Stroke Can Occur at Any Age. Learn the Top Warning Signs

stroke awareness monthIt’s a common misconception that only older people need to be on the lookout for warning signs of stroke. The reality is that the condition can occur at any age.

Check out the following statistics about stroke in younger Americans:

  • 15% of ischemic strokes occur in young adults and adolescents.
  • Over the past ten years, there was a 44% increase in hospitalization for young Americans due to stroke.
  • 73% of young Americans are unfamiliar with stroke symptoms.

Young people are not likely to recognize stroke symptoms or ignore them altogether, resulting in fatalities or more severe effects. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke, so being proactive about your heart health can decrease the likelihood of both heart disease and stroke.

Use the FAST Method to Identify Stroke

In honor of Stroke Awareness Month, we have compiled a list to help walk you through the process of identifying a stroke. More information is available on the National Stroke Awareness Month website.

Face: Does one side of the face droop down further than the other?

Arms: Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Is speech strange or slurred?

Time: When these symptoms are present, it’s time to call 9-1-1.

We hope that our clients are able to use this information to identify when someone is in need of medical attention. The best way to reduce the severity of stroke is to get medical attention as soon as possible.

 

Posted in Heart Healthy Tips by cprguy. Comments Off on Stroke Can Occur at Any Age. Learn the Top Warning Signs

Nutrition Expert Says Most Heart Disease Can be Avoided With Diet

Heart Healthy FoodsIt’s a common misconception that exercise buys you a ticket to eat whatever you want. According to nutrition expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman, this is dangerous logic that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Fuhrman says that strenuous exercise isn’t as effective at maintaining cardiac health as most people believe, and that there are major holes in the way doctors currently treat heart disease in the US.

Overlooking Alternative Choices

This was one of the subjects of Fuhrman’s best selling novel, The End of Heart Disease: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. In the book, Fuhrman points out that surgery and prescription drugs aren’t the only way to treat or prevent heart disease, even though they are often presented as such.

Fuhrman estimates that more than 95% of all fatalities linked to heart disease could have been avoided, and that the most commonly used treatments come with serious health risks. Since doctors don’t typically provide alternative routes for controlling heart problems, patients falsely assume medications and surgery are their only choices.

According to Fuhrman, doctors are obligated to provide their patients with information about treating their heart disease through diet.

Prescriptions and Surgery Are Not Your Only Option

The End of Heart Disease stresses the importance of a “Nutritarian Diet,” which Fuhrman says can prevent and treat heart complications. He presents a three-step plan that involves:

  • Eliminating high-glycemic foods, such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, and white bread. These can spike blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
  • Ensuring your diet includes a “full rainbow” of vegetables and an abundance of healthy fats, as in fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocados.
  • Reducing animal products as much as possible. No more than 3 servings of animal products per week is ideal, but most Americans eat closer to 21.

According to Fuhrman, “Diet is not just preventive, but therapeutic. After a short period of time – it doesn’t take years – you will see benefits.”

Those taking on the challenge of a Nutritarian Diet should be aware of the challenges they will face. Eating sugar affects the chemistry of the brain, resulting in cravings for unhealthy foods.

“People want the ice cream and cake. It’s possible for motivated people to make change, but you have to change your taste buds, which takes three to six months,” Fuhrman says.

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Oral Hygiene is Key to Heart Health

toothbrushWe all do things to try and prevent heart disease, right? Maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise are no-brainers, but did you know there is something else simple you could do to maintain your heart health? Good oral hygiene can actually have an impact on the health of your heart.

It’s no secret that bacteria live in our mouths. Saliva is able to flush away some of it, but we get rid of most by brushing and flossing our teeth. This is why most dentists recommend finishing anything sugary all at once instead of throughout the day — so you can get rid of all that bacteria rather than let it sit on your teeth. Those with poor oral hygiene or gum disease run the risk of that bacteria entering the bloodstream. Some of this bacteria has been found in cholesterol plaques on the walls of coronary arteries, which suggests that they contribute to cholesterol blockages.

Poor Oral Hygiene Possibly Linked to Cholesterol Blockages

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without the disease. This goes to show that routine trips to your dentist could benefit more than your smile. You should definitely see your doctor or dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to heat and cool
  • Color changes in your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums pulling away from teeth

For more information, consult this article written by Dr. Robert Schwab.

Posted in Dental by cprguy. Comments Off on Oral Hygiene is Key to Heart Health