Frequently Asked Questions
- +WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT HEART DISEASE?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of approximately one million people each year.The cost of treatment for heart conditions in 2010 was a staggering $108.9 billion dollars. Although it has traditionally been considered a man’s disease, women account for slightly over one half of the cardiac deaths in the US and are more likely to die within a year of having a heart attack than men.
Not to worry, though, because here’s the good news: studies reveal that heart disease can be prevented and controlled by making some important but basic changes to your lifestyle. In other words, it is up to you to take charge of your own cardiovascular health.
Here are the best ways to prevent heart issues:
You don’t have to be a scientist to know how bad smoking is. This vice causes damage to nearly every major organ in your body and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Smoking harms your cardiovascular system by increasing the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease that causes plaque to build up in your arteries. The plaque eventually narrows your arteries and starves the body of oxygenated blood. When plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries, you develop coronary artery disease, a significant risk factor for heart attacks.
Even exposure to secondhand smoke increases your danger of coronary heart disease. Each year approximately 38,000 people die from heart disease simply by inhaling the cigarette smoke of people who live or work with them. If you have friends or family who smoke, insist that they refrain from smoking around you.
Obesity is growing global problem, the result of a movement away from plant-based food sources, an over-reliance on processed foods, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. It is also one of the top risk factors for heart disease.
Being overweight or obese places extra stress on the entire cardiovascular system, forcing the heart to work harder in order to reach the outer network of blood vessels. Intra-abdominal (belly) fat is especially dangerous because this type of fat interferes with the body’s ability to produce insulin and can lead to type 2 diabetes, another risk factor for developing coronary heart disease and heart failure.
If the circumference of your waist is larger than a certain amount—35 inches for a woman, 40 inches for a man—your risk factor increases. To prevent heart disease, it is important to keep your weight under control.
Opt for a Plant-Based Diet
Dean Ornish revolutionized the treatment of cardiovascular disease in 1990 by showing that a low-fat, plant-based diet could reverse heart disease without drugs or surgery. After one year of Ornish’s treatment, the x-rays of patients in the experimental group showed marked evidence of improvement; in fact, the patients found that their chest pain diminished after just a few weeks.
Eating plant-based foods helps to reduce blood pressure and high cholesterol, both significant risk factors for heart disease. The Framingham Heart Study, which spent decades compiling information about heart disease, found that no one with a total cholesterol level below 150 has ever had a heart attack.
Those who already have heart disease may achieve the best results by completely eliminating animal fat from their diet. For those who simply want to avoid getting heart disease, however, it may not be necessary to follow a vegan diet or even to become a vegetarian. You can reduce your risk factor by limiting processed food and commercial meat consumption while at the same time increasing the number of fruits and vegetables you eat to nine servings a day.
Get Regular Cardiovascular Exercise
Numerous studies over the last 40 years have shown that exercise plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health. Regular exercise lowers blood pressure, helps you lose weight, and brings down “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels while raising “good” (HDL) levels. Exercise also improves circulation and dilates blood vessels so that oxygen reaches all areas of the body more efficiently.
How much exercise should you get? The general consensus is that 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day is enough to reduce the risk of heart disease—the equivalent of burning 600-1,200 calories a week. For more information about exercise, read our article “How Much Exercise Is Too Much?”
Stress has long been noted as a factor in heart disease. In fact, you may have heard people speak of the “Type A” personality who drives him or herself to a heart attack by being aggressive, competitive, and ambitious. High personal drive, particularly in the workforce, is a leading cause of stress.
Keep in mind that what defines a stressful situation can be subjective, and you don’t have to be an obvious Type A person to experience chronic stress. Any traumatic incident, like divorce or a job loss, can be enough to flood your body with dangerous levels of stress hormones. The resulting inflammation is linked to heart disease.
Self-care aimed at reducing stress is essential for optimum cardiovascular health. Meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, therapeutic conversations with professionals, and good old-fashioned laughter can help you to develop a sense of inner calm.
Preventing heart disease is an integrative approach. Exercise promotes weight loss and reduces stress. A plant-based diet encourages you to consume fewer calories and to spend more time preparing food, offering you a chance to slow down and relax. And as you build these new lifestyle habits, you will feel better about yourself, spurring on the desire to make even more heart-healthy decisions. It’s a treatment that is good for life.
- +HOW DOES ACCUPUNCTURE ADDRESS PAIN?
It’s here, you’re appointment. It came a lot faster than you had hoped. The idea of tiny needles sticking out of your back is making you feel anxious, but the pain you’re dealing with is enough to motivate you to go through with it. You can’t delay any longer. It’s time to get an acupuncture treatment.
You lay on the bed, and it’s actually a lot more comfortable than you thought. Your doctor is friendly, and reassuring. You’re preparing for the worst, but then it happens and it’s not so bad! First one needle, then another, and you’re actually feeling relaxed.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine. It is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body involving various methods such as the penetration by thin needles or the application of heat or pressure.
Traditional acupuncture involves needle insertion, moxibustion, and/or cupping therapy. In Chinese medicine it is believed that stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians.
Acupuncture is used by alternative medical practitioners to address a wide range of conditions, but most often to provide pain relief. It is rarely used alone, but most commonly used as a complimentary treatment.
Acupuncture studies conducted in 2012 showed that the therapy had a positive effect on migraine and tension headaches. Similar studies showed that acupuncture provided positive results for those suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain.
What to Expect
The patient’s skin is sterilized with alcohol, and thin needles are inserted into key pressure points. Skilled practitioners are able to insert needles without causing pain. Patients are able to return to activities post treatment.
Contact us to learn more about our acupuncture and complimentary services. Schedule your appointment today! Don’t forget to Tweet us @dayton_dandes or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on health trends.
Adams, D; Cheng, F; Jou, H; Aung, S; Yasui, Y; Vohra, S (Dec 2011). “The safety of pediatric acupuncture: a systematic review.”.Pediatrics 128 (6): e1575–87. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-1091.PMID 22106073
Berman, Brian; Langevin, Helene; Witt, Claudia; Dubner, Ronald (July 29, 2010). “Acupuncture for Low Back Pain”. New England Journal of Medicine 363 (5): 454–61.doi:10.1056/NEJMct0806114. PMID 20818865
Lee, Courtney; Crawford, Cindy; Wallerstedt, Dawn; York, Alexandra; Duncan, Alaine et al. (2012). “The effectiveness of acupuncture research across components of the trauma spectrum response (tsr): A systematic review of reviews”. Systematic Reviews 1: 46. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-46
- +WHAT IS A NUTRITIONAL IV THERAPY?
Are you dreading work tomorrow? Does your schedule look hectic between PTA meetings, plays and sporting events? A Nutritional IV treatment may be just what you need to not only get through the day, but to enjoy it. Why struggle through the day, ingesting calories from sugary sodas or coffee beverages, when you could take a healthier approach to a quick energy boost.
Prescribing or suggesting vitamins has been a long standing practice of many in the medical profession. Most people are lacking of one or more essential vitamins, which they cannot get from their daily diet. A relatively new health therapy has taken the market by storm, with many celebrities and health personalities promoting its benefits.
Nutritional IV Therapy can provide tired, low-energy individuals with the pep they need to get through a busy work day or challenging day with the kids. Celebrities like Madonna, Simon Cowell and Cindy Crawford are just a few of the stars who use a nutritional IV for increased energy.
Nutritional IV therapy isn’t just for those looking for a quick boost or recovering from a long night out, IV treatments can also help those who continuously suffer from nutritional deficiencies or are nutritional deprived. A lack of B vitamins for example, can lead to headaches, weakness, tiredness, easy bruising and bleeding. Those suffering from cancers also benefit highly from Nutritional IV therapies.
10 ways to naturally lower your cholesterol
Dr. David L. Katz, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center and the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital, details how others can benefit from Nutritional IV therapy, “When older people can’t absorb vitamin B12 due to stomach atrophy, injecting the nutrient is the only way to ensure normal blood levels. Low levels of vitamin D or iron may require repletion by injection. And various conditions resulting in malabsorption, including surgical removal of portions of the intestine, may result in a need for nutrients by injection.”
Nutritional IV Therapies can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. Those who are attempting to recover from a tough cold or flu can benefit from the high doses of vitamins provided by an intravenous therapy.
Other conditions addressed include:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic depression
- Acute or chronic muscle spasm
- Migraine headaches
- Narcotic withdrawal
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis
- Respiratory problems
- Acute or chronic asthma
- Cardiovascular disease
- Congestive heart failure
- And more…
What’s contained in a drip?
The liquid found in your IV drip is a combination of vitamins including essential B vitamins, and vitamin C. Vitamins are provided in larger doses than one could receive from taking a supplement. Drips can also be customized based on a patient’s nutritional needs.
When seeing a doctor about Nutritional IV therapies it’s important to consider your vitamin levels. A quick blood test can determine your nutrient/vitamin levels. If you are high in certain vitamins, please inform your doctor as too much of certain vitamins can cause damage.
How much does a Nutritional IV drip cost?
At Dayton Dandes Medical Center we provide a wide range of services including Nutritional IV therapies. Patients are treated with the utmost care and personalized service. Contact us today to learn pricing and to take advantage of special offers.
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- +HOW CAN I REDUCE ACID REFLUX?
Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach splashes up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the gut and the throat. Lacking the protective mucous lining of the stomach, the esophagus is irritated by the acid, and the result is a painful burning sensation also known as heartburn or acid indigestion. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic or severe form of acid reflux that, if left untreated, can cause constriction of the esophagus and the development of a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus.
The Cause of Acid Reflux
The primary reason people develop reflux is not an overabundance of acid in the stomach—stomach acids actually decline with age while the incidence of reflux and GERD increase. Instead, reflux happens when the gastroesophageal sphincter loosens, allowing stomach contents to enter the esophagus. GERD is a lifestyle disease, affecting as much as 20-30 percent of the population in western nations.
Here are some common reasons why acid reflux occurs:
- When you are overweight, fatty tissue around the internal organs puts pressure on the stomach.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract, such as Crohn’s Disease, cause bloating that also puts pressure on the stomach.
- A sliding hiatal hernia occasionally pushes a portion of the stomach into the esophagus, loosening the sphincter.
- An overgrowth of the helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium in the gut.
Why Traditional Treatments Can Make the Situation Worse
The standard treatment for both acid reflux and GERD is medication that neutralizes, reduces, or blocks acid. However, these remedies are at best a band-aid. Long-term use of any drug that reduces acid, especially proton pump inhibitors which block the formation of acid, can actually do a lot of harm.
The stomach contains hydrochloric acid for a reason—to break down food and kill the pathogens that you ingest when you eat. Both of these things are essential to proper digestion. Low stomach acid can cause food to ferment in the gut rather than digesting properly, contributing to bloating and leading to even more reflux.
Moreover, when the stomach contents are no longer acid, the stomach becomes a ripe breeding ground for pathogens, in particular the H. pylori bacterium. Roughly two thirds of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori, which survives the acid climate of the stomach by burrowing in the mucous lining.
As long as bacteria remains at a low level, it generally does not cause damage, and many people live their entire lives with this type of bacteria in their gut and experience no symptoms. But when you lower the pH of the stomach, you inadvertently cause an overgrowth of H. pylori, which can lead to ulcers in the stomach and, in rare cases, stomach cancer.
Lifestyle Choices that Alleviate Acid Reflux
The first line of defense against acid reflux is maintaining a healthy weight. Stress, which can exacerbate reflux, should be avoided. Because cigarette smoking can also worsen symptoms, you should try to quit or at least cut back the amount you smoke.
The following foods can also trigger acid reflux:
- Coffee, both regular and decaffeinated
- Spicy and/or fried foods
- Carbonated beverages
Finally, when and how you eat is just as important. Gulping down food quickly and eating large meals, especially right before bedtime, significantly worsens reflux symptoms. Make sure you don’t eat too much in one sitting or within 3 hours of going to bed, and refrain from lying down right after eating.
Natural Remedies that Work
The following dietary supplements and whole foods have been proven to curb the growth of H. pylori, coat the lining of the stomach, and may help reestablish a healthy mix of gut flora.
Kefir: This fermented food contains millions of lactobacillus bacteria (“good” bacteria) and therefore reduces the amount of H. pylori bacteria in your gut to achieve a healthy balance. Moreover, if your stomach lining has been damaged from H. pylori to the point of ulceration, then drinking kefir during the prescribed “triple therapy” of antibiotics and acid blockers significantly improves the outcome of the therapy.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL): DGL is a licorice supplement from which the potentially dangerous compound glycyrrhizin has been removed, rendering it safe for consumption. DGL coats the lining of the stomach and provides relief from acute reflux symptoms. It generally comes in tablet form, which you chew twenty minutes before eating a meal and/or at bedtime. Once your symptoms are under control, you can slowly taper off use.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Despite the fact that apple cider vinegar is acidic and treatment for acid reflux requires neutralizing the stomach acid, apple cider vinegar works by adjusting the body’s pH level in order to produce an alkaline condition in the stomach and thereby relieve acid reflux.
Ginger Root: Ginger has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years to soothe the digestive tract by minimizing acid in the stomach, as well as assisting proper digestion with its antibiotic elements. You can purchase ginger tea or simply place a slice or two of peeled ginger root in a teapot filled with boiling water to enjoy the benefits of this cleansing and soothing beverage.
Slippery Elm: Slippery elm, available in capsules or a tea formula, comes from the inner bark of a tree that grows in North America. The pulverized bark consists of mucilage which encourages mucous production and soothes the stomach lining against overproduction of acid. Sprinkle the powder form on porridge or yogurt, or mix it with boiling water to create your own tea.
When you have chronic or severe reflux, life can be pretty miserable. But the condition is also a wake up call to alert you that your body is out of balance and that you need to take a good look at your lifestyle choices. Making some adjustments can not only cure your heartburn, but also improve your overall quality of life.