Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fluid Around the Heart

Liquid around the heart, otherwise called pericardial radiation in therapeutic speech, can sound truly terrifying to numerous individuals. Be that as it may, understanding its causes, manifestations, and conceivable treatment alternatives can help somebody who is unconscious about this restorative condition.

Our heart is surrounded by a double-layered thin membrane called the pericardium. Under normal circumstances, a few milliliters of fluid can be found between the pericardium and the heart muscles. Pericardial effusion occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid around the heart. In rare instances, even blood is found in the excess fluid.

Fluid Accumulation Around Heart

Possible Causes
Excess buildup of fluid around the human heart is not age and/or gender specific. Following are the health conditions that can lead to fluid buildup around the heart.

  • Surgery
  • Certain medications
  • Injury or trauma to the heart
  • Radiation and chemotherapy
  • Breast cancer and lung cancer
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney diseases
  • Viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections
  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Blockage of flow of pericardial fluid or accumulation of blood within the pericardium
  • Cancer of the thyroid, kidney, cervix, stomach, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, leukemia, etc., and/or cancer that has spread to the pericardium

Associated Symptoms
Patients with fluid buildup around heart may or may not show any symptoms. If the fluid accumulates slowly, the patient may not experience any signs or symptoms, but if it accumulates pretty fast, one or more of the following symptoms are observed.

  • Low-grade fever
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Fainting, dizziness, or nausea
  • Cardiogenic shock in severe cases
  • Bluish color tinge of the skin and lips
  • Sharp chest pain along with a feeling of tightness
  • Pain radiating between the chest, neck, shoulder, back, or abdomen

Diagnostic Tests
The first step towards diagnosing this problem is a general medical examination by a doctor. The doctor listens to the heartbeat of the patient with the help of a stethoscope. An abnormal high-pitched sound can be heard by the doctor if the heart is surrounded by fluid. The sound appears to be coming from a distance, if too much fluid is present around the heart. Following this checkup, the patient is prescribed certain tests for further examination.

  • X-ray: A chest X-ray is the first test that helps in identifying this problem. An enlarged outline of the heart is observed if it is surrounded by fluid.
  • ECG: An electrocardiogram or ECG is used to study altered patterns of electrical signals which travel through the heart. Patterns produced because of pressure on the heart due to fluid buildup help in diagnosis of this medical condition.
  • Echocardiogram: This is the most common diagnostic test used to detect pericardial effusion. Through this test, the doctor is able to study real-time images of the heart. A heart surrounded by fluid has altered space between the layers of pericardium, decreased heart function, and may have collapsed heart chambers.
  • Blood Tests: On confirmation of the medical condition in a patient, the doctor may call for blood tests to figure out the underlying cause for this problem.
  • Other Diagnostic Tests: Tests like computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can also detect this condition. However, these tests are usually not used for the diagnosis of this problem.

Treatment Options
Unchecked and untreated fluid around the heart can lead to a complicated condition called ‘tamponade’. Due to the pressure created by the fluid buildup, the heart chambers that pump blood fail to perform, and one or more chambers may partially collapse, resulting in poor blood circulation and an inadequate supply of oxygen to the body. Hence, it is advisable to seek early medical intervention and treatment.

  • If there is no immediate threat of deterioration of the condition, medications to treat inflammation of the pericardium may be used. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like indomethacin or ibuprofen, steroids, diuretics, other heart failure medications, and /or infection fighting antibiotics.
  • If one is at risk of developing tamponade, then surgery for draining the pericardium may become an unavoidable option.

Various types of surgical treatments include:

  • Ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis: Commonly performed, this is a safe and effective medical procedure used to remove or drain excess fluid from the pericardium.
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS): This procedure is performed under general anesthesia, where visual evaluation of the pericardium can be conducted. This procedure drains and prevents re-accumulation of excess fluid.
  • Intrapericardial sclerosis: In this procedure, a solution is injected into the space between the layers of the pericardium for sealing them together. This procedure is usually used for pericardial effusion caused by cancer.
  • Pericardiectomy: This procedure involves surgical removal of full or partial pericardium. However, this surgery is only performed in very complicated cases of fluid buildup.

