Sweet Heart – A Little Heart-to-Heart

Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Important risk factors for heart disease are:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Age

You really have to take these things to heart.

Lub-Dub

Can’t you hear your heart beat? In healthy adults, there are two normal heart sounds described as a lub and a dub, (could not possibly ever make that up) that occur in sequence with each heartbeat. It’s o.k. if you can’t really hear it, the docs or nurses in the white coats all have an ear for it. But there are a lot of sounds that aren’t so normal, such as heart murmurs. Heart murmurs are sounds during your heartbeat cycle — such as whooshing or swishing — made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. Sometimes innocent, sometimes not so good. For such an important organ, there are a host of things that could go wrong. The one that frightens people most is having a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, most often by a build-up of fat, cholesterol and other substances, which form plaque in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries). The interrupted blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can be fatal, but treatment has improved dramatically over the years. Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Chest discomfort and/or pain
  • Chest heaviness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain that radiates to the jaw, arm, or throat

People with the symptoms above persisting for longer than five minutes should call 911 immediately, for emergency medical care. Sadly, Americans typically wait over two hours before calling for help when they have symptoms of a heart attack. A dangerous mistake.

Achy Breaky

Billy Ray Cyrus produced a No. 1 song called Achy Breaky Heart more than 20 years ago. What you might be surprised to know, is that a broken heart is bad for your health. True. Absolutely true. While having love in your life can benefit your health, a broken heart can sometimes have physical side effects. Broken heart syndrome, also called takotsubo cardiomyopathy (say that quickly three times in a row), is a very real medical disorder. It’s more common in women, although either gender can have symptoms. In rare cases, this condition can be dangerous and even fatal. As Neil Sedaka sang in 1962, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.”

Take Heart

You want what’s best for your heart. And it’s simpler than you might think. These lifestyle changes can help prevent a heart attack and heart disease:

  • Eat for your future-starting a healthy diet can always make a positive difference
  • Don’t wait to lose weight
  • Take it easyfor example, yoga can steam up your sex life
  • Keep tabs on your blood pressure
  • Watch your blood sugar-too much sugar in your blood can damage your arteries, even if you don’t have diabetes
  • Be smart about cholesterol-one is bad for your heart (LDL), and the other (HDL) can protect it
  • Ask about aspirin-in some people, taking an aspirin every day can reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Get a move on-exercise, exercise, exercise. (Even more important than location, location, location…and how often have you heard that one?)
  • Be social
  • Take responsibility for your overall health
  • Don’t avoid your Doctor like the plague
  • Stay informed. Science changes daily

Does a Heart Good

You don’t need cards and candy to know that there is someone out there who really cares about you and your heart health; Dr. Stephan A. Goldstein, M.D, F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health. No one understands better how unbalanced hormones can take a hit on your heart. Hormones are the chemical messengers that attach directly on the DNA of the trillions of cells in your body. When they don’t do their job, they do a job on different parts of your body, including your heart. With simple tests, Dr. Goldstein can see what’s really going on, and develop an integrated program of hormones, healthy eating and exercise that will make you love the way you feel. So, call now.

One visit and you’ll see the attraction.

Sweet Heart – Once Upon a Time

Once there was a guy named Valentinus who supposedly helped a young blind girl see. Just before being executed for some probably heinous crime or another (or not), he sent a note to her, signed “From your Valentine.”  This was February 14, 270 A.D. There was another theory relating to February 14, as the day of romance and love. It has been said that St. Valentine’s Day was the day on which the birds, returning in the very early spring, chose their mates. (Spring was often thought to begin in the middle of February in 14th-century Europe.) Where was Hallmark then?

Not Just an Organ, an Icon

While “heart” normally makes people think of the thump, thump, thump of their ticker and the job of keeping it thumping, the heart is a star, featured in songs, television and on the big screen. As an example, in the TV series, Once Upon a Time, (a modernized fairy-tale, complete with Snow White, Robin Hood, Aladdin, Captain Hook and even Rumpelstiltskin), the Evil Queen can reach into someone’s body, rip out their heart and crush it to death. Which, is on the kind of creepy side. On the other hand, the heart goes hand in hand with love. Getting struck by Cupid’s arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter-patter. No wonder it’s become such a pop icon.

The Price We Pay for Love

The Beatles insisted finances and fondness were unrelated. “I don’t care too much for money,” they sang. “for money can’t buy me love.”

But money can buy a heapful of cards and candy, and even cushy little teddy bears with big red hearts emblazoned on their chests. The amount spent on this holiday is actually enough to make you grab your heart and say, “are you kidding?” In 2016, Valentine’s Day sales soared to an all-time record $18.9 billion, which represents an 8.5% increase from 2014, when Americans spent $17.3 billion. So, who’s shelling out most of these big bucks? When it comes to Millennials, they pull out all the financial stops, spending an average of $290 on their special Valentines. Talk about sealed with a kiss.

Gotta Love It

This zealousness for passion kind of goes on in other ways, too. Apparently, there is such a thing as the most romantic city in the US, and it is ranked by how much each city’s spending increases on Valentine’s Day gifts during the first half of February. Tucson took the huge chocolate heart with a 68% percent jump in spending, and Portland bottomed the list as the least romantic city with a mere 15% increase in spending. (Maybe the rain and crummy weather kept them from getting out to shop.) And as a one-up on plushy teddy bears, it’s no secret that we love our pets, and that we spend more than we’d ever like to admit on making their life as comfy as possible. This includes spending $700 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for them. What a woof!

