Archive | February 2018


“The widow maker is an alternate name for the anterior interventricular branch of the left coronary artery (LCA).  It oxygenates over 50% of the heart tissue, with its branches. The left main coronary artery branches into: Circumflex artery/Left Anterior Descending artery (LAD).

  • This supplies the Circumflex artery – supplies blood to the left atrium, side and back of the left ventricle
  • Left Anterior Descending artery (LAD) – supplies the front and bottom of the left ventricle and the front of the septum”.

American Heart Association (AHA)


Part I The month is almost over for Heart Month but care for it yearly! What is a “Widow Maker”?

If you have been reading regularly on this blog than you know this past month has been dedicated everywhere for the health topic “HEART MONTH”.

What is a “widow maker”?  Well for starters, this is the deadliest heart attack.  The symptoms you need to know to possibly prevent the results of this widow maker.  It occurs when there is a complete blockage of the left artery feeding the heart with blood.  This causes a cut off of oxygen supply  to one of the large parts of the heart muscle, which can cause it to stop beating, causing you to die.

A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked.

The heart muscle is then robbed of vital oxygenated blood, which if left untreated, can cause the heart muscle to begin to die.

A heart attack is a life-threatening emergency.

A widow maker heart attack is caused when the LAD artery becomes blocked.

It occurs when there’s a complete blockage of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, one of two main arteries that brings OXYGENATED blood to the heart=FOOD TO THE HEART MUSCLE (O2).

When it is blocked due to a build up of plaque it is most often deadly, hence the name “widow maker”.  How to we get plaque build up?

Cholesterol plaques can be the cause of heart disease. Plaques begin in artery walls and grow over years. The growth of cholesterol!  The plaques slowly blocks blood flow in the arteries. Worse, a cholesterol plaque can suddenly rupture. The sudden blood clot that forms over the rupture then causes a heart attack or stroke.

Blocked arteries caused by plaque buildup and blood clots are the leading cause of death in the U.S. Reducing cholesterol and other risk factors can help prevent cholesterol plaques from forming. Occasionally, it can even reverse some plaque buildup.

“When the main artery down the front of the heart (LAD) is totally blocked or has a critical blockage, right at the beginning of the vessel, it is known as the Widow Maker. (The medical term for this is a proximal LAD lesion). No one knows exactly who came up with the term, but the reason they did is likely that if that artery is blocked right at the beginning of its course, then the whole artery after it goes down. This essentially means that the whole front wall of the heart goes down. As far as heart attacks go, this is a big one, with big consequences if not dealt with appropriately and FAST!” Ahmed – an Interventional Cardiologist and Director of Structural Heart Disease at Princeton-Baptist Hospital.



A widow maker heart attack has the same symptoms as any other heart attack.

They can be difficult to spot for sure, because they can vary from person to person.

The most common signs include:

  • chest pain, tightness, heaviness, pain or a burning feeling in your chest
  • pain in the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach
  • for some people the pain and tightness will be severe, while for others it will just feel uncomfortable
  • sweating
  • feeling light-headed
  • becoming short of breath
  • feeling nauseous or vomiting

How is a heart attack treated?

The first port of call for treatment, is for doctors to treat the blocked artery.

There are two main procedures used to open up the blocked blood vessel.

The first, a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) is an emergency coronary angioplasty.

It opens the blockage and helps restore blood supply to the heart.

The second treatment, is thrombosis, also known as a “clot buster”.

It involves injecting a drug into the vein to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood supply to the heart that way.  In some cases this procedure can be performed in the ambulance.

While these treatments are common, in some cases they will not be right for the patient and so won’t be performed.  The MD Cardiologist will know the right Rx.


“Contrary to the name, “Exploding Head Syndrome” is not associated with pain. However the noise attacks can elicit a great deal of fear, confusion and distress in sufferers. Reports of tachycardia and palpitations are also common.Some scientists have estimated that EHS may affect 10% of the population. Females tend to be more at risk than males and the average age of onset is 50 years old.

American Sleep Association (ASA)

Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS)!



