Erectile dysfunction, snoring and 6 other symptoms of heart disease

Heart disease is a group of conditions related to your heart. Some are problems with the muscle itself, the valves, or how it beats, including cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. Others affect your blood vessels, like hardened arteries and strokes. Unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, and smoking are often what lead to heart disease. So can high blood pressure, infections, and birth defects. But other things might surprise you.

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1. Sleep Apnea

When your snoring is broken up by pauses in your breathing, your brain may not be getting enough oxygen. It will send signals to your blood vessels and heart to work harder to keep blood flow going. This raises your risk for high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, strokes, and heart failure. Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable.

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2. Dark Spot Under Nails

If you haven’t banged or hurt your finger or toe recently, little dots of blood trapped under your nail could point to an infection in the lining of your heart or valves, called endocarditis. You can also get these blood specks when you have diabetes, and people with that condition are two to four times more likely to have heart disease and strokes.

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3. Sexual Problems

Some troubles in the bedroom could mean you have heart disease and a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. Men with erectile dysfunction may have circulation problems related to high blood pressure or narrow arteries from cholesterol buildup. These blood-flow problems can also lessen a woman’s libido and ability to enjoy sex.

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4. Poor Grip Strength

The strength of your hand may tell you something about the strength of your heart. Research suggests the ability to squeeze something well means a lower risk of heart disease. If it’s hard for you to grasp an object, odds are higher that you have or could develop problems. (But improving your grip strength alone won’t necessarily make your heart healthier.)

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5. Dizziness

Lightheadedness is often a direct result of something wrong with your heart because it isn’t pumping enough blood to your brain. Dizziness could be a symptom of an abnormal rhythm, called an arrhythmia. Heart failure, meaning the weakening of the muscle, can also make you unsteady. Feeling woozy is one of the many lesser-known symptoms of a heart attack, too.

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6. Trouble Breathing

Feeling short of breath can be a symptom of heart failure, an abnormal heart rhythm, or a heart attack. Tell your doctor if you struggle to catch your breath after doing things that used to be easy for you, or if it’s hard to breathe while lying down. Have chest pain, too? Call for help immediately.

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7. Bleeding Gums

Experts don’t totally understand the link between gum disease and heart disease. But studies suggest that bleeding, swollen, or tender gums may lead to trouble with your ticker. One theory is that bacteria from your gums gets into your bloodstream and sets off inflammation in your heart. Having gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss, may also raise your chances of a stroke.

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8. Fatigue

Don’t always chalk it up to poor sleep. Heart failure can leave you tired and drained, because the muscle no longer pumps well enough to meet your body’s needs. Watch for other symptoms, such as coughing and swelling, too, since feeling wiped out and weak can be a warning sign of many different conditions, including anemia, cancer, or even depression.

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Chocolate, beetroot and more foods that are great for your blood pressure

A person’s blood pressure has to do with the person’s probability of being hypertensive or not. Usually hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. One of the tools your doctor may use to dial back your blood pressure is DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s not a diet but a way of eating. You cut back on salt, load up on fruits and veggies, and round out your meals with whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy.

smiling african nurse checking senior patient's blood pressure

A study shows that drinking two cups of a mix of three parts beetroot and one part apple juice can make your systolic blood pressure (the top number) go down in just a few hours. Men may see a bigger benefit than women. High systolic pressure can raise your chances of strokes. Cooked beets and beet greens, which pack lots of potassium, are a good alternative.

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Meanwhile, salt makes your body hang on to more fluid. That bumps up your blood volume and the pressure on your arteries, which make your blood pressure climb. Fill your plate with leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, kale, or collards for a potassium boost. The mineral helps flush sodium out of your body through your pee and relaxes your blood vessel walls.

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Then there are the pigments that give blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries their rich colours also come with a benefit for your blood vessels: anthocyanin. It’s a natural compound that can help artery walls become wider and more flexible to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.

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Calcium is another key player for good blood pressure because it helps your blood vessels tighten and relax when they should. Plain, low-fat yogurt is a good way to add calcium in your diet without too much added sugar or fat. And if you are looking for a flavour twist, throw some berries in for some natural sweetness and even more blood pressure help. Having about three cups of milk or yogurt would help you achieve the optimum level that works for your blood pressure.

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Another good source of calcium is bone-in fish, like canned salmon or sardines. Oily fish like mackerel and sardines also are flush in omega-3s, the fatty acids that boost health and help your heart. Studies on fish oil supplements show they may lower your blood pressure, especially if your high blood pressure is moderate or severe. Having about five ounces of fish, lean meat, and poultry is great.

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And the one you probably have all been waiting to read about, dark chocolate. Turns out that dark chocolate (at least 50% to 70% cocoa) can give you a boost of a plant compound called flavanol. As with garlic, this antioxidant can raise your nitric oxide levels and widen blood vessels. That can make your blood pressure drop a notch. It goes without saying, though, that a little bit of chocolate is all you need.

