You scraped your knee a few days ago. Now your cut is surrounded by angry, red skin that’s sore, warm to the touch, and emitting a gross amount of pus. Are you suffering from an infected wound? Chances are the answer is “yes.” Here’s what to … Read More
An enlarged heart is just what the name suggests?a larger-than-normal heart. Enlarged heart is not a condition, but is rather a symptom of another condition.
The heart can become enlarged from a disease that makes it pump harder than normal, such as high blood pressure or heart valve disease. The heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, extra work makes it grow bigger. But while big muscles in the shoulders or thighs can be beneficial, an overly muscular heart is dangerous.
Having an enlarged heart makes you more likely to develop blood clots. These clots can block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, causing a heart attack. If a clot travels to the brain or lungs, it can similarly cut off blood to these crucial regions, causing a stroke or pulmonary embolism.
When the heart has been overworked for a long time, it will weaken to the point where it can?t pump out enough blood to meet the body?s needs. This condition is called heart failure, and it?s very serious. Sometimes an enlarged heart can interrupt your normal heart rhythm to the point where it triggers cardiac arrest?when the heart suddenly stops working normally.
Treatment for an enlarged heart depends on the cause. Medicines such as beta-blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and diuretics lower blood pressure to reduce the workload on the heart. Anticoagulants prevent blood clots to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. And anti-arrhythmics keep the heart beating at a constant rhythm. Some people may need surgery to fix a valve or bypass a damaged artery, or to get an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to keep the heart in rhythm. If heart failure progresses to the point where other treatments don?t help, a heart transplant may be necessary.
Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products, are cornerstones of the heart- and blood-pressure-friendly DASH diet. Not only are they generally low in sodium, but many of them are good sources of other nutrients that are associated with lower blood pressure:
- Potassium: Good dietary sources include … Read More
The sensation of twitching while sleeping is a common occurrence, but many people who experience sudden but brief muscle movements at night aren’t even aware that they’re happening. Sometimes, however, the twitching or jerking of your hand or foot—a condition known as sleep myoclonus—is enough to … Read More
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system that measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood-sugar levels. The lower a food is on the GI, the lower the effect on your blood sugar. Low-glycemic foods also can reduce your risk … Read More
Alternative treatment options can be a good adjunct to medication when it comes to managing arthritis symptoms. Some of the options address physical causes of pain, but don’t forget that chronic pain is complicated.
In arthritis, tissue inflammation, bone erosion, and nerve impingement can combine to “rewire” your nervous system, making … Read More
Have you ever been warned that you should cut bread out of your diet because it's full of carbohydrates, makes you gain weight, and is bad for your health? If you’re a bread lover, sourdough bread may be a great option.
Sourdough bread's health benefits make it an … Read More
Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take a deep breath while you count to five, then count to five again as you exhale. Go ahead and try it right now for six breaths. It feels good, doesn’t it? Here’s what happens when you do easy breathing exercises:
- First, you … Read More
There are several reasons why certain foods are good for your cholesterol and your heart health. Some have direct effects on reducing LDL and/or triglycerides. Others are more filling and, if they’re low in calories, will help with weight loss. Plus, by filling up on these healthier options, you’re not … Read More
The “abs” get most of the attention in advertisements for strength devices, and a big waist is something almost everyone tries to avoid. But the first sign of weak core muscles is poor posture—both standing and sitting. Other signs are back pain and muscle weakness.
The American Physical Therapy Association … Read More
SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. (Find a full discussion of SIBO symptoms by clicking here.)
An increasingly recognized problem, SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally occupy the colon migrate to the Read More