Category Archives: Health

Cardiac Diet Menu

A cardiovascular eating regimen menu is suggested for individuals who experience the ill effects of cardiovascular maladies or are under high danger of creating heart ailments. It is an exceptionally solid eating routine arrangement that spotlights on eating nutritious sustenance.

A cardiac diet menu focuses on eating healthy and nutritious food which helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. As you know, both high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure together with increased body weight can increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Eating a diet that is low in saturated fats and calories will significantly lower cholesterol levels as well as help in reducing body weight. A cardiac diet plan should not be confused with a 3 day cardiac diet menu that was supposedly developed by Birmingham Hospital in Alabama, to make patients lose a lot of weight before a surgery. The 3 day cardiac diet is a very restrictive diet and is mostly undertaken by people who want to lose a lot of weight fast. However such a diet menu is not just designed for weight loss, but for increasing the overall health and fitness level of an individual and to decrease a person’s risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiac Diet Menu Plan

One of the best way to cut down your risk of developing heart diseases is to follow a diet that is rich in dietary fibers and essential vitamins and minerals. You need to cut down on the consumption of saturated fat, trans saturated fat and sodium. Reducing consumption of saturated fat and trans saturated fat helps in lowering cholesterol, high blood pressure as well as reducing excess weight. You also need to change you eating and drinking habits and cut back on alcohol, frizzy drinks that has empty calories with no nutritive value and sugar rich candies and pastries. Try to incorporate foods that are contains omega 3 fatty acids and lean sources of protein.

Day of the Week Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sunday 1 cup oatmeal with low fat milk, ½ glass of vegetable juice Turkey salad with salad leaves, ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 small bar of dark chocolate Grilled Salmon with steamed green beans, Mushroom soup
Monday 2 slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, ½ glass of orange juice Tosses green salad with avocado and flaked tuna Brown rice pilaf with stir fried bell peppers and zucchini
Tuesday 2 pancakes with a drizzle of honey, ½ grapefruit Turkey Chili, steamed asparagus Mushroom ragout with garlic bread
Wednesday 1 whole grain bagel, 1 granola bar, ½ glass tomato juice 1 grilled chicken breast, ½ bowl of chickpea salad Baked fish fillet, roasted baby potatoes, steamed baby carrots
Thursday Egg white omelet, ½ a grapefruit Sauteed tilapia with lemon-peppercorn pan sauce Tofu curry with tomatoes and peas
Friday 1 cup oatmeal with fresh berries, 1 banana Turkey sandwich, steamed peas Stir fried noodles with bean sprouts, tofu and bell peppers
Saturday 1 muffin, ½ glass vegetable juice Pasta salad with bell peppers and chicken ½ bowl of steamed mussels, 2 slices of garlic bread

Consumption of alcohol should be brought down to 1-2 drinks a day while you are following this diet. Packaged foods and fried foods that are high in trans saturated fat should also be strictly avoided. Try to include fiber rich food like whole grains, oats and dried beans in your diet as it helps in lowering cholesterol levels which in turn keeps your heart healthy. Choose cooking methods like grilling, steaming and pan frying instead of deep frying and use olive oil and canola oil for cooking. Changing your diet, exercising and eating healthy will reduce your risks of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Olive Oil for a Healthy Heart

unduhan-11A sound heart implies a solid personality and a solid body. Today, sound way of life and appropriate nourishment propensities have inflicted significant damage and this is influencing the cardiovascular framework in a terrible manner. Rising cholesterol levels is a genuine concern. Olive oil is said to healthily affect the heart. How about we perceive how.

A hectic lifestyle, improper rest, and inappropriate diet contribute in affecting the human body in a negative way. The human body functions at its best when blood is pumped to each and every part of the body without any hindrance. A healthy heart is a result of proper diet. Diet containing high level of fat can be harmful to the heart, however, not all fat content is bad. Fats can be categorized as harmful dietary fat comprising saturated fat and trans fat, and healthy dietary fat comprising monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. It is important to incorporate healthy fat content in the diet and avoid unhealthy fat.

