What are the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet?
Thu, 3/14/2013 1:49 PM
March is National Nutrition Month, and Methodist Registered Dieticians are answering your questions.
Q: What are the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet?
A: Studies that look at people and their habits have linked vegetarian diets with a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and colon cancer. Basing one’s diet on plant foods—grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits—is the best way to keep saturated fat intake low and to avoid cholesterol completely. A vegan diet is free of all animal products and yields the lowest risk of heart disease. One study showed that people who adopt a vegetarian diet reduce their saturated fat intake by 26 percent and achieve a significant drop in cholesterol levels in just six weeks. Besides the very low levels of fat eaten in a typical vegetarian diet, vegetable protein also helps decrease risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that replacing animal protein with soy protein reduces blood cholesterol levels even when the total amount of fat and saturated fat in the diet remain the same. Soluble fiber helps to slow the absorption of some food components such as cholesterol. It also acts to reduce the amount of cholesterol the liver makes. Oats, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber. There is no fiber in any animal product.
(Answer provided by Audrey Justus MS, RD, LDN at Methodist South Hospital)
Registered Dietitians can provide Medical Nutrition Therapyrelated to blood pressure, blood sugar, preventive care, gluten free needs and some GI disorders, food allergy, decreased kidney function, weight loss/gain and more.
Most insurances cover the cost of nutrition therapy at the request of your physician. Check with your insurance company to find out if your plan covers classes, and talk to your doctor about providing a written request.
Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease
Mon, 2/18/2013 1:32 PM
February is Heart Month
According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation, 71% of all patients diagnosed with heart disease have sleep apnea. 50% of Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients have high blood pressure. Therefore, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is present in a large number of patients with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke, and irregular heart rhythms.
If you or your loved one have heart disease and believe you may also have a sleep disorder, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine your best treatment option.
This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
Do you know your blood pressure?
Fri, 1/11/2013 2:02 PM
There are benefits to monitoring your blood pressure from home.
Checking your blood pressure at home is an important part of managing high blood pressure (hypertension). The American Heart Association and other organizations recommend anyone who has high blood pressure monitor his or her blood pressure at home. Here are a few of the benefits to home monitoring from the staff at Mayo Clinic.
Home monitoring can:
Because blood pressure monitors are available without a prescription, home monitoring is an easy step you can take to improve your condition. Before you get started, it's important to know the right technique and to find a good home blood pressure monitor.
Why do I need to monitor my blood pressure at home?
Monitoring your blood pressure at home offers several benefits. It can:
Not everyone can track blood pressure at home. If you have an irregular heartbeat, home blood pressure monitors might not give you an accurate reading. In some cases, the type of monitor you use could depend on your physical condition. If you're overweight or very muscular, you'll need to find a monitor with a larger arm cuff. If you have hearing loss, a monitor with a digital display may be more suitable.
For your convenience, Methodist Healthcare offers several options of home blood pressure monitoring devices to choose on the Home Medical Equipment Online Store. These lightweight blood pressure monitors fit comfortably on the wrist and feature a 60-reading memory storage. The monitors are able to compute the average of the last 3 readings taken.
This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
Poor Sleep Can Result in Heart Disease
Fri, 2/03/2012 10:41 AM
More than 18 million Americans have Sleep Apnea Syndrome*
What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person quits breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds while sleeping. Sleep apnea occurs frequently throughout the sleep cycle.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea? Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are:
So what is the connection between heart disease and poor sleep? People with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and diabetes have a high prevalence of sleep apnea. Whether sleep apnea actually causes heart disease is still unclear; however, if you have sleep apnea, the chance that you will develop hypertension in the future increases significantly.
Also, because events that occur while you are sleeping tend to carry over into your daytime or normal “awake” hours, people with moderate to severe sleep apnea often develop high blood pressure.
How does my body react if I have sleep apnea? Your blood pressure rises when you have sleep apnea. Because you stop breathing with sleep apnea, the oxygen levels in your blood often fall below normal levels¬. As a result, your brain sends signals through the nervous system that essentially tell the blood vessels to constrict or "tighten up" in order to increase the flow of oxygen to the vital organs like the heart and the brain. This “tightening” of the blood vessels increases the pressure of the blood flowing through them.
The good news. The good news for patients with heart disease is that with treatment of your sleep apnea, your chances of improving your condition are considerably better. Those who are treated for sleep apnea who also have a heart condition often see significant improvement in the measures of blood pressure, heart failure, and irregular heartbeats.
If you or anyone you know has heart disease, they should discuss the possibility of sleep apnea with their treating physician.
To find out more about disorders that may be impacting your sleep, visit our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.
*According to the National Sleep Foundation.
Would you recognize a heart attack?
