Take Care Of Your Heart’s Health

From the moment it begins beating until the moment it stops, the human heart works tirelessly. In an average lifetime, the heart beats more than two and a half billion times, without ever pausing to rest. Like a pumping machine, the heart provides the power needed for life. This life-sustaining power has, throughout time, caused an air of mystery to surround the heart. Modern technology has removed much of the mystery, but there is still an air of fascination and curiosity.

To monitor the heart, a doctor begins by touching the chest. If the tip of the heart can be felt pushing against the chest, the heart may be enlarged. Thumping lightly on the chest gives an idea of the heart’s shape. Your body’s vital statistics also tell how well the heart is working. Next, the doctor places the stethoscope on the chest to hear the sound of the heart. The normal heart sounds, lub and dub, can be heard. Any unusual sounds can also be heard. Heart arrhythmias and murmurs are two possibilities. An arrhythmia is an irregular pattern of the heart’s beat. A murmur indicates that blood is seeping through the closed valve separating the atrium and ventricle.

An x-ray machine passes rays through the chest to make a shadow picture of the heart. The x-ray shows the size and position of the heart. It can also show any obvious deformities.

Modern technology has provided even clearer pictures of the heart. Echocardiography and Electrocardiography are two techniques that provide detailed information about the heart without causing any real discomfort to the patient.

Echocardiography

Electrocardiography

If these procedures do not provide enough information, exploratory procedures may need to be performed. Cardiac catheterization and angioplasty are two common methods for exploring the heart. Because the heart is so well protected from outside danger, monitoring the heart can be a challenge. Medical scientists have several ways of “seeing” the heart without actually having to open the chest. Typically, open heart surgery is performed only as the last resort.

Below are the simple tips that even my dog is doing.

Love your self and have your heart be healthy for the rest of your life.

Are You Aware Of These 6 Types Of Fat?

Fat is necessary. It acts as a nutrient to maintain normal body functions. It is an energy source, used in production of membranes and also hormonal compositions that help regulate blood pressure, heart rate, blood vessel constriction, blood clotting and the nervous system. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Other contributions include keeping the hair and skin healthy and insulating the organs against shock.

Fat also serves as a useful intermediary towards a host of diseases. When a particular substance, whether chemical or biotic, reaches unsafe levels in the bloodstream, the body can effectively dilute the offending substances by storing it in new fat tissue. This helps to protect vital organs, until such time as the offending substances can be metabolized and removed from the body by means of excretion, urination, accidental or intentional bloodletting, sebum excretion or hair growth.

An average human body needs at most 1 tablespoon, about 15g, of fat a day. An average American takes in 5 tablespoons, which is of course too much. It will lead to weight gain, obesity and eventually a host of diseases. Here are 9 examples of the types of diseases caused by obesity. However, it is also important to identify the types of fat that are found in food. Some are good, some are bad. Below are the explanation for the 6 types of fat found normally in food.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. A type of polyunsaturated fat that does not raise cholesterol levels and is most beneficial to the human body. Benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include :

    • reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases
    • aiding in mental disorders like aggression and ADHD
    • decreasing the thickness of the carotid arteries
    • improving in blood flow in patients with unhealthy blood sugar levels
    • helping lower blood pressure
    • protecting the heart against irregular heartbeats

    The ideal daily dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed 1 tablespoon, about 5g. To be more exact, less than 3g from fish and less than 2g from nutritional supplements. The list of sources high in omega-3 are :

    • wild salmon
    • herring
    • mackerel
    • anchovies
    • sardines
    • chia
    • flax (6 times richer than fish)
    • kiwifruit

  3. Omega-6 Fatty Acids
  4. Omega-6 fatty acids, another type of polyunsaturated fat, have been shown to be beneficial in the reduction of cholesterol levels when they are substituted for saturated fats in a person’s diet. The benefit in consuming omega-6 fatty acids therefore lies in the fact that they reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease, which is a condition where excess cholesterol builds up on the arteries of the heart, eventually blocking the flow of blood and causing a heart attack.

    The optimum omega-6 intake should be at most 4 times the amount of omega-3 taken, to avoid the probability of side effects such as depression and diseases. Sources rich in omega-6 include:

    • Corn
    • Soybean
    • Cottonseed oil, most vegetable oils actually
    • Nuts
    • Cereals
    • Whole grain breads
    • Eggs and poultry
    • Baked goods

  5. Monounsaturated Fat
  6. Olive oil, consumed widely in Mediterranean countries, is one of the reasons why these countries have lower levels of heart diseases. The reason lies in its ability to lower cholesterol and assist in reducing heart diseases. Monounsaturated fat keeps skin healthy and helps in developing body cells. Vitamin E is a type of fat soluble antioxidant found a lot in monounsaturated fat.

    Sources rich in monounsaturated fats include :

    • Avocados
    • Canola oil
    • Grapeseed oil
    • Ground nut oil
    • Oatmeal
    • Olive oil
    • Nuts like almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios
    • Popcorn
    • Safflower oil
    • Sesame oil
    • Sunflower oil
    • Tea-oil Camellia

  7. Saturated Fat
  8. Raises LDL cholesterol levels, increases risk of heart disease, and may increase risk of colon and prostate cancer. Foods with 1g or less saturated fat per serving are considered low in saturated fat. Examples of food high in saturated fat include :

    • Butter
    • Ghee
    • Lard
    • Coconut oil
    • Cottonseed oil
    • Palm kernel oil
    • Dairy products, especially cream and cheese
    • Meat

  9. Trans Fat
  10. Trans fat is not required by our body plus it is not healthy. Essentially, a trans fatty acid is an unsaturated fat turned into a saturated fat. Trans fat is evil as it increases the risk of coronary heart diseases, raises LDL cholesterol levels, lowers HDL levels and may increase risk of breast cancer, diabetes and infertility.

    Trans fat can be found a lot in :

    • Processed foods; snacks, crackers and chips done using hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil
    • Baked goods; muffins, cookies and cakes done using hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil
    • Stick margarines
    • Shortening
    • Fast food items like french fries

  11. Dietry Cholesterol
  12. A human body is designed to naturally construct all of the cholesterol it needs, but cholesterol is also found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter.

    There are 2 types of cholesterol, namely :

    • LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)
    • BAD because they keep cholesterol circulating in the blood, causing the arteries to become clogged with deposits.

    • HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)
    • GOOD because they move cholesterol away from artery walls and back to the liver.

9 Types Of Diseases Caused By Obesity

Being obese is bad. It just shows plain ignorance about a person’s choice of food and lack of exercise. Obesity is a clinical condition and is being seriously viewed as a public health problem. Between 2001-2004, 66% of Americans above 20 years old are overweight. Not many know about the diseases that are associated with being obese. Below are the 9 clusters of diseases related to obesity.

1. Cardiovascular

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs.

  • Enlarged Heart
  • an increase in the size of the heart that may be caused by a thickening of the heart muscle because of increased workload.

  • Cor Pulmonale
  • Also known as right heart failure. Cor pulmonale is a change in structure and function of the right ventricle of the heart as a result of a respiratory disorder.

  • Varicose Veins
  • Twisted, enlarged veins that mostly affects the lower body as a result of pressuring the veins.

  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Blockage of the pulmonary artery (or one of its branches) by a blood clot, fat, air, amniotic fluid, injected talc or clumped tumor cells that results in difficulty breathing, pain during breathing, and more rarely circulatory instability and may result in death.

2. Endocrine

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries that result in high levels of androgens (male hormones) and missed or irregular periods.

  • Menstrual Disorder
  • is a physical or emotional problem that interferes with the normal menstrual cycle, causing pain, unusually heavy or light bleeding, delayed menarche, or missed periods.

  • Infertility
  • inability for a man or woman to contribute to conception.

3. Gastrointestinal

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • happens when the LES ,a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach, opens spontaneously for varying periods of time which causes stomach contents along with digestive juices to rise up into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from mouth to stomach).

  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • an accumulation of fat within the liver that may cause liver-damaging inflammation and, sometimes, the formation of fibrous tissue. In some cases, this can progress either to cirrhosis, which can produce progressive, irreversible liver scarring, or to liver cancer.

  • Cholelithiasis (gallstones)
  • Gallstones form when bile, liquid that help the body digest fats, that is stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. Happens when bile contains too much cholesterol.

  • Hernia
  • occurs when the contents of a body cavity bulge out of the area where they are normally contained. These contents, usually portions of intestine or abdominal fatty tissue, are often enclosed in the thin membrane that naturally lines the inside of the cavity.

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • also known as colon cancer, is cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. It is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among cancers in the Western world.

4. Renal and Genitourinary

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • also known as impotence is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • is the loss of bladder control that results in mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting

  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • is a gradual and progressive loss of the ability of the kidneys to excrete wastes, concentrate urine, and conserve electrolytes.

  • Hypogonadism
  • happens when the sex glands produce little or no hormones. In men, these glands (gonads) are the testes; in women, they are the ovaries.

  • Breast Cancer
  • is the most common cancer among women.

  • Uterine Cancer
  • Symptoms include

    • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
    • Trouble urinating
    • Pelvic pain
    • Pain during intercourse

  • Stillbirth
  • occurs when a fetus which has died in the womb or during labour or delivery exits its mother’s body.

5. Integument (skin and appendages)

  • Stretch Marks
  • are fine lines that appear on the skin that appears when a person grows or gains weight really fast.

  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • velvety, light-brown-to-black, markings usually on the neck, under the arms or in the groin.

  • Lymphedema
  • is a condition of localized fluid retention caused by a compromised lymphatic system. Danger lies in the constant risk of developing an uncontrolled infection in the affected limb.

  • Cellulitis
  • Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.

  • Carbuncles
  • a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, called mass, which occurs deep in the skin.

  • Intertrigo
  • bacterial, fungal, or viral infection that has developed at the site of broken skin due to inflammation.

6. Musculoskeletal

  • Hyperuricemia
  • High level of uric acid in the blood that will most likely lead to gout.

  • Immobility
  • is the disease that requires complete bed rest or extremely limits your activity.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • is a joint disease caused by the breakdown and loss of the cartilage of one or more joints.

  • Low Back Pain
  • is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis.

7. Neurologic

  • Stroke
  • is a rapidly developing loss of brain function due to an interruption in the blood supply to all or part of the brain.

  • Meralgia Paresthetica
  • is a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh.

  • Headache
  • is a condition of pain in the head.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

  • Dementia
  • is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

8. Respiratory

  • Dyspnea
  • also known as short of breath (SOB) is perceived difficulty breathing or pain on breathing.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep with each breathless period lasting long enough so one or more breaths are missed, and occur repeatedly throughout sleep.

  • Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • occurs when a very obese person does not breathe enough oxygen while sleeping. Comes from a defect in the brain’s control over breathing and excessive weight (due to obesity) against the chest wall, which makes it hard for a person to take a deep breath. As a result, the blood has too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen.

  • Pickwickian Syndrome
  • is the combination of severe obesity, suffering from obstructive sleep apnea causing hypoxia and hypercapnia resulting in marked daytime somnolence and chronic respiratory acidosis.

  • Asthma
  • is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.

9. Psychological

  • Depression
  • is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individual’s social functioning and/or activities of daily living.

  • Low Self Esteem
  • is a low overall of a person’s self-appraisal of their worth.

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • is a mental disorder that involves a disturbed body image.

  • Social Stigmatization
  • is severe social disapproval of personal characteristics or beliefs that are against cultural norms.

Now that you know the health risks that come with obesity, you should calculate your current health condition and compare it to your ideal one. Pick up easy weight loss habits and understand these little known facts about losing weight. Keep your hunger in check with these natural appetite suppressants. Learn how metabolism affects your weight and eat more of the healthiest diet in the world. Losing weight is all about the calories.