The relationship between High Homocysteine Levels and Heart DIsease!

Homocysteine is a common amino acid in your blood. You get it mostly from eating meat. High levels of it are linked to early development of heart disease.

In fact, a high level of homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease. It’s associated with low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, as well as renal disease. Research has shown, however, that getting your homocysteine levels down with vitamins doesn’t reduce your chance of having heart disease.

How Does Homocysteine Increase Heart Disease Risk?

There does appear to be a relationship between high levels of homocysteine and artery damage. That can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and blood clots.  Arteries filling up with blockages

Studies have shown that high levels of homocysteine are caused by a lack of nutrients in the diet, particularly the B group of vitamins. Without these essential vitamins your body is unable to produce the enzymes necessary to remove homocysteine efficiently from your blood. Homocysteine will cause damage to your arteries when present in very high concentrations.

Other causes may include aging, drug and alcohol use, impaired kidney function, problems with B12 absorption, smoking and obesity.

Do I Need to Have My Homocysteine Level Checked?

There’s no universal recommendation for checking homocysteine levels. The test is still relatively expensive, it isn’t widely available, and insurance rarely covers it but check with your insurance.The normal level of homocysteine in your blood should be up to 15 micro mol/L. This is level in the average healthy person.The optimal level of homocysteine in your blood would be under 7 micro mol/L.

Make sure you get a homocysteine test as part of your next visit to the doctor, or on your own at a licensed medical facility.

Can High Homocysteine Levels Be Prevented?

A lack of B Vitamins leads to elevated homocysteine levels which is why vegetarians are particularly at risk due to the lack of meat in their diets. Fortunately the situation is easily treatable. In the late 60’s Dr. Kilmer McCully determined through extensive research that taking adequate amounts of folic acid (vitamin B9), along with vitamins B6 and B12 will help homocysteine levels normalize.

If you have high homocysteine levels, talk to your doctor about how to change your diet.

Don’t Forget:

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“There’s no reason you need to take a break from physical activity when the temperature drops. In fact, exercising in cooler weather has some distinct advantages over working out in warmer weather.”

American Heart Association (AHA)

Go to striveforgoodhealth.com and learn more about how to stay hydrated, fueled, and knowing to take breaks during your winter sports outdoors while winter still lasts.  Check out the tips!

Even with this crazy warm weather NE winter is still here and so is the Flu! Know how to stay hydrated, fueled and take breaks during your outdoor winter activities!

  

Winter is still around, so is the flu!  While many people look forward to the cold weather for skiing and other outdoor activities, others heads have gone indoors until spring, cutting down on their opportunities for the exercise they need.  Staying indoors with someone who has the flu you keep inhaling that air which will prone you in getting the flu as opposed to getting outside.  Remember in a hospital your put on Droplet precaution, in a isolated room and droplet means you can catch the Flu within arm’s length of the pt; so you wear a mask when visiting the patient with the flu in a hospital.

So get outside in warmer or when the temp gets colder.  Whether it’s spending an afternoon at the local sled hill with the kids or skiing down the Alps, you can help your clients and patients – not to mention yourself – maintain an active lifestyle in the wintertime while it still lasts.

Shoveling snow, building a snowman or going on a deep-snow hike all increase a person’s heart rate, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure. Skiing, snowboarding or ice skating strengthen the musculoskeletal system and improve balance and skill. Cross-country skiing, with its whole-body challenge, improves cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance. And all winter sports connect us with the elements: wind, snow and, for some, the sublime beauty of the mountains.

Winter Nutrition Needs

Participating in winter activities may increase energy and fluid needs, especially if the person is engaging in vigorous and demanding activities. High altitude and cold temperatures can also increase energy expenditures — as much as two- or three-fold if you’re shivering. With winter activities, it is easy to forget to stay hydrated and fueled all day, so it’s imperative to take breaks to fuel up.

Fluid Balance

Exercising in the cold and at altitude exacerbates fluid loss in the body. A significant amount of fluid is lost through increased respiration and the body’s need to humidify dry, cold mountain air. In addition, cold-induced diuresis will lead to increased urinary volume and fluid loss. And cold reduces the body’s thirst response, making it a challenge to maintain fluid balance in the cold. However, dehydration in the cold has serious consequences; it impairs thermo-regulation and increases the risk of hypothermia.

