Archive | March 2014


“Honey or Cola May Disrupt Heart”


honey and wounds

“TUESDAY, June 25, 2013 (MedPage Today) — A detailed history of patients with arrhythmia or syncope might need to decrease their cola intake or the origin of the honey they consume, two case studies suggest.” 

Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today

What is SYNCOPE?

Syncope, also known as fainting, is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness.


Syncope is caused by a temporary decrease in the flow of blood to the brain.  A large number of situations or conditions can cause this decrease in blood flow.  They can include straining for a prolonged period of time, common mild illnesses like as simple as the cold or flu or sinusitis, standing up too quickly allowing the blood to drop from the brain in decreasing blood supply to that area, emotionally stressed, heart disease, standing rigidly for a long time, arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats = irregular heartbeats), pain, fright, drugs and alcohol.

Certain heart conditions can cause syncope.  They include heart attacks, certain arrhythmia (like atrial fibrillation), hypertropic cardiomyopathy (A disease that involves thickening of the heart muscle which is greatest in size on the L side of the heart since that side of the heart has to pump blood to the feet up to the head and back to the right side of the heart; the Rt. side of the heart only pumps blood from the Rt side of the heart to lungs and back to the L side of the heart with oxygenated blood.)  Other conditions causing syncope can be disorders of the heart valves, or heart blocks (a problem with the heart’s electrical system blocked due to the conduction system not going completely from the top to the bottom of the heart which can be slight (1st degree heart block to moderate=2 types of 2nd degree heart block to completely being 3rd degree heart block).




Like any other condition in determining the cause we have to use diagnostic tools through certain tests to figure out the actual etiology of the syncope or any symptoms you’re experiencing.

The doctor will start with a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history with significant changes from your last physical or visit with the doctor.  The doctor may recommend certain diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your fainting episodes.  These tests could include: X-rays, use of a Holter monitor (a device that you  wear during the day that records the electrical activity over a period of time), or other diagnostic or imaging testing procedures.

Our doctor might recommend a “tilt-table test”.  This test involves a special table that tilts upright. Sometimes, medications are given during the test to help with the diagnosis.  Your doctor may order a Stress Test where you walk to run on a treadmill with or without IV contrast to determine if this is possible cardiac situation and if it is than the doctor would further order other cardiac testing from Echocardiogram (soundwaves checking the heart) to microsurgery possibly like an angiogram (cardiac cath)=microsurgery if the situation was a blockage in an artery that needed to be declogged than a angioplasty would be performed if you were a candidate for this procedure, which a cardiologist would decide.


If this was to prevent cardiac conditions from occurring to stop the syncope from occurring live a life with a healthy diet, balancing exercise and rest and if overweight start a program with both diet and exercise involved.  To do it right first go to a cardiologist, if obese or overweight, to do it safe and correctly.

Already with some type of cardiac problem than be compliant in what your cardiologist provides you in your individual plan of care in treating this condition to prevent it worsening or causing other problems as well.


Treatment depends on the cause of the fainting spells.  If the problems are related to medications the doctor may have to change the dosage or the type of medication.  Medications are generally not required to treat syncope, but they might be required to treat the cause of syncope.

Most fainting spells are not dangerous.  Individuals usually regain consciousness on their own in a few minutes.


If You Have Diabetes Makes Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Increase Dramatically.

Diabetes is linked to a 65 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, which may be due, in part, because insulin resistance and/or diabetes appear to accelerate the development of plaque in your brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Separate research has found that impaired insulin response was associated with a 30 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and overall dementia and cognitive risks were associated with high fasting serum insulin, insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion and glucose intolerance.

A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, mainly by depriving them of glucose, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease (people with type 2 diabetes often wind up with low levels of insulin in their brains as well). As explained in New Scientist, which highlighted this latest research:

What’s more, it encourages the process through which neurons change shape, make new connections and strengthen others. And it is important for the function and growth of blood vessels, which supply the brain with oxygen and glucose.

As a result, reducing the level of insulin in the brain can immediately impair cognition. Spatial memory, in particular, seems to suffer when you block insulin uptake in the hippocampus… Conversely, a boost of insulin seems to improve its functioning.

When people frequently gorge on fatty, sugary food, their insulin spikes repeatedly until it sticks at a high level. Muscle, liver and fat cells then stop responding to the hormone, meaning they don’t mop up glucose and fat in the blood. As a result, the pancreas desperately works overtime to make more insulin to control the glucose – and levels of the two molecules skyrocket.

The pancreas can’t keep up with the demand indefinitely, however, and as time passes people with type 2 diabetes often end up with abnormally low levels of insulin.”

