Category Archives: Heart Health

WOMEN’S HEART DISEASE

Front Page - Kindle- 6x9The first volume in our women’s health book series is in the final editing process. After many iterations, our cover has evolved to the attached image. We aren’t sure this will be the final but it’s close.

As many newly published e-book authors know, the old adage You can’t tell a book by its cover doesn’t hold true anymore.  The first glimpse at a book cover should be readable in postage stamp size. Subtitles can tell it all and many sources suggest using a subtitle to further identify your book contents to those people skimming titles on the many Internet sites available to all of us.

With expanding knowledge in the e-book, media and marketing world, it is difficult to keep up with the many options.

Blue Heron Loft has done a great job in creating this cover and my Eyes of a Pedophile cover.  http://www.blueheronloft.com

Your Heart is a complete handbook of the anatomy, physiology and dynamics of heart health. It provides detailed explanations of many types of heart disease, some specific to women, and choices you can make to maintain a healthy heart. By learning about a disease that impacts so many lives and then taking steps to improve your own cardiovascular health and the health of your family, who knows? – You may save your life or the life of someone you love.

Below is an excerpt from Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease:

DIFFERENCES IN THE FEMALE HEART

Early in life, male and female hearts look and act the same. With aging, gender differences in disease processes become apparent and often contribute to misdiagnosis in women. Men develop the usual type of arterial heart disease which narrows the large coronary arteries on the heart surface. Women often have narrowing of large coronary arteries like men, but females are also prone to developing coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) – a problem involving the small vessels called arterioles. In the face of inflammatory disorders that often affect women more than men, these tiny arterioles become stiff and unable to supply adequate oxygen to the heart muscle.

A number of health problems cause inflammatory changes: high blood-sugar, smoking and chronic infection. Additional factors like poorly controlled premenopausal hypertension, anemia and rheumatologic disorders also affect women and are thought to contribute to the development of CMD. However, the specific cause of CMD is still unknown and anyone can develop these changes. Coronary microvascular dysfunction cannot be treated with stents or bypass, but medications are beneficial and life prolonging.

Special tests are required to diagnose CMD. Women may have advanced microvascular changes and be at risk for a heart attack, yet a coronary angiogram — the best diagnostic evaluation for large coronary arteries — may appear normal. When the angiogram is normal but clinical suspicion for heart disease is high, a “Stress-Echo” is recommended to evaluate for CMD. Diagnostic methods are discussed in SECTION 15.

 Heart risks increase in menopause

Menopause is the biological time period when ovary function ceases. Ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone and a small amount of the male hormone, testosterone. At menopause, ovarian production of these hormones stops and hastens the occurrence of changes in the female body.

Not only are there cardiac changes. Around age fifty, when ovarian function naturally fades, most women begin recognizing other bodily changes as well. Some of these are: mood disorder, reduced libido, and hot flushes. But unknown to them, many women also begin silent internal vascular changes leading to heart disease. When premenopausal women have their ovaries surgically removed, the changes of menopause begin abruptly. This is referred to as “surgical menopause.” Starting at a younger age, problems related to estrogen deficiency take a toll on bone health making osteoporosis more likely. In all women lacking estrogen, skin changes become evident with vaginal tissue dryness. Hair may become thinner and skin less resilient.

In the past, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using estrogen, progesterone or a combination of the two, was recommended. However, based on information from the Women’s Health Initiative, as of May 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against HRT to prevent chronic diseases such as: heart disease and osteoporosis. This is based on longitudinal studies over many years, weighing risks and benefits of taking replacement hormones. Still, under some circumstances HRT may be appropriate. If you have concerns, discuss hormone replacement with your physician.

Coronary heart disease gradually increases in women after menopause but can affect younger women, too, including those who have functional ovaries and continue to menstruate. Women under age 55 may not recognize the symptoms of heart disease or don’t seek medical attention believing they are too young to have a heart attack. American Heart Association statistics show heart disease kills 16,000 young women between the ages of 30-55, each year.

Because heart disease in women is variable, women of all ages, not only post menopausal women, should pay attention to symptoms that could indicate heart trouble, such as: indigestion, unexplained dizziness or weakness, jaw aching, sweating and feeling short of breath.

Betty Kuffel MD

A HEART STOPS – A FRIEND DIES

 

Taking Control of Your Health

You know the feeling – the sinking, shocking feeling –  when you hear the news a good friend has just died of a heart attack. In disbelief, you think – it can’t be. She/he was so young – maybe even a year or two younger than you. Then you begin to consider all the issues that might have contributed: he did smoke; she had a stressful job; she was overweight. All of these are risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac deaths.

Do you have stress in your life? Is your blood pressure under control? Are you overweight? Do you exercise regularly? Do you know your numbers – your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride numbers? You need to know them.

Don’t let a heart attack happen to you. Learn to recognize the symptoms. Learn what you can do to prevent and reverse heart disease. Take control of your life.

Many sudden death heart attacks are preventable; heart disease is preventable. With proper interventions, arterial narrowing in heart arteries can be reversed.

Lipstick Logic is about to publish an up-to-date book on the links to cardiovascular disease and what you can do, right now–today–to start changing your habits and improve your chances of living longer and healthier.

This book called, Your Heart, will provide you with a complete and thorough understanding of how your heart works and what it needs to work well —and what causes it to malfunction. If you take the time to learn this critical information now, you could make changes that will save your life.

Your heart is the only muscle in your body that never stops working, until it stops, dead.

You have the ability to make important choices in your diet, your lifestyle and exercise regimen right now to decrease your risk of progressive artery narrowing. The book details how your food choices can clog your arteries and cause a stroke or heart attack. Don’t wait until a heart attack to make changes – learn what you can do now to prolong your life.

Just as it is for men, heart attacks are the number one killer of women. More woman die annually of heart attacks than breast cancer.

With Your Heart, you’ll have an opportunity to read a comprehensive heart book written for women by Betty Kuffel, MD, a doctor of Internal Medicine. Dr. Kuffel has spent much of her professional life in emergency departments where she saw far too many women arrive by ambulance in cardiac arrest.  Many times these women had not recognized their heart symptoms and had not consulted a physician. Had they known what this book can teach you, they might be alive today.  Although the book was written with women in mind, except for some heart diseases specific to females, most of the information also pertains to men.

With years of medical education, experience treating both men and women, studying and staying current on heart research and interventions, Dr. Kuffel is the ideal, highly qualified person to share this information. And importantly, she has dedicated her professional life to helping women improve their health.

Your Heart will become your “go-to” book for everything you want to know about your what makes your heart work well and what you can do to improve heart function to extend your life. This book includes the unique aspects of heart disease in women. Goals for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, food choices, exercise, and what you need to discuss with your doctor are all specified in this book.

Watch for blog up-dates and publication date of YOUR HEART.

Bev Erickson, Lipstick Logic Co-founder

WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH

Did you remember to wear red today?


The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women program to raise awareness for heart health in women began ten years ago. Even though 21% fewer women die from heart disease than before the program began, heart disease is still the number one killer of women. More women have become educated about heart disease and have taken action.

Lipstick Logic LLP was created with women’s health in mind and a goal to promote factual health information for women of all ages. Along with our blog and presentations, February is a big month for Lipstick Logic. We will launch the first book in the Women’s Health Series, Volume I, Your Heart to be followed soon by Volume II which addresses obesity and related conditions including Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome and how to combat excess weight. We will announce the release of Volume I in coming weeks.

In the meantime, consider the following behaviors found to correlate with reduced heart disease and cardiac deaths. From a study reported last year from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, only 0.2% of patients met all the criteria.

In 2010, the American Heart Association targeted the following positive behaviors. In the Perlman study, over eleven years, those who met 3 to 4 of the steps to better health, benefited by a 55% reduction in cardiovascular health as compared to those who met two or less steps.

Steps to better health based on the above study recommendations:LL - Your Heart Book Cover-5

Four Core Behaviors:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Maintain normal weight
  • Exercise frequently
  • Eat healthy food choices (foods low in fat, sugar and carbs)

In addition, meet at least two of the following:

  • Cholesterol below 200mg/dL
  • Blood pressure lower than 120/80
  • No diabetes
  • No heart disease

Start now! Don’t wait until you have a heart attack!

ARE COFFEE AND TEA HEALTHY?

 

HEALTHY CHOICES

If you are a confirmed coffee drinker like I am, it may be hard to convince you to buy a few green tea bags and join tea drinkers around the world. Below is an excerpt from our first volume of Lipstick Logic Health Series which will become an e-book available in February. As I am sure you know, heart disease in women is different in some aspects and can be more difficult to diagnose.

Volume One, Your Heart, covers the latest information on heart disease, interventions and lifestyle changes to improve health.

February is not only Valentines day, the first Friday, February 1st, is also the annual Go Red For Women Heart Association alert to educate yourself and live healthier and longer. If you would like to know when the book becomes available, please sign onto our website readership.

Coffee

Coffee is good for you, but like everything else you do, use moderation. Numerous studies show a reduction in Type II diabetes in those who drink either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. In one study of about 193,000 people, those who drank 6-7 cups a day were 35% less likely to develop Type II diabetes than those who drank less than two cups a day. Even drinking 4-6 cups per day lowers the risk.