The right course of treatment, along with adequate prevention, as advised by a medical practitioner, will help one lead a life of good health and minimal health-related complications.

Tips to Have Heart Disease

Coronary illness is the principle guilty party behind numerous awkward passings around the globe. Very nearly 25% of the American populace experiences coronary illness. Subsequently, it shouldn’t come as an astound that even big names are influenced by it. As a fan you may know a considerable measure of things about your most loved A-lister, yet do you have any piece of information about their wellbeing

Regular people like ‘us’ often expect celebrities to be in better shape. After all, their huge paychecks mean unlimited access to the best of foods, gyms, trainers, and healthcare facilities. Although all of this might be true, we shouldn’t forget that celebs are regular people, and aren’t invincible.
This might sound a bit sadistic but when a celebrity suffers from an ailment, something good does come out of it. For e.g.: When David Letterman went for a quintuple-bypass surgery, after an angiogram revealed blockages in his heart, the information automatically became huge, and almost every news or entertainment channel showed doctors explaining what the condition is, and how it can be avoided. End Result – Letterman advocates the importance of regular health checkups, and how a balanced diet and exercise can help avoid heart problems.

Below is a list of celebrities that have come out in the open, and have shared their experiences about living with a heart condition.

The daughter of Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus, Miley first shot to fame with Disney’s Hannah Montana, and since then has become one of the most popular Hollywood starlets of all time. The first time Miley spoke about living with tachycardia (a condition that causes the heart to beat faster, leading to complications, including the risk of heart attacks) was in her 2009 autobiography, ‘Miles to Go’.

She depicts her thoughts about the condition, how it is always there in the back of her mind, and how she always tries to look at the better side of things.

Known as the most hard-working man in show business, Regis Philbin began his broadcasting career in the late 1950s, but real success came when he began co-hosting ‘The Morning Show’ in 1983. Five years later, the show was renamed ‘Live with Regis and Kathie Lee’. Heart problems started bothering Philbin first in 1993 when he underwent an angioplasty to repair a narrowed artery in his heart. Bad news came again in 2007, when he tearfully announced that he had been experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, and his physicians recommended a triple bypass.

His surgery was successful and he resumed his hosting duties after a two-month break.

Larry King’s father passed away from a heart attack when he was 43. King himself suffered an attack at the age of 53, and underwent quintuple-bypass heart surgery soon after. The CNN talk show host later revealed that the heart attack was caused by his regular smoking, poor diet, and high levels of stress due to his busy work schedule. Although he started living the straight edge life after his surgery, King again went for an angioplasty for one of his blood vessels.

In 2010, he had again undergone surgery to place stents in his coronary artery to remove the plaque from his heart.

America’s favorite late-night host, Letterman’s father passed away from a heart attack at 57. Letterman himself went for an angiogram at 51, which showed a blocked artery. He immediately shifted to a healthier lifestyle. However, the condition worsened, and he went for a quintuple-bypass heart surgery performed by the same surgeon who operated on Larry King.

After five weeks of recovery, he resumed his duties and the first guests included the team of doctors and nurses who performed the surgery and took care of him.

Contrary to popular belief, heart diseases not only target men, but also a significant amount of women. A legendary TV personality and the co-host of ‘The View’, Barbara Walters was advised heart valve surgery to replace a faulty valve. She took some time to recuperate, and soon returned to co-host ‘The View’.

Known to be an extremely private person, Walters first shared her experiences in a 2011 ABC Special – ‘A Matter of Life and Death’.

This Hollywood icon started his career by appearing in various off-Broadway plays and since then has starred in countless TV shows and movies. He graced the cover of many tabloids in 2009 for his time in rehab to get over painkiller addiction, and his health gradually deteriorated.

A year later he started experiencing frequent chest pain, and doctors insisted on a quintuple-bypass heart which helped saved his life.

One of the most respected and popular R&B artists, Toni Braxton has sold over 66 million records, received 6 Grammy Awards, 7 American Music Awards, and 9 Billboards Music Awards. Braxton first started facing heart issues when she passed out on stage during the production of her Broadway show ‘Aida’. She was rushed to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with pericarditis (inflammation of the covering around the heart).

Braxton took almost a year to recover, and today follows a balanced diet and exercise to keep her heart healthy.

Age and an unhealthy lifestyle aren’t the only two contributors of heart diseases. However, two-time Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White aka the ‘Flying Tomato’ has been battling a severe heart condition since he was two. White was born with a congenital heart defect known as tetralogy of fallot, in which the heart has four abnormalities – ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, right ventricular hypertrophy, and overriding aorta.

Two open-heart operations were conducted before Shaun’s second birthday to correct the condition.
Former President Bill Clinton, Former Vice President Dick Cheney, Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys), Bret Michaels, Kelsey Grammer, Rosie O’Donnell, Alex Trebek, and John Candy, are some other famous people who have dealt with heart diseases and often discussed their issues on national television, thereby spreading awareness to the general public.

Healthy Heart Diet Recipes

The admission of an appropriately adjusted eating regimen decreases the odds of being harassed via cardiovascular issues. The accompanying article goes for giving some sound heart count calories formulas that are both delectable and simple to make.

Cardiovascular diseases (a class of diseases that involves the heart and the blood vessels) are the biggest killer in most parts of the world today. Evidence suggests that a low-fat diet is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels and the blood pressure.

Recipes

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast, boneless, without the skin, and fat removed: 6 fillets
  • Bread, whole-wheat: 4 slices
  • Buttermilk, low-fat: ½ cup
  • Parmesan cheese, grated: 6 tablespoons
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Parsley, chopped finely: 1½ tablespoons
  • Paprika: 1½ teaspoons
  • Garlic powder: ¾ teaspoon
  • Thyme: ½ teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil spray

Method

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 450°F. Then take a rectangular-shaped baking sheet and a slightly smaller rectangular-shaped cake tin. Spray some vegetable oil and place the rack on the baking sheet and it keep aside.
  • Next, rinse the chicken fillets and pat them dry followed by keeping them aside. Now, put the bread pieces into a food processor or blender and process until it turns into fine crumbs.
  • Put these crumbs in a shallow dish. Add thyme, parsley, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder into it and blend well. Then pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish. Then immerse the fillets in the buttermilk first, then in the breadcrumbs, and lastly place them on the baking rack.
  • Then, drizzle some olive oil onto each of the fillets and bake for about 15 minutes. After that, turn over the fillets, bake for 10 more minutes, and serve.

Spicy Beans and Tofu Curry

Ingredients

  • Mushrooms, sliced: 6 – 8
  • Red chilies, diced: 3
  • Green onions, diced: 2
  • Tofu, firm: 7 ounces
  • Green beans: 4 ounces
  • Coconut milk, or skimmed milk: 1½ cups
  • Curry paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce, light: 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat a pot, put coconut milk in it, and cook until it begins to separate.
  • Next, add the red chilies, soy sauce, curry paste, salt, sugar and blend them well.
  • Next, add the tofu and mushrooms and let it come to a boil.
  • Then, put in the green beans and cook until they become soft and tender.
  • Lastly, put the green onions and cook for about a minute before you begin to bite into it.
  • Fish and Vegetable Bake

Ingredients

  • Carrot, medium-sized, cut into thin strips: 1
  • Dressed rainbow trout, sea trout, or pike: 2 pounds
  • Broccoli, broken into small florets: 1 cup
  • Yellow summer squash, sliced thinly: ½ cup
  • Oregano, dried, and crumbled: ½ teaspoon
  • Basil, dried, and crumbled: ½ teaspoon
  • Salt: ¼ teaspoon
  • Black pepper: ⅛ teaspoon

Method

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then, heat some water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  • Next, cook the squash, carrots, and broccoli in it for about a minute. Follow this by draining the water and keeping it aside.
  • Then, rinse the fish and pat it dry. Next, tear one or two pieces of foil, large enough, to hold the fish. Place the fish in the middle of the foil.
  • Then, take a small bowl and put oregano, basil, pepper, and salt in it. Mix it thoroughly and place half of this mixture inside the fish’s cavity.
  • Then, arrange the vegetables around the fish and pour the remaining herb mixture on the surface.
  • Lastly, wrap the fish and vegetables with the foil, seal it well, and then place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or so, and your delectable bake is ready to be devoured on.

