Chat about heart health with Leann Dickson

February 13, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Leann Dickson, a register cardiac rehabilitation nurse, will chat at noon Tuesday about keeping your heart healthy. Dickson is from Lawrence Memorial Hospitals Cardiac Rehab unit.

Moderator:

Welcome. This is Dennis Anderson, managing editor of the Lawrence Journal-World. I will be moderating today's chat with Leann Dickson. Leann is a registered nurse in Lawrence Memorial Hospital's Cardiac Rehab department. Hi Leann and thank you for joining us today.

Leann Dickson:

Thank you for inviting me today for this program.
We are celebrating heart month this month here at LMH.
This week is the National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week recognition.

Moderator:

Let's start with our readers' questions.

kbritt:

What can I do to stay heart healthy?

Leann Dickson:

First off start by seeing your doctor especially if you have not exercised regularly in the past.
Then the doctor can discuss with you your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels.
These are important numbers to have under good control.
Then to start a safe exercise program it is good to start slowly and progress safely.

Moderator:

This question comes via e-mail:
If one works out on an elliptical for 20 minutes 3 days a week and does pilates 3 days a week, is this enough physical activity to lower the risk of heart disease or stroke?

Leann Dickson:

Yes, it is a great start . You are doing a good thing by changing the type of exercise you do. You are doing cardio three times a week and then core development which is great.
The ultimate goal is to do some exercise everyday.
You may want to increase your time on the elliptical to 30 min. workouts.
The intensity level on the cardio should be at a "somewhat Hard" level where it is comfortable, yet mild shortness of breath with the activity.
Pay attention to your heart rate with exercise.
Stop is you have any pain with any exercise or dizziness.

mpaget:

I'm a 30-year-old woman. At what age do I need to start worrying more about my heart health?

Leann Dickson:

Everyone should be concerned about their heart health at any age. We know that Coronary Artery Disease develops slowly over time. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle throughout your life. By exercising, maintaining your BMI of 25. (Normal weight), not smoking, stress management, following a healthy diet plan and regular doctor checkups will help to prevent early development of heart disease. It is especially important to know your family history of early heart disease. If this is a risk factor for you be sure to have your cholesterol level checked as well as the LDL and HDL and discuss these results with your doctor.

kbritt:

What are the signs of a heart attack?

Leann Dickson:

Signs of heart attack may vary from person to person but the classic signs and symptoms are:
Discomfort in the center of the chest, a shortness of breath, Pain in the shoulder, arm, neck,jaw or stomach The sudden onset of nausea, cold sweats, or light-headedness

kbritt:

How is heart disease related to diabetes?

Leann Dickson:

Diabetes is a significant risk factor for Heart Disease.
In the United States 7% of the population have diabetes.
Adults wtih diabetes have a 2 to 4 times higher rate of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke account for about 65% of deaths in people with diabetes.
Research shows that controlled glucose levels have a significant impact on lowering your risk of developing cardiovascular complications. It is also important for individuals with diabetes to have good blood pressure, cholesterol levels and to not smoke.

kbritt:

How does stress contribute to heart disease?

Leann Dickson:

Stress is also an important risk factor of developing heart disease. It has physical impact on your body as well as psychological affect. People under stress have physical responses of elevated blood pressure, elevated heart rate, increase clotting factors in the blood, slowed digestion, dilated pupils and less blood flow to the extremeties.
This is the flight or fight response that is in our bodies. We can help control this by stopping to think about our reaction to the daily stressors. We usually cannot control the stressors but CAN control our response to the stressors. It is important to stress proof your life by taking a few steps: Connect with friends, family pets, and coworkers; Have a sense of humor and positive attitude; Exercise Daily; Get enough sleep; learn to use deep breathing and relaxation breathing; Avoid high stress scenarios;Tune into your spirituality, music, movies and art. Mainly Don't sweat the Small Stuff.

Moderator:

We are out of time. I would like to thank Leann for her time and her answers.

Leann Dickson:

Thank you for this opportunity today. Be looking for heart healty programs in the community this month. It is a good time to pay attention to your Heart Health.

Comments

Mauidreaming 8 years, 4 months ago

Well, here's some questions they didn't answer:

Hello --

I'm just curious why doctors and nurses don't mention to their heart patients the fact that the only way you can ingest cholesterol is through animal products -- meat, dairy, eggs? All I ever read is health professionals talking about not smoking, exercising and "eating healthy". Why not go a step further and explain the dangers of an animal-based diet and how animal products are the only foods that contain cholesterol? Dr. Dean Ornish has proven beyond a doubt that vegan diets (along with exercise) can reverse heart disease (without drugs and surgery). Why is this information not more main stream and shared with your patients?

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