Doctor Squirrel

Dr. Cadigan (aka Dr.Squirrel) Cares About Your Heart…Literally

James Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack last week at the young age of 51 years old. As tragic as his loss is heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States. Dr. Cadigan teaches us below how to prevent heart disease so something like this doesn’t happen to you or your family!

Greeting beautiful people! Can you believe that summer is here! The light, the smells, the wanderlust that stirs the heart, the destination doesn’t matter. All of this makes us feel good! We want to feel good and we want to be in good health; however, a third of all Americans have high blood pressure and most do not have it under control. It is a tragedy that uncontrolled hypertension is probably the biggest public health problem in the USA according to Dr. Anthony Komaroff, professor of Medicine at Harvard.

WELLNESS: Hypertension/high blood pressure is the high pressure of the force of blood against the vessel walls and pushes your heart to work harder, greatly increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and premature death. But hypertension causes few symptoms, so it often goes unnoticed. The CDC found that 39% of the more that 76 million people with high blood pressure do not know they have it. Our goal is to maintain a blood pressure of less than 120 (top number) over less than 80 (bottom number). Hypertension is more likely as we age, gain weight, and become sedentary.

How to control it: reduce salt in your diet to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day (about a half teaspoon). Avoid high-cholesterol foods, such as burgers, cheese, and ice cream. Oops, I know that this is summer, so as with all guidelines, once in awhile is acceptable, but we are talking about the big picture and a major lifestyle. Eat 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Fish, whole grains and low fat dairy are good for lowering blood pressure. Get more exercise, at least 30 minutes of activity a day and more, if possible. Quit smoking if you smoke. Limit alcohol and manage stress better. If you are overweight, aim to lose at least five to 10 pounds. If needed, take blood pressure medicines.

FITNESS: Regular exercise has more power to protect your health than any medicine ever invented. We need to think of exercise/activity not as exercise but something we do for our quality of life. Do not exercise to lose weight for that is the wrong reason. We usually fail miserably. Exercise doing what you like doing! Good health is our goal. Do what is fun for you. Start small and find what works, then you can build on that.

Dr. Squirrel Tip:

~Kisses Dr. Squirrel


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