Thu, 4/28/2011 1:11 PM
Would you recognize a heart attack? Symptoms of a heart attack are not the same for everyone. Most people think the only symptom of having a heart attack is extreme chest pain and the feeling of impending doom. Actually that is not typically the case. The most common symptom is shortness of breath but people present with different symptoms all the time. The majority of symptoms are listed below according to specific populations. These are the most frequent symptoms for each category but are certainly not the only ones each may present with a heart attack.
If you experience a sudden onset of any of these symptoms that do not resolve with rest and think you might be having a heart attack, what would you do? Drive yourself to the doctor or hospital? Call a family member or friend to drive you? No. You need to CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!!
This will ensure you are given priority. If you are actively having a heart attack, we will have the cardiologist contacted and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab waiting. We certainly want to provide the best care possible and minimize any chance of disability or death.
Keri Morris, R.N., BSN is a Chest Pain & Stroke Coordinator at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Call 888.777.5959 for more information.
Reducing Risk of Heart Attack
Wed, 2/09/2011 10:57 AM
Smoking by itself increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
When it acts with the other factors, it greatly increases your risk from those factors, too. Smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot. It decreases HDL (good) cholesterol. Your risks increase greatly if you smoke and have a family history of heart disease. Smoking also creates a higher risk for peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysm. It increases the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease after bypass surgery, too.
Many people find support groups and hotlines helpful when quitting smoking. Knowing that someone out there understands and shares your struggle can help you stay committed to being smoke-free. These organizations may offer personalized help or listings of classes and support groups in your community:
For more information on heart disease or heart treatment in Memphis, contact the Cardiovascular Institute at 888.777.5959.
Jennifer Hutzel is a Registered Nurse at the Methodist North Chest Pain Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Call 888.777.5959 for more information.
Heart Disease Prevention
Fri, 11/05/2010 10:24 AM
Weight gain and and an inactive lifestyle can influence heart diseases. These also increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and increased blood cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. Knowing how to maintain or lose weight and also to maintain cardiac (heart) fitness is important.
Tips on Calories:
Tips on Physical Activity:
Dr. Santhosh K.G. Koshy, DM, FACC, FSCAI is the Director of Interventional Cardiology and Director of UT services at Methodist Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, Tenn. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Call 888.777.5959 for more information.
How to Survive a Heart Attack
Mon, 10/25/2010 4:01 PM
Fast action is the best weapon against heart attack! Artery opening treatments can stop a heart attack in its tracks. They can prevent or limit heart damage–but they need to be able to be performed as soon as possible after the symptoms begin.
Know the Early Symptoms of Heart Attacks
Early warning signs are present in nearly 50% of all heart attacks. Symptoms are usually present 24 hours before the attack but can occur 2-3 weeks beforehand. Symptoms are typically intermittent lasting from a few minutes to a few hours, followed by a pain-free period before the acute attack.
Non-specific signs include:
Specific signs of a heart attack:
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense—like the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help.
Immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive—up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.
What May Trigger Chest Pain?
Thu, 8/05/2010 12:51 PM
(HealthDay News) -- Angina is the term for chest pain that occurs when a portion of the heart isn't getting enough oxygenated blood.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says the following triggers may be behind angina pain:
Signs of a Sleep Disorder
Wed, 4/28/2010 1:46 PM
We know that people have 3 basic needs to survive: water, food, and sleep. Sleep is an active state that renews our mental and physical health each day and, unfortunately, most of us fail to get quality sleep. Sleep disorders lead to a poor quality of life and reduced personal health.
Did you know that untreated sleep disorders can lead to high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and mood problems? It’s not just your health. Sleep disorders also endanger others by contributing to traffic and industrial accidents. Discussions have partly linked the Challenger disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill to people suffering from a severe lack of sleep!
Sleep disorders include problems falling asleep and/or staying asleep, interrupted sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Many times, we don’t discuss our sleeping problems with our physicians because of the short time spent with them and the need to discuss the current problem, such as a sinus infection, shortness of breath, symptoms of the flu, or other issues we are having. So, symptoms and signs that could be related to a sleep disorder may go unreported.
The most devastating sleep disorder that a person can have is the one that goes unreported, undiagnosed, and untreated, especially in a city where we have so many wonderful Sleep Disorders Centers and sleep medicine specialists.
So, how do you know if you may have a sleep disorder? Well, some of the common signs and symptoms to talk with your doctor about are:
Sometimes, you may not be aware of the things that you are doing in your sleep. So, have a bed partner, parent, friend, family member, or child observe you and describe what you do in your sleep.
On June 15th Dr. Robert Aguillard will present “When Snoring Becomes a Problem for You or a Family Member,” the second in a FREE series of sleep seminars sponsored by the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center.
Kristi Lester is the manager at the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.
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