With this in mind, it is best to begin exercise well-hydrated with water breaks (3 to 8 ounces) every 15 to 20 minutes if going out on the slopes for less than 60 minutes. For any time longer than an hour, consider recommending a sports beverage.

The Air Up There

Altitude may increase the body’s need for vitamins and minerals. Adequate iron stores are necessary to increase red cell mass if exposure to altitude occurs on a regular basis. In other words, iron depletion interferes with the positive adaptation of the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity that typically occurs in response to exercise at altitude. Furthermore, altitude exposure increases the generation of reactive oxygen species. However, it remains debatable whether antioxidants such as vitamin E and C are needed in higher amounts to protect cells from damage when participating in exercise at altitude.

This topic is largely understudied in winter sports, and may be more concerning for elite athletes training at altitude. A balanced diet including a hearty vegetable soup with herbs and spices, a handful of nuts, an orange and a cup of green tea may be plenty to protect the cells from occasional winter outings.

Be Prepared

Engaging in any type of cold-weather sports, especially at higher elevations, requires appropriate preparation in terms of clothing, shelter and the foods and fluids a person consumes before, during and after the activity. Recommend that your clients and patients take breaks throughout the day and listen to their bodies to ensure that they are feeling well and ready for another round of winter activity.  Staying active outside can possibly help with keeping the Flu away especially if your exposed to someone in the house with the flu your not breathing the same air in the house which will prone you to getting the flu as opposed to staying active outdoors.

QUOTE FOR THE TUESDAY:

“Risk factors often occur in clusters and may build on one another, such as obesity leading to type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. When grouped together, certain risk factors put you at an even greater risk of coronary artery disease.”

MAYO CLINIC

Know what Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is and its symptoms?

   

Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

To better understand how CAD operates here is a metaphor like when we drive our car if our transmission is temporarily blocked the engine struggles to operate ( Just like in this disease CAD you get symptoms or no specific symptoms with resulting to struggle to do your activities of daily living)with a temporary block and definitely a complete block).   Ending probem with CAD the you need the blockage resolved so the blood can get 100% oxygen from our lungs (they provide blood oxygen to the red blood cells that provide this nutrient to our tissues to stay alive–without it our body goes through starvation=no oxygen to tissure=pain like angina).  So again as a metaphor using the car, the engine of the body is the heart, the transmission of the body is the lungs (one can’t live without the other) and the kidney system ( that filters our blood removing toxins from it to keep our blood stream cells clean) that would be the oil system of the car.  All the systems have a function that relate to the body in keeping it alive.  If oxygen is deprived long enough or toxins just continue to build up in our body it will die without resolution to getting back to normal or providing some oxygen or removing some toxins of the body like through hemodialysis for exampte.

Signs and Symptoms of CAD:

 When plaque builds up, they narrow your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause symptoms like chest pain (This pain, referred to as angina, usually occurs on the middle or left side of the chest. Angina is generally triggered by physical or emotional stress.  It maybe triggered by stress the cause is lack of oxygen=nutrients to our body).
The symptom shortness of breath– is also caused by lack of oxygen due to this blockage which could be partial or complete in our major blood vessels and there are other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms (which are listed below).
A partial or complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, you might not notice a problem until you have a significant blockage with or without specific symptoms to even a heart attack. Remember many heart attacks can be silent: that is why at a certain age we should be having a 6mth or yearly check up by a cardiologist (the expert) but if your insurance doesn’t cover a referral than go to your general doctor for a yearly physical or sooner.  But there’s plenty you can do to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. A healthy lifestyle can make a big impact on prevention or even help treating CAD.

Women are somewhat more likely than men are to experience less typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as neck or jaw pain. Sometimes a heart attack occurs without any apparent signs or symptoms.

Remember:

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Viruses can get through some of the natural skin condoms, so they don’t protect against all sexually transmitted infections. We recommend the latex or polyurethane, which tend to be more expensive but need to be used by people who have latex allergies.”

Web M.D.

National Condom Week still (started Valentine’s Day) Here is the top sexual transmitted diseases in the USA and know how to prevent them!

Valentine’s day started National Condom Week.

