Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 8:48 PM
Steps You Can Take to Have a Healthy Heart and Prevent an Attack
Dr. Gerry Maddoux, a
cardiologist, reveals new research, tests and treatment options
for America’s #1 Killer: Heart Disease.
Maddoux has been studying
the heart for over 30 years. The received his doctorate degree from
the University of Oklahoma Medical School. He did his training at
the University of Colorado. The doctor is now working as an author
and a cardiologist in Lubbock, Texas.
decades ago, medical schools thought there were too many specialists.
They didn’t plan on all the treatment options we have today,”
Maddoux said. “Seventy eight million Americans are
turning 60 in the next few years. Our health habits are worse.”
Heart attacks are the
number one killer of Americans. One out of every two men will die
of heart-related problems. For women, the number is 1 out of every
2.4 females. However, women are dying of heart troubles at larger
rates than ever before. In recent years, women have been smoking
more and have become more obese. “It is no longer
a man’s disease,” the expert
The cardiologist says
Americans have eaten too much saturated fat over the years. Twenty
five percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome which later leads
to cardiovascular disease, a heart attack or a stroke. The French
were the first to notice this abnormality.
There are three risk
factors for getting metabolic syndrome. First, if an individual
is centrally obese in their abdominal region. Secondly, if the individual’s
insulin cells don’t respond properly, they could have the
metabolic syndrome. If an individual has high blood pressure or
high cholesterol, they could also have the disease.
Individuals that are
overweight are more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke.
“We have become an overweight nation,”
the doctor said.
There are a number of
things that people can to do prevent a heart attack. First, you
should stop smoking. In addition, you would want to begin an exercise
program. Start very slow and work your way up gradually.
The cardiologist recommends
getting a coronary calcium score. It is an inexpensive test that
will check the cholesterol in your heart muscle. If your score is
a zero, you have a very slim chance of having a heart attack in
the next five years. If it is higher, then a heart attack could
After you have completed
your coronary calcium score, the cardiologist recommends meeting
with your doctor. He says you should them begin an exercise program
that also includes a decrease in saturated fats. This would include
beef, eggs and cheese.
The expert strongly supports
the Mediterranean Diet. It is a combination of foods that include
fish, goat cheese, nuts, seeds and certain olive oils. It is a “heart
healthy diet.” Maddoux says individuals should eat
fish two times a week.
If everyone did moderate
amount of exercise and ate the proper food choices, it is possible
to add 10-15 or maybe even 20 more years to your life.
50, most everyone should take Omega-3s. We can’t make them
in our bodies. They stabilize heart rate, prevent plaques from forming,”
Omega-3s are found in
fatty fish but they can also be taken as a supplement. If an individual
does not have enough Omega-3s in their body, they are more likely
to develop dementia. There is a strong correlation between Heart
Disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-3s have many benefits
for the body. It will slow down the development of Alzheimer’s
disease. It will also provide another four or five years of time
for people who have already had one heart attack. Individuals who
have lots of Omega-3s are less likely to have a second heart attack
and also less likely to die of a heart attack.
Another important concept
is that of “telomeres.” Every chromosome in our body
has one at the end. When our body runs out of these enzymes, cells
will divide and get shorter. After a certain age, our body will
lose a part of the telomere. When a large part of the enzyme is
lost, an individual will die. The expert pointed out that moderate
exercise and a proper diet are not the only things that will determine
how long you will live. Time is also an important factor and telomeres
are the deciding factor.
Congestive Heart Failure
is another disease that affects a large number of Americans. Over
five million people in the U.S. have this heart problem. It is a
condition when water is trapped behind the heart. If it remains
there for a long period of time, it could end up in the patient’s
lungs and tissue. It will damage the heart muscle. The main reason
for CHF is because the left ventricle of the heart becomes stiff
and it needs to stretch out.
CHF occurs when the heart
muscles loose their elasticity. It increases the pressure that the
heart has to work to deliver blood. Patients who have CHF are more
apt to have water pushed into their lungs. The disease affects most
people between the ages of 50 and 60 but can go on from there.
There are three steps that are used to treat someone with CHF. First,
the patient must lower their salt intake. Secondly, they need to
take a diuretic or a water pill. The final step in the process is
by taking work off the heart with a medication. CHF can be treated
in these ways. However, it also can be deadly.
tests and treatments for heart disease
Research suggests that
stem cells may provide a cure to some heart problems. “If
stem cells grow more heart muscle, you would be on your way. Stem
cells could avoid death,” the cardiologist said.
There is a new test available
for individuals to check for heart-related problems. The test, called
the “C.T. Angiogram,” looks at arteries
without inserting a catheter. A doctor will inject a contract agent
to let blood vessels stand out during the examination. Maddoux says
this procedure is brand new and is not painful at all.
A new drug has been approved
by the FDA called “Statins.” The prescription will lower
bad cholesterol known as LDL. It will also treat inflammation of
the heart. “It’s a dramatic breakthrough. Bigger than
bypass surgery,” the cardiologist said.
Maddoux has written a
book “Your Heart: Treat It Like You Love It.” It is
basically an instruction manual for your heart. The retail price
is $30 and it is going on sale on Valentine’s Day, coincidentally.
For more information,
or the American