Suggested Lifestyle Changes

Choose the Right fats
Trans and saturated fats are known to increase the chances of a cardiac arrest. These are generally found in animal-derived processed foods like butter, cheese, milk, and meat. These foods are generally high in cholesterol. Include foods that contain healthy fats, like mono-unsaturated fats (contained in seafood, canola oil, and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (contained in corn oil and safflower).

Reduce the Intake of Calories
Consuming too many calories results in weight gain which can lead to heart diseases.

Reduce the Consumption of Sodium
Although sodium is necessary in the diet, we generally have a tendency of consuming it in excess. Reducing the intake of sodium helps in lowering the blood pressure, which in turn can minimize the chances of a cardiac arrest.

Consuming fiber-rich sources of food like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is extremely beneficial for the blood pumping organ. These foods are also high in minerals and vitamins. By just bringing in certain changes in the lifestyle, we can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases to a very large extent.

Reversing Heart Disease

Heart sicknesses can be avoided, all things considered, by taking after a legitimate eating regimen and sound way of life strategies. This article will give you data on things you have to follow so as to forestall and turn around heart ailments.

The heart is one of the vital organs of the human body. The rhythmic contractions of the human heart help the blood to flow throughout the body. De-oxygenated blood from the body is purified in the heart and transported to other parts of the body. However, there are certain factors that lead to abnormal or malfunctioning of the heart, resulting in life-threatening diseases.

Causes of Heart Diseases
Today, heart attack or heart disease is one of the leading cause of deaths in the world. Hypertension and stress are some of its common causes. Obesity is yet another prominent cause of hypertension and heart attack in people. The excess amount of fats and cholesterol build up in the arteries, which narrow them. This exerts pressure on the heart, which in turn becomes prone to abnormal function or failure.

How to Reverse Heart Disease Naturally
A heart attack is the first indication by the body that the heart is functioning under pressure. In most of the cases, it is possible to make necessary changes in his lifestyle to prevent heart diseases. The following are some of the measures that one needs to follow for reversing heart diseases.

Change Diet
A person’s diet plays an important role in causing and preventing certain kinds of diseases. Certain foodstuffs contain high amounts of cholesterol, sodium or unsaturated fats that are harmful to the heart. Food products such as red meats, butter, cheese, margarine, sugar, ice cream, salty and fried foods, chips, pizzas, hotdogs, and hamburgers, etc., should be avoided completely. On the other hand, fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, etc., are safer and healthier to eat.

Reduce Stress
Nowadays, it is observed that nearly 90% of the population in the world suffers from stress. Work or job, finance, relationships, competition, and challenges in life are the significant stress causing factors in people’s lives. Although one cannot get away from these factors, it is essential to follow certain measures to reduce stress. Meditation and yoga are considered as the best techniques for stress management. Pursuing a hobby, keeping oneself happy, spending time with loved ones, can also help a person to keep away from stress, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

Exercise
Although exercise does not directly prevent heart diseases, it helps to maintain proper body weight and keep obesity at bay. Regular exercise also helps to burn off the excess calories and fats in the body, and maintain proper heart health.

Change Lifestyle
Lastly, it is essential to have a healthy lifestyle for reversing coronary heart disease. One should stay away from excess alcohol consumption and also quit smoking as it is injurious to health. Alcohol contains excess calories that are not required by the body, therefore, it is advisable to limit its intake or abstain totally. Secondly, a person should get a adequate amount of sleep every day, i.e a minimum 6-7 hours of sleep.

As aforementioned, one should note that a simple diet, regular exercise, and good lifestyle can help in preventing heart diseases to a great extent. At the same time, it is essential to undertake regular health check-ups.