Tag Archives: Life changes

Healthy Lifestyle – 2015

MAKING CHANGES IN THE NEW YEAR

Lifestyle means different things to different people. In the past, a healthy lifestyle for hardworking farmers meant getting up before dawn to first milk cows before spending a long day of heavy labor in the fields. A breakfast of fried pork chops and eggs accompanied by homemade bread slathered with butter commonly provided the first meal of the day. A hard working man needed those heavy calories for energy to perform his daily job.

Scan old photos and it’s unlikely you’ll find a fat farmer. They ate food laden with fat and calories but they worked it off. They earned their calories. My grandfather was a farmer. I saw what he ate. My family enjoyed amazing meals, especially during threshing when friends helped friends and families helped families. Eating well was their way of life. For most of us it’s the same today—except now, many people don’t earn their calories.

The body is an efficient metabolic machine. When you eat more calories than you burn your body stores the excess as fat. So lifestyle today is different from the lifestyle of the past, and practices of the past are unhealthy today.

Exercise is the single most important activity that correlates with a long and healthy life. A close second are: your food choices and the volume of food you eat. We need to eat to live, not live to eat.

A new twenty year-long study of 70,000 women confirmed a healthy lifestyle could prevent 75% of heart attacks in young women. Death rates from heart disease in the US have slowly dropped over the past four decades, but in women ages 35-44, this is not true. The study published in the American College of Cardiology reported health habits make the difference. Women with unhealthy lifestyle choices began showing increased heart risks by age 47.

Below are seven top ways to improve your lifestyle and reduce risks for heart disease:

• Don’t smoke
• Consume a maximum of one alcoholic drink/day
• Maintain a normal body mass index (BMI)
• Watch seven or fewer hours of TV per week
• Exercise at least 2.5 hours per week (35 minutes per day)
• Eat a quality diet based on Harvard’s School of Public Health healthy eating plate.
• Have an annual physical that includes a lipid panel

Smoking: Quit. Ask your doctor for assistance if you can’t do it on your own.
Alcohol: Wine: 5 ounces, Liquor: 1.5 ounces, Beer: 12 ounces
Plate and portions: Healthy Eating
BMI: At the link below you’ll find health information and a BMI calculator to check your current BMI. For the calculation you need to know your weight in pounds and height.
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Make 2015 a healthy year for you and your family. Monitor your blood pressure, address your weight, add exercise every day and encourage others to do the same.

Betty Kuffel, MD and Bev Erickson

Lipstick Logic (TM)

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YOUR HEART: PREVENTING AND REVERSING HEART DISEASE

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH

Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease will be available this month. We are in the final editing process. To give you an early start on some of the book’s content, Lipstick Logic will be posting excerpts. Based on the latest evidence-based research, you will have the information and power to make changes to improve your heart health. 

Front Page - Kindle- 6x9Your Heart is a handbook on heart disease. Coronary artery disease is preventable. Caused by narrowed heart arteries it kills more men and women than any other disease including cancer. Because one-in-four women die of heart disease and two-thirds of them have no recognized symptoms, learning the information in this book may be life-saving.

The heart is the only muscle that never rests. You sleep, but your heart doesn’t. Its built-in nervous system electrically drives this biological engine every minute of your life. Your heart’s neurological pacemaker fires off an electrical impulse signaling the heart muscle to contract. As the muscle contracts, the chamber inside the heart becomes smaller. As the chamber reduces in size, it pushes blood through the aortic valve into the aorta and through the rest of the body.

The coronary arteries run on the surface of the heart and with each contraction, blood surges into them to supply the heart muscle with nutrients and oxygen. With each beat about 70 ml (2+ounces) of blood exit the heart. If your heart rate is 70 beats per minute, add it up—your heart circulates approximately 5 quarts of blood each minute. Without this mandatory oxygen distribution to the body life ends.

Along with transporting red blood cells that carry oxygen to all organs, the blood carries many other cells, proteins and factors needed to sustain life. This red super-highway carries wonderful nutrients to feed your cells. Swirling throughout the body are cells that fight infection, promote clotting and support life functions. The blood also carries factors, that in excess, cause heart disease and early death.

In developed countries throughout the world coronary artery disease (CAD) is the primary cause of death. It is a disease of affluence. We eat not only because we feel hungry, we eat for enjoyment, to pass time, and at social events we munch mindlessly. The fact is, we eat too much and it’s making us sick.

Coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in both men and women, is tied to obesity. Your food choices, portion sizes and exercise interplay, but CAD is more complex than these factors alone.

