Cardiologists Bay Minette AL

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Jack Thompson MD PA
(251) 675-3594
1084 Industrial Pkwy
Saraland, AL
Specialties
Pediatrics

Data Provided by:
Samuel Perry Marshall, MD
(334) 479-3275
500 Spanish Fort Blvd Apt 344
Spanish Fort, AL
Specialties
General Practice
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Va Sch Of Med, Charlottesville Va 22908
Graduation Year: 1943

Data Provided by:
Benjamin Powell Schrubbe
(251) 621-6520
27961 Us Highway 98
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Henry Horton Davis
(251) 626-1175
27961 Highway 98
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Lynne Potts Kirkland
(251) 621-6520
27961 Us Highway 98
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Diana Kirk Hashimi
(251) 445-1850
6475 Spanish Fort Blvd
Spanish Fort, AL
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
Andrew Glenn Freeman
(257) 621-6520
27961 Us Highway 98
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Ross Harrison Bishop
(251) 626-1175
27961 Highway 98
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Robert Atkinson McKnight
(251) 625-8211
7101 Us Highway 90 Ste 202
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

Data Provided by:
Thomas F Sapp
(251) 621-0425
28119 N Main St
Daphne, AL
Specialty
Family Practice

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The Truth about

You need serious intervention once your heart starts losing its pumping power.
The best solution is prevention.

By Lisa James

February 2010

Heart failure is one of the most confusing terms in all of medicine—and one of the scariest when coming from your doctor’s lips: What do you mean, my heart is failing? “It’s quite a fearful term for many patients,” says Justine Lachmann, MD, FACC, director of the congestive heart failure program at St. Francis Hospital ( www.stfrancisheartcenter.com ) in Roslyn, New York. “The words may be more fearful than the condition.”

Heart failure is not cardiac arrest, in which the heart stops beating. Rather, heart failure, or HF, is a collective term for “signs and symptoms of fluid buildup,” explains Eileen Hsich, MD of the Cleveland Clinic ( www.clevelandclinic.org ). “It may be caused by a strong heart that does not relax or a weak heart that cannot pump properly.”

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million people in the US have HF, and the rate is rising because we as a nation are growing older. “Medical interventions are allowing people to live longer,” Lachmann says. “The presence of HF is increasing exponentially in people over the age of 65.”

Pump Malfunction

To understand HF it helps to know some basic cardiac anatomy. The heart has four chambers, two on each side of a inner wall called the septum. The upper chambers, or atriums, take blood in; the lower ones, or ventricles, pump it out. Blood enters the right side of the heart and is sent to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. It then enters the left side, from where it is circulated throughout the body. A system of valves controls blood flow in and out of the different chambers.

Controlling Blood Pressure

Avoiding heart failure is a big reason to keep blood pressure under control. “High blood pressure is the number one cause of heart failure,” says Eileen Hsich, MD. Hypertension can also lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems. What makes this condition particularly hazardous is that it can cause damage for years without producing symptoms.

According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is less than 120, the systolic pressure generated during a heartbeat, over 80, the diastolic pressure between beats.

Prehypertension ranges from 120 to 139 or 80 to 89. Beyond that are two stages of high blood pressure, 140 to 159 or 90 to 99 for stage 1, 160/100 or higher for stage 2.

There are natural ways to help bring down blood pressure. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) emphasizes whole grains and produce while reducing dairy (to learn more, see dashdiet.org ). Cutting salt intake reduces fluid levels, which helps to lower pressure. Exercise relaxes the blood vessels, as do yoga, tai chi and meditation.

Alternative healthcare practitioners use several supplements in treating mild-to-moderate high blood pressure (severe hypertensio...

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