Where Heart Disease is Concerned, Failure is NOT An Option

Nearly 5 million Americans are affected by heart failure. That’s a fact. Award-winning actor Hector Elizondo is helping raise awareness of heart failure symptoms and reduce the number of Americans affected by the disease in an awareness campaign called Failure Is NOT An Option, sponsored by the American Heart Association. The campaign is designed to combat the increasing epidemic of heart failure.

The campaign was developed for patients, their families and friends, the general public and healthcare professionals. The program encourages prevention and early recognition of heart failure symptoms as well as discussion between patients and healthcare professionals about risk factors and earlier and more aggressive disease management and treatment options.

Congresswoman Puts Face on Heart Disease Problems

One of the things we want to do on this blog, aside from providing clinical information and research findings, is tell stories…the stories of people like you who face this disease everyday. After all, that’s what blogs do best – humanize the web. Put a personal face on it, so to speak.

One such story is that of Indiana Congresswoman Julia Carson. Though her story centers more around her bout with cardiovasular disease, she admits that one of the risk factors contributing to her heart trouble is diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America. Mortality rates among African Americans continue to exceed those of the general population; life expectancy is about six years less for blacks.

One reason blacks in every age group are more likely than whites to have a heart attack and die from it is because they tend to have several risk factors, among those being diabetes.

If you suffer from heart disease, I’d like to hear your story. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Quick and Healthy Diet Plans to Lose Weight

Shredding that extra poundage in the body is everyone’s concern. We’re living in a modern world and a kind of lifestyle that leaves us less time and opportunities to take care of our body. That’s why we’re always looking for effective and slim fast diet plan that can help us get back that healthier, slimmer body.

In this article, we aim to give you some quick and easy programs that promote weight loss and healthy lifestyle. You have to keep in mind though that having an effective diet plan is always good and desirable, but sticking to it is another matter that determines the success of your dieting pursuit.

So with that, here are some of the most effective nutritional plans that can help shred off some poundage:

All Fruits Plan

Stock up on fruits such as Optifast Weight Loss. Any fruits will do as long as they’re fresh. Try this diet plan any day of the week. Eat only fruits to your heart’s content or till your stomach is full. Don’t limit yourself. Just eat fruits for the whole day one and drink plenty of water more than 7 glasses.

Vegetarian Plan

This time, stock up on vegetables. You can have your vegetables raw or cooked; just don’t use oil if you do so. Eat veggies as much as you want during your meals, and drink seven to eight glasses of water.

Fruits & Vegetable Diet

A mixture of both fruits and veggies is also a great low carb program just you can image Medifast. Just as indicated above, you’re not restricted on quantity. Just make sure to eat them fresh and free of any preservatives. Drinking a glass of milk is also highly recommended, as well as 7 – 8 glasses of water per day.

Again, these quick and easy diet plans will be successful if you really stick to it, and put it some discipline to control your diet, and get that advantage of slimmer body. You can also supplement your diet plan by reading available materials on how to lose your fat. Another very crucial factor is regular physical activities and exercise.

Heart attack in women – The warning signs

Every year, heart attack in women kills hundreds. In fact, heart diseases are the main cause of death in women from America. The frequency of death caused by heart diseases is even higher than the death caused by cancer. Most people don’t have a clue how to recognize warning signs of heart attack before diagnosed by doctors via borderline ecg results or others. If it happens to have some symptoms, many women ignore them, thinking that is nothing serious. The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore other warning signs of heart attack in women and think that it’s nothing major while you should seriously reconsider the fact that you could be in danger.

If you don’t want to become one of the helpless victims, take your time, read the following lines and remember them. The most important symptoms of heart attack in women are:

* Chest pain – There is a reason for putting chest pain as the first sign on the list. Not because it is the most important, but because its the trickiest one. Heart attack in women is not necessary preceded by a chest pain, although doctors consider it to be like that. But there were several situations when women experienced a heart attack without feeling any discomfort in their chest. This symptom seems to be more common in men with heart diseases. However, when you face a chest pain you have a serious reason to call the emergency service.

* Shortness of breath – If breathing becomes suddenly a very hard thing to do, it might be a sign of heart attack in women. Difficulty in breathing usually appears in the morning, when you wake up. A 42 percent of women reported breathlessness as a symptom experienced before having a heart attack.

* Dizziness – It usually comes with unexplained light headedness, possible blackouts and the feeling that everything around you is spinning. There is a risk of fainting, so as fast as you can, ask for help. It is very important to realize that you risk your life if you ignore these symptoms.

* Unusual fatigue – If you feel tired and you haven’t done much, you had no physical activity, these signs predict a heart attack. Also besides fatigue you could feel a sort of weakness in your entire body. Remember if you can’t explain yourself why are you feeling tired you have to take action to prevent what’s next.

* Digestive discomfort – On the list of warning signs of heart attack in women there is also indigestion and nausea. A medical study showed that a 39 percent of women experienced digestive disorders before the heart attack.

Those are the major symptoms that occur at women who suffer heart diseases, before having a cardiac arrest. You can add anxiety, sleep disturbance, rapid hearth beats or palpitations and sweating. It does not matter if you have just one, two or 6 of these symptoms, there are all reasons for you to worry and do something to prevent the heart attack. If you already know you suffer a heart disease, you should pay an increased attention to any of these signs. Seek immediate medical assistance if you feel chest pain, difficulty in breathing, weakness, palpitations or nausea.
If you reached a certain age, it is better to try eating as healthy as you can and also have a daily schedule of aerobic exercises. Heart attack in women can be prevented if you are well informed and you take care of your life style. Check more for borderline ecg here: http://www.healthqas.org/health-condition/what-does-borderline-ecg-mean/.


The minimalist design disconnect

If you surf the web for multi-functional furniture and minimalist furniture design you will find pieces similar to the one in my post about all-in-one furniture. These great designs that combine the clean lines of minimalist design with the functionality of the minimalist lifestyle would be perfect for us, right? But the problem is there is a disconnect between furniture manufacturers and their audience in terms of budget… Come to find out, the unit I featured costs $15,000. What the hell? That’s the price of a decent  brand new car! These manufacturers that are creating these unique designs are targeting two very different groups that just don’t blend, in my opinion. The price tag is targeting high-income (if not high-income, than at least someone who is willing to drop 15k on a piece of furniture), while the design is targeting someone who needs to maximize their small living space. See how these don’t really go together? Minimalists have no desire to drop 15k on a material possession, especially one so permanent and heavy as furniture… and the people that would be frivolous in that way are definitely not living in small spaces to compensate for their spending habits. Now, I’m not saying that minimalists always want cheap stuff, but I believe in general they are going to be more practical in their spending. Buying such a permanent furniture solution doesn’t make much sense unless it were significantly cheaper (and in a DIY form?) and made sense for their living situation. Someone who would love these all-in-one designs would be a tiny apartment dweller who cannot make structural or architectural changes to their space, and 90% of that demographic will not be willing to spend 10-15k on a piece of furniture when a fold out sofa, coffee table, desk, and some barstools will suit us just fine for under $1000. I think the furniture designers are missing out on a huge market due to their outrageous prices. The people who can afford it have no need for it, and the people who want it, have no desire to spend that much on it! We need a happy medium. Functional furniture for affordable prices that is easily deconstructed or moveable. It would be great if minimalist design appealed to the minimalist’s budget, not just their taste. The argument here may be that “minimalist design” is not necessarily targeted to minimalists (many non-minimalists love the sleek, contemporary style as well), as minimalists will most likely not spend much money on furniture, if they even have any… but some of us love design and we are cutting costs and our environmental footprint with our small living spaces and would love to see a connect between our passion for simple, functional yet elegant design and the way we live and spend.

Have you found any designs or DIY projects that satisfy both your style and your budget? If so, please share!

Could renewable energy disrupt the electric utility business model

A great deal of business disruption is taking place right now in many sectors of the economy. The Internet has finally caught up to newspapers, and before that it was the music industry that was in trouble. With both of these examples, easy, quick and cheap access to content made it easy for consumers to bypass middlemen and connect directly with each other for transactions.

While the business model for electric utilities is different than media, electricity can be equated to content, and renewable energy provides a means to go direct to the source at minimal cost, thus cutting out the utility’s revenue source. With so much disruption in other industries, it’s important to ask if cheap renewable energy could take customers off the grid, and disrupt the entire electric utility transmission and distribution business.

Energy Independence

Most homes that have purchased the means to generate their own renewable energy use a hybrid arrangement where they generate some power, but rely on the grid as a backup. This approach is predominantly aimed at reducing their carbon footprint and monthly utility bill.

An increasing number of consumers are opting to go entirely off the grid. Placing complete reliance on solar or wind energy is a lifestyle choice that requires adaptation, but there are multiple incentives. Energy independence isn’t just a green choice, increasingly it is a political choice that is tied to global security and the desire to not support foreign governments with much different ideologies.

The steady decline in the price of solar and wind power, and societal pressures to go green, mean that getting off the grid and declaring energy independence is much easier than it has ever been. But, while this is practical for some, it’s not a mass movement that will happen overnight.

Reliance and Reliability

Consumers have a generally favorable view of their electric provider, given the many electrical appliances that they have come to rely upon and the reliability of their service. The role of computers for daily work has also meant an increased need for continuous and reliable power for commerce and the economy.

Electric utilities have steadily improved upon their performance, and have begun to introduce efficiencies to make the entire grid run cleaner and more efficiently. The move toward a more streamlined and efficient grid that can adapt to consumer demand will place electric utilities in a favorable light to preclude any mass migrations away from centralized and distributed power.

Energy utilities need to keep an eye on the increasing role of renewable energy, and the effects that it has on the rate base of their customers. While an Internet-like effect isn’t imminent, there will clearly be impacts on the business model as more renewable energy comes online.

In which I respectfully disagree with Richard Dawkins

In `The Magic of Reality’ (P.20) Richard Dawkins describes the magic of J. K. Rowling as supernatural. I disagree.

One of the characteristic differences between science and pseudo-science is that real science has entry-level exercises by which children can access and manipulate the subject of that science. The school-girl raising a weight with a pulley system is manipulating forces and energy just as surely as the operators of the LHC. There is an unbroken line from the pulleys to the LHC. These exercises are reliable and repeatable and when they don’t work it is possible to identify and correct mistakes. For pseudo-science, there is no such entry level. The tools and techniques needed to detect telepathy are well within the capabilities of children, but they don’t work. There is no “Follow this procedure and you will observe telepathy and measure some of its properties”. But there is “Follow this procedure and you will observe hydrogen and measure some of its properties” in childrens’ chemistry class.

The major premise in Rowling’s books is that magic has just such an entry level. For the most part, the spells described are, in and of themselves, as pointless as the exercises in a high school physics or chemistry lab, but they are just as reliable and repeatable. This says to me, natural, not supernatural.

Admittedly, magic isn’t accessible to all, only to certain gifted individuals, but even there it looks natural. The gift runs in families, so we can expect a strong genetic component. Occasionally within gifted families there is one who is not gifted, suggesting that the gifted are not genetically homogeneous. Occasionally (Hermione and Harry’s mother, for example) a gifted person arises outside the families, suggesting that the genes are present in the general population, but rare and recessive. This says to me, natural, not supernatural.

There is a reliable and repeatable interaction between magic and electricity. Subtle uses of electricity fail in the presence of magic. Crude uses, such as the lighting in the Hogwarts Express, work in the presence of general school-child level of magic, but fail when the Dementors turn up. This suggests to me that there is a direct and measurable physical effect which occurs when magic is applied. This says to me, natural, not supernatural.

In later years at high school, Muggle children are taught that there are limits to what can and can not be done with energy; I’m thinking specifically of the laws of thermodynamics. At about the same age wizarding children are taught laws about what can and can not be done by magic. This says to me, natural, not supernatural.

In short, the magic of J. K. Rowling is fictional, but it is not supernatural and I think the distinction is worth preserving.

Some Things in Excess: Laughter and Health

I was thinking recently about laughter and health and its enduring place in our lives.  Years ago, when I was taking one of my college classes at UCLA, one of my professors told us that he had a saying:  “Everything in moderation, but some things in excess.”  I believe it was a call to get the most out of your life, to indulge now and again.  But I think, with our jobs, marriages, families, responsibilities, we can hardly go “hog-wild” whenever we feel like it!
What can I do that some may see as excessive, but which I know will be good for me or my health, because I really love it and it’s not illegal?  I listened to the sound of my laughter as thought, “I can’t go on a drinking binge, or eat everything in sight, or spend $500 for a pair of shoes, or jump out of a perfectly good airplane, like my paratrooper dad did during WWII (well, I guess I could, but I’m chicken that way).”

No, I’m thinking about the kind of things that will make me feel glorious and exuberant, and might inspire gales of laughter and even be great for my health.  Let’s see:  I could see a live musical play with my family like “A Chorus Line”  or “Wicked”.  How about a night ride to the high desert to see the meteor shower that planet earth passes through every year around this time?  What about a live performance by a current stand-up comedienne, like Cathy Griffin, or Rita Rudner?  Now that’s something that could produce laughter and benefit my health at the same time!

I have to say that a couple of weeks ago, I was giving a massage to one of my clients, who could not lie down on my table, so he was sitting facing the back of his chair in front of the TV.  His health was not that great, but I was soon treated to the sound of his boisterous laughter.  His son had turned on a comedy concert of Cathy Griffin performing live,  taped for Bravo.  I’d forgotten how outrageous Cathy can be, but I also noticed how uninhibited and fearless she is, too, because she dares to say things that most people can only think about.  My client’s son now could hear hearty laughter coming from both of us, and he smiled to see his dad acting as if he were in the peak of health.  In addition, there were moments I was actually screaming!  I had a blast, and it was one of the easiest massages I’ve ever given.

In a recent TV Guide, Italian screen legend and bombshell, Sophia Loren was interviewed about her career and her effect on men. (I remember watching “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” as a little girl.  Sophia’s character was crying because she was so in love with Marcello Mastroianni’s character, that she was trying to do all she could to please him.  As it was a comedy, I remember my sister and I holding our stomachs and heaving with laughter at the side-splitting hilarity of the situation onscreen,  and I think now, what could have been better for our health?) Anyway, TV Guide’s last question was in reference to an old, classic photo of Sophia sitting next to that other bombshell, Jayne Mansfield, looking at her chest as Jayne leaned forward onto the table, in a low-cut dress.  When asked what she was thinking at the time,  Sophia answered:  “I was very much afraid her breast was going to come out completely! [Laughs] It was fear!”  Upon reading her reply, I threw my head back,  and with continuous whoops of delighted laughter, I felt glorious and exuberant and knew that, right then, nothing could be better for my health!