Danger behind blood pressure drugs getting recalled by authorities

Dozens of medications used to treat high blood pressure have been recalled over the past several months as federal investigators discover potentially cancer-causing impurities in them. These common prescription drugs include valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan in different combinations and from different manufacturers.

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Almost 60 million prescriptions were written for losartan drugs in 2016 and 14 million for valsartan or a drug that includes it. Another 3.6 million prescriptions were written for irbesartan that year. Here’s what you need to know. In each case, a recalled drug was contaminated with either N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Both chemicals are believed to cause cancer in humans. Research also suggests NDEA can cause liver and blood cell damage.

NDEA is used to make rocket fuel and can also be found in some food and drinking water, but at low levels. It can also be a created through certain chemical reactions and as a byproduct of industrial processes. While the FDA says the risk of getting cancer is very small, the amount of NDMA found in the recalled valsartan drugs exceeds acceptable levels. Records from drug manufacturers show the impurity may have been in the valsartan products for up to four years.

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The FDA estimates that if 8,000 people took the highest valsartan dose, which is 320 milligrams, from recalled batches every day for four years, there would likely only be one additional case of cancer over the life of those 8,000 people. For context, one in three people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

What to do when a blood pressure drug you are taking is being recalled

Common prescription drugs such as valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan which come in different combinations and from different manufacturers. There have been so many types of valsartan recalled this year that the FDA has created a website listing just for them. The FDA also announced a voluntary recall of losartan potassium or hydrochlorothiazide.

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Now, experts say anyone taking a recalled drug should continue to do so, but contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. The threat from the contamination may be less than the threat of not taking the drug. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you find an alternative. But at least one expert says the recalls are making it more difficult to find valsartan drugs that have not been recalled. And, he says, some blood pressure drugs not on the recall list have seen price increases as demand spikes.

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Dozens of medications used to treat high blood pressure have been recalled over the past several months as federal investigators discover potentially cancer-causing impurities in them. Irbesartan tablets were also recalled by the FDA this year along with valsartan and losartan. So next time you are getting a medication, be sure to note which one you are picking up and be on the safe side.

Here’s what happens when you eat banana everyday

Get Your Potassium in a Tasty Package

Potassium is a critical nutrient that is found in every cell of the body, used to generate the electrical charge that keeps cells functioning correctly. It also helps to keep your heart rate steady, triggers release of insulin to control blood sugar, and supports an optimal blood pressure. Healthy adults are encouraged to consume between 3,500-4,700mg of potassium per day, depending on lifestyle and other factors. An average banana contains about 450mg of this vital nutrient.

Support Healthy Blood Pressure

Most of us think primarily about sodium when we want to lower our blood pressure. In reality, it is a delicate balance of sodium and potassium that supports a healthy blood pressure. It’s estimated that fewer than 2% of all US adults meet the recommended daily intake of potassium, which means that this critical balance is way off for many of us.

Lower Cancer risk

Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies lowers cancer risk overall because these foods are nutrient-rich without the addition of troubling salt, refined sugar, chemical preservatives, and food dyes. Bananas in particular are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to strike down the formation of cancer-causing free radicals. Their high fiber content is also thought to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Boost Heart Health

Sodium also negatively affects the heart. Boosting potassium while reducing sodium is probably the single most important change you can make to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. One study has indicated that people who take in at least 4,069mg of potassium per day have a staggering 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease than those who consume less than 1,000mg. Bananas boost heart health in other ways, too: the fiber, vitamin C, and B6 in bananas are all critical to a strong heart.

AMAZING! See how exposure to blue light can help lower blood pressure

Latest research have shown that exposure to blue light can help lower a person’s blood pressure.

After 14 healthy men were exposed to blue light for just half-an-hour, their blood pressure levels were reduced just as much as with medication, a study found.

Blue light stimulates the release of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and therefore decreases blood pressure.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf exposed men all over their bodies to 450 nanometres of pure blue light for 30 minutes.

This is comparable to a daily dose of sunlight. Unlike UV rays, blue light does not cause cancer.

On a different day, the same men were exposed to blue light with a filter, which acted as the control.

The participants’ blood pressure, heart rates, blood flow and arterial stiffness were measured during the exposure and up to two hours later.

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and carried out in collaboration with the electrical goods manufacturer Phillips.

‘Exposure to blue light provides an innovative method to precisely control blood pressure without drugs,’ study author Professor Christian Heiss, from the University of Surrey, said. ‘Wearable blue light sources could make continued exposure to light possible and practical.

‘This would be particularly helpful to those whose blood pressure is not easily controlled by medication, such as older people.’

Blood pressure medication’s side effects can include diarrhoea, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and even erectile problems.