A Labor of Love

For all the love in the air this month, you should be floating. So why do you feel like you’ve been hit by a train reeling off its track? We’ve got a simple answer to that one: unbalanced hormones. When they are in proper balance, hormones help the body thrive, which makes you feel great. But even small problems with hormones can cause serious and potentially life-altering symptoms. Oh, brother. But the answer to that is with Stephen A. Goldstein, M.D, F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health. No one in the Denver area knows more about, or is more experienced in the field of Hormone Replacement. With simple tests, he can tell exactly what your problem is, then compounds a uniquely tailored treatment to make you feel your absolute best. Call for an appointment now. You’ll be glad you did.

Cross our hearts.

I resolve… to turn distress into de-stress.

SLOW DOWN, YOU’RE GOING INTO HYPER DRIVE

Eeek! Put on the brakes. Super stress just ahead.

What is stress exactly?  There’s the basic definition; a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. But hearing it put so mildly is enough to make you want to scream. So, let’s get a little more real. Stress has also been defined as the confusion caused when one’s mind overrides the body’s natural desire to choke the living you-know-what out of some jerk that desperately needs it. Yeah, yeah, that’s more like it.

Stress, stressing, stressful…there are endless synonyms for them. You probably identify with more than a few:

  • Nerve-racking
  • On edge
  • Taxing
  • Tense
  • Trying
  • Annoying
  • Fatiguing
  • Aggravating
  • Disquieting
  • Disturbing
  • Exasperating
  • Irksome
  • Maddening
  • Agitated
  • Anxious
  • Beside Oneself
  • Hyper
  • Shot to piece
  • Unnerved
  • Uptight
  • Wired
  • High-strung
  • Keyed up
  • Overwrought
  • Up the wall
  • Strung out

Now that’s a list. Straight out of the Thesaurus.

WHEN YOUR TO-DO LIST BECOMES A TO-DIE LIST

All right, then. Stress stinks. But it can be a lot more serious than that. You might be somewhat alarmed to know that it can cause chest pain, back strain, asthma, ulcers, heartburn, headaches or palpitations.  It can zap your energy, wreak havoc on your sleep, make you feel cranky, forgetful and out of control. It can cause depression, weight problems, auto immune diseases, skin conditions such as eczema and even effect reproductive health. It can lower your sex drive, cause nausea, dizziness, diarrhea or constipation. It could make you cry rivers, slam out of the house, and tear into people at work. More importantly, repeated or prolonged stress can end up increasing heart rate causing hypertension which can raise blood pressure, damage artery walls and even cause heart attacks. You could get stressed out just thinking about it. But you need to think about it. Stress can be a real killer.

A MESS OF STRESS.

Oprah Winfrey wrote a best-selling book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small. Actually, today most of us sweat it all, from our teens, (and for some, younger) until we die. Words like “peace” and “calm” are slowly hightailing it to the back of our vocabulary. According to research some of the life events that cause us the most stress are:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Marital separation
  • Death of a close family member
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Marriage
  • Dismissal from work
  • Retirement
  • Change in health of a family member
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Business readjustment
  • Change in financial status.
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Major mortgage
  • Child leaving home
  • Change in living conditions

We’re sure your personal list goes on. We’re all different after all.

Let’s take a closer look at work stress.

Statistics have shown:

  • 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
  • Three fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago
  • 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work
  • 26 percent of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work
  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help
  • 14% had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t
  • 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress
  • 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent
  • 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace
  • 18% had experienced some sort of threat or verbal intimidation in the past year

It adds up. Job stress can do a real number. It’s is a real piece of work.

But as we’ve said, you also stress over some really subliminal small stuff. Pretty intensely, too.

  • You stress over what you’re going to make for dinner.
  • You stress over resorting to fast food.
  • You stress over your kids not picking up after themselves.
  • You stress when you order your steak medium rare and it comes back medium well.
  • You stress when your whites don’t really get white.
  • You stress when you find a white hair in your eyebrow.
  • You stress when you have a dentist appointment.
  • You stress when it rains and your hair frizzes.
  • You stress when your team loses a game.
  • You stress facing the scale.
  • You stress when your pants seem to have shrunk.
  • You stress when you watch The Victoria Secret Angels Runway Show. (Actually, that makes you unbelievable envious and envy is extremely stressful.)
  • You stress when you learn that the creators of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Uber are uber young and making billions.
  • You stress when you have no idea what Snapchat even is.

HOW IN THE WORLD CAN WE MANAGE?

The first thing you have to learn, is stress management. Exercising, maintaining a positive attitude, not smoking, not drinking too much coffee, following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are just a few good ways to deal with stress. And they’re all attainable.

Medicines are helpful for many things, but usually not for stress. Some people take tranquilizers to calm them down immediately, but it’s far better in the long term to learn to manage your stress through relaxation or stress management techniques.

Figuring out how stress pushes your buttons is an important step in dealing with it. So pay attention. Stop and breathe slowly when you notice it coming on.

I RESOLVE TO TRY AND FIND OUT WHAT’S TURNING MY LIFE INSIDE OUT.

Just making resolutions and worrying about keeping them is a major stress in itself. But is it just stress that’s making you feel so eh, much of the time? Probably not. If your hormones are out of balance, that just might be what’s making you feel so unbalanced. Hormones call the shots in how you feel, sending messages throughout the body at will. Will anything help? Without question. Make an appointment to see Dr. Stephen A. Goldstein, M.D., F.A.C.S at Denver Hormone Health. His expertise and experience in the field are unparalleled. With a few simple tests, he can tell which hormones are having a field day in your body. With that information, he creates a treatment totally tailored to your needs.

Making you feel better is his main goal. So, call now.

And put stress to rest.