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Heart Health

Heart Health

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QuestionDate Submitted
Caffeine Impact on Heart Rate
My husband and I both have a large black coffee every day. After drinking his coffee, my husband's heart rate is elevated for hours. I don't see any increase in my heart rate from drinking coffee. Is this due to metabolism? Should my husband drink decaf?
Symptoms of Narrowed Carotid Artery
What are the symptoms of a narrowing carotid artery in the neck?
Diet and High Blood Pressure?
I have borderline high blood pressure. How much, and how quickly, does diet affect blood pressure? Would having two slices of bacon raise my blood pressure that day?
Heart Healthy Enough for Sex?
How do I know if my heart is healthy enough for sex?
Cholesterol Too Low?
We hear about high cholesterol, but can someone have cholesterol numbers that are too low?
Safe from Heart Attack?
I have really poor health: obesity, severe Vitamin D deficiency, bone and joint problems, shortness of breath upon exertion. I do have perfect blood pressure and good cholesterol. Am I safe from a heart attack?
Heart Disease Symptoms in Men and Women
Are symptoms of coronary artery disease the same in women and men?
Test for Aortic Valve Stenosis
My 86-year-old mom just passed away from aortic valve stenosis. Should I contact my doctor and have my heart checked out? I've heard that most heart exams are geared for men more so than women. What should I do?
Stress and Heart Palpitations
I have been having palpitations and skipped heartbeats for several months. My EKGs and blood work are normal. Is this all stress and anxiety?
Heart Disease and Vitamin D Deficiency
I read recently that a Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to increased heart disease. Should I be tested for this deficiency, and if I'm low, would a supplement take care of this increased risk?
What is Statin Therapy?
What is statin therapy and what are the side effects of this drug?
Do Kidney Stones Increase Heart Disease Risk?
I’m a woman who gets frequent kidney stones. I was concerned to hear that this raises the risk of heart disease. Why would this be? Is it also true for men? Is there anything I can do to reduce my risk?
Heart "Flipping Around"
I just e-mailed my doctor about the feeling that my heart is flipping around in my chest. I feel like I have a heart problem. I had a 24-hour Holter monitor and they said it looks fine. But I think something is wrong. Should I see a cardiologist?
Best Cold Medications for High Blood Pressure Patients
What is a good over-the-counter chest cold congestion medicine? What product is okay for high blood pressure patients?
Can Gum Disease Cause Heart Disease?
I’m in treatment right now for periodontal disease. My dentist told me recently that gum disease can be associated with heart disease. I had never heard of this before. Is it true?
Does Diabetes Increase Risk of Heart Disease?
I’m a woman (51) who has diabetes. I read recently that women with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing heart disease than those who don’t have it. Why is this, and what can I do to protect myself from heart problems?
Should I See a Cardiologist for Heart Palpitations?
Are heart palpitations a serious symptom for a 62-year-old in good physical shape? I’m very active and ride a bike daily. My PCP did a Holter exam and ECG, and suggested I see a cardiologist. I want to cooperate but I think this may be a minor concern.
Heart Disease and Air Pollution
Living in smoggy air in Northern California has certainly made my asthma worse. Could it also be doing any damage to my heart?
Heart Palpitations at Night
I’m a 42 year old woman. I run three to four times a week. My blood pressure is around 115/74. But I have horrifying heart palpitations at night. I’m exhausted. I did a 24-hour Holter monitor and am waiting an event monitor.
Heart Palpitations and Chest Pain
I‘ve had an eating disorder for 10 years. One of the main problems that seem to continue is heart palpitations, which I’ve had daily for three months. Tests (Holter, ECHO, EKG) show that I have palpitations, but no other problems. I also have chest pains
What is a Cardiac Fat Pad?
I had a chest x-ray because of allergy symptoms. The doctor who read the x-ray said because of a cardiac fat pad in my right lobe, it was hard to tell if I had pneumonia. What is a fat pad, is this something that should concern me, and can I exercise?
Does Salt Raise Blood Pressure?
Does salt raise blood pressure?
Cause of Spikes in Blood Pressure and Heartbeats
My son (20) is leaving for boot camp soon. He's developed a rapid heartbeat during his work outs and sudden spikes in blood pressure. He had an EKG and all was normal. They thought it was stress. But the condition is not gone. What are the next steps?
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms and Treatment
When is blood pressure too low? Also what are the signs of low blood pressure, and should it be treated?
Should I Be Worried About Heart Palpitations?
I’m a woman (52) who’s had heart palpitations for 20 years. Now they happen more often. I get 10 – 50/day where I feel my heart skip around. I’ve been to cardiologists and they find nothing wrong and say it’s just PVCs and PACs. Should I worry?
Sudden Cardiac Death vs. Heart Attacks
I recently read a scary statistic that said two-thirds of women who die suddenly of heart disease report no previous symptoms (as compared with half of men.) So if there are no symptoms – how would we know if a heart attack is coming on?
Ignored Signs of Heart Disease
What are the most ignored signs of heart disease?
Heart Arrhythmia Felt in Neck
I have heart palpitations, and sometimes I think I can even feel them in my head and neck. Could that be possible? The palpitations seem to get worse if I drink too much coffee or wine. Are there other things I should be avoiding?
Do Statins Increase Type 2 Diabetes Risk?
I read that taking rosuvastatin (Crestor) may increase the risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes. Is this true for other statins? I’m a 55-year-old woman who is taking a low dose of Lipitor. My last fasting blood sugar showed that I’m at a pre-diabetes stage.
Is Vitamin D Okay to Take?
I read on your site that calcium supplements are not advisable as it contributes to heart disease, but calcium ingested in food doesn’t. I’m reluctant to take supplemental calcium, but have continued to take Vitamin D on the days I'm not in the sun. Your
Should High Blood Pressure Medication Be Changed?
I take medication for high blood pressure. My current numbers are 138/87 to 140/94. Is that okay or should my medication be changed? It’s been over a year since I started taking them.
Heredity and Heart Disease
A number of my relatives have heart disease so I’ve been told by my doctor to watch what I eat, exercise, etc. My question is: why does one's heredity put a person at extra risk for heart disease?
Cold Weather and Heart Disease
My husband has heart disease. I heard that someone with this condition needs to be careful in the cold weather. We’ll be vacationing in Lake Tahoe soon, so I’d like to know how cold weather affects the heart. Should we cancel the trip?
Heart Attack vs. Severe Anxiety
Awhile ago my husband complained of a pounding heart. He said it felt like it was thumping against his chest. Tests showed that he was fine and it was probably caused by stress. How can we tell the difference between severe anxiety and a heart attack?
Controlling PSVT Symptoms
I have occasional rapid heartbeats, which my doctor recently diagnosed as PSVD. But I have no other heart conditions. So he did not suggest any type of treatment except to avoid certain things like alcohol. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Chest Pains During Exercise
I have pains in my chest when I exercise. Is this a warning symptom of some blockage in my arteries? Are there other symptoms?
Second Degree Heart Block Treatment
My heart has been skipping and I’m feeling dizzy. I went in for testing and was diagnosed with second degree heart block. The doctor said that if it goes to third degree, he might suggest a pacemaker. What can I do to avoid moving to third degree?
Treating High Cholesterol
I have high cholesterol, low HDL, high LDL and high triglycerides. I cannot take statins. What is the best course of action for me?
Heart Attack Symptoms Differ Between Men and Women
How do the symptoms of heart attack differ between men and women?
Control of Ventricular Tachycardia
I was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia a few years ago. I can usually keep it under control, except when I over exercise, or if I’ve been stressed. Then my heart rate goes really up. Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?
Heart Disease and Hearing Loss Connection?
I recently read that hearing loss is more common in people with heart disease or those who’ve had a heart attack. Why would this be?
Coronary Blockage Treatment Options
If you have been diagnosed with a coronary blockage, what treatment options are available?
Monitoring Heart Palpitations
I have heart palpitations and have been tested with the 24-hour monitors. But of course my palpitations never seem to happen when I have the holter on. So how can my problem be diagnosed?
Pacemaker and Exercise
I had a pacemaker inserted a year ago. It keeps dropping down and looks like the wires are about to pop out. I’ve asked my cardiologist about it several times and he said it’s fine and should not drop anymore. I exercise 5x/week. Is that too much?
Regaining Weight After Heart Surgery
My husband had triple bypass surgery last August and in December a defibrillator was implanted. He’s having problems gaining weight. They said that he can eat anything as long as he limits salt. Can he eat high-fat meals?
Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease
What is your opinion of chelation therapy for heart disease? Am I at any risk if I try it for my hardening of the arteries?
Mitral Valve Prolapse: How Often to Recheck?
I'm a healthy female (34) with mitral valve prolapse and mild/trace regurgitation. What are the recommendations on checking this condition? I’m told it’s a benign condition but my cardiologist checks on it biannually. I’ve read 1-3 years is adequate.
Angina vs. Heart Attack
Recently I was having pressure in my chest and pain in my neck and arms. I thought I was having a heart attack. The ER doctor said I have angina. How is angina different from a heart attack?