One source of healthy dietary fat is olive oil. It is used in Mediterranean diet as a key constituent and is obtained from olive, which is a crop of the Mediterranean basin. American diet consists of unhealthy fat in a large proportion in the form of butter, cheese, mayonnaise, etc. This is why, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is more in America as compared to Mediterranean countries. However these days, awareness about incorporating healthy fat in the food has triggered the use of olive oil in the diet. There are numerous benefits and side effects of olive oil. It can be used for cooking and seasoning. There are various types of it available in the market. The extra virgin olive oil is the best one and is recommended for people aiming at reducing high cholesterol levels.

Chemical Composition of Olive Oil
To understand how olive oil and cholesterol levels are related, let’s have a quick look at its chemical constituents. It contains:

  • Fatty acids
  • Peroxides
  • Free fatty acids
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Polyphenols
  • Vitamins
  • Pigments

Olive oil comprises mainly triacylglycerol molecules. Different types of fatty acids are attached to a triacylglycerol molecule. These include oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and linolenic acid. Oleic acid is the major fatty acid making up around 55-83% of olive oil. It is a monounsaturated fatty acid i.e., a healthy dietary fat. Including olive oil in the diet increases the proportion of healthy dietary fat in the body.

Does Olive Oil Reduce Cholesterol?
The chemical composition of olive oil makes it clearly evident that this oil has more amount of healthy dietary fat as compared to harmful fat. Human heart is supplied with blood through coronary arteries. Rise in bad cholesterol level in the body results in deposition of fats in coronary arteries as well. This causes blockage in the arteries due to which the heart has to pump harder, in order to push blood through the blockage, so that it can reach to various body parts. This exerts pressure on the cardiac muscles and results in hypertension or rise in blood pressure. Rising cholesterol levels may also lead to serious heart diseases.

Use of olive oil helps in reducing cholesterol level in the body to some extent. The monounsaturated fatty acids present in it help in reducing the total cholesterol level and low density lipoprotein level in the body. Also, monounsaturated fatty acids do not lower the level of high density lipoprotein which is beneficial to the body, contrary to polyunsaturated fatty acids which may reduce HDL cholesterol. In this way, olive oil increases the content of healthy fat in the body and reduces unwanted fat. It must be kept in mind that using olive oil along with foods containing saturated fat will not reduce the bad fat content. One should replace unhealthy fat with it to gain its benefits.

The Food and Drug Administration allows the manufacturers to mention in the label that, “some evidence suggest that use of two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the presence of monounsaturated fats in the oil”.

For those who are busy shedding kilos of weight, don’t forget that olive oil also has the same amount of calories as found in other oils. So watch out for the portion of oil you consume. If you are someone who is at a high risk of developing coronary artery disease due to high cholesterol level in the body, it isn’t a bad idea to replace unhealthy fat in your diet with healthy fat in the form of olive oil, reduce the cholesterol level, and have a healthy heart!

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.

Tips to Tooth Decay and Heart Disease

unduhan-9Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or dental cavities is a disease of the teeth, which finally results in the damage of the teeth. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which are present in the plaque. This bacteria extracts sugars from the food particles and converts it into lactic acid and stores them in the cavities present in the teeth. This can lead to the decaying of teeth. There have been many researches which show the connection between decayed tooth and heart disease.

The bacteria that is present in the dental plaque can cause blood clots in the arteries. When these potentially fatal blood clots are released into the bloodstream, they can induce heart attacks. The formation of plaque in the gums leads to chronic inflammation of the gums, which can also cause inflammation in the walls of blood vessels, thus leading to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. If an individual has a very severe decay and experiences pain in the left arm or in the chest region, then he may be having a heart attack. It is advisable not to ignore any signs and symptoms of tooth decay, as it can lead to problems in the cardiovascular system.

Conditions Related to Tooth Decay and Heart Disease

Healthy gums are pink in color, firm and elastic. Diseased gums appear swollen, red and sometimes bleed. Given below are some gum problems that may be related to heart diseases:Genetics is responsible in some cases, when it comes to tooth and gum disorders.

► Gingivitis is a disease of the gums, where a gap between the gums and teeth is formed due to the infestation of bacteria. The primary symptoms of this condition, being mild in the beginning, are swelling, redness and bleeding of the gums.
► Pericoronitis is another disorder of the gums that is caused when the wisdom teeth do not emerge out completely from the gums, causing a gap. When food particles get accumulated, they start decaying and weaken the roots of the teeth causing discomfort and pain. When this condition becomes severe it can cause swelling on the cheeks and neck.
► When the gum disease has become severe, it causes periodontitis, where the infection goes deeper into the gums and affects the roots of the teeth. This infection can also cause damage to the bones, below the gums and make the gums recede.

Causes

► One of the most common causes is the accumulation of plaque in the cavities of the teeth. The bacteria that are present in the mouth break down the food and convert them into lactic acid.
► Excess of lactic acid in the mouth may cause cavities in the teeth, leading to decay.
► Improper brushing and flossing of the teeth and poor oral health are some other causes. In order to prevent tooth caries, one must brush the teeth properly and pay a regular visit to the dentist for an overall examination of the mouth.

Symptoms

Since decaying of tooth is a slow process, it does not show any immediate symptoms. Only when the nerve is exposed and the pain is aggravated, only then the signs of tooth decay are noticed. Given below are some signs of dental caries as observed in children as well as in adults:
➀ The most common symptom is toothache which is caused due to infection or irritation of the tooth pulp. This pain may aggravate due to eating sweets and hard food, consuming hot or cold drinks, and while brushing your teeth.
➁ Experiencing sensitivity due to pressure on the affected tooth.
➂ The individual may also experience bad breath and foul taste in the mouth.
➃ If there is an infection in the gums, then the tooth may break in splinters and may also be shaky.
➄ Appearance of spots — brown, black or yellow — on the infected teeth.
➅ Severe decay may be caused due to the accumulation of pus in the abscess may cause symptoms like fever, swollen jaws, inflamed glands followed by excruciating pain.

It is essential to undergo prompt treatment, in the initial stages. Delaying the treatment can only make the condition worse, where the person may experience intense pain and the affected tooth may also have to extracted. If you want to stay away from tooth decay and heart disease, pay more attention to your oral health. Healthy teeth means a healthy heart.

Right Atrial Enlargement

The heart weighs around 200 – 400 gm and is about the size of a fist. It’s primarily composed of 4 parts, known as chambers. The functioning of the human heart is related to the proper coordination between these 4 chambers. These four chambers are called left atrium and right atrium (lie in the upper part of the heart), and left ventricle and right ventricle (located in the lower part of the heart). Blood circulation between these 4 chambers takes place with the help of heart valves that transport blood from one chamber to another.

Now, after having a general idea about the 4 chambers of the heart, we are in a position to understand right atrial enlargement (RAE). It is a condition of the heart where there is an enlargement of the right atrium, due to some infection. This increase in size of the right atrium is nothing but a deviation from its normal size, and is referred to as right atrial enlargement. Fatigue, chest pain and breathing problems are some of the common symptoms of RAE.

Functioning of the Heart

The heart is an organ that provides fresh oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body. However, the heart also receives impure (deoxygenated) blood. Impure blood from the legs and upper body gets accumulated in the right atrium, which is then transferred to the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. From the right ventricle, the blood moves through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, for purification. Once the lungs complete their designated task, fresh oxygenated blood is then transferred to the left atrium. The blood is then passed down to the left ventricle through the mitral valve. The blood then flows out of the left ventricle and is distributed throughout the body.

RAE Causes

Why does the size of the right atrium increase abnormally? When the size of the right atrium increases, it is a symptom of an underlying medical problem. People suffering from high blood pressure have a higher chance of suffering from this heart disease. Other reasons that could trigger enlargement in right atrium are given below:

Lung Disease
As lungs play a very important role for normal functioning of the heart, any lung disorder may cause this heart problem. Disorders such as bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can cause high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery that collects blood from the right ventricle. High blood pressure may ultimately lead to RAE.

Tricuspid Stenosis
This is a problem associated with the heart valve in which the tricuspid valve is unable to perform its job properly. As we all know, the valve that is between two chambers located on the right side of the heart, is the tricuspid valve. This valve ensures normal circulation of de-oxygenated blood from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Tricuspid stenosis is a heart valve disease in which the opening of the tricuspid valve is partially blocked, thus decreasing the flow of blood between these 2 chambers. In order to restore normal blood flow, the right atrium has to send the blood with more force, so that it passes through the narrowed opening of the tricuspid value. In case the blood is not pushed forward with extra force, there is a high probability that the blood may start moving backwards and cause further complications. So, this extra workload on the right atrium, often manifests in the form of RAE.

Mitral Stenosis
As aforementioned, the mitral valve lies between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Thus, one can say that the mitral valve is involved in the management of proper blood flow between the atriums and the ventricles. Any issues with this valve such as narrowing of the mitral value can cause RAE. In most cases, tricuspid stenosis is followed by mitral stenosis that leads to this problem.

Pulmonary Embolism
The pulmonary artery connects the right ventricle to the lungs. Now, this artery transports impure blood to the lungs for purification. Pulmonary embolism interferes with free flow of blood between the heart and the lungs, as a blood clot is formed somewhere in the pulmonary artery. Thus the heart has to work harder to try to normalize the blood flow in the pulmonary artery. As a side effect of these extra efforts, the heart may show RAE.

Tricuspid Regurgitation
This condition is related with the malfunctioning of the tricuspid valve. It is observed that the tricuspid valve opens only when there is a need of transfer of blood from the right atrium to the right ventricle. When the right ventricle fills completely, the tricuspid valve must close immediately. If the valve does not close after the ventricle is full, the blood may start moving backwards (tricuspid regurgitation), towards the right atrium. This excessive pressure of blood flow reversal can cause RAE.

Mitral Regurgitation
Mitral regulates blood circulation between left atrium and left ventricle. If the mitral valve fails to close itself after the left ventricle is full, the blood may flow in the opposite direction i.e towards the left atrium. These disturbances in normal blood flow in the heart may lead to RAE.

Right Ventricular Hypertrophy (RVH)
RVH refers to abnormal increase in the size of right ventricle. As aforementioned, pulmonary arteries allows blood to move from the right ventricle to the lungs. However, poor blood circulation from these arteries can put a lot of strain on the heart. To be precise, when the blood flow moving towards the lungs is below normal, the right ventricle is subjected to excessive stress. As a response to this undue strain, the right ventricle shows abnormal enlargement. It is observed that people with RVH also tend to develop RAE. High blood pressure in pulmonary arteries, traveling at high altitude and pulmonary valve stenosis are some of the factors that trigger development of RVH.

Congenital Heart Disease
This is an inborn abnormality in the heart’s structure. The heart does not get properly developed during the 9 months of pregnancy. This defect interferes with the normal functioning of the heart. When we talk about the structure of the heart, we cannot forget to mention about the tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and the mitral valve. All these valves form an integral part of the heart’s structure. Any deformity in the structure of the heart can affect any one or all the valves and disturb the blood flow through the heart, eventually causing RAE.

RAE treatment focuses on correcting the underlying cause. Taking a 2D echocardiogram of the heart is a reliable way to detect enlargement of the right atrium. Regulating the blood pressure is the key to control heart problems. So doctors may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure. Diuretics may be used to stop the build up of blood in the mitral or tricuspid valve. Respiratory disorders like COPD are treated with appropriate medications like bronchodilators (inhalers) and antibiotics to reduce COPD symptoms.

Left Atrial Enlargement

Left atrial enlargement is the result of genetic defect (hereditary) or conditions like obesity, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.

Left Atrial Enlargement (LAE)

The left atrium is one of the four chambers of the heart, the other three being the right atrium, left ventricle and the right ventricle. All these four chambers are connected by valves. The left atrium does the job of pumping fresh oxygenated blood (stored in lungs) to the left ventricle, which is then circulated throughout the body. Left atrial enlargement is a term that is used to describe a condition in which the left atrium no longer appears in its original size. In other words, the upper left chamber is found to be enlarged. The heart muscles in this region also appear thick and swollen.

Symptoms

The occurrence of symptoms will depend upon the degree of enlargement of the left atrium. If the increase in size is significant, then the person is bound to experience its side effects immediately. On the other hand, a minor change in the size of left atrium is a harmless condition and the symptoms go unnoticed. On the whole, following are the symptoms noticed in people with LAE.

  • Chest pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Abnormal heartbeat

People who suffer from this heart problem find it difficult to perform exercises like running, swimming and cycling. Exertion is something that cannot be tolerated by these people as they experience frequent episodes of shortness of breath.

Causes

Disruption in normal blood flow is one of the most common causes of inflammation of the left atrium. Also known as left atrial dilation, the condition may occur due to the following reasons:

Obesity
This is one of the leading causes of swollen left atrium in children. Recent reports suggest that obesity is increasing at an alarming rate in children, thus making them prone to this condition. Obese people are often found to be overweight and inactive. Excessive body weight can trigger heart problems like LAE, wherein the muscle wall of the left atrium thickens. New research has also revealed that enlarged chambers of the heart are often the result of obesity.

Treatment: You need to get rid of your couch potato lifestyle in order to lose weight and excess fat. Eat healthy foods and make exercise your top priority. These healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way in keeping obesity at bay.

Stress
Increased workload in the office can certainly put a person under tremendous pressure and negatively affect the heart, which may manifest in the form of swollen left atrium.

Treatment: For better stress management and to get quick stress relief, deep breathing meditation and yoga are beneficial. These techniques are a great stress reliever and help to promote a peaceful mind.

High Blood Pressure (HBP)
The main function of the heart is to pump fresh oxygenated blood to different parts of the body through veins, capillaries and arteries. A specific pressure is maintained by the heart to regulate normal blood flow, which is known as blood pressure. However, when there is too much pressure inside the arteries, the condition is referred as high blood pressure. This happens because the arteries get slightly compressed. As a result, the heart has to increase its efficiency and work harder to push the blood through the narrow passages of the arteries. This overburden can be strenuous for the heart. The size of the heart increases due to excessive strain on the heart muscles. No wonder people with high blood pressure are diagnosed with left atrial enlargement.

Treatment: In order to ease the symptoms of left atrial enlargement, it is necessary to bring blood pressure under control. Medications that are commonly prescribed to treat HBP are beta-blockers and ACE-inhibitors.

Mitral Regurgitation
The mitral valve allows blood to circulate from left atrium to left ventricle. To be precise, it regulates blood flow between these two chambers of the heart. The mitral valve opens when left atrium is filled with pre-determined amount of blood and it closes only after the left atrium has squeezed enough to push all the remaining blood to the left ventricle. However, if the mitral valve is not working correctly, it does not close properly even after all the blood has been moved to the left ventricle. The inability of the mitral valve to close tightly causes the blood to flow in the opposite direction – from left ventricle to left atrium. This phenomenon of backward flow of blood is called mitral regurgitation and can lead to inflammation of the left atrium.

Treatment: Surgery is advised that aims at correcting the defects in the mitral valve. However, if it is not possible to repair the deformities, the mitral valve is swapped for a prosthetic one.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
This condition is typically marked by unnatural thickening of the heart. This can bring excessive strain on the heart as it has to take more efforts in delivering sufficient blood to different parts of the body. This unexpected work overload on the heart can trigger abnormal enlargement of the left atrium. HCM is an inherited disorder and runs in families. Due to HCM, one area of the heart wall appears to have more thickness than the rest.

Treatment: In order to improve heart efficiency, beta-blockers and calcium-blockers may be recommended. Antiarrhythmic medicines may also be prescribed to stop heart palpitations.

Stenosis
Diagnosis of enlarged left atrium can also mean that you are suffering from aortic valve stenosis. Stenosis literally means unnatural constriction of the passageway, in this case the most important valve of the heart. It is observed that the fresh oxygenated blood in the heart exits from the aortic valve. The abnormal narrowing leads to malfunctioning of the valve, thereby reducing the amount of blood moving out of the heart. Thus, the incapability of aortic value to ensure adequate outgoing blood flow from the heart can also lead to LAE.

Treatment: After undergoing the blood tests, the doctor may decide whether it is necessary to take medications to manage cholesterol and blood pressure. In any case, surgical intervention is necessary to dilate the narrowed aortic valve. However, usually surgical procedure involves removing the aortic valve and fixing a mechanical valve.

Narrowed Mitral Value
The mitral valve of the heart connects chambers located on the left side of the heart (left atrium and left ventricle). In case of heart problems, the mitral valve constricts or stiffens. In such cases, more pressure is exerted on the left atrium to pump blood in sufficient amounts to the left ventricle. The left atrium has to work harder to maintain proper blood flow between the two chambers. This excessive load can also cause inflammation of the left atrium.