Understanding the anatomy, physiology and dynamics of heart function in health and disease, and actions both men and women can take to reduce related risk factors are provided in the book. The latest research information makes this book a up-to-date valuable reference and includes diagnosis, treatment details and dietary recommendations.

Betty Kuffel, MD

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!

Crisis Survival: Find a Passion

After interviewing many successful women who not only survived but excelled following personal losses, serious health issues or tragedies, I found their crisis recovery and survival methods carried hope and lessons of success for all women.

The process used by these women to gain strength and overcome adversity is three fold. Without being able to state the mental mechanics of their recovery, descriptions of their actions and end results are the same. Through their actions, they became survivors.

Immediately following a serious blow to their existence, that moment, in a heart beat, when everything changed, the initial response was shock and disbelief. Instead of withdrawing and giving up, three things occurred. Each woman was able to:

  • Acknowledge their nightmare as real
  • Compartmentalize the overwhelming grief
  • With time, deal with each facet and move on with a passion

Each woman innately used the protective mental process, “compartmentalization.” This adaptive mechanism blunts emotional overload. In other words, they placed their shock aside, hid it in a “shock box” and went on with life. By hiding their pain, an inner strength gradually developed allowing each woman to regain control and deal with each painful issue.

A loved one dies, a frightening diagnosis is delivered, financial ruin occurs or even blindness strikes. Some life events are so devastating they must be absorbed gradually. When the initial shockwave strikes, it is much like a rock being dropped in water. At first a large splash surges upward. The splash is followed by ring after ring of spreading waves. The waves move outward becoming smaller and softer. With their initial shock buried beneath the surface like the stone, these women were able to perform jobs and care for their families; they had to. Although the initial shock and pain of the spreading waves weighed heavily on their ability to function, emotions gradually stabilized and life order returned.

Each of us experience crisis; it is part of living. Some women survive, and in the end, excel. Others collapse in despair and never fully recover. Instead, they become victims of their experiences and stagnate in depression or self-destructive behaviors. You can take control and avoid becoming a victim of your grief. You have the power.

A broad recovery base developed for the ones who found the strength to survive. Many discovered new friendships and found a passion. “What is a passion?” When you find yours, you’ll know it. A passion is a focus of enjoyment. It makes you smile even when a blur of pain surrounds you. It provides a focus for your brain and meaning for existence. You can share it, but the passion is yours alone.

Does this mean finding a man? No. If your loss is related to a failed relationship, divorce or loss of a loved one through death, it is essential you become “whole” first. Before developing any new relationship, it is essential to recover and experience who you are first. You are not the same person as before the life-changing event. There is a new you, within you, a resilient woman able to succeed without an immediate mate. After an event, you are vulnerable and a target for many men for various reasons. Entering a relationship too soon will leave you muddled and searching.

A word of caution: Internet dating sites are not for everyone. There are many sordid tales of rape, violence and thievery. When you are ready, meeting someone through a group, such as a college class, a writers group or when learning a new skill, provides a start in a safe setting and in a situation where you already share an interest. After a failed marriage, I met my husband when taking sailing lessons. I have a close friend who met a man through a personals column. He was good looking, charming, employed and—a pathological liar. She nearly died at the hands of this violent man who is now in prison. She is very lucky to be alive and is truly a survivor.

Each of us is different. Women who have a passion before a life-changing event occurs find it helps them recover more quickly. If you need a focus, consider using your life skills to help others. You may find a niche volunteering or helping others less fortunate, such as reading to the vision-impaired, helping at a pet shelter, visiting the elderly or delivering Meals-on-Wheels.

Some women helped their recovery by taking a class at the community college to learn something new, like how to make cheese, weave beautiful pine needle baskets, make jewelry, excel in marital arts, or to write a memoir. All things you may not have been interested in previously.

Daily activity is important for mental and physical health. Consider walking or hiking with a group. Try reviving an old interest. It may set you in the direction of finding your passion in a place you least expect.

We all need something to energize daily life. For me, it’s watching the sun rise and looking at an image of my granddaughter’s beautiful face before I start my day of writing. Writing is my passion, but I love walking my dog Valkyrie, reading and learning new skills, such as computer applications like PhotoShop, which feeds my interest in photography.

We can all find strength in the words and life example of Helen Keller, who at 19 months of age, suddenly lost both hearing and vision. With these profound disabilities, she learned to speak, became a prolific writer and graduated with honor from Radcliffe College. Throughout her life, she worked incessantly for the improvement of others and became a symbol of triumph over adversity. She said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Studies show people who socialize, are physically active and engage their brains learning new things every day, live longer happier lives.

Search for your passion.

Lipstick Logic /Betty Kuffel, MD