"Broken Heart Syndrome" - Stress Cardiomyopathy
I’ve been through some bad loses this year (relationship, foreclosure) and have had chest pain and shortness of breath. My doctor said I had stress cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome). What are the other symptoms, is it dangerous, will I get it again?
Stopping Atrial Fibrillation Medication
I've been on medication for atrial fibrillation for a number of years. Would it ever be okay to discontinue the medication to see if my arrhythmia is no longer there?
Pacemaker and Diving
I'm a scuba diver who just had a pacemaker implanted. Is it safe to continue to dive? I have normal heart muscle function.
Minerals and Heart Palpitations
Does a lack of minerals cause a quivering heart?
Thyroid Disease and Heart Disease Correlation
Thyroid disease and heart disease have a high correlation. Why don't heart patients routinely get an endocrine work up?
Antioxidants and Heart Health
Can antioxidants help prevent a heart attack?
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Tests
My primary care doctor detected an abnormal heart rhythm and wants me to see a cardiologist for an EP study. What is an EP study and what is the cardiologist looking for?
Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol
I'm looking for a natural way to lower my cholesterol. Besides watching what I eat and exercising, is there anything else, like dietary supplements, that would work?
Stress and Heart Health
I have my heart disease under control with diet and medication. Can work stress have a negative impact on my heart? If so, what can I do?
Chest Pain Causes
I'm having chest pains, but all my tests related to the heart have come up clear. What could be the causing this pain?
Pacemaker vs. Defibillator
What is the difference between a pacemaker and a defibrillator? How reliable are they?
Pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium
How does the sac that surrounds the heart become infected?
Sudden Cardiac Death: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms
What is sudden cardiac death and who is at most risk? Are there any signs or symptoms?
Pericardial Fat Pad on Heart
An MRI test showed a fat pad on the tip of my heart. Will this go away by itself?
Statin Drugs: Recognized Side Effects
I've been taking statins to lower my cholesterol for years. Most leave me extremely fatigued and even foggy in my thinking. Is this a known side effect of statins? Are some statins less likely to cause these side effects? What about Crestor?
Enlarged Heart and Sexual Activity
Can you participate in sex with an enlarged heart?
Tips to Lower Cholesterol
What's a bigger dietary cause of high cholesterol -- animal protein like eggs and meat, or high-sugar foods and simple carbs? Seems like I'm hearing a lot more about the harm of sugar these days.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure?
I’m a 41-year-old woman who exercises regularly and eats healthy food. High cholesterol and high blood pressure run in my family. My blood pressure is borderline high. Are there natural ways to lower blood pressure without medications?
Leg and Toe Cramps
What does it mean when I keep getting cramps in my toes and occasionally my calves? I have a heart condition and was wondering if the cramps could have something to do with poor circulation?
Detecting Heart Palpitations
How do I know if I'm having a heart palpitation? What do they feel like?
Mild Mitral Valve Regurgitation
I'm a healthy male (52) who had a normal stress echocardiogram. However it showed mild mitral regurgitation and trace tricuspid regurgitation. I do have chronic gingivitis and my mom died following a mitral valve replacement. Should I see a cardiologist?
Heart Attack: Partner's concern about recovery
My husband had triple bypass open heart surgery with a terrific outcome. Since his heart attack I’m not sleeping well. My doctor prescribed sleeping pills which I don’t take in case he needs me. What can I do to feel more confident that he’s doing ok?
Symptoms of stroke
How do I know if I have had a stroke?
Maximum heart rate at age 50
I’m a healthy 50-year-old woman. My resting pulse is about 50-60. When I run on the treadmill at a six mph pace for two miles, my pulse will get to 172. I get 35-40 minutes of cardio five times a week. Is 172 too high?
Heart Health and Stroke Screenings
I see screening offers for heart health and stroke risk. They offer stroke, vascular disease and heart rhythm packages, as well as tests for abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease. Are these reliable?
Alcohol Consumption and High Cholesterol
How much does alcohol contribute to high cholesterol, and can I drink while taking Lipitor?
Pulmonary Edema: Causes of edema
Q: If you are a cardiac patient, what does it mean when your ankles are swollen? How much is too much, and for how long? Could this be diet, meds, or both?
Low Heart Rate and Dizziness
What can cause dizziness and light-headedness? I have low blood pressure and sometimes a heart rate in the high 30s. Is this normal?
White Bumps on Eyelids: Cause of bumps?
I get these little white bumps around my eyes/eyelids that come and go. I know these are common, but I heard they could actually be a sign of high cholesterol?
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