Cholesterol, Heart Disease Risk Factors, & the key to prevention or Rx. of it.

cholesterol and heart disease 

cholesteroterol and heart disease

In our body we have cholesterol which is a type of fat. In certain foods is cholesterol depending on the food you buy. Your total cholesterol includes LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Let’s differentiate the two, LDL is bad cholesterol because it can build up in the arterial walls and form plaque in time. That build up in the arteries will reduce blood flow and increase your risk to heart disease, especially eating frequently the wrong foods with high and bad cholesterol over years (Example. coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and eating like this for years can lead to a heart attack or from s/s arising scarring the person to go to the doctor and find out they have blockages & need surgery. The sign and symptoms arising scarring the person can range from chest pain, and can be radiating down the arms, sweating profusely, weakness/fatigue increases in your life, dizziness, you feel like you’re going to fall or actually due to the fatigue/weakness=low blood pressure due to the blockage or the heart just working too hard in doing its function since the cardiac output is decreased from the blockage) Take one of my dear friends who I have known almost 35 years who was a workaholic 10to14hr/7 days a week for at least 25 years and this week he had to undergo surgery for a coronary artery blockage bypass for 5 vessels blocked 80% to 100%. He had a successful bypass done but now has a long rehab haul to get better due to high cholesterol eating, smoking (that both play an impact in plaque & tar build up in the vessels) but he also was obese by about 50lbs. This could have been prevented if he changed his diet, watched his weight, and quit smoking years ago but that takes discipline, making sacrifices=all within your hands to allow for healthy habits now (prevention) or later when problems occur (treatment), if caught in time. There is a way out of this happening to you.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is also known as good cholesterol because it is thought to help remove bad cholesterol from the body; if you decide the right foods in the right portions that will have more HDL than LDL in them. Differentiating the 2, now another component to keep in mind is risk factors that can put you at risk for heart disease and your doctor will determine what additional risk factors you have putting you at risk for heart disease. These risk factors can be modifiable (controllable by individuals) or non-modifiable (non-controllable by individuals).

Modifiable Risk Factors=High B/P, Diabetes, Low HDL=good cholesterol, High LDL=bad cholesterol, smoking, eating foods high in SATURATED FAT & CHOLESTEROL, lack of any activity in your life (your regular routine doesn’t count), & harmful use of alcohol.

MAYO CLINIC states Factors Increasing your BAD Cholesterol:

  • Poor diet. Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially baked cookies and crackers and microwave popcorn, can raise your cholesterol level. Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase your cholesterol.
  • Obesity.
  • Lack of exercise. Exercise helps boost your body’s HDL, or “good,” cholesterol while increasing the size of the particles that make up your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, which makes it less harmful.
  • Smoking.
  • Age. Because your body’s chemistry changes as you age, your risk of high cholesterol climbs. For instance, as you age, your liver becomes less able to remove LDL cholesterol.
  • Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher levels of a dangerous cholesterol called very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries.

Non-modifiable Risk Factors=4 types only which are: 1-Heredity (The higher the risk is when the heredity is closer to you in your family tree=Nuclear family–mom, dad, and siblings). 2-Age (Men aged 45y/o or older & Women aged 55 y/o or older) 3-Gender (It may affect your risk, for years heart disease was considered a man’s disease but we now know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as well as men. Although men tend to develop coronary artery disease earlier in life, after age 65 the risk of heart disease for both genders is equal.) 4-Race (Heart disease is higher among African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans compared to Caucasians).

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?  To make this short & simple, from continuous high cholesterol over time, especially with history in your nuclear family puts you at risk for ATHERO-SCLEROSIS = Blockage In Arteries.  This puts at you at risk for a heart attack, stroke (Based on oxygen blocked by high cholesterol causing lack of oxygenated blood (nutrients) to the heart or brain due to high cholesterol build up in arteries supplying the heart and brain.  This is a high risk for MI & CVA).

Now it makes sense?  The answer to prevention or treatment of cardiac disease is changing or modifying your diet, if it’s unhealthy 100% or just partially. The answer includes exercise (from just walking or if you like working out, even better) and if needed medication but your doctor will decide. All these changes can modify your blood lipid profile=cholesterol control, which helps increasing your heart to a better tolerance with activity, stress and simply functioning. Recommended is going to a cardiologist for people diagnosed with heart conditions or your general practitioner with any illness/disease before making changes to help guide you towards the right choices. Your doctor can help you in determining which prevention or treatment plan is best for you.

Foods high in cholesterol=Fast foods, whole fat dairy products-milk/cheese/butter/mayonnaise/ bacon/processed deli meats/salad dressings and shortenings.

The key is to be living a healthy life. This consists of diet, exercise or activity and healthy habits learned and practiced routinely in your life that will help prevent or assist in treating cardiac disease. The better we treat ourselves regarding health the higher the odds we will live a longer   life. There is not just one food to eat or one type of exercise to do or one healthy habit to keep you healthy, there are choices. Wouldn’t you want less disease/illness for yourself and for others throughout the nation including the future generations?  It is all in change and that would be in your diet, activity getting increased and exercise balanced with rest.  Most importantly sticking to it regularly not doing these changes on occasion and that is all in how well you discipline yourself.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Many of the body’s nerves are like household wires. There is a central conducting core in the nerves called the axon that carries an electric signal. The axon (an extension of a nerve cell) is surrounded by a covering, like insulation, called myelin. The myelin sheath surrounding the axon speeds up the transmission of nerve signals and allows the transmission of signals over long distances.

Since nerves are damaged in GBS, the brain may receive abnormal sensory signals from the rest of the body.  This results in unexplained, spontaneous sensations, called paresthesias, that may be experienced as tingling, a sense of insects crawling under the skin (called formications), and pain. Deep muscular pain may be experienced in the back and/or legs.”.

(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at https://www.ninds.nih.gov/)

Part II Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Complications

Guillain-Barre syndrome affects your nerves. Because nerves control your movements and body functions, people with Guillain-Barre may experience:

  • Breathing difficulties. The weakness or paralysis can spread to the muscles that control your breathing, a potentially fatal complication. Up to 30 percent of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome need temporary help from a machine to breathe when they’re hospitalized for treatment.
  • Residual numbness or other sensations. Most people with Guillain-Barre syndrome recover completely or have only minor, residual weakness, numbness or tingling.
  • Heart and blood pressure problems. Blood pressure fluctuations and irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) are common side effects of Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Pain. Up to half of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome experience severe nerve pain, which may be eased with medication.
  • Bowel and bladder function problems. Sluggish bowel function and urine retention may result from Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Blood clots. People who are immobile due to Guillain-Barre syndrome are at risk of developing blood clots. Until you’re able to walk independently, taking blood thinners and wearing support stockings may be recommended.
  • Pressure sores. Being immobile also puts you at risk of developing bedsores (pressure sores). Frequent repositioning may help avoid this problem.
  • Relapse. Around 3 percent of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome experience a relapse.

Severe, early symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome significantly increase the risk of serious long-term complications. Rarely, death may occur from complications such as respiratory distress syndrome and heart attack.

Types of Guillean-Barre Syndrome:

Once thought to be a single disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome is now known to occur in several forms. The main types are:

  • Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), the most common form in the U.S. The most common sign of AIDP is muscle weakness that starts in the lower part of your body and spreads upward.
  • Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS), in which paralysis starts in the eyes. MFS is also associated with unsteady gait. MFS occurs in about 5 percent of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome in the U.S. but is more common in Asia.
  • Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) are less common in the U.S. But AMAN and AMSAN are more frequent in China, Japan and Mexico.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if you have mild tingling in your toes or fingers that doesn’t seem to be spreading or getting worse. Seek emergency medical help if you have any of these severe signs or symptoms:

  • Tingling that started in your feet or toes and is now moving up your body
  • Tingling or weakness that’s spreading rapidly
  • Difficulty catching your breath or shortness of breath when lying flat
  • Choking on saliva

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a serious condition that requires immediate hospitalization because it can worsen rapidly. The sooner appropriate treatment is started, the better the chance of a good outcome.

How Guillean-Barre is Diagnosed:

Guillain-Barre syndrome can be difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages. Its signs and symptoms are similar to those of other neurological disorders and may vary from person to person.

Your doctor is likely to start with a medical history and thorough physical examination.

Your doctor may then recommend:

  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture). A small amount of fluid is withdrawn from the spinal canal in your lower back. The fluid is tested for a type of change that commonly occurs in people who have Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Electromyography. Thin-needle electrodes are inserted into the muscles your doctor wants to study. The electrodes measure nerve activity in the muscles.
  • Nerve conduction studies. Electrodes are taped to the skin above your nerves. A small shock is passed through the nerve to measure the speed of nerve signals.

Treatment

There’s no cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome. But two types of treatments can speed recovery and reduce the severity of the illness:

  • Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis). The liquid portion of part of your blood (plasma) is removed and separated from your blood cells. The blood cells are then put back into your body, which manufactures more plasma to make up for what was removed. Plasmapheresis may work by ridding plasma of certain antibodies that contribute to the immune system’s attack on the peripheral nerves.
  • Immunoglobulin therapy. Immunoglobulin containing healthy antibodies from blood donors is given through a vein (intravenously). High doses of immunoglobulin can block the damaging antibodies that may contribute to Guillain-Barre syndrome.

These treatments are equally effective. Mixing them or administering one after the other is no more effective than using either method alone.

You also are likely to be given medication to:

  • Relieve pain, which can be severe
  • Prevent blood clots, which can develop while you’re immobile

People with Guillain-Barre syndrome need physical help and therapy before and during recovery.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“The first symptoms of Guillain–Barré syndrome are numbness, tingling, and pain, alone or in combination. This is followed by weakness of the legs and arms that affects both sides equally and worsens over time. The weakness can take half a day to over two weeks to reach maximum severity, and then becomes steady. In one in five people, the weakness continues to progress for as long as four weeks. “

MAYO CLINIC

 

Part I Guillean-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre (gee-YAH-buh-RAY) syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms.

These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body. In its most severe form Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency. Most people with the condition must be hospitalized to receive treatment.

The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. But it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu.

There’s no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Causes:

The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome isn’t known. The disorder usually appears days or weeks after a respiratory or digestive tract infection. Rarely, recent surgery or immunization can trigger Guillain-Barre syndrome. Recently, there have been a few cases reported following infection with the Zika virus.

In Guillain-Barre syndrome, your immune system — which usually attacks only invading organisms — begins attacking the nerves. In AIDP, the most common form of Guillain-Barre syndrome in the U.S., the nerves’ protective covering (myelin sheath) is damaged. The damage prevents nerves from transmitting signals to your brain, causing weakness, numbness or paralysis.

Sign and Symptoms of Guillain=Barre:

As Guillain-Barre syndrome progresses, muscle weakness can evolve into paralysis.

Signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome may include:

  • Prickling, pins and needles sensations in your fingers, toes, ankles or wrists
  • Weakness in your legs that spreads to your upper body
  • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Severe pain that may feel achy or cramplike and may be worse at night
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

Risk factors

Guillain-Barre syndrome can affect all age groups. But you’re at slightly greater risk if:

  • You’re a man
  • You’re a young adult

Guillain-Barre syndrome may be triggered by:

  • Most commonly, infection with campylobacter, a type of bacteria often found in undercooked poultry
  • Influenza virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Zika virus
  • Hepatitis A, B, C and E
  • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia
  • Surgery
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Rarely, influenza vaccinations or childhood vaccinations

 

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“The 19th June is World Sickle Cell Day – a day of raising awareness!

World Sickle Cell Day is a United Nation’s recognised day to raise awareness of sickle cell at a national and international level. On 22nd December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognises sickle cell disease as a public health problem and “one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.” The resolution calls for members to raise awareness of sickle cell on June 19th of each year at national and international level.

Sickle cell disorders are a group of illnesses which affect your red blood cells. Sickle cell is a genetic condition, which means it is passed on from your parents and you are born with it; you cannot catch it from other people.”.

sicklecellsociety.org

Sickle Cell Disease Day

SCD is the most commonly inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting 100,000 people, and millions more worldwide. The disease primarily affects people of African, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry.

What is sickle cell disease actually?

The term sickle cell disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.

Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

“Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else.

People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia. This is the most common and often most severe kind of SCD.

Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sβ thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) are two other common forms of SCD.

Cells in tissues need a steady supply of oxygen to work well. Normally, hemoglobin in red blood cells takes up oxygen in the lungs and carries it to all the tissues of the body.

Red blood cells that contain normal hemoglobin are disc shaped (like a doughnut without a hole). This shape allows the cells to be flexible so that they can move through large and small blood vessels to deliver oxygen.

Sickle hemoglobin is not like normal hemoglobin. It can form stiff rods within the red cell, changing it into a crescent, or sickle shape.

Sickle-shaped cells are not flexible and can stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood. When this happens, oxygen can’t reach nearby tissues.

The lack of tissue oxygen can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain, called pain crisis. These pain attacks can occur without warning, and a person often needs to go to the hospital for effective treatment.

Most children with SCD are pain free between painful crises, but adolescents and adults may also suffer with chronic ongoing pain.

The red cell sickling and poor oxygen delivery can also cause organ damage. Over a lifetime, SCD can harm a person’s spleen, brain, eyes, lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, penis, joints, bones, or skin.

Sickle cells can’t change shape easily, so they tend to burst apart or hemolyze. Normal red blood cells live about 90 to 120 days, but sickle cells last only 10 to 20 days.

The body is always making new red blood cells to replace the old cells; however, in SCD the body may have trouble keeping up with how fast the cells are being destroyed. Because of this, the number of red blood cells is usually lower than normal. This condition, called anemia, can make a person have less energy.  Anemia ending line is lack of oxygen to the tissue body parts all over.

“Sickle cell disease is devastating for patients and their families,” said Jeffrey Glassberg, MD, MA, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “It’s a chronic disorder causing pain in the extremities and back, infections, organ failure and other tissue damage, skin infections, loss of eyesight, severe blood clots and strokes. Patients learn to function in a constant state of pain and when that pain becomes debilitating, they often end up in the emergency room,” said Dr. Glassberg, also Associate Director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Patients with SCD are more likely to live full lives if they undergo regular checkups, prevent infections and develop healthy habits,” said Jena Simon, MS, FNP-BC, RN, also of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program.

Tips to Staying Healthy

  • Get regular checkups. Regular health checkups can help prevent some serious problems.
  • Prevent infections. Common illnesses, like influenza quickly can become dangerous for both children and adults with SCD. The best defense is to get a flu shot every fall and to stay up-to-date on other immunizations.
  • People with SCD should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and eat healthy food. They also should try not to get too hot, too cold, or too tired.
  • Look for clinical studies. New clinical research studies are beginning all the time at Mount Sinai and elsewhere, with the goal of finding better treatments for SCD. Study participants gain early access to experimental medicines and treatments.
  • Get support. People with SCD should find a patient support group or other organization in the community that can provide information, assistance, and support.

Sickle Cell Disease Facts & Figures:

  • SCD is an inherited blood disorder that can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, bones and spleen.
  • SCD is most common in Africans and African-Americans. It is also found in other ethnic and racial groups, including people from South and Central America, the Caribbean, Mediterranean countries, and India.
  • More than 2 million people carry the sickle cell gene that allows them potentially to pass the disease on to their children. People of African, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian descent may want to be tested for the gene before having children. You can carry the gene and not have any signs or symptoms of SCD. Both parents have to have the gene to have a child with SCD.

SCD Awareness Events, The Mount Sinai Hospital campus, 1468 Madison Avenue (at 100th St.):

  • Lecture: Guided Imagery for Sickle Cell Pain Management – Friday, September 11, 11 am to Noon, Stern Auditorium.
  • Sickle Cell Community Engagement Day – Saturday, September 12, Noon to 4 pm, Hatch Auditorium and Guggenheim Pavilion Lobby. Education, free Bone Marrow Drive, IMPACT Repertory Theatre performance.
  • NYC Annual Sickle Cell A Walk in Central Park – Saturday, September 19, 11 am, Central Park (near Naumberg Bandshell)

About the Mount Sinai Health System?

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services–.from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Aphasia is a communication disorder affecting over 2 million Americans.   Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others.”.

National Aphasia Association

National Aphasia Month

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For most people, these areas are on the left side of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often following a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as the result of a brain tumor or a progressive neurological disease. The disorder impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders, such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage.

Who can acquire aphasia?

Most people who have aphasia are middle-aged or older, but anyone can acquire it, including young children. About 1 million people in the United States currently have aphasia, and nearly 180,000 Americans acquire it each year, according to the National Aphasia Association.

What causes aphasia?

Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain. Most often, the cause of the brain injury is a stroke. A stroke occurs when a blood clot or a leaking or burst vessel cuts off blood flow to part of the brain. Brain cells die when they do not receive their normal supply of blood, which carries oxygen and important nutrients. Other causes of brain injury are severe blows to the head, brain tumors, gunshot wounds, brain infections, and progressive neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Illustration of the brain's left side

Areas of the brain affected by Broca’s and Wernicke’s aphasia

What types of aphasia are there?

There are two broad categories of aphasia: fluent and nonfluent, and there are several types within these groups.

Damage to the temporal lobe of the brain may result in Wernicke’s aphasia (see figure), the most common type of fluent aphasia. People with Wernicke’s aphasia may speak in long, complete sentences that have no meaning, adding unnecessary words and even creating made-up words.

For example, someone with Wernicke’s aphasia may say, “You know that smoodle pinkered and that I want to get him round and take care of him like you want before.”

As a result, it is often difficult to follow what the person is trying to say. People with Wernicke’s aphasia are often unaware of their spoken mistakes. Another hallmark of this type of aphasia is difficulty understanding speech.

The most common type of nonfluent aphasia is Broca’s aphasia (see figure). People with Broca’s aphasia have damage that primarily affects the frontal lobe of the brain. They often have right-sided weakness or paralysis of the arm and leg because the frontal lobe is also important for motor movements. People with Broca’s aphasia may understand speech and know what they want to say, but they frequently speak in short phrases that are produced with great effort. They often omit small words, such as “is,” “and” and “the.”

For example, a person with Broca’s aphasia may say, “Walk dog,” meaning, “I will take the dog for a walk,” or “book book two table,” for “There are two books on the table.” People with Broca’s aphasia typically understand the speech of others fairly well. Because of this, they are often aware of their difficulties and can become easily frustrated.

Another type of aphasia, global aphasia, results from damage to extensive portions of the language areas of the brain. Individuals with global aphasia have severe communication difficulties and may be extremely limited in their ability to speak or comprehend language.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often (but not always) involved in the disorder.”.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH)