Tag Archives: Heart

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Unhealthy Heart Signs!

Unexpected Signs of an Unhealthy Heart

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America, responsible for one out of every three deaths that occur. Preventing heart disease has been at the forefront of researchers’ agendas for years, and prominent investigations have revealed ties to physical activity, diet, and (unfortunately) genetics.

The risk of heart disease and other heart problems can be minimized by making lifestyle changes. Your diet, for instance, has an incredible effect on the health of your heart. Physical activity can keep your heart muscles in tip-top shape, just like it could any other muscle of your body. And not to get sappy on you, but even happiness can help — it actually decreases your heart disease risk as you age.

Even if you do everything in your power to prevent heart problems, they could still happen. Everyone is at risk — though some more than others — so knowing the signs and symptoms of an oncoming problem is crucial.

While most people know that heart palpitations, chest pain, and high blood pressure are signs that your heart is in trouble, there are other more subtle signs that could signal a risk.


This kind of coughing is more than just a nasty cold. If you experience violent coughing fits that don’t disappear within a few weeks, you should consult your doctor. Congestive heart failure can cause fluid buildup in the lungs, causing wheezing and coughing that doesn’t wane with time.


A staggering 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. There are ways to stave off depression, or at least help manage it, but no real cure has been determined. That being said, being depressed doesn’t doom you to heart disease. But possibly due to correlations involving other lifestyle factors, depression and heart conditions have been linked.


Arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm, can cause an odd and irregular flow of blood to the brain. Just like if you’d stood up too fast, this rush of blood to the head can cause disorienting dizziness that could even cause you to faint.

Erectile Dysfunction

There are dozens of health conditions that could affect a guy’s ability to perform in the bedroom. But since blood flow is crucial for things to work properly, an ineffective heart muscle could be the cause. In fact, erectile dysfunction is often the first noticeable sign of a heart problem, preceding the onset of other symptoms by approximately two years. If you’re concerned about your sexual health, you might want to read up on what bad habits could be lowering your sperm count.


In the days leading up to a heart attack, patients often feel exhausted and weak, despite having had enough rest. The feeling is much different than the slight fatigue you might feel at the end of a long workday — it’s chronic and it’s severe.

Lack of Appetite

Nausea or a lack of appetite is a telltale sign that something’s wrong. One of these underlying health problems could be a heart condition. If the aversion to food persists, ask your doctor to evaluate what’s going on. The sooner you catch the condition, the better chance you have of avoiding a heart attack.

Lack of Hair on Your Legs

Hair needs a consistent source of nutrients from blood flow to grow. Without those nutrients, the body simply stops growing hair. Your leg hair is likely to go first, since it’s furthest from the heart. But your head could be next.


Migraines are really quite common — and a mere headache is nothing to lose your head over. Twelve percent of the population experiences migraines, but a whopping 40 percent of patients with heart disease experience them. The research is still unclear as to why the correlation exists.

Muscle Cramping

Getting one too many Charlie horses? Don’t just attribute it to old age or weakness — excessive cramping could be a sign that something is really wrong. Muscle cramping has been shown to be a significant sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a buildup of plaque in the legs’ arteries. PAD is treatable, so catching the symptoms early is important for your lasting health.

Neck or Jaw Pain

You might think that chest pain was the first sign of heart problems, but that’s not always true. Unexplained pain in the neck or jaw is a potential sign of angina, a heart problem that occurs when the organ lacks oxygen-rich blood. Women are more likely to exhibit these atypical symptoms than men; but if you experience constricting pain on more than one occasion, it’s time to consult your doctor.

Shortness of Breath

Ever get winded after walking up a few flights of stairs? If so, don’t panic — that’s totally normal. But if you’re gasping for air after standing up too fast, walking a few blocks, or doing other minimally exhausting activity, you might want to check with your doctor. Your body’s ability to exercise without getting winded relies on pumping blood. Sudden shortness of breath could be a sign that something’s wrong.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for air. These breathing irregularities have been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks and heart arrhythmia. When people with sleep apnea experience an interruption in natural breathing, their bodies detect a lack of oxygen and force blood vessels to quickly tighten, causing a knee-jerk gasp for air. The stress on blood vessels could cause problems over time.

Swollen Feet

We’re not talking about a slight swelling you experience if it’s hot outside or you got hurt. The kind of swelling that signals heart failure is extreme and often results in visible lines from where shoes and socks have dug into the skin. The swelling is caused by a buildup of blood in your veins when they aren’t flowing properly.

Swollen or Sore Gums

Gum health and heart health are more correlated than you might think. A problem in the gums closely ties to a problem with the heart, since they contain some of the same bacteria. Periodontal disease is often a sign of underlying heart problems; both involve damaging inflammation as a significant symptom.

Unexplained Sweating

If you suddenly sprint to catch a bus or are in a humid room, sweating is nothing to sweat over. But odd, unexplained bouts of extreme perspiration are a really bad sign. Say you’re sitting in your chair and suddenly become drenched — the sweating could be an early sign of an incoming heart attack. Call 911 or head to your nearest hospital right away.

If you’ve experienced a heart attack recently, keep an eye out for signs that another might be on its way. And in the meantime, experts recommend you avoid these foods if you’ve recently experienced heart failure.

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Paleo Diet~Ooooh!

Risks for heart disease, study implies…

ANI | Aug 8, 2019

People who follow paleo diet

 were found to have twice the amount of a key blood biomarker that is linked closely to heart diseases, suggests a study.

The study published in the ‘European Journal of Nutrition’ examined the impact of the diet on gut bacteria.

Researchers compared 44 people on the diet with 47 following a traditional Australian diet. They measured the amount of trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO) in participants’ blood. High levels of TMAO, an organic compound produced in the gut, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

The controversial Paleo (or ‘caveman’) diet advocates eating meat, vegetables, nuts and limited fruit, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy, salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

Dr Angela Genoni, the lead researcher said that with the diet’s growing popularity, it was important to understand the impact it could have on overall health.

“Many Paleo diet proponents claim the diet is beneficial to gut health, but this research suggests that when it comes to the production of TMAO in the gut, the Paleo diet could be having an adverse impact in terms of heart health,” she said.

“We also found that populations of beneficial bacterial species were lower in the Paleolithic groups, associated with the reduced carbohydrate intake, which may have consequences for other chronic diseases over the long term.”

She said the reason TMAO was so elevated in people on the Paleo diet appeared to be the lack of whole grains in their diet.

“We found the lack of whole grains were associated with TMAO levels, which may provide a link between the reduced risks of cardiovascular disease we see in populations with high intakes of whole grains,” she said.

The researchers also found higher concentrations of the bacteria that produce TMAO in the Paleo group.

“The Paleo diet excludes all grains and we know that whole grains are a fantastic source of resistant starch and many other fermentable fibres that are vital to the health of your gut microbiome,” Dr Genoni said.

“Because TMAO is produced in the gut, a lack of whole grains might change the populations of bacteria enough to enable higher production of this compound.

“Additionally, the Paleo diet includes greater servings per day of red meat, which provides the precursor compounds to produce TMAO, and Paleo followers consumed twice the recommended level of saturated fats, which is cause for concern,” she said.


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Antibiotics~ Increases Risk For Heart Attack

Top 3 Antibiotics That Increase Heart Attack Risk

Certain antibiotics used to treat pneumonia, bronchitis and bacterial infections may increase the risk of heart attack, but only for people with underlying heart disease such as arrhythmias, structural changes to the heart, or heart damage from a previous heart attack. Read on to find out which three antibiotics pose the highest risk.

Cardiovascular death linked to macrolides

Macrolides are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, and are used to treat a number of bacterial infections. Under the umbrella of macrolides are the commonly prescribed antibiotics azithromycin, erythromycin and clarithromycin. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine studied more than a million cases of antibiotic-treated patients in 2012, and discovered some scary findings. 

The study found that patients taking azithromycin for five days were three times more likely to suffer a fatal cardiovascular event, compared with patients who took no antibiotics. Azithromycin, it seems, also caused irregular heartbeats in some patients. Similarly, erythromycin and clarithromycin were found to be linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, according to the study.

Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analyzed 33 studies involving more than 20 million patients between 1966 and 2015. Researchers compared patients treated with macrolides to similar patients treated with other antibiotics or patients who did not receive antibiotic therapy.

This time researchers examined each macrolide separately: azithromycin, clarithromycin and erythromycin. In this analysis, researchers found that each antibiotic was linked to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death or ventricular tachyarrhythmia (rapid heartbeat).

In those patients not taking macrolides, researchers found 80 cases of rapid heartbeat per million treatment courses. For those using macrolides, there were an additional 118 patients with rapid heartbeat or related sudden cardiac deaths per million treatment courses. The study revealed 36 additional sudden cardiac deaths from causes other than rapid heartbeat and 38 additional cardiovascular deaths per million treatment courses. 

“Given that macrolides are one of the most commonly used antibiotic groups and millions of patients are prescribed these drugs annually, the total number of sudden cardiac deaths or ventricular tachyarrhythmias and cardiac deaths may not be negligible,” said Su-Hua Wu, M.D., Ph.D., one of the study authors. “The heart safety of each macrolide needs to be better understood, to help guide clinical treatment decisions.”

FDA warning for azithromycin

In response to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a statement declaring they were aware of the cardiovascular deaths associated with azithromycin, in comparison to persons treated with amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin or no drug.

On March 3, 2013, the FDA made a follow-up announcement with a warning to the public that azithromycin can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.

“Health care professionals should consider the risk of fatal heart rhythms with azithromycin when considering treatment options for patients who are already at risk for cardiovascular events,” said the FDA. 

Azithromycin is commonly prescribed to battle bacterial infections like pneumonia, bronchitis and sexually transmitted diseases, and marketed under the brand names Zithromax, Zmax and a treatment course commonly referred to as a “Z pack.”

FDA warning for erythromycin 

Under adverse reactions listed in the FDA drug label, erythromycin — commonly prescribed for bacterial infections such as bronchitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and dental surgery — has been associated with a risk factor for sudden death and abnormal heart rhythms including rapid heartbeat.

FDA warning for clarithromycin

Clarithromycin — commonly prescribed for bacterial infections affecting the skin and respiratory system — is not only associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death, but also with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

The FDA drug label indicates clarithromycin is associated with prolongation of the QT interval (a heart rhythm disorder that can cause serious irregular heart rhythms) and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Additionally, cases of torsades de pointes (a specific type of abnormal heart rhythm) have been reported in patients receiving clarithromycin. Fatalities have been reported, say the FDA.

The bottom line 

In 2011, approximately 40 million people in the United States were prescribed azithromycin, according to the FDA. 

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