the following safety review of Vytorin and concluded: “patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol lowering medications and should talk to their [health provider] if they have any questions about these medications.”

Dear patient, you have been drawn into a medical slugfest that is being fought among leading cardiologists, so what are you to do? Read my prior post to get some background on the Vytorin controversy and then read this post to see where we are one year later.

Read Full Post

image

Smart Women Missing Stroke Risks and Warning Signs

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in both men and women (right behind heart disease and cancer). It occurs equally in men and women until age 75. After age 75 women are at much greater risk for stroke than men. Stroke incidence has been increasing in women of all ages. In recent years strokes have surged in the age 45 to 54 age groups – groups usually at low risk for stroke. Why? Experts believe it’s because of an increase in risk factors that lead to stroke.

In a recent study published in the February 2009 issue of the medical journal Stroke researchers reported that 215 women, all having at least one risk factor for stroke, were unable to identify their risks. Furthermore they did not consider themselves to be at risk and were doing nothing to reduce their risk. The researchers concluded “Educational strategies must advocate for and target high-risk women.”

Read this post to learn the risks and warning signs of stroke these women missed.

Read Full Post

image

Your Lifestyle Choices: Are You Preventing Disease – or Inviting It?

Maverick Health and my book, A Nurse Practitioner’s Guide to Smart Health Choices, are all about using your lifestyle behaviors to prevent or control chronic diseases. I’ve been at this for over a decade now and every day I read studies and hear news-bites that only validate what I write about on this blog and talk about in my book.

But until you know what I know and, more importantly, act on what you know all this information is useless. Read this post about a study in Europe that looked at how well people controlled their risk factors after they’d already had a heart attack or serious cardiac event. Hint: reviewers that read the study found its results “ominous”.

Read Full Post

image

Synch to Your Body’s Own Clock and to Mother Earth for Better Health

In March 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research done at the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Researchers studied 10 subjects – 5 men and 5 women – to see what happened to their cardiovascular and metabolic systems if their behavioral and circadian rhythms were disrupted.

If you want to know what effect being out of synch with your body’s own clock and the rhythms of the Earth has on your health, read this post.

Read Full Post

image

Do You Want to Prevent a Stroke? Behave This Way

Working on my book over 10 years ago, I already knew from experience that behaviors - not mysterious diseases - are the cause most of today’s illnesses. After years as a critical care nurse, I saw how medical treatments arrive too late in the game – way too late – to spare people the pain and suffering that comes from having a chronic disease or suffering a catastrophic health event like a stroke. Nobody was talking much back then about health risks or the behaviors that create them, but they are now.

Study after study keeps proving that certain lifestyle behaviors promote health and prevent disease. Two recent studies – one published in the British Journal of Medicine  and one in the journal Circulation- both showed how specific lifestyle behaviors dramatically reduce stroke risk.

Read this post to see what those behaviors are.

Read Full Post

image

Vitamin D Update – Are 3 out of 4 Americans Really Deficient?

Six months ago, in September 2008, I wrote a post on vitamin D. Since then info keeps pouring in about the apparent benefit of this supplement. This month researchers at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine reported that three out of four Americans are deficient in vitamin D. They claim that’s up from about one out two 20 years ago. Some have argued that it might just seem that way because of how vitamin D was measured then and now.

After I researched and wrote that post 6 months ago, I started measuring my patients’ vitamin D levels. I am shocked at the results.

Read this post to see what vitamin D levels are like here in the “Sunshine State” of Florida.

Read Full Post

8 Comments   ·  Permalink
image

Unleashing Your Inner Olympian

I was talking to a diabetic patient of mine one day who was was worried about the an upcoming trip to Disney with his grand-daughter where he would have to do more walking than he was accustomed to. I asked him if he exercised. He held up his hand in a “stop right there” gesture and said, “Do not speak to me about exercise, I follow the religion of comfort and exercise is uncomfortable.” His statement left me completely speechless (and if you knew me you would appreciate how uncharacteristic that is).

This post is for all of you who have lost touch with your inner Olympian.

Read Full Post

1 Comment   ·  Permalink
image

Jumping JUPITER – Do You Know Your CRP?

One of the biggest splashes in medicine this year came when, in November 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study called JUPITER.

It has the whole medical world talking. This study was done to see if taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug for primary prevention would help healthy people prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart bypass surgery, hospitalization for chest pain, and death from cardiovascular events. It did.

Read on to see why this study may change national treatment guidelines and what your health provider recommends to reduce your health risks.

Read Full Post

page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >