Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is Fish The Only Source Of Omega3 Fat For Heart Disease Prevention?

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage the blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. 

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) that can lead to sudden death, decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure (slightly). Hence, omega-3 fatty acids are not only essential for the brain and nervous system function properly but also good for heart disease prevention.

When talking about omega-3 fatty acids, people usually think of fish. Being a good source of protein, fish are some of the richest sources of 2 forms of omega-3 fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, halibut, herring, sardines and tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids.

Despite of the health benefits of fish, people should not eat too much fish. This is because most fish come from ocean, and many parts of the ocean are contaminated by pollution. Some types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins and other environmental contaminants. Consumption too much of these fish may be harmful for the body.

According to health experts, the risk of getting too much mercury or other contaminations from fish is generally outweighed by the health benefits that omega-3 fatty acids have if people consume fish in moderation. That is why the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating 2 servings of fish every week for adults. A serving size is 3.5 ounces (99 grams).

Eating a variety of fish will generally help minimize any potentially adverse effects due to environmental pollutants. 5 of the most commonly eaten fish or shellfish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Avoid eating shark, swordfish, king Mackerel, or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury. Nevertheless, any fish can be unhealthy depending on how it is prepared. For example, broiling or baking fish is a healthier option than is deep-frying.

For people who do not like or are sensitive to fish, there are other non-fish options. Plants like flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans and spinach do contain high omega-3 fatty acids. These plants create alpha-linolenic acid (ALA. Although human body can convert ALA to DHA or EPA as needed, fish are probably still the best source of omega-3s. 

Meanwhile, there are health supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids. However, the evidence of heart-healthy benefits from eating these foods is not as strong as it is from eating fish.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Heart Disease Prevention - Is Health Anxiety A Risk Factor For Heart Disease?

Research shows that anxiety disorders generally may help trigger or worsen cardiovascular disease. A recent study, however, found that healthy people who have health anxiety may be linked to development of heart disease, too. Find out more about their relationship by clicking the following link:


Thursday, August 10, 2017

How Does Panic Attack Differ From Heart Attack?

Heart attack is a serious condition that occurs as a result of coronary heart disease. It requires immediate medical attention, otherwise the victim might end up with disability or even death. Panic attack, on the other hand, is a form of anxiety that is triggered by a stressful event, and it poses no immediate danger.

Both attacks have very similar symptoms making it difficult for anyone to differentiate. However, they are some key differences. For instance, both attack sufferers can have intense chest pain. Chest pain associated with an actual heart attack is often described as crushing. The feeling may radiate into the rest of the chest, arms, back, neck, and even teeth. Chest pain during a panic attack tends to feel more localized. It is more limited to a certain area of the chest.

Meanwhile, the symptoms are more likely to surprise one with a sudden onset in a panic attack. Symptoms typically only last around 10 minutes. A heart attack may start with minor discomfort, and builds up into severe pain over a few minutes. It can last up to a couple of hours. A 5- to 10-minute of deep, active breathing should loosen up the tightened chest, and the panic attack will slowly start to subside. If after 5-minutes of breathing, the body has not shown any signs of improvement, then it may be a heart attack. 

Nausea may occur in both heart attack and panic attack. It is more common for heart attack sufferers to end up vomiting though it can rarely occur in some panic attack victims, too. People with panic attack may have an intense feeling of fear or anxiety, and they are more likely to have hyperventilation.

It is less common for those with panic attack to faint, but victims of heart attack can always experience lightheadedness or even lose consciousness. Panic attack usually starts in the younger ages, and heart attack tends to happen to those with ill health, who are obese and those in the elderly.

A heart attack can actually lead to a panic attack due to the fear and anxiety but a panic attack cannot cause heart attack. Nevertheless, if one has an underlying heart issue, panic attack may stress the body and can aggravate an existing heart condition. So, people who have an existing heart condition should talk to their doctor if they are experiencing panic attack.

Diagnosis of panic attack patients include a psychological evaluation using questionnaires or consultations with a psychiatrist. But doctors must first rule out a heart attack, stroke or asthma attack before a panic disorder can be considered. Treatment for panic attack can be carried out through a combination of drugs and therapy. Patients on medication often show marked improvement. Therapy that involves challenging unhelpful thoughts or relaxation techniques like breathing exercises can also help.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How Is Atrial Fibrillation Linked To Cryptogenic Stroke?

Stroke or also known as brain attack, occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted or reduced because either the blood supply is blocked or blood vessel within the brain ruptures. When this happens, the brain does not get enough oxygen or nutrients causing brain cells to die.

There are 3 main kinds of stroke, namely ischemic strokes caused by blockages or narrowing of the arteries, hemorrhagic strokes caused by arteries in the brain either leaking blood or bursting open, and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also referred to as mini-strokes. TIAs produce short-lived stroke symptoms and usually do not bring permanent injury to the brain. They, however, do serve as warning signs for future strokes and indicate that there is a partially blocked artery or clot source in the heart. 

It is interesting to note that about 30 to 40 percent of ischemic strokes, and nearly half of all TIAs are cryptogenic. A cryptogenic stroke is one for which there is no apparent underlying cause. 

Being one of the potential causes of cryptogenic stroke, atrial fibrillation (AF) is hard to detect because of its symptomless. It may come and go at random, or they can be chronic and range from several days in length to being present all the time. It causes one of every 6 strokes usually major. As many as 8 of every 10 patients with a stroke brought on by AF die or are disabled. Other causes for cryptogenic stroke include Patent Foreman Ovale (PFO), inherited thrombophilias, aortic arch plaque, infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory states.

When AF occurs, blood flow from one chamber of the heart to the next and from the heart to the rest of the body becomes inconsistent. This may cause blood to pool in the upper chamber of the heart known as atria and starts to clot. Pieces that break off from a clot may travel through arteries and eventually arrive at the brain. If a clot becomes entrapped, it blocks the flow of blood to the part of the brain that vessel supplies. This causes a stroke.

Underlying heart disease and age are the 2 major risk factors, though AF can happen at any age without any apparent cause. AF can be sporadic and difficult to pinpoint. However, if one can watch out for symptoms like quivering or fluttering heartbeat, feeling like your heart is racing or beating irregularly, fluttering or thumping in the chest, dizziness, shortness of breath, anxiety, fainting (a result of less blood getting to the brain), and confusion (another result of less blood to the brain), and inform doctor accordingly may save his or her life. 

Doctors can use ECG to show AF even when there are no symptoms. But monitoring the heart for signs of AF may require more than the 24 hours, which was recommended by the previous guidelines. Some research suggested monitoring for a period of over 30 days may reveal 5 times more cases of AF in patients. Patients who are diagnosed with AF could take anticoagulation medicines to help keep that first stroke from happening, reducing the risk by at least 50 percent.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Heart Disease Prevention - Eating Avocado For Heart Disease Prevention?

Avocado is a naturally nutrient-dense food and contains nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Because of its high mono- and polyunsaturated fats, avocado may help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce risk for heart disease. Moreover, avocado can help regulate blood sugar, manage blood pressure, improve immune system, reduce risk of certain cancer, and is an anti-inflammatory agent. It can be great for vision, too. Find out more at:


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heart Disease Prevention - What People Should And Should Not Do To Lose Weight?

Losing weight means burning more calories. The body burns calories during exercise to fuel the activity. Even after exercising, the body is still burning more calories. While exercising is paramount, diet also plays a part in managing weight. Eating protein-rich diet can help burn... Read more at:


Friday, July 07, 2017

Heart Disease Prevention - Atrial Flutter Is Just Another Kind Of Arrhythmia

Talking about arrhythmia, most people will first think of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common one. But besides atrial fibrillation, there are other types of arrhythmia. One of the less common one is atrial flutter. Atrial flutter has similar symptoms as atrial fibrillation, like feeling faint, tiredness, palpitations, shortness of breath... To know more, click the following link:


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Heart Disease Prevention - Is Air Pollution A Risk Factor For Heart Disease?

Inhaling air pollutants that are poisonous, as reported by researchers for the past 30 years, can pose many health problems including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, adverse pregnancy outcomes and even death. A scientific statement by the American Heart Association (AHA), which was released in 2004 and updated in 2010, warns public the risk of air pollution… Find out more at: