Treatment and Surgical Procedures for Cardiovascular Diseases

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Published on: August 21, 2017

To treat different cardiovascular diseases, the person is advised by the cardiologist to make changes in diet and lifestyle, to take medications based on the heart screening tests, to monitor blood pressure everyday, and to undergo surgical procedure if needed and as advised by a heart surgeon.

Lifestyle Changes

For some people in Singapore who were able to get diagnosis and treatment early, changing bad habits may be the only solution to the problem.

1. Diet. Changes in the diet can improve most symptoms. That doesn’t mean you can no longer eat your favorite food, but you have to do everything in moderation. Go for balanced meals that provide your body with all the nutrients needed without relying on supplements. You might have to lower the sodium, solid fats, refined grains and sugar content in your food, however.

2. Drinking. This refers not just to alcoholic beverages but to sugary drinks as well. Drink less soda and always opt for water instead. Even juice drinks should be consumed moderately. As for alcoholic drinks, one glass a day should be enough to help your body.

3. Weight. Being overweight or obese increases the chances of getting heart diseases. To recover from illnesses, you will need to cut down on your calorie intake by eating small portions of food and eating a balanced diet. If you’re having trouble changing your diet, talk to your heart doctor about recommending a dietitian to help you lose weight safely. Your cardiologist will also advise that you need to have a BMI less than 25 as well as a waistline not more than 35 inches.

4. Exercise. Even if you start watching your diet, you cannot maintain a healthy weight if you just sit the whole day. You need to be more active or else even the best cardiologist in Singapore can’t help you. But before you start working out, ask your cardiologist while doing a heart screen test at Gleneagles in Singapore about the correct exercise plan that is safe for you. Some people are not supposed to exert a lot of effort and walking might be the only exercise they need.

5. Smoking. Most doctors would advise patients to quit smoking as the first step in relieving symptoms not just in cardiovascular diseases, but in many other illnesses as well. People who are also exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk.

6. Stress. Stay away from people and things that can cause stress. If you’re stressed, your body will try to compensate by over-eating and drinking. Talk to your heart doctor if you are having a hard time managing stress at work and home. You might be showing signs of depression too, which will only aggravate your heart disease.

Medications

The following might be prescribed for your cardiovascular disease.

1. Beta-Blockers. These medicines will prevent the adrenaline hormone from acting on your heart. The effect is that your heart rate slows down, allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently without over-working.

2. Calcium Channel Blockers. These are used to help the muscles in your heart contract and pump by preventing the movement of calcium into the heart and blood vessels. The effect is that the blood vessels are able to relax.

3. Antiplatelent Agents. One example of this is the Aspirin. It will help stop blood clots from forming. The antiplatelet agent will prevent the blood platelets from sticking together.

4. Anticoagulants. They are called blood thinners because they decrease the coagulation of blood in the blood vessels that could cause a stroke.

5. ACE Inhibitors. These are medications that lower the levels of angiotensin II so that the blood vessels can expand. The blood is able to flow freely without obstruction in the blood vessels.

6. Vasodilators. Your heart doctor in Singapore might refer to this as nitrates. They help your blood vessels relax so that the heart isn’t over-worked.

7. Diuretics. Your body needs to get rid of excess amounts of sodium and fluids. Diuretics can help by removing the buildup fluids and disposing them through the urine.

8. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. These function differently from ACE inhibitors. ARBs prevent angiotensin II from affecting the blood vessels and the heart so that the blood pressure stays normal.

9. Digitalis Preparations. It is prescribed by the cardiologist for people with irregular heartbeats and heart failure. It is supposed to increase the force of your heart’s contractions.

10. Angiotensin-Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitors. This is a combination of ARB and a neprilysin inhibitor. It works by breaking down the blockages in the arteries and reducing the salt retention.

11. Combined Alpha and Beta Blockers. This is used on patients during a hypertensive crisis and to prevent heart failure.

12. Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines. The cardiologist might prescribe one of these three; statins, nicotinic acids or cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

Surgical Procedures

Before a surgical procedure is recommended, the cardiologist will need to assess your overall health using various heart screening tests. If lifestyle changes and medication can’t repair the damage to the heart or the blood vessels, the cardiologist will refer you to a heart surgeon.

1. Bypass Surgery. This will help improve the flow of blood to the heart for people with coronary heart disease. The heart surgeon grafts a healthy artery or vein so that it goes around the blocked vessel.

2. Heart Valve Repair/Replacement. The heart surgeon will recommend this to people with damaged valves by replacing the valve with man-made or biological valve, inserting a catheter in a large blood vessel to the heart or by making a cut in the chest and left ventricle.

3. Heart Transplant. This is the removal of the person’s heart so it can be replaced with a healthy heart from a donor.

4. Angioplasty. This procedure attaches tubes and a balloon to the arteries so that the blocked blood vessels are widened. Sometimes a catheter with a laser tip is used instead. Atherectomy is also a similar procedure which uses a rotating shaver on the catheter instead of the laser.

5. Transmyocardial Revascularization. The heart surgeon makes an incision on the left breast so that the heart can be drilled.

Habits That Damage Your Teeth

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Published on: February 15, 2017

Besides not brushing and flossing everyday, there are activities that can damage your teeth. Instead of listing down how to take care of your teeth, here is a checklist of activities that will surely damage them.

  1. Too Much Bleaching

It’s understandable that you want your teeth to look pearly white, but excessive bleaching without proper advice from the dentist can result to tooth sensitivity. Also remember that whenever you brush your teeth, use soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every four months.

  1. Using Teeth for Other Things

Don’t use your teeth to open packs and bottles. It can cause chips and cracks. Your teeth is for chewing, but don’t chew objects that aren’t food like your pen when you’re studying or your nails when you’re nervous.

  1. Nail Biting and Thumb-sucking

Biting your nails can damage your teeth and may even break it. Your hands might also be dirty. Kids should not suck their fingers. This will cause changes in the structure of the jaw or teeth. Grinding your teeth should also be avoided. However, some people grind their teeth when they sleep, so it’s advisable to use a mouth guard.

  1. Brushing Too Often

Don’t brush your teeth right away after consuming acidic food and drinks. It can erode the enamel which is a protective layer that covers each tooth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice a day.

  1. Tongue, Cheek and Lip Piercings

The metal might chip or crack your teeth and damage your gums. You will also feel a tinge every time the metal makes contact with hot or cold food or drink. If you have one, make sure to clean your piercings every day. Braces and dentures should also be cleaned every day.

  1. Too Much Sugary Food

Eating too much sweets can cause tooth decay. You don’t have to stop eating your favorite dessert, but eat a healthy diet overall. Eat more food that have lower starch and sugar content.

  1. Soda, Citrus Juices and Other Drinks

Drink in moderation. This includes not just soda, citrus juices but also sports drinks, fruit juices, coffee, and wine. Too much sugar and acid can damage your teeth. Coffee and wine can stain your teeth as well. Don’t chew the ice in your drinks because they can crack your teeth.

  1. Too Much Eating

During meals, more saliva is produced. The acids that stick to your teeth are washed away by the saliva. So instead of several snacks within a day, stick to three proper full meals.

  1. Smoking

Smoking can stain teeth and cause bad breath. It will even cause teeth to fall out especially when you develop gum disease. Don’t forget the risk of getting cancer and other health problems as well.

  1. Not Using a Mouth Guard

There is a risk of injury whenever you play sports so it’s advisable to wear a mouth guard. You can ask your dentist if you want a mouth guard that fits you perfectly.

Why a Balanced pH is Crucial to the Health

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Published on: March 22, 2016

Many people do not prioritize the body’s state of acidity/alkalinity level, but a balanced pH plays a crucial role in keeping our system healthy. Most Singapore doctors stress the importance of balanced pH level in the blood as it protects us from development of ailments. Diseases and disorders cannot develop in the system if the body has balanced pH level.

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What is the Right pH?

The pH we are talking about means potential of hydrogen, which is the measure of the alkalinity or acidity of body tissues and fluids. It is measured on a scale of zero to 14; with zero as the most acidic and 14 the highest alkaline level.

A pH level of seven is perfectly neutral, and a slightly higher level is the healthiest pH for a human body. This usually happens when you’ve had healthy alkaline water to drink in Singapore to maintain your body’s alkalinity. Optimally, we want to achieve a pH of 7.365. Though this fluctuates throughout the day, the normal range is between six and 7.5.

What Affects the Body’s pH Level?

Normally, it is our kidneys that maintain our electrolyte levels. When exposed to acidic elements, the electrolytes combat the acidity to neutralize it. High amounts of acid will force the body to rob minerals from cells, bones, tissues, and organs. Those that were robbed with minerals will now lack in resources to properly dispose waste or oxygenate the system. Absorption of vitamins is compromised by mineral loss, pathogens and toxins start building up, and the health of the immune system is set aside.

What Causes High Acidity to the Body?

High acid levels, or acidosis, are caused primarily by stress and poor diet, but more specifically by the following:

• Use of drugs and alcohol
• Excessive use of antibiotic
• Chronic stress
• Lack of exercise
• Over-exercise
• Pollution
• Herbicides and pesticides
• Artificial food colouring and preservatives
• Excessive hormones from, beauty products and food
• Excessive meat in the diet
• Exposure to radiation and chemicals from mobile devices, computers microwaves, and household cleansers.

Pollution

If intake of the mentioned items above is not moderated, high acidity in the bloodstream over a long span of time can lead to cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

How Proper pH Can be Achieved?

Although there are so many sources of toxicity and acidity in the environment, it is the unhealthy diet that contributes the most to unbalanced pH. Processed food has tons of sodium chloride that can cause the blood vessels to constrict and generate more acid internally. Grains, whole or not, also create high amounts of acid. Likewise, too much animal meat is responsible for the build up of sulphuric acid in the bloodstream.

As we can see, almost everything we eat on a daily basis produces certain amount of acid. So, the real challenge here is taking enough alkaline-producing food rather than too much acid intake.

One of the best ways to achieve proper alkalinity level of the body is to drink alkaline ionized water, which has a pH level anywhere between seven and 10. The most natural source of alkaline water is a flowing spring that naturally becomes alkaline by getting its minerals as it passes through the rocks.

You may also use ionizing water filter to ionize tap water as flowing spring isn’t accessible if you live in the middle of Singapore. This is the most preferred way by many health conscious individuals since there are ionizers available in machine form and portable form, such as tumblers and pitchers.

How Alkaline Ionized Water Helps?

While many questions the ability of Alkaline water in terms of promoting better health, alkaline ionized water is a better way to hydrate the body because of its smaller molecular size, aiding better absorption. It reduces free radicals that cause cell damage and signs of aging. Other reported benefits include improved mental clarity, potential weight loss, more energy, and increased bone strength.

Having too much acid in the body can weaken all the systems. However, with the help of alkaline water, the systems don’t have to borrow minerals from other parts of the body. If you think you consume high amounts of acid from your day-to-day food intake, make sure to drink ample amount of alkaline ionized water to compensate with the acid level you acquired.

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What You Need to Know About Insulin Pump Therapy  

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Published on: September 17, 2015

 

There are Singaporeans who suffer from diabetes. Any illness will bring only pain and discomfort but we just do not give up. We have to strive against the illness – no matter what it is if we want to continue living.

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There is good news for diabetics. There is a research that revealed insulin pump therapy is more effective that our usual insulin injection. In fact, the insulin pump therapy reduces 50% of the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.

The study was conducted by Sahlgrenska Academy. Researchers observed 18,168 Swedish patients with diabetes type 1 illness from 2005 to 2012. 2,441 of the respondents utilized the insulin pump therapy while the remaining used the traditional insulin injection – multiple times a day.

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The study revealed that the pump users significantly lower their risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases than those who were taking daily doses of injection. The two therapies are effective however, in insulin pump, it accompanies repeated blood glucose monitoring and broad patient training. If we want to know more of their findings, we can visit the BMJ as it is published there.

Diabetes is an illness to be reckoned with. It is important that the patient as well as their loved ones seek medical attention every now and then to monitor their progress. We have to be vigilant and remember that we can outdo it with the help of diet and exercise. For more information about our therapy choices, we have to seek our physicians and be knowledgeable of our illness – that is one way of fighting it.

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6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

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Published on: September 8, 2015

Although eating healthy and exercising right are essential in achieving your weight loss goals, conditioning your metabolism will also help big time with your weight loss plan. Interested yet? Then, here are six simple ways on how you can rev up your metabolism and burn more calories naturally.

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  1. Eat Breakfast. Other than being the most important meal of the day, eating breakfast is what jumpstarts your metabolism as the day starts. Your metabolism slows down as you sleep, and only eating your first meal in the day can rev it back up. So ensure that you eat healthy foods every morning.

 

  1. Ditch the Diet Soda. While it can temporarily quench your thirst, drinking artificially sweetened drinks can negatively affect your body’s normal metabolic response to sugar. So next time you dine out, opt for water or fresh juices instead.

 

  1. Opt for Small Meals. Another easy way to boost your metabolism is to eat five to six small meals, instead of three, each day. Not only will it get your metabolism working, it’ll also prevent you from becoming so hungry and overeating. For a good mid-morning snack idea, opt for a yogurt and fruit or some trail mix.

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  1. Skip the Alcohol. Having a night out with friends? Then we suggest that you skip on the cocktails. Drinking alcoholic beverages only causes you to burn lesser fat and more slowly than usual. So make a pass on these drinks if you can, or just limit yourself to one shot per drink.

 

  1. Get Enough Rest. If there’s something that could mess up your metabolism, it’d be lack of sleep. According to one study, people who fail to get more than four hours of sleep at night experience more difficulties in processing carbohydrates.

 

  1. De-Stress. A research found that people who experience more stress tend to have a lower metabolism rate, as well as a harder time burning fat. The good thing is, you can avoid it by simply taking a time to get out of your office and take a walk. Not only will this allow you to breathe fresh air, it’ll also help in decluttering your mind and reducing your stress levels.

Just like exercising and eating healthy, revving up your metabolism early in the morning can really help you in achieving your weight loss goals. So make sure that you give your metabolism some good boost using these easy, but effective ways.

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Coping with Alcoholism

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Published on: November 27, 2013

Alcoholism is a problem worldwide. Men and women alike are prone to alcohol addiction. Here in Singapore, there are many people who are seeking help for their alcohol addiction. In fact, SAA (Singapore Alcoholics Anonymous) are holding a number of meetings every day to cater to the needs of alcoholics.

If you are an alcoholic, getting out from that misery is not easy. You have to be strong and positive to get out of that situation. Alcoholism is caused by many interrelated factors like the environment, emotional stability, genetics, etc. Drinking is prevalent in many cultures but the real challenge is figuring out the difference of social drinking and problem drinking.

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How will you know if you are an alcoholic? You will know it when you repeatedly and continuously neglect your duty at work, home or school. If you repeatedly and continuously lie to your family and friends to conceal your habits is another sign. If you notice that your drinking destroys your life, relationship and work, you have a drinking problem. It needs to be addressed right away. Coping up with alcoholism is challenging but you can get through it if you are serious. Here are some things that you need to do:

  1. Accept that you are an alcoholic. Some people are in denial. If you are in denial, you cannot get help because you think that you are okay. It is important that you accept your situation first before taking actions.
  2. Listen to friends and relatives. If you are an alcoholic, your friends and family will notice first. To you it is just social drinking but it is more than it. When you decided to change, it is important that you listen to your friends and relatives.
  3. Get help. You need other people who can understand you and not judge you. You can get that from support groups. Here in Singapore, you can go to SAA. They will give you support, understanding and acceptance.
  4. Learn to control yourself. Everything will be in vain if you do not control yourself. You have to take away all bottles inside the house so it won’t remind you. If there are drinking sessions with friends, do your best to avoid it. The success of this endeavour will depend on you.
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