Insufficient Sleep Makes an Unhealthy Heart

Insufficient sleep can leave you feeling grumpy and agitated and will ruin your mood for the rest of the day.

Over a longer period of time, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, slower metabolism and inflammation.

A prolonged lack of sleep acts as a catalyst in disrupting basic health conditions which has detrimental effects on your health.

Shortage of sleep in the long run can shorten life expectancy too. Studies show that people who get a good night’s sleep live longer than those who don’t.

This further strengthens the argument in favor of getting the required amount of sleep every day.

In fact, physicians might even just recommend a good nights’ sleep to resolve and prevent possible health issues.

Optimal Sleep

According to a study by Harvard Med, the optimal sleep required differs for everyone, depending on their age and genetics. But on an average 6-8 hours of sleep in a day are optimal for the body to function at its best. Less than 6 hours of sleep increases the risk of heart disease.

When the body is resting, different enzymes and chemicals are activated, which calm it down from the intense activity that it undertook throughout the day. During this rest, the blood pressure and heart rate drop, and the body start rejuvenating.

Insufficient Sleep and Your Heart

Less than 6 hours of sleep prevents the heart rate from dropping and keeps it elevated for a prolonged period. This lack of variability means the hearts’ work remains the same, causing hypertension.

The further validation comes from studies about sleep apnea. It’s a condition which causes troubled breathing which wakes people frequently and disrupts their sleep cycle, causing sleep deprivation and fatigue.

According to the American Heart Association, sleep apnea is a contributor to increased risk of elevated blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and congestive heart failure.

Lack of sleep also disrupts metabolism, creating an imbalance in blood sugar levels, in turn, heightening the risk for diabetes. Shorter sleep cycles hinder the production of hormones which function to decrease appetite, triggering an increased consumption of calories. This increases the chance of high cholesterol and obesity which are known causes of multiple heart diseases.

How Can You Sleep Better?

According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), 1 in 3 adults suffer from sleep deprivation; leading cause being a more hectic and busy lifestyle.

There are many ways which can help in getting a good night’s sleep, and some of them are;

  1. Exercise This tires out the body, improves the chemical balances and allows for more restful sleep.
  2. Lower the intake of alcohol and caffeine-laden beverages in the evening.
  3. Avoid a heavy, rich meal right before you go to sleep.
  4. And establish a fixed routine right before you sleep to trigger easy sleeping in future.

The most important tip is to get checked by a physician to make sure you have no underlying conditions that are causing the improper sleep cycle.

Not having sufficient sleep and rest in one day can have an adverse impact on not only the heart but overall physical and mental health. Recognizing and solving issues regarding your sleep early can save you distress later.

5 Greatest Cholesterol Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a huge majority of Americans (75 %) stated that they had their cholesterol levels monitored at least once in the last five years.

Despite the popularity of the cholesterol investigations among the patients, many individuals are not aware of the proper interpretation of the results. The saddest part is that most of them aren’t even choosing the right cholesterol tests at all.

A complete cholesterol test, for example, shows you nearly nothing about your health condition. What you actually need to comprehend is how much high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) you have and, beyond that, the size of the LDL particles.

If you are confused, it’s not your mistake. Cholesterol has been widely promoted as a causative agent of ischemic heart diseases for decades, and countless have diligently removed all cholesterol-rich foods (which are usually also nutrient-dense food items) from their nutrition as a result.

Others have decided to go for cholesterol-lowering statin medications at the direction of their physicians. More than one in four Americans over the age of 45 years take them, despite their endless list of side effects and questionable effectiveness.

But the genuine question is this: do you really need to be anxious about your deranged cholesterol levels?

Is cholesterol the real culprit that it’s portrayed to be, silently attacking the coronary arteries and putting you at high risk of heart attack? The answer is no, for most of the individuals. So let’s expose some of the most widely circulated cholesterol myths.

Top Cholesterol Myths Busted!

Myth no 1: Cholesterol Is a Bad Entity

Cholesterol is not essentially bad. If it were, your liver wouldn’t produce it (liver makes about 3/4 or more of your body’s cholesterol—that’s how valuable it is).

Many of the nutrient-dense foods are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, yet cholesterol has been demonized since the early 1950s following the popularization of Ancel Keys’ flawed research.

In fact, cholesterol has many health benefits. It plays an important role in coordinating protein pathways involved in cell signaling and also regulate other cellular processes, for instance.

It’s already known that cholesterol plays an important role in building cell membranes, latest research also suggests that cholesterol also communicates with proteins inside the cells, adding even more importance. Your body is formed of trillions of cells that need to communicate with each other.

Cholesterol is the molecule that allows for these interactions to take place. For instance, it is the precursor for the formation of bile acids, so without adequate amounts of cholesterol, your digestive system can be negatively affected.

It also plays a crucial role in your brain, which comprises of about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is also essential for formation synapses. Synapses are the connections between the neurons, that enable you to think, learn new things, and form new memories.

Myth no 2: Cholesterol levels are dependent on your daily diet

This statement is false. The significant factor that influences the level of cholesterol is not the diet but heredity or Genetics. Your liver is meant to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body, but heredity plays a large part to determine your liver’s capacity to manage cholesterol to a normal level.

Take, for example, people with hereditary familial hypercholesterolemia. This is an ailment characterized by abnormally raised cholesterol, which tends to be resistant to lowering with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Furthermore, eating nutrient dense cholesterol-rich foods is not something you should feel guilty about; they’re safe for you and will not derange your cholesterol levels as you may have been told. It’s calculated that only 20% of your blood cholesterol levels come from your diet.

One study of South Carolina adults discovered no association of blood cholesterol levels with the so-called “bad” dietary habits, such as eating red meat, animal fats, butter, egg yolks, whole milk, bacon, and cheese.

If you’re still concerned about the cholesterol in your diet, take a look at the recently released 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. As recently as 2010, U.S. dietary guidelines outlined cholesterol-rich foods as “foods and food components to reduce.” They urged people to consume less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day, despite enough evidence that dietary cholesterol has very little to do with cholesterol levels in your body.

The modified guidelines have eventually removed this misguided suggestion, and they even added egg yolks to the list of recommended sources of protein.

The long-overdue change came at the advice of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which acknowledged what the science shows, which is that “cholesterol is not considered as a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Myth No. 3: Everyone’s Cholesterol Level Should Be Identical

What is a normal cholesterol level? That depends. Despite what your physician may tell you, no hard and fast rule says everyone’s total cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and LDL less than 100 mg/dL.

Furthermore, this will tell you very little about your risk of heart disease. If your physician says that your cholesterol is high based on the conventional lipid profile, obtaining a complete picture is crucial—particularly if you have a family history of heart condition or other risk factors.

For starters, you can request for an NMR LipoProfile, which shows you the particle sizes of LDL cholesterol.

Large LDL particles are not dangerous. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially cause a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of the heart vessels. If they oxidize, they can cause inflammation and damage.

Reputed organizations, such as the National Lipid Association (NLA), are beginning to shift their focus toward LDL particle number instead of total and LDL cholesterol to better calculate the heart disease risk in an individual. But it still has not hit the mainstream medicine.

Also, the following tests can provide you a far better evaluation of your heart disease risk than your total cholesterol alone:

HDL/Cholesterol ratio: HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide HDL level by your total cholesterol. That percentage you get should ideally be more than 24 percent.

Triglyceride/HDL ratios: You can also do the same calculation with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should ideally be less than

Fasting insulin level: Any meal or snack rich in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid spike in blood glucose level and then insulin to counterbalance the rise in blood sugar.The insulin released by eating too many carbs boosts fat accumulation and makes it more challenging for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, especially around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease.

Fasting blood sugar level: Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl have nearly 300% increased the risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 80 mg/dl.

Iron levels in blood: Iron can act as strong oxidative stress, so excess iron levels can damage your blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should watch your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much more than 80 ng/ml.The easiest way to reduce iron stores if they are elevated is to donate blood. If that is not possible, you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy, and that will completely eliminate the excess iron from your body.

Myth No 4: Kids Cannot Have High Cholesterol

Children too can have high cholesterol levels, which is typically due to a liver disease that makes the liver inefficient to transport excess cholesterol from the body. Lifestyle changes, including exercise, restricting sugar intake and eating real (non-processed) foods, will often help to restore it to healthy levels.

Myth No 5: Margarine Is Better Than Butter for Cholesterol

Butter, particularly raw organic butter from grass-fed cows, is a wealth of nutrition and healthy fats. Studies point to the fact that butter may have both short-term and long-term benefits for your well-being. Swedish researchers came to a conclusion that fat levels in your blood are lower after eating a meal rich in butter than after eating the one rich in canola oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil.

Furthermore, substituting saturated animal fats with omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats (i.e., margarine) is linked to an enhanced risk of death among patients with heart disease, according to a BMJ study. Exchanging margarine for healthy butter is the reverse of what your body needs for healthy heart, and here’s why.

Saturated fats have been proved to raise HDL cholesterol—a benefit—and may also increase LDL.

The latter isn’t necessarily dangerous either, as a study has proved that consuming saturated fats increases levels of large, fluffy LDL particles—the type that does not contribute to heart disease. Furthermore, eating saturated fats may even transform the small and dense LDL in your body into the healthier and fluffy LDL.

On the other hand, margarine is rich in synthetic trans fat, the worst type of man-made fat that raises small, dense LDL—and your risk of heart disease.

Questionable Effectiveness of Statins

In October 2015, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly stopped a trial for a cholesterol-lowering drug – evacetrapib. Many believed that this drug, will not only lower LDL cholesterol but will also raise HDL. It was believed that this would be the next blockbuster in the management of deranged cholesterol levels.

But it wasn’t until April 2016, when the results of the research were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s yearly gathering, that health specialists discovered just how dismal the study results were. The drug had practically no influence on heart health. As The New York Times reported”Participants taking the drug saw their LDL levels fall to an average of 55 milligrams per deciliter from 85. Their HDL levels improved to an average of 105 milligrams per deciliter from 46. Yet 256 participants had heart attacks, compared with 255 patients in the group who were getting a placebo.

Ninety-two subjects receiving the drug had a stroke, compared with 95 in the placebo group. And 435 people taking the drug died from heart diseases, such as a stroke or a heart attack, compared with 444 members who were receiving a placebo.”

Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic told The New York Times, “These kinds of investigations are wake-up calls.” Indeed, it’s not the first time a cholesterol-lowering drug has been found to be ineffective, or worse when it comes to heart health.

Statins May worsen your Heart Health

There is a data showing that statins may make your heart health worse and only appear effective due to statistical deception. One report printed by the Expert.

Review of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that statin advocates used a mathematical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR) to increase statins’ trivial beneficial effects.

If you see at absolute risk, statins help just 1% of the people. This indicates that out of 100 individuals treated with the drugs, one person will have one less heart attack. This doesn’t sound impressive, so statin endorses to use a different statistic method known as relative risk. By using this particular method, statins suddenly become useful for 30-50% of the population.

As STATS at George Mason University described, “An essential feature of relative risk is that it tells you nothing about the actual risk.” Furthermore, statins drain your body of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is used for energy generation by every cell in your body and is therefore essential for good health, high-energy levels, longevity, and general quality of life.

CoQ10’s reduced form, ubiquinol, is a crucial component of cellular respiration and generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a coenzyme utilized as an energy transporter in every cell of the body. We know that heart is the most energy-consuming organ of the human body, you can imagine how devastating it can be to waste the body’s main source of cellular energy.

By taking statins, heart patient is actually enhancing the cardiac disease risk by depleting CoQ10. The deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 caused by the statin drugs is the reason why such drugs can increase the risk of acute heart failure.

If someone is taking a statin drug, he should always supplement it with Coenzyme Q10. If you’re over 40 years of age, I would strongly recommend taking ubiquinol (CoQ10’s reduced form) instead of CoQ10, as it’s far more efficiently absorbed by your body.

Top Suggestions to Preserve Heart Health

Are you looking for a non-pharmaceutical approach to maintain your heart health? Here are some of my top suggestions:

  • Start eliminating grains and sugars from your daily diet. It is also important to remove gluten-containing grains and sugars, especially fructose. Consume a considerable part of your food raw.
  • Make sure you are getting lots of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Research proves that as little as 500 mg of krill oil per day can balance your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely enhance your HDL levels.
  • Replace unhealthy vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with good fats, such as olive oil, butter, avocado, and pastured eggs.
  • Include fermented foods in your daily diet. This will not only optimize your intestinal microflora; your overall immunity will increase, it also introduces helpful bacteria into your mouth. Inadequate oral health is another strong indicator of raised heart disease risk.
  • Optimize vitamin D levels, ideally through proper sun exposure as this will enable your body also to create vitamin D sulfate—another factor that may perform a crucial role in preventing the accumulation of arterial plaque.
  • Exercise Regularly. One should always include high-intensity interval exercises in his fitness program, which will also enhance the secretion of human growth hormone.
  • Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of high-quality, restorative sleep.
  • Practice regular stress-management techniques.

Here is how you can normalize your sky-high cholesterol in 30 days and cleared out 90% clogged arteries by cutting out just one food type that you don’t even know you were consuming…

What is a Holter Monitor?

A Holter monitor is a compact, battery-operated medical device, that measures your heart’s activity, such as rate and rhythm. Your physician may prescribe this test if he needs more information than a routine electrocardiogram (EKG) can offer.

Holter monitoring is an ambulatory test to record your heart rate and rhythm for 24 hours. You wear the Holter monitor for 12 to 48 hours as you go about your normal daily routine. This device has electrodes and leads exactly like a regular EKG. It can pick up not only your heart rate and rhythm, but it can also help to diagnose the cause of chest pain and many other symptoms related to the cardiovascular diseases.

The Holter monitor test is also called ambulatory electrocardiography. There are devices other than a holter that can be used to measure heart activity for longer periods of time. However, Holter monitoring is widely used because of its availability and affordability.

Instructions for Patients

Keep the Holter monitor dry to ensure its proper functioning. Take a bath or shower before your appointment so that the monitor can be properly attached to your skin.

Magnetic and electrical fields may interfere with the readings of the Holter monitor. Avoid going into areas of high voltage while carrying the monitor.

There are instances when misreading or false-positives do occur, in such cases, the Holter may need to be applied again.

Understanding the results

After the recommended time frame has passed, you’ll return to your
Cardiologist’s office to have the Holter monitor removed. Your doctor will read your activity journal and analyze the result by attaching the device to the computer. Depending on the results of the examination, you may need to undergo further testing before a diagnosis is made.

The Holter monitor may reveal that your medicine isn’t working or your dosage needs to be modified. This test is specially designed to detect abnormal heart conditions that are painless and unknown to you.

Wearing a Holter monitor is hassle-free and one of the best ways to identify potential heart problems and other related issues.

Triglyceride Levels : Do they really matter? 

Out of the four numbers that you can find in your lipid profile, report, you would have often heard about HDL, LDL and total cholesterol. However, the not often heard lipid- Triglycerides too are a significant piece of the overall picture.

What exactly are triglycerides?

Triglyceride is a type of lipid in your blood. Your liver is the organ that manufactures it. You get triglycerides also through many of the foods that you consume. When you take in more calories than your body demands, those calories are stored in the form of triglycerides.

Whether they come from foods or from the liver, triglycerides are used for one of the two purposes. They can be used up by cells and tissues. TGs are also used for energy needed in between the meals. If not used by body they are usually stored as fat in the body.

How do triglycerides matter?

Triglycerides are necessary for sound health. Without them, your body would run out of energy unless you were replenishing it by eating every hour. If you regularly consume more calories than you burn, particularly carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia) Which may be harmful for your heart health and other organs as pancreas.

When triglyceride levels are elevated, it may increase your danger of heart disease and stroke. High triglycerides are often a sign of metabolic syndrome — it is a cluster of conditions that includes elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol level.

Sometimes high triglycerides are a sign of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), liver or kidney disease, or rare genetic conditions that affect how your body converts fat to energy. High triglycerides could also be a side effect of taking medications such as beta blockers, birth control pills, diuretics or steroids.

How do you know your triglyceride level?

A simple blood test called a lipid profile- the blood test that measures your cholesterol, gauges your triglycerides as well. The test can give the triglyceride ranges, that can disclose whether your triglycerides fall into a normal range or not.

How to lower your triglyceride level?

If your triglyceride level is in the high range, you should make lifestyle changes to reduce those numbers.

The best way to reduce your triglyceride level is to decrease the number of calories you consume each day as those extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat.

Maintaining a reasonable weight and getting persistent moderate-intensity exercise, at least 35 minutes a day, five days a week, can also to decrease your TG levels.

Drinking One Beer a Day may Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Consuming a glass of beer a day may prevent future cardiovascular events, according to a new research.

Researchers said average liquor consumption slows down the body’s natural loss of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol levels, commonly referred to as a good form of cholesterol, eliminates dangerous cholesterol from the body and decreases a person’s cardiovascular illness risk.

A research on over 80,000 Asian adults has revealed appealing results on this theory, but physicians have cautioned people that more research is needed before any concrete assumptions can be made.

So to be on the safer side, don’t start drinking a glass of beer every day just yet.

Pennsylvania State University scholars came up with the theory that men who consumed one to two alcohol-based drinks per day had a slow depletion in good cholesterol levels (HDL), in comparison to those who didn’t consume.

The Same rule applied to women who consume a little quantity of alcohol daily, according to The Telegraph.

While the outcomes were pretty analogous regardless of whether the research’s individuals consumed beer or spirits,but scientists did observe that beer and not spirits had the biggest and more beneficial effect.

In reaction to the research’s results, Dr Nitin Shori, director at the Pharmacy2U online physician service, said: “While undetermined, this research seems to point out that there may be some health advantages in consuming little alcohol when it comes to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases or stroke. But further research is required before any concrete results can be attracted.”

Alcohol is one of the biggest risks associated with the style of living that leads to illness and loss of life, after obesity and smoking.The newest NHS guidance is that there is a safe level of liquor intake and neither women nor men should consume more than 14 units (1 unit=15 ml) of liquor weekly.

Dr Webberley Sally, the devoted GP for Oxford Online Drugstore, said: “There are so many inconsistent research results being released daily and with that, it is difficult to tell which health advice is misleading and which is not”

We do know that booze is bad for the liver to function properly and it aids to obesity, it can adversely affect sleep and psychological wellness, it has been connected to cancer along with lots of other illnesses such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.

Contrarily, other research results recommend that average booze can have some health advantages and there’s no question that a lot of people like to use such justifications to warrant their activities when reaching for a glass.

“The key is in the moderation message. Because too much consumption of liquor can certainly have a detrimental effect on the well-being of a person.”

Pros and Cons of Online cardiology consultation


Online medical consulting is a fast-growing sector in medicine. The obvious advantage is convenience. In today’s fast paced lifestyle, that is an important benefit. However, getting the best result for your specific issue must be primary. For that, nothing beats a face to face discussion and examination with a qualified physician.

There is,however, a valid place for online consulting and I will give you the pros and cons as it pertains to Cardiology Consultation . Heart Specialists, like all other medical professionals, must keep up with the latest methods of enhancing patient care.Offering Cardiac Consultation is one more way patients can get second opinions or further information about the cardiac issue they are facing.
That’s what happened when Andrea Lachman decided to seek an online second opinion. In her 40s, Lachman was diagnosed with a common heart condition called mitral valve prolapse which often requires no treatment except routine examinations. In some cases, medication is used. Last summer, during a routine checkup, her local cardiologist told her she required surgery. “I was absolutely terrified,” says Lachman. “I was feeling fine, and I just didn’t understand why surgery was recommended. I had absolutely no confidence in the treatment plan.”
As she was cruising the Internet looking for information, Lachman came across a heading that read, “Consultant Cardiologist.” So, she decided to get a second opinion. She believes her persistence paid off. Based on her medical records, the heart specialist she contacted for another opinion told her she didn’t require surgery, at least for now. “I was absolutely thrilled,” says Lachman. The hardest part of the experience was collecting her medical records. But once she got through that, “I felt empowered,” she says.

What is a cardiovascular consultation?

A cardiac consultation is an appointment with a cardiologist during which you discuss your heart health, as well as any factors that may influence your cardiovascular system.

Some of the Pros of Online Cardiac Consultation

Although I believe strict regulatory guidance and administration is required to help patients avoid online frauds, there are some clear advantages of online Cardiac Consultations.

Pros

• No Location Boundaries. This may be the most important advantage of these services. You gain access to well-respected doctors, from far and wide, that otherwise would not be available to you.

• Better than Self-Diagnosis. Relying on health and medical information provided by internet searches to self-diagnose your condition can be dangerous and misleading.

• Slightly Better than Telemedicine Services. Online doctor consultations have a slight advantage over telemedicine. You can take your time to write a detailed description of your condition. Also, you can submit your previous and current medical reports.

• 24/7 Health Support. Most online health service providers offer twenty-four-hour access to doctor consultation and the convenience of receiving important information without leaving home.

Some Cons of Online Cardiac Consultation

• Violation of privacy is a common issue in cyber space. It is important for the person seeking medical advice to research the site and the doctor carefully.

• The fact that there is no physical examination involved in the consultation can be a negative. Doctors are highly skilled at determining what is wrong with you by assessing your appearance and physically examining your body.

• Not all insurance companies cover online consultations so it is wise to check before deciding to use one.

• While the idea of tapping into the knowledge and expertise of specialists at other locations is appealing, the process can be cumbersome. Gathering the necessary medical records can involve calls and visits to several of your providers’ offices.

• In a world where hackers seem to rule, it can be risky to give an online medical practice your personal details so choose who you use carefully.

Final words

Reputable online doctors understand that your health is vitally important to you. They will respect your privacy and go the extra mile to ensure that you are 100% confident before offering an opinion. They will thoughtfully review the facts and tests they have been given to give you their best opinion on how they would handle your case.