HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Woman looking in a mirror

Fountain of Youth: Could a new pill prevent aging?

February 22, 2018

Anti-aging pills are not new in our lifetime. Most of them have been around even more than some of us have. Perhaps the one thing that keeps getting better is the hype and marketing around such pills. Increasingly, these pills promise youthfulness and other transformative anti-aging effects on the human body. It is a known fact that preventive health is good business and those who can find a magic pill first stand to make billions. The latest addition to the anti-aging race is Lenny Guarente, a prominent player in the gerontology field. Until recently, he was the head of MIT's Paul F. Glenn... Continue Reading

changing a flat car tire

The Effects of Stress on Heart Health

February 20, 2018

Whether it's an unexpected bill, a flat tire, or an argument with your spouse, stress is a regular part of the human experience. Do you pop your top or stay super chill when you're confronted with stressful issues? Are you someone who strives to take everything in stride or do the veins in your forehead start to pulse at the mere hint of an obstacle in your path? How you deal with stress can affect your quality of life and shorten your lifespan. Everyone experiences and reacts to stress in different ways. Of course, sustained levels of stress and how you deal with it can adversely affect your... Continue Reading

Doctor performing a catheterization

What is Door-to-Balloon Time & Why is it Important?

February 15, 2018

At least one million Americans suffer from heart attacks every year, and quite a few don't survive. One of the biggest barriers to survival is getting the right treatment promptly. Fortunately, recent developments in emergency care for individuals suffering from a heart attack has helped to improve overall patient outcomes. The number of deaths from heart attacks has been reduced as well. Door-to-balloon time has played an enormous part in reducing the number of heart attack fatalities. What is Door-to-Balloon Time? Door-to-balloon time refers to the time it takes for a heart attack victim to... Continue Reading

rows of assorted pastries

4 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Increases Heart Disease Risks

February 13, 2018

Adding sugar to food makes food sweeter and tastier. Sweet treats are delicious, but consuming too much sugar on a regular basis is not healthy. In fact, eating too much sugar can be downright deadly. Even people who are not obese are at higher risk of developing heart disease due to increased sugar consumption. Limiting sugar intake is the best way to ensure heart health. Here are four reasons why eating too much sugar increases your risks of dying from heart disease: Sugar Increases Your Blood Pressure Yes, sugar may be worse for your blood pressure than salt. Open Journal, an academic... Continue Reading

stent next to a pen tip for size comparison

Cardiology 101: An Overview of the Stenting Process

February 8, 2018

A stent is a slender, metal mesh-like tube placed inside the coronary artery. The device is designed to act as a scaffold or support to prevent the vessel from narrowing. This helps to improve circulation to the heart and reduces pain caused by angina. In many cases, stenting is used along with balloon angioplasty. Most patients undergoing balloon angioplasty have stents inserted as well. Stents can be used in many parts of the body—not just the heart. Stents can be placed in the carotid arteries, aorta, and peripheral arteries in the legs. What Happens Before a Stenting? This procedure is... Continue Reading

Different Types of Stents

Cardiology 101: Understanding Heart Stents

February 6, 2018

Stents are slender, expandable, metallic mesh tubes that act as scaffolding to maintain blood flow in the artery by preventing arteries from re-narrowing upon completion of the balloon angioplasty procedure. Stents help reduce the risk of heart attack and are much easier for patients to go through as opposed to other procedures such as cardiac catheterization. Who Requires Stents? Individuals with a buildup of plaque in a localized area of an artery may benefit from a stent. Your doctor will let you know if you're a candidate for this procedure. What Happens Before the Procedure? Your... Continue Reading

Physician checking a patient's heartbeat

Goals for the care of Cardiovascular Disease

February 5, 2018

Great strides have been made in the last several years for the care of those with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Immediate action to enter emergency medical care continues to be the number one goal to save lives. Even 15 minutes can be the difference between death and disability, and returning to a fulfilling life. The second goal is primary and secondary prevention of the causes surrounding CVD and reducing these risk factors. Goal #1: Immediate Action Two of the most common reasons of cardiovascular emergencies are heart attack and stroke. The cause for a heart attack or stroke is similar... Continue Reading

Congestive Heart Failure can make even light exercise exhausting.

Cardiology 101: What is Congestive Heart Failure?

February 2, 2018

If you've been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), you may be feeling apprehensive. CHF can be a scary and confusing diagnosis. It can be caused by genetics, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, infections, or heart attack. The good news is Congestive Heart Failure doesn't have to be a death sentence. By altering your lifestyle to minimize the impact CHF has on your health you can take back control of your life instead of letting CHF define you. What is Congestive Heart Failure Your heart's job is to pump old, oxygen-poor blood from your body and to the lungs for oxygenation,... Continue Reading

Woman with hat pulled over her face

5 Ways to Brighten the Winter Blues

January 23, 2018

As the popular winter song says, "Oh the weather outside is frightful!" For many people the short days, overcast skies, and cold temperatures not only mean more time indoors but a significant change in their mood as well. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a widely accepted name for a form of depression that's related to the change of seasons. The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 6% of people will experience SAD, while 14% of people experience a milder form of SAD, often called the "winter blues." In addition to medical care, there are several healthy ways to ward... Continue Reading

Teens and Drug Misuse

January 22, 2018

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week ® (NDAFW), January 22-28, 2018, is a national health observance linking teens to science based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs! Over 18.5 million persons 12 and older have misused prescription drugs in the past year. When asked how they obtained prescription opioids, a majority of the 12th graders surveyed said they were given the drugs or they bought them from a friend or relative. These statistics are particularly worrisome as youth who misuse prescription medications are more likely to report use of other drugs. Monitoring the Future is an... Continue Reading

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