Archive | September 2018


“A healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease. The food you eat (and the amount) can affect other controllable risk factors: cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and overweight. Choose nutrient-rich foods — which have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories — over nutrient-poor foods.”

American Heart Association

World Heart Day

If you have been reading regularly on this blog than you know this day  is dedicated everywhere for the health topic “WORLD HEART DAY”.

Governments and non-government organizations celebrate and promote World Heart Day with activities such as fun runs, public talks, concerts, and sporting events. The World Heart Federation organizes awareness events in more than 100 countries. They include:

  • Health checks.
  • Sports events, including walks, runs and fitness sessions.
  • Public talks and science forums
  • Stage shows and concerts.
  • Exhibitions.

The World Heart Foundation organizes World Heart Day, an international campaign held on September 29 to inform people about cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular Diseases:

Coronary heart disease is a common term for the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries that could lead to heart attack. But what about coronary artery disease? Is there a difference?

The short answer is often no — health professionals frequently use the terms interchangeably.

However, coronary heart disease , or CHD, is actually a result of coronary artery disease, or CAD, said Edward A. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., an American Heart Association volunteer who is the Leon H. Charney Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and also of the Marc and Ruti Bell Vascular Biology and Disease Program at the NYU School of Medicine.

Coronary heart disease is a common term for the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries that could lead to heart attack. But what about coronary artery disease? Is there a difference?

The short answer is often no — health professionals frequently use the terms interchangeably.

However, coronary heart disease , or CHD, is actually a result of coronary artery disease, or CAD, said Edward A. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., an American Heart Association volunteer who is the Leon H. Charney Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and also of the Marc and Ruti Bell Vascular Biology and Disease Program at the NYU School of Medicine.

With coronary artery disease, plaque first grows within the walls of the coronary arteries until the blood flow to the heart’s muscle is limited. View an illustration of coronary arteries. This is also called ischemia. It may be chronic, narrowing of the coronary artery over time and limiting of the blood supply to part of the muscle. Or it can be acute, resulting from a sudden rupture of a plaque and formation of a thrombus or blood clot.

The traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease are high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, diabetes, smoking, being post-menopausal for women and being older than 45 for men, according to Fisher. Obesity may also be a risk factor.

“Coronary artery disease begins in childhood, so that by the teenage years, there is evidence that plaques that will stay with us for life are formed in most people,” said Fisher, who is former editor of the American Heart Association journal, ATVB. “Preventive measures instituted early are thought to have greater lifetime benefits. Healthy lifestyles will delay the progression of CAD, and there is hope that CAD can be regressed before it causes CHD.”

Living a healthy lifestyle that incorporates good nutrition, weight management and getting plenty of physical activity can play a big role in avoiding CAD.

“Coronary artery disease is preventable,” agreed Johnny Lee, M.D., president of New York Heart Associates, and an American Heart Association volunteer. “Typical warning signs are chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and even fatigue.”

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.

Take good care of your HEART, the engine to the human body!  First do all preventative measures to prevent getting any cardiovascular diseases but if you have cardiovascular diseases then follow your M.D. instructions on any meds if he prescribed them for you, eat the proper foods for a cardiac diet, and balance rest with exercise.   See your cardiologist as he or she recommends.




“Malnutrition results from a poor diet or a lack of food. It happens when the intake of nutrients or energy is too high, too low, or poorly balanced.  Undernutrition can lead to delayed growth or wasting, while a diet that provides too much food, but not necessarily balanced, leads to obesity.”

Medical News Today


“Recent studies suggest that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease are in a diabetic state, partly due to the decrease in or insensitivity to insulin. There are many similarities in the brains of people with diabetes and the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease; however, diabetes only remains a risk factor.”

Alzheimer Society Canada


“However, reevaluation of the older literature revealed that impairments in cerebral glucose utilization and energy metabolism represent very early abnormalities that precede or accompany the initial stages of cognitive impairment12–14 and led us to the concept that impaired insulin signaling has an important role in the pathogenesis of AD and the proposal that AD represents “type 3 diabetes.”

PMC U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health (


“Sepsis has been named as the most expensive in-patient cost in American hospitals in 2014 averaging more than $18,000 per hospital stay. With over 1.5 million sepsis hospital stays in 2014 per year, that works out to costs of $27 billion each year.”



“Platelets are needed for clotting of the blood. In patients with ITP, a person’s own immune system creates antibodies that mark healthy platelets as “foreign substances” and then mistakenly attack and destroy them. As an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of platelets, patients with ITP have a tendency to bleed or bruise.”

ITP Foundation (

National ITP Awareness Month!





What is ITP?

ITP means idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura which is an autoimmune disease. The immune system is mistakenly attacking and destroying good platelets.  In autoimmune diseases, the body mounts an immune attack toward one or more seemingly normal organ systems. In ITP, platelets are the target. They are marked as foreign by the immune system and eliminated in the spleen, the liver, and by other means. In addition to increased platelet destruction, some people with ITP also have impaired platelet production.

A normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 400,000/microliter of blood. If someone has a platelet count lower than 100,000/microliter of blood with no other reason for low platelets, that person is considered to have ITP.1 There is no accurate, definitive test to diagnose ITP.


Simple to understand. Platelets are for clotting our blood; if the platelet count is high we clot too much if low, in ITP, we bleed easy to hemorrage.

With few platelets, people with ITP often have bleeding symptoms such as spontaneous bruising, petechiae (pe-TEEK-ee-ay), tiny red dots on the skin, Bleeding from the gums or nose, and for women, possibly heavy menses. More severe bleeding symptoms include blood blisters on the inside of the mouth, blood in the urine or stool, or bleeding in the brain.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or immune thrombocytopenia affects children and adults. Children often develop ITP after a viral infection and usually recover fully without treatment. In adults, the disorder is often long term.

Treatments for the disease vary depending on the platelet count, severity of symptoms, age, lifestyle, personal preferences, and any other associated diseases. Some people may choose to not treat their disease and live with low platelets.

While it may seem like ITP is a simple disease, there are nuances to the diagnosis, differences in the disease between children and adults, and variations in how the disease responds to treatments.


Newly diagnosed ITP: within 3 months from diagnosis
Persistent ITP: 3 to 12 months from diagnosis. During this phase, patients have not reached spontaneous remission or maintained a complete response off therapy
Chronic ITP: lasting for more than 12 months
Severe ITP: presence of bleeding symptoms that need treatment or need an increase from prior treatment
Refractory ITP: does not respond or is resistant to attempted forms of treatment


-Your sex. Women are two to three times more likely to develop ITP than men are.

-Recent viral infection. Many children with ITP develop the disorder after a viral illness, such as mumps, measles or a respiratory infection.


-A rare complication of ITP, bleeding into the brain, which can be fatal.


In pregnant women with ITP, the condition doesn’t usually affect the baby. But the baby’s platelet count should be tested soon after birth.

If you’re pregnant and your platelet count is very low or you have bleeding, you have a greater risk of heavy bleeding during delivery.


1.  M.D. will exclude other possible causes of bleeding and a low platelet count, such as an underlying illness or medications being the cause of low platelet count, not ITP.

2. Take a history of the child or adult, including their family.

3. Complete blood count (CBC).  Looks at red blood, white blood and platelet cells counts.

4 Blood smear. This test is often used to confirm the number of platelets observed in a complete blood count.

5.Bone marrow exam. This test may be used to help identify the cause of a low platelet count, though the American Society of Hematology doesn’t recommend this test for children with ITP.  All cells (platelets) are produced in the bone marrow.  Bone marrow will be normal because a low platelet count is caused by the destruction of platelets in the bloodstream and spleen — not by a problem with the bone marrow.


People with mild idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura may need nothing more than regular monitoring and platelet checks. Children usually improve without treatment. Most ITP adults will eventually need treatment as it gets worse or becomes chronic.

1-The M.D will stop any meds that inhibit platelet production=Anti-platelet Meds (Ex. aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), ginkgo biloba and warfarin, also known as Coumadin)

2-Drugs that suppress your immune system.  M.D. might start you on oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone and when platelet count is normal gradually decrease the dosing till no longer on it.  The problem is that many adults experience a relapse after stopping corticosteroids. A new course of corticosteroids may be pursued, but long-term use of these medications is unusual, due to its long term side effects. These include cataracts, high blood sugar, increased risk of infections and thinning of bones (osteoporosis).

3-Injections to increase your blood count (Ex. immune globulin (IVIG). This drug may also be used if you have critical bleeding or need to quickly increase your blood count before surgery. The effect usually wears off in a couple of weeks.

4-Drugs that boost platelet production.  Examples romiplostim (Nplate) and eltrombopag (Promacta) — help your bone marrow produce more platelets.

5-Other immune-suppressing drugs. Rituximab (Rituxan) helps reduce the immune system response that’s damaging platelets, thus raising the platelet count.

6-Removal of your spleen.

7-Other drugs. Azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan) has been used to treat ITP. But it can cause significant side effects.

Review all treatments with your personal doctor.







“After examining Bob Probert’s brain tissue, researchers said they found … the first contemporary hockey player to show C.T.E. after death. 1″

“NFL players suffered more concussions in 2017 than in each of the previous five years, according to data released by the league. There were 281 reported concussions that season, including head injuries suffered in preseason games and practices. That is the highest number in the past six years and an increase of 15.6% over the five-year average.2”

1-CNN 2-USA Today




1NY Times


“As part of brain injury research effort, the NFL announced in 2013 its plan to invest $60 million to improve mTBI diagnosis.36 To make the game of football safer, it is important that the NFL continue to strive for concussion management, including prevention and treatment strategies.”