Alzheimer’s Might be “Brain Diabetes”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin and eventually shuts down its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, and eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming too much fructose will inevitably wreak havoc on your body’s ability to regulate proper insulin levels.

Although fructose is relatively “low glycemic” on the front end, it reduces the affinity for insulin for its receptor leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system’s ability to function properly behind the scenes.

Additionally, fructose has other modes of neurotoxicity, including causing damage to the circulatory system upon which the health of your nervous system depends, as well as profoundly changing your brain’s craving mechanism, often resulting in excessive hunger and subsequent consumption of additional empty carbohydrate-based calories.

In one study from UCLA, researchers found that rats fed a fructose-rich and omega-3 fat deficient diet (similar to what is consumed by many Americans) developed both insulin resistance and impaired brain function in just six weeks.

Plus, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make CHOLESTEROL, an essential building block of your brain crucial to its health. This is yet another important facet that explains how and why excessive fructose consumption is so detrimental to your health.  Decreasing fructose intake is one of the most important moves you can take in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in your lifetime.


Excess dietary salt is most notorious for increasing blood pressure. Americans have a 90 percent lifetime probability of developing high blood pressure – so even if your blood pressure is normal now, if you continue to eat the typical American diet, you will be at risk.


Joel FuhrmanM.D. (born December 2, 1953), is an American board-certified family physician who specializes in nutrition-based treatments for obesity and chronic disease.


The foods to buy are low sodium foods —-What to buy:

Fruits – Fresh, canned or frozen.  I recommend with canned look at the ingredients to make sure you know how much sodium is in a serving.  Remember for a person with high b/p you want to keep your sodium count less than 1800 to 2000mg a day.  Sodium causes the vessels to vasoconstrict (or narrow) which increases blood pressure in a person.

-Vegetables – Fresh or frozen (no sauce or plastic pouches)  Canned (UNSALTED, AGAIN check the canned label for the amount of sodium in each serving.).

Drinks – Fruits juices, fresh or frozen.

Canned low sodium or no salt added  tomato & vegetable juice.

Instant breakfast* (all flavors but eggnog) —- limit to 1 cup /day

-Dairy choices – liguid or dry milk (1% or skim milk).

Homemade buttermilk (made from powdered milk) *limit these to 2-3 cups a day*

Cottage cheese, dry cured (low sodium)

Ricotta Cheese from low fat or skim milk

Farmer Cheese, part skim mozzarella neufchated *limit cheese to 1oz or 1/2 cup of one cheese/day.

-Fats, Oils –  Canola, Olive, Corn, Cottonseed, Peanut, Safflower, Soybean &

Margarine (unsalted)

Meats, Poultry, Fish

Fish, fresh or frozen (NOT BREADED): Canned tuna and salmon (Unsalted or rinsed).

Chicken or Turkey

Lean cuts of: BEEF, VEAL, PORK, LAMB.

BEEF TONGUE if you must have.

-Meat Substitutes

Dried beans, peas, lentils (not canned)

Nuts or seeds (UNSALTED, DRY ROASTED), sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts.

Unsalted peanut butter

Tofu (soybean curd)

Breads, Cerals, Grains, Starches:

Loaf of bread and yeast rolls (limit to 3 slices a day)

Homemade breads with regular flour, not self rising.

Melba Toast

Matzo Crackers

Pita Bread

Taco Shell

Tortilla (corn)

Cooked cereals like corn grits, farina (regular), oatmeal, oat bran, cream of rice, cream of wheat (AVOID instant cereals).

Puffed Rice or wheat, shredded wheat (or any cereal with 100-150mg sodium–limit to 1 cup a day).

Wheat germ

Popcorn (no salt or fat added)

Starchy vegetables: corn, potato, green beans, etc…  (not canned unless salt free).

Rice (enriched white or brown)


– Cooking ingredients, seasonings

Corn starch, tapioca

Corn meal (not self rising)

Fresh or dried herbs, salt free herb seasonings.

Flour, regular white or whole wheat (not self rising)

Fresh fruits or vegetables (lemons, limes, onions, celery, etc.)

Fresh garlic or ginger

Louisiana –  type hot sauce (limit to 1 tsp/day)

Low sodium baking powder

Onion or garlic powder

Tomato paste, unsalted tomatoes, unsalted tomato sauce.


Water chestnuts, yeast, butter substitute (such as Molly Mc Butter—limit to 1/2 tsp/day).

– Sweets

Carob powder, cocoa powder

Flavored gelatins

Fruits (fresh, canned, frozen)

Frozen juice bars, fruit ice, sorbet, sherbet

Sugar, honey, molasses, syrup (cane or maple)

Jelly, jams, preserves, apple butter

Graham and animal crackers, fig bars, ginger snaps


1. Lose Weight, if you need to.  The heart does not have to beat as hard to send blood to all parts of a slim body as opposed to a overweight or obese body.

2. Don’t smoke-Smoking makes blood vessels constrict making it more difficult to move the blood throughout the body to all tissue parts and it also makes it more difficult in breathing.

3. Avoid hard exercise and lifting heavy objects to prevent sudden pumping demands on your heart.

4. Wear clothes that permit good bloodflow in the legs.  Garters, hose with tight tops (like thigh-high or knee high hose) may slow blood flow to and from your legs causing clots.

5. Avoid temperature extremes-The body works harder to keep a normal temperature when you’re too hot or cold.

6. Try to stay away from people who have colds or the flu.  Ask your doctor if you should have a flu shot every year and a pneumonia shot every 6-10 years.

7. Talk with your doctor about how much alcohol (if any) is ok for you.  Since alcohol weakens the heart, heart failure may improve if you stop drinking alcohol.

8. Reduce high blood pressure or high cholesterol and control your diabetes (one major way is be compliant with your meds, diet, exercise program as your M.D. orders.  This can also help keep heart failure symptoms from getting worse.

9.  Herbal supplements may interact with heart failure drugs.  Ask your doctor before taking any herbal medicine.

**Recommended is to get clearance for any changes you decide to make with this advice on high blood pressure since you may have other conditions that may not allow certain foods,  or activity changes.  If you have high blood pressure get yourself a cardiologist or a primary doctor if you don’t have one yet who would know what’s best for you.**

PART 2 Ways to reduce your high blood pressure

Factors in helping to reduce or decrease high blood pressure, also noted as hypertension are:


Stress is defined as feeling tense on the inside due to pressures from the outside.  Most of us have many of these pressures, and some handle them better than others.  Since stress makes the heart work harder, try to find ways to relieve the pressure you felt when stressed.

One way of coping with stress is to deal with your feelings.  You may feel depressed, angry or anxious because you have high blood pressure.  These feelings are normal.  It may help to talk about how you feel with your family and friends.  When you accept that you have high B/P, you can put your efforts into living a more productive, good life with dealing with the hypertension.

Many people find yoga, meditation and prescribed exercise helpful.  Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure you get clearance of what is safe for you by your primary doctor or cardiologist.

-Eat less SODIUM

Sodium is an important substance.  It helps your body balance the level of fluid inside and outside of the cells.  To keep up this balance, the body needs about 2000mg of sodium a day or less.  Yet most of us eat 3000 to 6000mg of sodium each day.

Most people with high b/p are asked to eat less sodium.  Sodium attracts water and makes the body hold fluid.  To pump the added fluid the heart works harder.  Also sodium in the body causes the arteries to vasocontrict increasing pressure in the vessels causing the pressure to rise.

Most people with high b/p are asked to eat less sodium at 2000mg or less a day and this is to prevent water retention and vasoconstriction in which both actions increase the blood pressure.  Follow your doctor’s advice about your sodium intake.

Many prepared foods and spices are high in sodium.  But, the most common source of sodium is table salt.  Table salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride.  One teaspoon of table salt contains 2000mg of sodium.


-Season foods with fresh or dried herbs, vegetables, fruits or no-salt seasonings.

-Do not cook with salt or add salt to foods after they are on the table.

-Make your own breads, rolls, sauces, salad dressings, vegetable dishes and desserts when you can.

-Stay away from fast foods.  They are almost all high in salt.

-Eat fresh, frozen or canned, unsalted vegetables.  These have less sodium than most processed foods.  Read the labels and if they don’t have a label DON’T EAT IT.  Read the labels and eat the portioned size it says to for 1 portion with keeping a diary of what you ate with adding the sodium and when it reached 2000mg no more food that day with salt in it unless the doctor prescribes less.

-Buy water packed tuna and salmon.  Break it up into  a bowl of cold water, and let stand for 3 minutes.  Rinse, drain and squeeze out water.

-Don’t buy convenience foods such as prepared or skillet dinners, deli foods, cold cuts, hot dogs, frozen entrees or canned soups.  These have lots of salt.  Be picky on what you eat.

-Again, read all labels for salt, sodium or sodium products (such as sodium benzoate, MSG).  Ingredients are listed in the order of amount used.  A low sodium label means 140mg of less per serving.  Try to buy products labeled low sodium/serving.  Do not eat products that have more sodium than this per serving.

-When you eat out, order baked, broiled, steamed or pouched foods without breading or butter or sauces.  Also ask that no salt be added.  Go easy on the salad dressing.  Most are high in salt.

What not to buy:

-Canned Vegetables, sauerkraut.  Self rising flour and corn meal.  Prepared mixes (waffle, pancake, muffin, cornbread, etc…)

-Dairy Products- like buttermilk (store-bought), canned milks unless diluted and used as regular milk).   Egg substitute limit to ½ cup/day.  Eggnog (store bought) and salted butter or margarine do not buy.

-Soups: Boullon (all kinds), canned broth, dry soup mixes, canned soups.

-Meats and meat substitutes not to buy= Canned meats, canned fish, cured meats, all types of sausages, sandwich meats, peanut butter, salted nuts.

-Prepared mixes (pie, pudding, cake) or store bought pies, cakes, muffins.

-Cooking ingredients to use low sodium type or limit to 2 tbsp/day=

Catsup, chili sauce, barbeque sauce, mustard, salad dressing.

-Drinks to stay away from Athletic Drinks (such as Gatorade), canned tomato or vegetable juice (unless unsalted).

Stay tune for part 3 this weekend on What to buy as foods in your diet when dealing with high b/p or hypertension plus more.


“People with high blood pressure, diabetes – those are conditions brought about by life style. If you change the life style, those conditions will leave.”

Dick GregoryHYPERLINK   (born October 12, 1932 “American comedian, Social_activist”

High Blood Pressure – what is it?

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension affects 80 million Americans and nearly half of the people in the UK between the ages of 65 and 74, and a large percentage of those between the ages of 35 and 65. One of the problems associated with high blood pressure is that you will probably not even know you have it until you happen to have your blood pressure taken during a routine physical examination.

Upon diagnosis, you may wonder why you never saw it coming.  Most people don’t. Only those with severe high blood pressure experience any warning signs at all.

These signs can include headaches, impaired vision, and black-outs.

What is blood pressure ?

It is the measurement of the force that blood applies to the walls of the arteries as it flows through them carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body’s vital organs and systems. Naturally, our blood is under pressure as it rushes through our arteries. Even those with blood pressure in the normal range will experience an increase in their blood pressure during rigorous physical activity or during times of stress.  It only becomes a problem when the blood continues to run high.  This condition of blood pressure is known as hypertension or high blood pressure and in 95% of the cases, the cause of it is never known.  However, we do know the factors that set a person up to develop hypertension.

Factors influencing High Blood Pressure, they are as follows:






                                                                                                                                                                         **Obesity  – those with a body mass index of 30 or more  Drinking more than 2 – 4 alcoholic drinks a day   Smoking        High cholesterol  Diabetes  Stress and anxiety      Excessive salt consumption**

Possible causes of High Blood Pressure

Sometimes the cause of a person’s high blood pressure is determined, but this happens in only 5% of the cases.  When a cause is found, the person is diagnosed with secondary high blood pressure [hypertension].  In most of these cases, the cause can be linked to an underlying illness such as kidney disease, adrenal gland disease, or narrowing of the aorta.  Contraceptive pills, steroids, and some medications can also cause secondary high blood pressure [hypertension], though instances of this are not all that common.

High Blood Pressure and the important numbers

We hear the numbers, but do we really know what they mean?  Since your blood pressure numbers can help you to understand your overall health status, it is important that you keep track of it.  By knowing where your numbers are right now, you can head off such serious high blood pressure complications as angina, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, and many others that might surprise you – like eye problems and gangrene.

Medical professionals generally provide your blood pressure to you in terms of two numbers – a top one and a bottom one.  For example, if your blood pressure is 120/80, they may say that you have a blood pressure of 120 over 80.  Here is a definition for these numbers:

The top figure this is your systolic blood pressure. It measures the force of blood in the arteries as your heart beats.  The top number means the pressure is reading your heart at work.

The bottom figure this is your diastolic blood pressure. It is the pressure of your blood when the heart is relaxed in between the times when it is pumping.  Means the pressure is reading your heart at rest.

Your blood pressure requires monitoring when you have a systolic blood pressure of 140 or over and/or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or over.  Those with diabetes must maintain a lower blood pressure that those who don’t have the condition.  Diabetics should maintain a blood pressure of less than 130/80.

Monitors for measuring High Blood Pressure

It is wise to monitor your blood pressure at home in addition to having it taken at your doctor’s office. This will allow you to provide your doctor with readings that have been taken over time, providing a more in depth look at your personal health condition.  This will help him or her to prescribe the right hypertensive medication and treatment for your specific condition.

The best blood pressure monitors are those that take your measurement from the upper arm.  Those that provide readings from the wrist or finger are not as reliable. You’ll also want to make sure that the blood pressure monitor you are considering has been proven in clinical trials. Trusted name brands include those made by Omron, LifeSource, Mark of Fitness, Micro Life, and A and D Instruments. There are other brands available – the important thing is to do your research.