What you need to know about sleep:

You’re tired. You could put your head down on a desk right now and fall asleep immediately. You went to bed late last night, had trouble falling asleep and woke up too early. And let’s not kid ourselves: Tonight will be the same unless … well, read on.

This is the classic not-so-shut-eye experience of many Americans who think they are sleep-deprived and possibly need pills or other treatment to fix their insomnia, teeth grinding, jet lag, restless or jerky legs, snoring, sleepwalking and so forth.

Reality is quite different.

For instance, insomnia is said to be the most common sleep disorder, but these dissatisfying sleep experiences only get in the way of daily activities for 10 percent of us, according to the National Institutes of Health. And in almost half of those cases, the real underlying problem is illness (often mental) or the effects of a substance, like coffee or medication.

Here are five recent findings that might help you rest easier:

1. We sleep better than we think we do

For most of us, sleep deprivation is a myth. We’re not zombies. The non-profit National Sleep Foundation (which takes money from the sleep-aid industry, including drug companies that make sleeping pills) says the average U.S. resident gets 7 hours a night and that’s not enough, but a University of Maryland study earlier this year shows we typically get 8 hours and are doing fine. In fact, Americans get just as much sleep nowadays as they did 40 years ago, the study found.

2. We need less sleep as we age

We’ll die without sleep. The details are sketchy, but research suggests it’s a time when we restore vital biological processes and also sort and cement memories. Last year, the World Health Organization determined that nightshift work, which can lead to sleep troubles, is a probable human carcinogen. On the upside, the latest research suggests we need less of it as we get older.

3. You can sleep like a baby (or Thomas Edison)

Multiple, shorter sleep sessions nightly, rather than one long one, are an option. So-called polyphasic sleep is seen in babies, the elderly and other animals (and Thomas Edison reportedly slept this way). For the rest of us, it is more realistic and healthy to sleep at night as best we can and then take naps as needed. EEGs show that we are biphasic sleepers with two alertness dips — one at night time and one mid-day. So talk to HR about setting up a nap room, like they have for NASA’s Phoenix mission team members.

4. Animals exhibit a range of sleep habits

The three-toed sloth sleeps 9.6 hours nightly. But newborn dolphins and killer whales can forgo sleeping for their entire first month. However, the latter extreme is not recommended for humans. We grow irritable and lose our ability to focus and make decisions after even one night of missed sleep, and that can lead to serious accidents driving and using other machinery.

5. Get used to being tired, hit the desk

The bottom line is that a good night’s sleep is within the reach of most of us if we follow common-sense guidelines for sleep hygiene:

  • Go to bed at the same time nightly.
  • Set aside enough time to hit that golden 7 hours of sleep.
  • Refrain from caffeine, heavy or spicy foods, and alcohol and other optional medications that might keep you awake, four to six hours before bed-time.
  • Have a pre-sleep routine so you wind down before you hop in.
  • Block out distracting lights and noises.
  • Only engage in sleep and sex in bed (no TV-watching, reading or eating).
  • Exercise regularly but not right before bed.

But you already know all this and you don’t do it. So your realistic plan might be to surrender to the mid-day desk nap.

Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS)

Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a disorder characterized by the perception of loud noises (e.g. a bomb explosion, gunshot or cymbal crash) when going to sleep or awakening. Contrary to the name, EHS is not associated with pain. However the noise attacks can elicit a great deal of fear, confusion and distress in sufferers. Reports of tachycardia and palpitations are also common. Despite the distressing nature of EHS, relatively little is known about the prevalence and underlying cause of the condition. Some scientists have estimated that EHS may affect 10% of the population. Females tend to be more at risk than males and the average age of onset is 50 years old.

Stress and exploding head syndrome

A few sufferers hear the noise in only one ear, while others hear it in both ears. In other cases, the sound seems to come from inside the patient’s own head (thus the condition’s name).

Most researchers find that exploding head syndrome often occurs in people who are dealing with high levels of stress and physical or mental fatigue. It affects both men and women, though the condition appears more commonly in women, and among people 50 years and older (though it’s also been reported in children).

Because there’s been little research into the condition, nobody is certain what causes exploding head syndrome. Some experts have speculated that it’s related to minor seizures in the brain’s temporal lobe; others suggest it might be related to hearing disorder

Doin’ the hypnagogic jerk

Exploding head syndrome is one of several conditions described as hypnagogic, or occurring in the transitional state between sleep and full wakefulness.

The “hypnagogic jerk” is an involuntary muscle spasm or twitch that occurs as a person is drifting off to sleep.

The muscle spasms may occur spontaneously or may be induced by sound, light or other external stimuli. Some people report hypnagogic jerks accompanied by hallucinations, dreams, the sensation of falling, or bright lights and loud noises coming from inside the head.

As with exploding head syndrome, researchers aren’t sure why hypnogogic jerks occur, but a few theories exist. One hypothesis says that these events are a natural part of the body’s transition from alertness to sleep, and occur when nerves “misfire” during the process.

Another popular idea takes a more evolutionary approach to hypnogogic jerks, explaining that the spasms are an ancient primate reflex responding to the relaxation of muscles at the onset of sleep — the brain misinterprets the relaxation as a sign that the sleeping primate is falling out of a tree, and causes the muscles to quickly react.

Is there a cure for exploding head syndrome?

When exploding head syndrome is related to stress or fatigue, experts recommend stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation or simply a hot bath before sleeping.

Doctors have reported that many sleep disturbances like exploding head syndrome are related to the use of certain medications or drugs, according to the ASA. Moderating the use of these drugs may alleviate the symptoms of exploding head syndrome.

Some evidence suggests that clomipramine, a member of an older class of tricyclic antidepressants, can help treat exploding head syndrome.

For many patients, the condition comes and goes, disappearing for long stretches at a time, then eventually going away entirely on its own.

There are various theories as to what might cause EHS. For instance, some scientists have speculated that EHS may be associated with minor temporal lobe seizures. Another theory is that EHS is caused by sudden shifts of middle ear components. Other possible causes include stress/anxiety, impairments in calcium signalling and brainstem neuronal dysfunction.

Fortunately, exploding head syndrome is not as dangerous as it sounds.

But it is a real condition, and researchers are finally beginning to seriously investigate the rare and little-understood sleep disorder.

People with exploding head syndrome hear extremely loud noises — a gunshot, an explosion, a thunderclap — as they’re drifting off to sleep, or as they wake up from a deep sleep.

When exploding head syndrome is related to stress or fatigue, experts recommend stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation or simply a hot bath before sleeping.

Doctors have reported that many sleep disturbances like exploding head syndrome are related to the use of certain medications or drugs, according to the ASA. Moderating the use of these drugs may alleviate the symptoms of exploding head syndrome.

Because of the benign nature of EHS, many individuals do not require medical treatment. However if an individual is suffering from disturbed sleep or considerable distress as a consequence of EHS, then treatment may be necessary. Tricyclic antidepressants have been proven useful in some individuals. Some evidence suggests that clomipramine, a member of an older class of tricyclic antidepressants, can help treat exploding head syndrome.  Calcium channel blockers may also be beneficial. Non-pharmacological strategies such as relaxation, improved sleep hygiene and counselling may also help to alleviate symptoms.

For many patients, the condition comes and goes, disappearing for long stretches at a time, then eventually going away entirely on its own.


“To quickly stop repetitive bad memories, acknowledge the bad memory and focus on the present. Then, pay attention to the details of your surroundings to distract your mind from the bad memories.”

Part I Don’t let bad memories control your life!


How do we do that? First get through the bad experience. You can do that through the steps of dying through Erickson, which in my eyes pertains not just to death.   You first go through anger; regarding the bad experience or memory that has happened embrace that bad memory feel it. Shout, pound on the floor or cry if you have to (Guys, it’s OK to let your emotions loose and cry if something really hurts deeply–not for a little scratch…). Just let the feeling into your conscious mind. Soak it up, absorb your grief or sorrow. Think about it. Recall the memory and try to think it through. Then, there is the step of denial. A step of grieving is denial which is a feeling like you may sometimes wonder whether a past event actually happened or not. Stop wishing that is didn’t happen which is a form of denial. Don’t get distracted from this difficult realization or memory of pain you’re going through. You need to keep embracing this memory for awhile to make it through acceptance. The next step would bargain for example if you let me live God I promise to be a better person or it could be if you allow me to work things out with my significant other for whatever the reason might be I promise to do… The next step would be acceptance. Muster your strength so that you can mentally say (or out loud for emphasis), “This is the feeling that I dreaded. I’ve felt it and faced it completely. Now I have to let the feeling go, and not fight it anymore.” Sigh, take a couple deep breaths, and just let that feeling go–let it be accepted. Examine your feelings. Now, that you did that, or worse if you couldn’t do it, that shows that you haven’t truly let the feeling be known. The only way to conquer it is to face it and all of the feelings (like being out of control for example). Repeat the process if it was unsuccessful, you have to make it through all the steps not just one. Lastly you go through depression. During this time you may have had a bad accident with having limitations; with knowing the limitations which may be permanent you work on what capabilities you still have and make them stonger leading to your optimal level of function.   It isn’t easy but it can pay off in the end if you make yourself a stronger person with seeing new and other strong points about your character that you weren’t aware of. This could have been hidden when you had no limitations that allowed you to do activities you may not be able to do now with these limitations. Use your time effectively and wisely.

During this stage of depression Forgive others and yourself for whatever happened. Get over the frustration. Get over the memory of the horror or humiliation that you felt… Live positively despite that difficult past experience. Hopefully, you have conquered the dreadful feeling–like fear. Let the memory stay inside you. Don’t block it out. Let it come when it comes and learn to shrug it off.   Say, “That was then, this is now.” I can overcome that bad past circumstance. I have the future. I can do everything that I need to do to get on with my life… Look at the pros of how your life now and if you see more cons than do what is needed to make it better. Things change. You cannot possibly spend the rest of your life hurting the way you do now; human beings are dynamic and change is a part of life. The way you felt then and the way you feel now is not the way you will feel forever. So every moment spent thinking that you will always be hurt by these bad memories is a moment wasted in your life!


How to deal with bad memories in our mind:


Our body responds to the images in our mind and though the event happened maybe years ago; the negative experience you have today comes from the image in your mind.

It is possible to recondition your mind so that you interpret that memory from a new perspective and control the stress crated by that negative memory or dream.

To do that you need to develop a self image that is connected to the moment & not the past. It is possible to create a self image from your past experience that connects you to the Wisdom of your Body and that puts you in the moment. The fact is that in most people’s life they have had at least one positive experience and if your brain created it once it can create it again at will.

Our minds have developed a self image by the way people related to you in the past. That has created habits that formed who you think you are today. That does not create an accurate description of your real potential-but unfortunately you believe it to be you.

You have the power to develop a self image, based on the positive experiences of your life instead of how people related to you. It will take a little work to develop conscious habits of this character, but it will be worth your effort.

The quality of your life, how you deal with your health and how you express your heart depends on your own self image and the way you interpret what happens in your life. Change your own self image when necessary and you automatically change your interpretations.

If you strongly condition your new Positive Self image in your mind; your interpretations will begin to affect the old habits that create negative interpretations even in your sleep.

The bad memories that harm you are interpreted by a negative self image. After years of living with a negative self image, habits are created that effects your subconscious mind. Once you create a habit of your newly conditioned Positive Self, go back into that memory and view it from that perspective.

Seeing that same experience from a new perspective can eliminate the interpretation that makes that a bad memory. In Psychology that is called Re-dreaming and it can create an entirely different association to that memory or dream.

This is how you can clean up your mind and prepare to deal with your health crisis at your full potential; recondition the mind that distracts your attention from healing.

You may not be able to change the events of your past, but you can change your interpretations in the moment. In about 2 weeks of conscious work, (15 minutes twice a day and another ½ hour), you can create new habits that replace the old habit on the subconscious level.



“Hyperhomocysteinemia promotes atherosclerosis and is most commonly caused by B-vitamin deficiencies, especially folic acid, B(6), and B(12); genetic disorders; certain drugs; and renal impairment.”

NCBI  National Center for Biotechnology Information

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: