Optimize your body through nutrition and you will live longer and healthier. Our bodies are naturally amazing; we heal even if we experience trauma, injuries, or wounds. We can go through some of the most grueling physical activities and can still recover within a few days. But to achieve all that, it would be best to take care of our bodies the best way we can.
Athletes, in particular, are almost superhuman. They go through intense physical training, and stress, and experience brutal injuries. But how do they stay healthy? Are their bodies different from ours? Do they recover differently than us?
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Aiden Muir. Aidan is a dietitian with a role split relatively evenly between seeing clients and creating content. He has a broad range of areas of interest, but he mainly sees clients in sports nutrition (particularly strength athletes), weight loss, and gastrointestinal disorders.
We talk about gut health, how to build muscle, and how to optimize your body while working nights.
QUESTIONS FOR GUEST
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.
Looking forward to our conversation!
These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.
Can you give us a background about yourself?
How did you get involved and find a passion for sports nutrition, weight loss, and gastrointestinal disorders?
As a nutritionist, what kind of diet do you follow, and is there a specific reason(s) for it?
How do you develop a good relationship with food?
Are there different nutritional requirements for men and women?
When it comes to fat loss, is it any different?
When it comes to building muscle, is it any different?
How do you find your metabolic rate? Is there a way to get a rough estimate without having to o through tests?
Should people be eating at night?
A good portion of our audience works the night shift. Should people eat throughout the night while working? Or should the day be limited to a particular hour?
Does our body absorb food differently at night, or does it have different nutritional requirements?
What foods do you recommend for someone who struggles not to eat a night?
What foods, in general, do you recommend, and what should people avoid eating while working nights?
Do you think intermittent fasting is a good idea for someone that works nights?
What is your general perspective on Intermittent fasting?
When it comes to building muscle, what are some of the critical concepts of hypertrophy and nutrition?
Do you believe in body recomposition, and what is the proper approach?
Specifically, as someone that trains marital arts 4-5 times a week and weightlifters 3-4 times a week, how could I maximize my nutrition to not lose weight, gain muscle and lean out?
Creatine, how much do you need to get a performance boost, and how consistently do you need to take it?
Do you recommend any sports supplements?
Gut health is a big trending topic; we know that specific hormones are derived from the gut, what is the key to a happy, healthy gut?
There is a big push for everything plant-based. What is your opinion on meat?
Some studies show meat protein’s superiority over plant-based proteins. Is there a difference?
I’ve read studies stating that meat proteins are more bioavailable, digestible, and have higher anabolic potential than plant-based proteins.
Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why?
Here’s why nutrition matters, click here and watch the full episode 👇
00:00 Introduction 01:45 How did you get involved and find a passion for sports nutrition? 04:03 What types of diets have you experimented with? 04:31 How much protein can your body tolerate? 06:25 How to develop a proper relationship with food? 08:49 How do beliefs play a role in nutrition? 11:25 Difference in Marco nutrition between Males and Females 15:08 Nutrition for night shift workers 17:21 What snacks should you be consuming? 18:32 Outcomes of Intermittent fasting? 21:24 Muscle building and intermittent fasting 25:19 Muscular hypertrophy and body recomp 28:28 How to figure out your metabolic needs? 34:18 What should be on your plate for health and vitality? 37:10 Key to a healthy gut microbe 40:11 Supplement recommendations 42:04 What is creatine? 47:07 How long do results last from creatine? 48:47 Nutrition Do’s & Dont’s 52:47 Wrapping up the episode
Have you ever felt like you are never good enough or good at something? Did you ever feel like you are not doing as much as others thought you to be? If you feel like a fraud or do not belong anywhere, you might be suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
No matter your social status, race, background, skill, level of expertise are, anyone can suffer from this. We must arm ourselves with knowledge and educate others to help those who are struggling with impostor syndrome.
Overcome Imposter Syndrome
But what is imposter syndrome anyway? How do you know if you are suffering from one? In this new episode, we would like to introduce our guest, Crystal Grant. She is a CRNA, CEO of Superscript Wellness, and author of several books.
Crystal has also worked in the healthcare system for over 20 years and now coaches nurses and CRNAs about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it.
She currently has a new book coming out called A CRNA’S Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Besides working with nurses and CRNAs, she also has her line of Vitamin gummies.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy another great episode with your favorite Cup of Nurses!
QUESTIONS FOR OUR GUEST:
Can you give some background about yourself and how you got to the position you are in today?
How was life growing up? What were some of your goals in life? How have they varied over the years? – When we finished nursing school we were making a decent amount of money, we came out with minimal loans and we were making more money than a lot of our friends. When we looked back at where we were at the age of 21/22 compared to a lot of other people it felt like night and day. It still feels that way to this day.
What is Imposter Syndrome? Do you think it comes with success? – Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
With many psychological issues like depression and anxiety, is there a genetic predisposition to imposter syndrome? Or is there something that happens in childhood that makes people more susceptible to imposter syndrome?
With the age of neuroplasticity, we can almost reprogram our brain to react differently. How can we use the concept of neuroplasticity to help us with imposter syndrome or other negative thinking? – Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.
We are holistic beings which means how we feel physically affects us mentally and how we treat ourselves mentally reflects on us physically. – How important is physical health? The importance of nutrition, exercise, and supplementation.
What are some of the ingredients in the gummies you’ve created and what are the benefits of micronutrients?
To watch the full episode about How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome, click here and learn more 👇
00:00 Intro 00:47 Plugs 02:03 Episode Introduction 02:35 About Crystal 04:47 Can imposter syndrome be beneficial to someone who has it? 06:38 What happens to a person who has imposter syndrome? 09:32 Imposter Syndrome: The Perfectionist 11:28 How and when did Crystal know that she had imposter syndrome? 15:02 The 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome 17:19 How does a person get imposter syndrome? 21:26 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome? 24:04 Neuroplasticity: Rewiring the brain 26:44 The best investment is in yourself. 32:53 Mindfulness and meditation can help fight Imposter Syndrome. 35:27 The lack of self-belief 37:29 How did Crystal become an entrepreneur? 39:32 How to get into the supplement business? 42:58 Built for nursing, built for success. 47:32 Where to find Crystal?
In this episode, we would like to talk about dental health. Many people don’t know that dental health provides valuable information on someone’s overall health.
Today we know that most chronic illnesses are not down to coincidence, bad luck, or bad genes. Instead, they are the result of constant, silent inflammation in the body and the resulting chronic stress. This kind of inflammation often occurs in the mouth.
It can be found hiding in the tips of inflamed tooth roots, gingival pockets, around implants, in dead teeth, or in the cavities that are left behind whenever a tooth has to be removed.
Although research is constantly revealing new relationships between teeth and the body, doctors and dentists work in two different spheres, our medical care system is structured such that we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Importance of Dental Health
Looking inside someone’s mouth gives clues to their overall health. Did you know that many problems can stem from poor oral health?Good oral health gives a person the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and impacts facial expressions to show feelings and emotions.
Just like in other parts of the body, the mouth houses a lot of beneficial bacteria. But remember that the mouth is the initial entry point into the rest of your body and sometimes these bacteria make a home elsewhere where they can cause damage. Proper oral hygiene keeps these bacteria in stable conditions.
What Contributes to Poor Dental Health
Untreated tooth decay. More than 1 in 4 (26%) adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay.Gum disease. Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults .
The main factors that cause oral health are:
Diet high in sugar
Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth.
There are 2 bacteria, streptococcus mutants, and streptococcus sobrinus. These bacteria feed on sugar and create plaque on your teeth. When you get your teeth cleaned your dentist removes this plaque. If left unchecked this plaque will eat away at your enamel.
Sugar also attracts bacteria that eat away at your gums and cause gingivitis and gum disease .
Alcohol drinks are usually high in sugar like beer, liquor, and mixed drinks. This leads to the breakdown of enamel, long-term tooth decay, and gum disease.
Alcohol also decreases the amount of natural saliva that acts as a natural antibacterial agent.
Depending on what alcohol you consume it can stain your teeth.
Normal Saliva PH: 6.2-7.6
Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.
Proper oral hygiene
A well-balanced diet low in free sugars and high in fruit and vegetables, and water as the main drink;
Stopping the use of all forms of tobacco, including chewing
Reducing alcohol consumption
encouraging the use of protective equipment when doing sports.
What Conditions are Linked to Oral Health
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
The study looked at 94 participants where participant’s portal hygiene, gingivitis, and periodontitis statuses were evaluated.
The authors found that oral hygiene and gingival disease indexes were associated significantly with IE-related bacteremia after toothbrushing.
Participants with a mean plaque and calculus scores of 2 or greater were at a 3.78- and 4.43-fold increased risk of developing bacteremia, respectively.
The presence of generalized bleeding after toothbrushing was associated with an almost eightfold increase in the risk of developing bacteremia .
Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
There are a few theories on why this can occur, according to Harvard:
The bacteria that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis also travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage; tiny blood clots, heart attack, and stroke may follow.
Supporting this idea is the finding of remnants of oral bacteria within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth.
Rather than bacteria causing the problem, it’s the body’s immune response – inflammation – that sets off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.
There may be no direct connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease; the reason they may occur together is that there is a 3rd factor (such as smoking) that’s a risk factor for both conditions.
Other potential “confounders” include poor access to healthcare and lack of exercise – perhaps people without health insurance or who don’t take good care of their overall health are more likely to have poor oral health and heart disease .
Pregnancy and birth complications
Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.
If gingivitis is not treated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost, and the gums can become infected. Teeth with little bone support can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted.
Periodontitis has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. However, how periodontitis may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes is not yet fully understood .
One systematic review looked at periodontal status looked at 22 totaling about 17,00 subjects and concluded that “The present systematic review reported a low but existing association between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes.” .
Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
A study looked at over 122,000 participants with no history of pneumonia with a median age of 52.4.
The mean systolic blood pressure and fasting glucose were 125.5 mmHg and 96.7 mg/dL. While 49.6% of participants had periodontal disease, 2.7% and 6.0% had five or more dental caries and missing teeth, respectively.
According to the self-reported questionnaires, 45.0% of participants brushed their teeth three times or more per day, and 26.0% replied having professional dental cleaning at least once per year.
It concluded that:
The risk of pneumonia was higher in groups with more dental caries and missing teeth. In contrast, the risk of pneumonia was lower in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group.
There was no significant difference in the risk of pneumonia between groups with and without periodontal disease.
A number of dental caries and missing teeth, and the frequency of tooth brushing and professional dental cleaning, were associated with the incidence of pneumonia.
The risk of pneumonia was significantly higher in the group with a higher number of dental caries and the group with more missing teeth.
Risks of pneumonia decreased significantly in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group .
Fluoride: Is it the best means of fighting tooth decay?
Fluoride is considered an essential part of dental care. Almost all toothpaste contains it. Roughly 73.0% of the U.S. population with public water access in 2018 received water fortified with fluoride. In Germany, however, no fluoride is added to drinking water—and yet rates of tooth decay have dropped.
Fluoride can store and lock calcium and other minerals in tooth enamel, which sounds like a beautiful, helpful attribute. But just like many things, it also comes with unwanted side effects.
There are ongoing studies linking fluoride to chromosomal changes, bone cancer, and impairments to intelligence, while many other studies declare its innocence of these allegations.
The concept of holistic dentistry is based on avoiding overburdening the body with artificial substances as far as possible. If we eat well and get all the nutrients we need, there is no need for additional fluoride. Saliva’s job is to store minerals in teeth. That is its natural function, and it does not require extra fluoride to get the job done.
Tough Foods Make You Tougher
Chewing food is easier to digest. But did you know that adequately chewing our food can protect us from infections? Researchers recently discovered this when they took a closer look at what is known as Th17 cells in our mouths.
These cells are part of the immune system and can ward off harmful bacteria to our health while leaving friendly bacteria in peace.
Furthermore, Th17 cells form in the mouth, so the more we chew, the more cells are produced. In addition to this, eating foods with a more rigid consistency, or simply chewing well, ensures a better immune defense in the mouth.
Good Dental Hygiene Practices
Taking care of your oral health may take a lot of effort. However, if you add them to your daily routine and practice them daily, it will not feel like a chore but more of a natural habit. Here’s how you can practice good dental hygiene:
Brush your teeth twice a day
Use mouthwash daily
Drink more water
Eat more crunch fruits and vegetables
See your dentist twice a year
Watch the full episode on this by clicking here:
0:00 Introduction 1:00 Sponsor Ads 2:15 Cup of Nurses Introduction 4:04 Episode Introduction 6:36 Importance of Dental Health 10:44 Statistics About Gum Disease 13:28 What Contributes To Poor Dental Health 13:39 Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth! 15:42 How Alcohol Affects Dental Health 18:08 How Smoking Affects Dental Health 21:59 How to Prevent Poor Dental Health 22:45 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Endocarditis 23:23 Study About People with Endocarditis 25:13 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Cardiovascular Disease 28:24 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pregnancy & Birth Complications 31:51 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pneumonia 37:36 Fluoride: The best means of fighting tooth decay? 44:13 Tough Foods Make You Tougher
Taking care of your heart health is essential so you can avoid developing cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease can refer to a number of conditions. These are the following :
Heart and blood vessel disease (also called heart disease). It includes many problems, many related to atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. Also, the buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can block the blood flow, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to a part of the heart. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the role of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.
Most people survive their first heart attack and return to their everyday lives. But experiencing a heart attack does mean that you need to make some changes.
The medications and lifestyle changes that your doctor recommends may vary. This depends on the damage to your heart and to what degree heart disease caused the attack.
A complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a “STEMI” heart attack. It is also known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Partial blockage is an “NSTEMI” heart attack or a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
Bypass surgery: Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patient’s back or abdomen.
Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR): A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the heart’s pumping chamber.
An ischemic stroke (the most common type) occurs when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked. It is usually from a blood clot.
When the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off, some brain cells will begin to die. It can lose functions controlled by that part of the brain, such as walking or talking.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. It is most often caused by uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).
Some effects of stroke are permanent if too many brain cells die after lacking oxygen. These cells are never replaced.
The good news is that sometimes brain cells don’t die during the stroke — instead, the damage is temporary. Over time, as injured cells repair themselves, impaired function improves. (In other cases, intact brain cells nearby may take over for the damaged brain areas.)
Either way, strength may return, speech may improve, and memory may improve. This recovery process is what stroke rehabilitation is all about.
Gold standard treatment is tissue plasminogen activator, r-tPA (alteplase). It is given 3 hrs after the last normal some situations allow for 4.5 hrs.
Another treatment is called an endovascular procedure or a mechanical thrombectomy. It is a recommended option that can help remove a clot in eligible patients. Those with a large vessel occlusion or LVO are usually prioritized.
In this procedure, doctors use a wire-cage device called a stent retriever. They thread a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain. The stent opens and grabs the clot. Special suction tubes may also remove the clot.
Heart failure is sometimes called congestive heart failure. It means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. But, heart failure does not mean that the heart stops beating — that’s a common misperception.
Instead, the heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t met. Heart failure can get worse if left untreated. If your loved one has heart failure, it’s vital to follow the doctor’s orders.
Coronary bypass surgery. Blocked arteries can causeheart failure. To clear this, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery. The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm, or chest. The blood vessel is then connected below and above the blocked arteries Omit heart. This new pathway improves blood flow to your heart muscle.
Heart valve repair or replacement. If a faulty heart valve causes your heart failure, the valve needs to be repaired or replaced. Surgeons can repair the valve by reconnecting valve flaps. It can also be by removing excess valve tissue so that the leaflet closes. Sometimes, fixing the valve includes tightening or replacing the ring around the valve.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). An ICD is used to prevent complications of heart failure. It isn’t a treatment for heart failure itself, but it is like a pacemaker. It is implanted under the skin in your chest with wires leading through your veins and into your heart.
The ICD monitors the heart rhythm. If the heart starts beating at a dangerous rhythm, or if the heart stops. When the heart stops, this device will try to pace your heart or shock it back into normal rhythm. An ICD can also work as a pacemaker and speed your heart up if it is going too slow.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Also called biventricular pacing. CRT is a treatment for heart failure in people whose lower heart chambers (ventricles) aren’t pumping in sync. A biventricular pacemaker sends electrical signals to the ventricles. It signals your ventricles to contract. This will trigger the ventricles to contract in a more coordinated way. It improves blood pumping out of your heart, and CRT may be used with an ICD.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs).— also known as a mechanical circulatory support device. It is a device that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart (ventricles) to the rest of your body. Although a VAD can be placed in one or both ventricles of your heart, it is most implanted in the left ventricle.
The doctor may recommend a VAD if you wait for a heart transplant. In some cases, VAD is used as a permanent treatment for people who have heart failure. But those who aren’t good candidates for a heart transplant are first in line.
Heart transplant. Some people have severe heart failure, that surgery or medications don’t help. These people may need to have their hearts replaced with a healthy donor heart.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These drugs relax blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and decrease the strain on the heart. Examples include enalapril (Vasotec, Epaned), lisinopril (Zestril, Qbrelis, Prinivil), and captopril.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These drugs, which include losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), and candesartan (Atacand), have many of the same benefits as ACE inhibitors. They may be an option for people who can’t tolerate ACE inhibitors.
Beta-blockers. These drugs slow your heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Beta-blockers may reduce signs and symptoms of heart failure, improve heart function, and help you live longer. Examples include carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL, Kapspargo Sprinkle), and bisoprolol.
Diuretics. Often called water pills, diuretics make you urinate more frequently and keep fluid from collecting in your body. Diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix), also decrease fluid in your lungs to breathe more easily.
Because diuretics make your body lose potassium and magnesium, your doctor may also prescribe supplements of these minerals. If you’re taking a diuretic, your doctor will likely monitor potassium and magnesium levels in your blood through regular blood tests.
Aldosterone antagonists. These drugs include spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir) and eplerenone (Inspra). They are potassium-sparing diuretics with additional properties that may help people with severe systolic heart failure live longer.
Diuretics like spironolactone and eplerenone can raise the potassium in your blood to dangerous levels. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern so you can modify your intake of food high in potassium.
Positive inotropes. These medications may be given by IV to people with certain types of severe heart failure who are in the hospital. Positive inotropes can help the heart pump blood more effectively and maintain blood pressure. Long-term use of these drugs has been linked to an increased risk of death. Talk to your health care provider about the benefits and risks of these drugs.
Dobutamine and milrinone are the most common.
Digoxin (Lanoxin). This drug, also called digitalis, increases the strength of your heart muscle contractions. It also tends to slow the heartbeat. Digoxin reduces heart failure symptoms in systolic heart failure. It may be more likely to be given to someone with a heart rhythm problem, such as atrial fibrillation.
Hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate (BiDil). This drug combination helps relax blood vessels. It may be added to your treatment plan if you have severe heart failure symptoms and ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers haven’t allowed.
Vericiguat (Verquvo). This newer medicine for chronic heart failure is taken once a day by mouth. It’s a type of drug called an oral soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator. In studies, those with high-risk heart failure who took vericiguat had fewer hospital stays for heart failure and heart disease-related deaths than those who received an inactive pill (placebo).
Arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heart rhythm. There are various types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slow, too fast, or irregularly.
Bradycardia, or a heart rate that’s too slow, is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia, or a heart rate that’s too fast, refers to a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.
An arrhythmia can affect your heart health and how it works. With an irregular heartbeat, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
Vagal maneuvers. If you have a very fast heartbeat due to supraventricular tachycardia, your doctor may recommend this therapy. Vagal maneuvers affect the nervous system that controls your heartbeat (vagus nerves), often causing your heart rate to slow. For example, you may be able to stop an arrhythmia by holding your breath and straining, dunking your face in ice water, or coughing. Vagal maneuvers don’t work for all types of arrhythmias.
Cardioversion. This method to reset the heart rhythm may be done with medications or as a procedure. Your doctor may recommend this treatment if you have a certain type of arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation.
During the cardioversion procedure, a shock is delivered to your heart through paddles or patches on your chest. The current affects the electrical impulses in your heart and can restore a normal rhythm.
Catheter ablation. In this procedure, the doctor threads one or more catheters through the blood vessels to the heart. Electrodes at the catheter tips use heat or cold energy to create tiny scars in your heart to block abnormal electrical signals and restore a normal heartbeat.
Pacemaker. If slow heartbeats (bradycardias) don’t have a cause that can be corrected. Doctors often treat them with a pacemaker because there aren’t any medications that can reliably speed up the heart.
A pacemaker is a small device that’s usually implanted near the collarbone. One or more electrode-tipped wires run from the pacemaker through the blood vessels to the inner heart. If the heart rate is too slow or if it stops, the pacemaker sends out electrical impulses that stimulate the heart to beat at a steady rate.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Your doctor may recommend this device if you’re at high risk of developing a dangerously fast or irregular heartbeat in the lower heart chambers (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation). If you have heart health issues, had a sudden cardiac arrest, or have certain heart conditions that increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest, your doctor may also recommend an ICD.
An ICD is a battery-powered unit that’s implanted under the skin near the collarbone — similar to a pacemaker. One or more electrode-tipped wires from the ICD run through veins to the heart. The ICD continuously monitors your heart rhythm.
If the ICD detects an abnormal heart rhythm, it sends out low- or high-energy shocks to reset the heart to a normal rhythm. An ICD doesn’t prevent an irregular heart rhythm from occurring, but it treats it if it occurs.
Maze procedure. In the maze procedure, a surgeon makes a series of incisions in the heart tissue in the upper half of your heart (atria) to create a pattern (or maze) of scar tissue. Because scar tissue doesn’t conduct electricity, it interferes with stray electrical impulses that cause some types of arrhythmia.
The maze procedure is usually reserved for people who don’t get better with other treatments or who are having open-heart surgery for other reasons.
Coronary bypass surgery. If you have severe coronary artery disease in addition to heart arrhythmia, your doctor may perform coronary bypass surgery. This procedure may improve the blood flow to your heart. Because of this, your heart health may be compromised.
Heart valve problems
Once your heart health goes down, problems arise. When heart valves don’t open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should, a condition called stenosis results.
When the heart valves don’t close properly and allow blood to leak through, it’s called regurgitation. If the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse back into the upper chamber, it’s a condition called prolapse.
Heart valve repair: Patch holes in a valve. Separate valve leaflets that have fused. Replace the cords that support the valve. Remove excess valve tissue so that the valve can close tightly.
Surgeons often tighten or reinforce the ring around a valve (annulus) by implanting an artificial ring. In some cases, doctors use less invasive procedures to repair certain valves using long, thin tubes (catheters). These procedures can involve clips, plugs, or other devices.
Heart Valve Replacement: If the valve is not repaired, surgeons might remove the damaged valve and replace it with a mechanical valve. It can also be a valve made from cow, pig, or human heart tissue (biological or tissue valve).
If you had valve replacement with a mechanical valve, you’d need to take blood thinners to prevent blood clots for the rest of your life. Biological tissue valves break down over time and usually need to be replaced.
A minimally invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be used to replace a damaged aortic valve. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into an artery in your leg or chest and guides it to the heart valve. A replacement valve is moved through this catheter to the correct position.
Types of Cardiac Medications for Your Heart’s Health
Anticoagulant – is used to treat specific blood vessel, heart, and lung conditions.
Antiplatelet agent – keeps blood clots from forming by preventing blood platelets from sticking together.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor – expands blood vessels and decreases resistance by lowering levels of angiotensin II. Allows blood to flow more easily and makes the heart’s work easier or more efficient.
Beta-blocker: Decreases the heart health rate and cardiac output, lowering blood pressure and making the heartbeat more slowly, with less force.
Angiotensin II receptor blocker – rather than lowering levels of angiotensin II (as ACE inhibitors do), angiotensin II receptor blockers prevent this chemical from having any effects on the heart and blood vessels. This medication keeps blood pressure from rising.
Combined alpha and beta-blocker: Combined alpha and beta-blockers are used as an IV drip for those patients experiencing a hypertensive crisis. They may be prescribed for outpatient high blood pressure use if the patient is at risk for heart failure.
Angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor: Neprilysin is an enzyme that breaks down natural substances in the body that open narrowed arteries. By inhibiting neprilysin, those natural substances can have their usual effect. That improves artery opening and blood flow, reduces sodium (salt) retention, and decreases strain on the heart.
Calcium channel blocker Interrupts the movement of calcium into the heart and blood vessel cells. May decrease the heart’s pumping strength and relax the blood vessels.
Cholesterol-lowering medications: Various medications can lower blood cholesterol levels, but statins are the best first course of action. Other drugs may be recommended when statins prove ineffective or if a patient experiences severe side effects from statin therapy.
Digitalis preparation: Increases the force of the heart’s contractions, which can be beneficial in heart failure and for irregular heartbeats.
Diuretics: Cause the body to rid itself of excess fluids and sodium through urination. Help to relieve the heart’s workload. Diuretics also decrease fluid buildup in the lungs and other parts of the body, such as the ankles and legs. Different diuretics remove fluid at varied rates and through various methods.
Vasodilator: Relaxes blood vessels and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload. Available as pills to be swallowed, chewable tablets, and a topical application (cream).
Fact Sheet – Heart Disease
Taking care of your heart health is essential. Remember that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States .
There are about 3 million deaths in the US.
Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for almost 1/4th of the total deaths in the US.
One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease cost the United States about $363 billion each year from 2016 to 2017. It includes the cost of heart health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 360,900 people in 2019.
About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%).
About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.
In the United States, a person suffers from a heart attack every 40 seconds.
Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. Of these,
605,000 are a first heart attack
200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack
About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.
Race of Ethnic Group
% of Deaths
American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian American or Pacific Islander
Cardiovascular Disease Beyond Death
Cardiovascular disease isn’t something that just happens one day and death follows it the next. It is a chronic heart health condition that gets worse over time. Often times it can be managed and people can live active and great lives even when they have comorbidity.
Cardiovascular disease is not a death sentence but when it is not managed properly, it can be a problem. According to heart.org, almost half of the US population has some type of cardiovascular disease.
According to 2017 figures, 116.4 million people had hypertension, almost half of the US population at that time, and that is just hypertension alone.
Cardiovascular disease is such an issue that the AHA had to lower its guidelines for what hypertension is from 140/90 to 130/80 so that people can get treated sooner.
1 in 5 Americans reported having adequate aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity to meet the physical activity guidelines.
Estimates for 2035 are showing that more than 130 million people will have some form of cardiovascular disease and the total cost to the healthcare system would be $1.1 trillion.
Activity Guidelines for Your Heart Health
Key Guidelines for Adults
Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Those people who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
For substantial heart health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
Additional heart health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups two or more days a week. These activities provide additional heart health benefits.
Key Guidelines for Older Adults
The fundamental guidelines for adults also apply to older adults. In addition, the following vital guidelines are just for older adults :
Older adults should do multicomponent physical activity as part of their weekly physical activity that includes balance training and aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Senior adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their fitness level.
Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.
Aging adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly because of chronic conditions. They should be as physically active as their abilities and needs allow.
Diets Effects on Cardiovascular Disease
Artificial trans fats or trans fatty acids are created in the industrial food-making process. By adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils, making them more solid .Restaurants and certain food businesses use trans fats because they make food taste better and improve texture. The oils can be reused many times over.
Although the FDA has guidelines on how much trans fats are allowed, they are not illegal to use. The FDA has stated that hydrogenated oils are not generally recognized as safe. Heart.org recommends ideal 2 grams or less, the closer to 0, the better.
Trans Fat in Our Diet
The FDA also does not require to list trans fats if the product contains <0.5g. So, if you think about it, some of the products can have 0.4g, and through your diet, the total can add up to well over the 2g recommendation.
Common foods that have trans fats:
margarine and other spreads
There are naturally occurring trans fats like those in dairy and milk products. Keep in mind those are occurring and also in small amounts. There’s no research on the difference between artificial trans fats and occurring ones.
One study looked at trans fat consumption in Iranian homes . A study was done on 35,924 individuals and looked at their trans fat consumption. This consumption showed an association with heart health and coronary artery diseases.
It concluded that the average intake of trans fats was about 14g/1000 kcal. Trans fatty acids is accounted for 33% of fatty acid consumption. They concluded that 39% of coronary heart health events could have been prevented if unsaturated fatty acids had replaced them.
To watch the full episode of Ep. 85, check out the whole video here 👇👇👇
0:00 Introduction 0:52 Sponsor Ads 2:01 Cup of Nurses Introduction 2:30 Episode Introduction 2:46 What is Cardiovascular Disease? 5:36 Heart Disease 9:50 What happens in the hospital when you get a heart attack? 26:00 What are the 2 types of stroke? 28:32 Treatments for Stroke 31:58 Heart Failure 32:20 When does heart failure happen? 34:48 Treatments for Heart Failure 48:00 Medications for Heart Failure 54:41 What is Arrhythmia? 55:03 Treatments for Arrhythmia 1:04:10 Heart Valve Problems 1:06:12 Treatments for Heart Valve Problems 1:07:01 Types of Cardiac Medications 1:11:58 Fact sheet – Heart Disease 1:14:49 Probability of Heart Attack Based on Ethnicity Group 1:17:47 Activity Guidelines for Adults 1:21:25 Diets Affecting Cardiovascular Disease
How we react to the stress response is important. We all deal with stress differently. Some people can get over it quickly, while others take their time. But why is that? Is there a way to help reduce anxiety? Does food play a role in this? Find out more by reading about it in our post.
What is Stress
Stress is your mental and physical reaction to pressure from a certain situation. But remember not all of the stress response is bad, certain stress helps you and gives you the strength to do more. Negative or harmful stress is referred to as distress and on the flip side, positive or good stress is referred to as eustress.
The Stress Response
The stress response begins in the brain starting with the cerebral cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus. When someone comes into contact with a stressful situation the cerebral cortex identifies it and sends the information to the amygdala. The amygdala interprets the senses and if it perceives it as dangerous it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus.
When someone experiences a stressful event, the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This area of the brain functions like a command center, communicating with the rest of the body through the nervous system so that the person has the energy for fight or flight.
The hypothalamus controls such involuntary body functions as breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and the dilation or constriction of blood vessels and bronchioles in the lungs. The autonomic nervous system has two components;
Sympathetic nervous system: functions like a gas pedal in a car. It triggers the fight-or-flight response, providing the body with a burst of energy so that it can respond to perceived dangers.
Parasympathetic nervous system: acts like a brake. It promotes the “rest and digest” response that calms the body down after the danger has passed.
After the amygdala sends a distress signal, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals through the autonomic nerves to the adrenal glands.
These glands respond by pumping the hormone epinephrine into the bloodstream. As epinephrine circulates through the body, it brings on a number of physiological changes.
The heart beats faster than normal, pushing blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs.
Pulse rate and blood pressure go up.
The person starts to breathe more rapidly. Small airways in the lungs open wide. This way, the lungs can take in as much oxygen as possible with each breath. Extra oxygen is sent to the brain, increasing alertness.
Sight, hearing, and other senses become sharper.
Triggers the release of blood sugar (glucose) and fats from temporary storage sites in the body. These nutrients flood into the bloodstream, supplying energy to all parts of the body.
The Body’s Stress Response Process
All of these changes happen so quickly that you won’t be aware of them right away. The body’s wiring is so efficient that the amygdala and hypothalamus start this cascade even before the brain’s visual centers even have a chance to fully process what is happening. That’s why people are able to jump out of the path of an oncoming car even before they think about what they are doing.
As the first surge of epinephrine subsides, the hypothalamus activates the second component of the stress response system, the HPA axis. This process consists of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. The HPA axis relies on a series of hormonal signals to keep the sympathetic nervous system going .
If the brain continues to perceive something as dangerous, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which travels to the pituitary gland, triggering the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
This hormone travels to the adrenal glands, prompting them to release cortisol. The body thus stays revved up and on high alert. When the threat passes, cortisol levels fall. The parasympathetic nervous system, the brake, then dampens the stress response.
Cortisol is also responsible for:
Increased urea production, appetite suppression, suppression of immune system, exacerbation of gastric irritation, an associated feeling of depression, and loss of control.
In addition to the HPA axis, some other hormones such as Growth Hormone (GH) and thyroid hormones also play a significant role in stress.
Growth hormone is a peptide hormone, released from the anterior pituitary gland. GH raises the concentration of glucose and free fatty acids.
Thyroid hormones, the Thyroid releases thyroxin and triiodothyronine. The main function of thyroid hormones is to increase the overall metabolic rate. Thyroxin also increases heart rate and also the sensitivity of some tissues to catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine).
Negative Effects of Stress
When you are unable to efficiently cope with stress or if the stress persists over a long period of time it leads to negative systemic effects. Stress affects the body in many ways. Stress affects both physical as well as mental health.
Some of the prolonged effects may be individualized, but some of the effects are common to every individual. Most of the effects are associated with increased concentrations of corticoids and adrenaline. Some major effects on the body systems are :
Inconsistent eating habits, acid reflux, diarrhea, or constipation are the common symptoms seen in stressed persons. Chronic stress is also associated with obesity leading to many other negative effects.
Though there is no clear evidence that stressful life events promote the development of diabetes in children or in adults. In addition to that, hormonal changes occurring during acute and chronic stress can also affect glucose homeostasis in both healthy people and in those with diabetes.
Several studies have reported a negative effect of acute stress on the maintenance of blood glucose concentrations in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Both adrenaline and cortisol affect heart and blood pressure when active over long periods of time. Too much adrenaline makes blood pressure go up which in turn affects the functioning of the heart since the heart has to pump harder and faster.
This can produce coronary heart disease, strokes, and sudden cardiac arrest. Stress has been reported to be a predictor of incidents of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and hypertension. Stress can cause increased oxygen demand on the body spasm of the coronary blood vessels and electrical instability in the heart’s conduction system.
Chronic stress also leads to increased blood cholesterol levels
The persistently high levels of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood may cause atherosclerosis and sometimes may be a reason for a heart attack.
Cortisol also plays role in the accumulation of abdominal fat leading to obesity. Occupational stress also has a significant influence on the onset of CHD.
The persistent activation of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic stress response impairs the immune response leading to several types of infections. Studies have shown that people under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like flu and common cold as well as other infections.
In some cases, stress could also be a cause of cancer. The persistent activation of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis in the chronic stress response and in depression probably impairs the immune response. It can also contribute to the development and progression of some types of cancer. Studies have indicated that stress can promote breast cancer cell colonization of bone.
Since sex life depends on the fitness of both body and mind, chronic stress may decrease libido. It may even cause erectile dysfunction or impotence in men. In the case of chronic stress, testosterone levels can drop to an extent that can interfere with spermatogenesis (sperm production). In women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier, or more painful periods .
2 Foods That Decrease Stress
There are many foods that can help you with stress. The reason many foods decrease stress is that they usually help rev down the stress response. There are many common foods that will help you get through your stressful times.
Chronic stress leads to poor food choices that further increase inflammation, this is why it is important to eat healthily and dial down on nutrition.
The main reason why oatmeal helps with stress and anxiety is that it boosts serotonin. Seratonin is a natural feel-good neurotransmitter. Oatmeal increases serotonin due to the fact that it is a good source of tryptophan.
Tryptophan is a precurses to serotonin and studies are looking at whether levels of tryptophan have an impact on mood. Oats are also a complex carb high in fiber, and rich in vitamin B, magnesium, and potassium.
Those nutrients play a key role in blood sugar stabilization, mood, and energy. Fiber has been shown in some studies to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation. Stable electrolyte levels help with heart function and blood pressure.
Tea has been around for thousands of years. There is a wide assortment of teas but specifically, black tea has been associated with calming and relaxing properties. There are 2 major players when it comes to tea having these beneficial effects. L-theanine and catechins are responsible for the destressing functionality of tea .
L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea and certain mushrooms. L-theanine facilitates relaxation by boosting GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. It also reduces the amount of cortisol in your system.
What is really interesting is that l theanine increases alpha brain waves which are associated with wakeful relaxation while promoting attention and creativity.
According to a study shown on WebMD, tea drinkers showed a drop in cortisol levels and decreased platelet aggregation after a stressful situation .
Catechins are naturally occurring phenols, also known as antioxidants. It helps combat oxidative stress. It has also been linked to the inhibition of corticosteroid-induced anxiety and stress .
Learn more about stress response by watching the full Episode 82 here 👇
0:00 Introduction 0:45 Cup of Nurses Introduction 2:28 Episode Introduction 2:45 The Stress Response 16:33 Negative effects of stress 16:46 Effects of Stress in Digestion 19:02 Effects of Stress in Circulation 20:49 Effects of Stress on Immunity 27:12 Effects of Stress in Reproduction 33:00 2 Foods that Decrease Stress 33:25 Foods that decrease stress: Oatmeal 35:23 Foods that decrease stress: Tea