In the US, February National Condom Month originally started on the campus of the University of California – Berkeley, it has grown into a educational even for high schools, colleges, family planning organizations, AIDS groups, sexually transmitted disease awareness groups, pharmacies and condom manufacturers.  In hopes to help young ones and all in preventing STDs.  Using condoms helps prevent you getting sexual transmitted diseases through intercourse.  Also having one sex partner only with both checked for STDs first.  STDs you don’t want to get especially those that can shorten your life.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been known to mankind for centuries. Before the advent of modern medicine, people’s lack of awareness and understanding of STDs contributed to the widespread transmission of the infections while few or no treatments were available to treat the conditions.

In medieval times, syphilis and gonorrhoea were two of the most prevalent STDs in Europe.

Some STDs can have severe, life-changing consequences; syphilis, for example, can eventually cause progressive destruction of the brain and spinal cord, leading to mental dysfunction and hallucinations, speech problems and general paresis.

It’s kind of puzzling that sexually transmitted diseases are so prevalent—particularly when you consider that you have to get pretty up close and personal to contract one. An STD is characterized by any disease that is spread by one partner to another via sexual contact, and that can be orally, vaginally, anally, or via hand to genital contact. Regardless, they are spread when one partner passes the disease-causing organism on to the other. Obviously, preventing STD transmission is first and foremost by practicing safe sex (PREVENTION) and not enough do it in America for some crazy reason hurting themselves and other people. However, if you think you might have contracted one of the most common STDs, recognizing the disease is imperative for swift treatment and preventing further spreading.

Top venereal diseases in the USA:

1-Gonorrhea

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 700,000 new cases of Gonorrhea, or the “clap”, crop up every year. This long-term STD that is spread bacterially, affecting a female’s cervix, a male’s urethra, or the throat in both sexes, which means that it’s transmitted by vaginal, oral, and anal sex. The symptoms of gonorrhea are pretty subtle; the most noticeable being burning when urinating or a yellowish penile discharge in men.

2-Hepatitis

Sexually transmitted hepatitis is hepatitis B (or HBV), which afflicts more than 1.25 million individuals in the U.S. even though there is a vaccine. If left untreated, a Hep B infection will scar and damage the liver, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Unfortunately, over half of those affected show no symptoms, but those who do suffer muscle pain and fatigue, yellowing of the eyes (or jaundice), nausea, and a distended stomach.

3-Syphilis

Syphilis is a particularly sneaky STD that caused by a type bacterial infection of the genital tract, known as Treponema Pallidum. Syphilis is transmitted when direct contact is made between the small, painless sores on the mouth, rectum, vagina, or around the genitals in areas not protected by latex condoms. It can also be transmitted via infected mother to her baby during pregnancy. When there are no sores, the disease is still present. Syphilis symptoms are rare , however, the most telling are sores or lesions on and around the genitals, as well as hair loss, sore throat, fever; headache; and a white patchy skin rash.

4- Chlamydia

Like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia affects a man’s penile urethra and a woman’s cervix. However, oftentimes those who’ve contracted Chlamydia don’t show symptoms for months or even years, which explains why it’s the most common and rampant STD. If you do show symptoms, you’ll feel pain during intercourse and have a discolored, thick discharge from the vagina or penis. Transmitted via sexual penetration with an affected partner, using latex condoms can prevent transmission of this curable STD.

 5. Crabs

If you feel a creepy-crawly, itchy sensation in your genitals, you may have crabs (or public lice). They show themselves as visible eggs or lice in the coarse hair of the genital region (even if you shave it off), and they can spread to the armpits and eyebrows if left untreated. Typically transmitted via sexual contact, crabs can also be passed via contact with infested linens or clothing .

6. Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus (or HPV) is currently the most wide spread STD. It affects roughly three-quarters of the sexually active population and a staggering one-quarter of sexually active women, which is why there is a North American vaccine to protect young women from certain types of HPV that are linked to genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted through genital contact—via vaginal and anal sex, and also oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. Most times HPV doesn’t show any symptoms until it’s far advanced, but genital warts as well as RRP, a condition where warts grow in the throat and eventually cause breathing difficulties are common.

7. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis, or BV, is not always considered an STD even though it typically afflicts those of child-bearing age with multiple or new sex partners. BV occurs when healthy bacteria in the vagina overgrow and become imbalanced, causing burning and itching around the vagina and a thick, grey discharge with a strong fishy odor. Antibiotics will quickly clear up bouts of BV, but it can reoccur, leaving the victim prone to pelvic inflammatory disease, other STDs, and premature births (if pregnant).

 8. Herpes

Painful sores or lesions on your mouth or genitals may indicate herpes, a viral STD that comes in two forms HSV1 (herpes of the mouth) and HSV2 (herpes of the genitals). Herpes is transmitted skin-to-skin—for instance, from genital to genital, mouth to genital, or mouth to mouth contact with an infected individual, even when they don’t have visible sores. Even though herpes symptoms be treated with antibiotics, the virus never goes away and reoccurs typically 2 to 4 times per year.

9. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, or “trich”, often masks itself as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women with similar symptoms—including a thick, grey discharge, offensive vaginal odor, pain or burning intercourse, and itchiness. A parasitic trichomonas vaginalis infection affects the urethra and the vagina in women. It can be transmitted back and forth between sex partners (man to woman and woman to woman) via vaginal intercourse and contact. However, most men typically don’t have any symptoms.

10. HIV

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia. Luckily, many individuals who are diagnosed early can live a long, productive life with HIV thanks to a combination of highly active anti-retroviral drug therapy, which prevents to progression to AIDS causing death.

Vaccination is another way that you can prevent yourself from becoming infected. So far the only effective vaccines we have available are for hepatitis B and HPV. We’re recommending that teenage girls be vaccinated against HPV, because certain strains are associated with cervical cancer.

So Don’t be silly, protect your willy
When in doubt, shroud your spout
It will be sweeter if you wrap your peter
No glove, no love!

Don’t lac but get your vac to prevent a poor sex act!

Remember PREVENTION!

While humor is used to help provide education, National Condom Week has become a tool to help educate young adults about serious risks involved with unprotected sex. This includes the risk of catching and spreading sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS as well as helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“CARDIAC DIET=Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sodium
The cardiac diet will help you to make food choices that will allow you to modify and/or reduce your sodium, fat and cholesterol intake.”
New York Presbyterian Hospital (The University Hospital of Colombia and
and Cornell)

Shopping this weekend? If yes, think shop better for my Heart!

This month February is Heart month and thing cardiac diet this weekend. Most people eat much more sodium (salt) than they need. This can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. To lower the amount of sodium in your diet, follow these tips when you go food shopping:

  • Choose fresh instead of processed foods when you can.
  • Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the amount of sodium. Look for foods with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is high.
  • Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

Take the list below with you the next time you go food shopping.

Vegetables and Fruits

Get plenty of vegetables and fruits.

  • Any fresh fruits, like apples, oranges, or bananas
  • Any fresh vegetables, like spinach, carrots, or broccoli
  • Frozen vegetables without added sauce
  • Canned vegetables that are low in sodium or have no salt added
  • Low sodium vegetable juice
  • Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)
  • Canned fruit (packed in water or 100% juice, not syrup)

Breads, Cereals, and Grains

Compare labels to find products with less sodium. When you cook rice or pasta, don’t add salt.

  • Rice or pasta
  • Unsweetened oatmeal
  • Unsalted popcorn

Tip: If your food comes with a seasoning packet, use only part of the packet. This will lower the amount of sodium in the food.

Meats, Nuts, and Beans

Choose fresh meats when possible. Some fresh meat has added sodium, so always check the label.

  • Fish or shellfish
  • Chicken or turkey breast without skin
  • Lean cuts of beef or pork
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Canned beans labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium”
  • Eggs

Dairy Products

Choose fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt. Be sure to check the label on cheese, which can be high in sodium. Milk and yogurt are also good sources of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Low- or reduced-sodium cheese (like natural Swiss cheese)
  • Soymilk with added calcium

Dressings, Oils, and Condiments

When you cook, use ingredients that are low in sodium or have no sodium at all.

  • Unsalted margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
  • Vegetable oils (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame)
  • Sodium-free, light mayonnaise and salad dressing
  • Low-sodium or “no salt added” ketchup
  • Vinegar

Seasonings

Try these seasonings instead of salt to flavor your food.

  • Herbs, spices, or salt-free seasoning blends
  • Chopped vegetables, like garlic, onions, and peppers
  • Lemons and limes
  • Ginger