Freshly brewed coffee contains antioxidants. Minerals including magnesium and chromium in coffee are involved in insulin function. Lowering risk for diabetes reduces the risks for both heart attack and stroke.

One would think the stimulant effect of coffee would be detrimental because caffeine can stimulate epinephrine and raise blood pressure. Studies show an actual reduction in heart rhythm disturbances.

Two studies showing favorable effects from coffee consumption are the long-term study on 83,700 nurses enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study which showed a 20% lower risk of stroke in those who drank 2 or more cups per day over non-coffee drinkers. In another study on 130,000 people who drank 1-3 cups per day, they were 20% less likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm issues than nondrinkers.

In addition to the above benefits, there are clear links to decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s dementia in coffee drinkers.

The downside is the things you add to coffee. Plain black coffee has fewer than ten calories. Add a teaspoon of sugar and you have added 23 calories. Adding half and half or liquid non-dairy creamer increases the calorie content by 50. Check the calories of what you add and see if you want to spend daily calories that way or learn to drink it black. Some coffee specialty drinks contain as much as 500 calories, a meal in itself. Also, if you are having daily barista coffee drinks, these hidden calories can jeopardize weight control goals and are expensive. Second only to crude oil, coffee is big business.

If you look around, may find a “new” coffee drink to interest you-tea made from coffee plant leaves. This drink was popular for a while in the 1800s but didn’t catch on in England. A recent article in the Canberra Times reports an Annals of Botany publication stated “Coffea arabica leaves have higher levels of antioxidants, which is thought to be beneficial in combating heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, than tea or coffee.” Coffee plant leaf tea is currently available in some health food stores.

Green Tea

Benefits of drinking green tea have been touted your years. Does this mean a confirmed coffee drinker should acquire a taste for tea? Maybe. It sounds bland, uninteresting and if it is calorie-free, how good can it be?

Green tea contains micronutrients called catchins. These are antioxidants which scavenge the free radicals we want gone. An animal study at McGill University in Montreal on one component of the catchins found it effective in treating prostate tumors. Human studies are hopeful. In the lab, the green tea substance inhibits cancer growth and kills abnormal cells. In a study involving 500 Japanese women with breast cancer, those who drank increased amounts of tea before and after surgery had lower cancer recurrence. Another cancer that may be suppressed is lung cancer. Twenty-two studies analyzed showed drinking two cups of green tea (not black) resulted in an 18% decreased in developing lung cancer. If you are already a tea drinker, but it isn’t green, give it a try.

Another healthy aspect of green tea and others from the Carnellia sinensis plant (Black and Oolong) is the content of bronchodilators. If you know someone with asthma, you’ll know what we mean. Theophylline and theobromine in tea both act on the lungs by relaxing tight airways allowing better airflow. Tea can help calm cough in mild lung conditions.

Some studies show green tea aids weight loss, reduces LDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels improving heart health.

If all these positive aspects of tea haven’t convinced you to drink a couple of cups a day, maybe this will: Green tea suppresses bacteria in the mouth and GI tract and may not only combat tooth decay, it might help infectious diarrhea. Because of its medicinal effects, lotions, bath salts and even a prescripted green tea ointment clears warts!

I’ll drink to that!

Betty Kuffel, MD

Helping Your Heart and Your Memory

Resveratrol: Its Beneficial Effects

Would you like to make a simple healthful change to benefit your heart? Resveratrol elevates HDL levels, the good cholesterol. Having a high HDL doesn’t mean you are protected against developing heart disease, but those with high HDLs appear to have reduced risk for coronary artery disease. Two human studies have also shown resveratrol can boost insulin activity in Type II diabetics and reduce harmful blood vessel disease leading to diabetic blindness. Another effect is the reduction in fat cell production of inflammatory compounds that contribute to heart disease and tissue damage associated with diabetes.

This natural product, obtainable in most pharmacies and health food stores, stimulates a family of sirtuin proteins in the body that are gene regulators. Metabolic and biological aging processes are affected by sirtuins, especially the protein SIRT1. Researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute found SIRT1 plays a roll in decreasing aging and aids learning and memory. Most of us could benefit from that!

Another protein resveratrol stimulates is CREB, which  strengthens connections between neurons. The CREB activity is increased by SIRT1.  There won’t be an SIRT1 pill coming soon, but understanding this relationship shows promise in understanding and reversing degenerative processes causing memory loss. Resveratrol in your diet may help your memory.

Diets rich in resveratrol protect the heart, increase fat burning and reduce weight gain—and in mice, extend lifespan. The compound is found in grapes, grape products, wine, peanuts and some plants. A trade product containing resveratrol called Reversitol comes in both pill and liquid forms. It tastes like grape juice and is easily tolerated as a food supplement.

Betty Kuffel, MD