Treatment: Surgery is the first line of treatment to clear narrowed mitral valve. The surgical procedure, referred to as balloon valvuloplasty is often used to widen the mitral valve.

Lung Disease
As the left atrium takes fresh oxygenated blood from the lungs and then passes it on to the left ventricle, any infection or a disease that considerably decreases the functionality of lungs, may also cause LAE.

Treatment: Severe lung infections that are typically marked by breathing problems and frequent bouts of cough, may be treated with antibiotics or antivirals, depending upon the nature of the infection. Medications alone won’t cure the infection unless adequate rest is taken. Also, make sure your surrounding environment is clean and free from lung irritants.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
In CHF, the heart loses its ability to pump sufficient amount of oxygenated blood to meet the body requirements. This happens because the heart is unable to contract or relax properly with every heartbeat. As a result the heart is unable to exert enough force to ensure normal blood circulation. This causes the fluid in the blood to back up and accumulate in different organs. This reduced cardiac output due to impaired pumping action accompanied by fluid accumulation in different tissues of the body, may cause enlargement of the left ventricle or the left atrial chamber.

Treatment: Diuretics are often the first choice of treatment for removal of fluid buildup. CHF patients may also be treated with ACE-inhibitors that help to dilate the blood vessels and increase the blood flow.

Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is typically marked by clogging of arteries due to buildup of plaque on the arterial wall. The plaque is nothing but hardened deposits of cholesterol that accumulate over the years due to consumption of unhealthy foods. In such a scenario, the heart has to struggle to maintain normal blood flow, because the arteries have become narrower. As a response to this cardiac overload, the left or right atrial enlargement may be observed.

Treatment: A healthy diet and exercise is crucial for optimal functioning of the arteries. Use of cholesterol controlling medicines such as statins and blood thinners (aspirin) may be necessary in conjunction with lifestyle changes. For severe blockages in the arteries, angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery may be advised to restore normal blood circulation.

Alcoholism
If you thought that excess alcohol consumption only affects the liver, then it’s time to rethink. Alcohol addiction can also have a negative impact on the heart function. The heart’s pumping action may weaken considerably due to excess alcohol intake and this may lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the size of left ventricle or the left atrium increases.

Treatment: In order to improve heart health, it is very important to stop alcohol consumption. Heart failure arising from alcoholism may be treated with diuretics and beta-blockers that help to control blood pressure and improve blood circulation

Heart Infection
Myocarditis, a viral infection in which the heart muscle is inflamed, can also cause dilation of left atrium. In case the infection is not serious, it may not cause any bothersome symptoms but a severe myocarditis can lead to chest pain, heart failure and heart enlargement. Endocarditis, caused by bacteria and that strikes the inner lining of the heart chamber, can interfere with the functioning of the heart valve. Thus, if the infection damages the mitral or the aortic valve, it can disrupt the outgoing blood flow from the left atrium. This may eventually cause the left atrium to enlarge abnormally.

Treatment: Antivirals may be prescribed to treat myocarditis. In some cases, the inflammation of the wall is the result of a bacterial infection and so the treatment may involve use of antibiotics. Doctors may also recommend digoxin (digitalis) to strengthen heart contractions, which may help to improve blood flow.

Consequences of Left Atrial Enlargement

Initial studies suggest that enlargement of left atrial chamber and occurrence of stroke are related. Increased LA size could be one of the risk factors in the development of stroke. Although the exact link between enlarged LA and stroke is not yet established, there are speculations that LAE may slow down blood circulation, thereby increasing the risk of clot formation and subsequent stroke. The risk of stroke is greater, if LAE patients also suffer from high blood pressure. Untreated LAE may also lead to atrial fibrillation, a condition that is typically marked by abnormal heartbeats (racy heart), poor blood circulation, breathing problems and chest pain. Due to rapid heart, an unusual sensation of pounding or thumping is experienced in the chest. Depending upon how severe the underlying cause of LAE is, this heart rhythm disorder can be either chronic or an occasional phenomenon.

Diagnosis

In order to detect abnormalities in the heart such as left atrium enlargement, the patient is advised to undergo an echocardiogram to closely inspect the heart in 2D. The test employs ultrasound waves that provides advanced imaging of the heart. The sophisticated images help to evaluate the size of the heart chambers as well as the functionality of the valves.

Decreased Cardiac Output

The diminished cardiovascular yield causes, manifestations and medicines are examined in the accompanying articles. Low cardiovascular yield identified with CHF (Chronic Heart Failure) and other therapeutic conditions make it a genuine wellbeing issue.

The medical condition of decreased or low cardiac output is the result of many different causes and is exhibited in the form of various symptoms. Decreased cardiac output related to hypertension, aging and many other causes is discussed in the article. Cardiac output decreases with slowing down of heart beats. Another reason behind low cardiac output is the inability of heart muscles to pump blood in a proper manner; many a time, a damaged heart muscle is responsible for this condition. The following write-up discusses the pathophysiology, causes and the treatment or care plan for this medical condition.

What is Cardiac Output?
It is the amount of blood pumped by the heart (ventricle) in a single minute. The unit that is used for measuring cardiac output is cubic dm/min. The average rate of cardiac output for men and women is 5 cubic dm/min. and 4.5 cubic dm/min. respectively. This medical condition is described as the reduction in outflow of blood from ventricles of the heart. There could be a variety of reasons behind the condition of low cardiac output; details of the causes are given below.

Causes
The common causes behind this medical condition are hypertension, myocardial infarction, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary disease, cardiomyopathy, fluid overload, drug effects, electrolyte imbalance and decreased fluid volume. Geriatric patients are at a high risk of suffering from decrease cardiac output due to the reduced compliance of ventricles that results from aging.

Symptoms
The symptoms of this medical condition include arrhythmias, electrocardiogram changes, variations in hemodynamic parameters, tachypnea, orthopnea, dyspnea, frothy sputum, abnormal arterial blood gases, edema, weight gain, decreased urine output, dizziness, syncope, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue, weakness, cold clammy skin, decreased peripheral pulses, change in mental status, confusion, pulsus alternans, angina, etc. Decreased cardiac output and blood pressure are interrelated since the decrease in cardiac output results into low blood pressure.

Treatment Measures
The medications recommended for decreased cardiac output depend on the etiological factors. However, common medications used in the treatment include diuretics, digitalis therapy, vasodilator therapy, ACE inhibitors, antidysrhythmics and inotropic agents. Maintaining the optimum fluid balance is also a part of treatment. Administration of the prescribed fluids helps increase the extracellular fluid volume thereby, raising the cardiac output. It is also important to maintain the hemodynamic parameters. Patients with increased preload need to restrict sodium and fluids, which helps in decreasing the extracellular fluid volume. Maintaining perfusion and ventilation is also an important part of the treatment. Placing the patient in a high-Fowler position helps in reducing the ventricular filling and preload. The patient should be placed in the supine position to promote diuresis and to increase vanous return. Restricting the physical activities of patients helps in reducing the oxygen demands of the body. A quiet and peaceful environment must be provided to patients, since emotional stress may lead to increased cardiac demands. Stool softeners should be given to patients because if the body gets strained owing to bowel movements, there arises a possibility of further decrease in cardiac output. The decreased or low cardiac output interventions or nursing interventions include hemodynamic regulation and cardiac care. Decreased cardiac output RT (Respiratory Therapy) is useful from the point of increasing fluid volume and reducing bilateral ankle edema & clammy skin.

Factors Affecting Cardiac Output
The volume of blood leaving the heart i.e. cardiac output is dependent on the volume entering it. In the condition of decreased or low cardiac output, volume of blood entering the heart is less than usual. The ventricle from which blood is released doesn’t contract in a forceful manner and therefore, the cardiac output is low. Thus, the output depends on the degree to which muscles of ventricles are stretched by the incoming blood flow.

Negative inotropic effect is one of the factors responsible for low cardiac output. Alteration in the contraction of muscles and especially the heart muscles caused by intake of certain medications is termed as inotropic effect. Medications that have a negative inotropic effect are responsible for weakening the force of heart required to contract its muscles; it is therefore, responsible for low cardiac output. The positive inotropic medications are recommended for conditions like myocardial infarction.

The medical condition of decreased cardiac output is a result of a variety of health problems. Therefore, the treatment measures must be devised on the basis of specific cause. Some of the common treatment measures listed in the article should be helpful for readers.