Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stopping the Heart Disease Pandemic

This coverage is not sanctioned by, nor a part of, the United Nations General Assembly.

From Medscape Cardiology

Stopping the Heart Disease Pandemic

John (Jack) C. Lewin, MD; William Zoghbi, MD

I am generally not a fan of the United Nations however I believe this a noble cause to support, for those of us with Pre-diabetes and diabetes. Heart disease is the major cause of death and disability especially for those people with type 2 Diabetes.
I have attached one part of the discussion that I think is of particular importance to each of us

"Dr. Zoghbi: Believe it or not, I think, it is simple. If we address the very basic principles of the [known] risk factors in these noncommunicable diseases, and they share the whole spectrum of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, [then it is] very simple. People were having a problem adopting them, and they're not high tech.
We're not talking about imaging. We're talking about healthy lifestyles -- exercise, not smoking, and knowing what your blood pressure is and making sure that your blood pressure is controlled, which also means a healthy diet, lower salt intake, and an overall healthy lifestyle. ."

I believe the solution for solving this problem lives in each of us and not in the high tech devices and procedures that get much of our attention. I also believe that we are very fortunate in the United States and many other countries to have access to the very skilled cardiologist and cardiovascular surgeons when needed .

I would like to spend the next week discussing each of the recommendations above and search for simple things that we can do each day to help us develop a permanent life style change that will help each of us avoid seeing a cardiologist or heart surgeon. I will start with an easy one first.
Stop smoking
smoking is not smart . It accelerates aging , causes wrinkles, heart disease , cancer and chronic lung disease.
My first patient( the cadaver )mentioned a few days back had scared lungs and a soft ball size hard mass in his chest that could have been prevented by just not smoking.
He could probable been out enjoying life with his family if he had chosen not to smoke . His decision to smoke allowed him instead, to provide valuable anatomy lessons for 4 medical students.
As interns and residents I picked up have some of the unglamorous nick names such as the Pink Puffers and the Blue Blotters . I learned a lot about shortness of breath, ventilators and the need for oxygen from the smokers in our clinics.

As a practicing physician I saw the deadly impact this habit has on patients and there families. I saw people decide to quit on day and just do it and never smoke again. I saw people quit to late and still suffer the damage done by smoking. I also came to understand that;

The same person who decided to smoke is the same person who has to decide to quit .

To smoke or not to smoke is your choice. Make the right choice and enjoy the gift of life.
-------------------------- Dr. Calder

Next . What is a healthy diet and why can't we stay on it ? We will start with the American Diabetes Association ideas and expand from there.

Here is a little sample " Although numerous studies have attempted to identify the optimal mix of macronutrient( carbohydrates, proteins and fats) for meal plans of people with diabetes, it is unlikely that such a combination of macronutrients exist." Stay tuned and let's try to make this dry subject interesting.
Have fun Dr . Calder

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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD