Category Archives: Cardiovascular

Overcome and Control Sickle Cell Symptoms With What You Eat!!! What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

World Sickle Cell Day is June 19th, however September is National Sickle Cell Month. Sickle Cell Trait are mainly found in people of African decent in which the red blood cells take on the shape of a sickle which can produce an enzyme that helps the body to fight Malaria. The sickle mutation may have been naturally selected in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is endemic and one of the major causes of death. You can have the Sickle Cell trait and not have Sickle Cell Disease. When a person with Sickle Cell Disease suffers a “crisis” they report excruciating pain to the affected area(s). Some have become addicted to the medications which have been used to control their pain, and require higher amounts over time as the disease progresses.

During slavery there wasn’t any dilaudid, morphine, Demerol, or any of the other drugs that are used for the tx of pain in people with the disease, so how did our ancestors deal with symptoms you ask…well the climate played a vital role in controlling the symptoms. For one they were more active, direct sunlight also helps to prevent symptoms and most importantly diet. As we know I encourage the use of natural means to control whatever ailments you might face. The key to controlling these symptoms, are attributed largely to the foods that are consumed. Adequate hydration is a must… In addition, folic acid, L – Arginine, Nitric Oxide, and Vitamin C play very important roles. Sickle cell have a shorter life span than regular cells so intake of folic acid is essential. Folic acid helps to produce new red blood cells (RBC’s). L-Arginine is an amino acid that is brought into the body by the foods we consume, found primarily in dairy product (most Blacks are lactose intolerant, but there are many alternate ways to get this essential vitamin. L -Arginine is essential because it controls vessel wall elasticity and helps with the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide allows the muscles of vessel walls to relax and keeps cells from sticking together which helps prevent the blockage (sickle cell build up in the vessels) that causes the pain. Vitamin C protects your nitric oxide within the body from being destroyed.

Yes your doctor knows this, but wouldn’t inform you, because that’s money out of their and these drug companies pockets. I hope this information has helped in giving understanding of this disease more. I do teach my patients that have SCD this necessary information and they have reported less attacks and are now working on the opioid dependency they have developed. If you know someone that is afflicted with SCD please do share this info with them, and let them know that it does get better!

 

 

Sex Is Beneficial To Your Heart

Sex Fact:  On average we burn 144 calories per 1/2 hr engaging in sexual activities.  Having sex is both good for your heart and body in more ways than one.  It burns calories, and releases hormones that help to decrease stress which can be a factor in heart disease.
February is Heart Awareness Month.   The older we get, our chances of developing heart disease increases.   High cholesterol is not the only influential factor, genetics & lifestyle play a major role as well.   Wether you have heart disease, or want to prevent it, the key is to watch your cholesterol intake, and lower your “bad cholesterol” (LDL), this will significantly reduce your chance of having a heart attack.  Heart disease is a build up of cholesterol within the walls of your arteries.  Cholesterol can be monitored with blood tests, frequency of the test vary individually.  Cholesterol checks are done when you have your annual physical, if results are abnormal, your provider will suggest first to decrease your saturated fat intake, modify your food intake by adding more fruits and veggies weight management, & to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.    If your level is extremely high, your provider may start you on prescription medication.
Total Cholesterol:  Less than 200mg/DL
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) “bad cholesterol”:  Less than 100mg/DL
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) “good cholesterol”:  40mg/DL or higher
Triglycerides:  Less than 150mg/DL
Herbs and natural products have been around a much longer period of time than prescription meds.  If you’re reluctant to use prescription meds and prefer the natural route below are a list of natural products that can help to achieve lower cholesterol.  The AHA (American Heart Association) Go Red For Women movement and the latest movement for Hispanic women Go Red Por Tu Corazon is to bring awareness to women on how serious heart disease is.  Heart Disease is the #1 killer of men & women in the US. This is not surprising given the amount of fast food joints on the increase.  I’m not saying to totally rid yourself of fast food, if you can great!! If you’re eating it everyday, decrease it to once a week, you will see an improvement.   1 out of every 2 men, and 1 out of 3 women will develop heart disease.  The goal is to plan your meals in advance, this is a great way to monitor your food intake, it decreases your chance significantly from putting “bad food” into
your body.  It’s only right we take care of our heart.  A car with a battery whose terminals are crusted over can not be jump started until you clean it, the same with your heart.  You’ll have a better performance, and less chance of a break down once you  maintain it.  The key to a healthy heart is in your hands.
heart
  • B Vitamins, besides niacin, decrease the rate at which LDL is damaged through oxidation.
  • Chromium has been seen to reduce LDL levels and increase HDL levels.
  • Coenzyme Q10 has been noted to reduce total cholesterol serum levels.
  • Fiber can be obtained through fiber supplements or through foods such as whole grains and vegetables. It is thought that fiber binds to cholesterol in the small intestine and preventing cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream.
  • Garlic has been widely studies for its cholesterol-lowering properties.
  • Grape Seed Extract has been noted to reduce total cholesterol serum levels.
  • Royal Jelly has been seen to lower cholesterol levels by reducing some of the cholesterol-elevating effects of nicotine.
  • Soy has been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels
  • Vitamin C has been noted to slightly reduce cholesterol levels.