We’re in denial about heart health factors  Brantford Expositor – A report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation says that Canadians are in denial about their risk factors for heart disease, including being overweight and physically inactive.


Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat, COLD CUTS was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer, a study published in the journal Cancer said.

For those who can’t do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.

The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance colour and flavour.  “Nitrate and nitrite are precursors to N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), which induce tumours in many organs, including the bladder, in multiple animal species,” the study says. The scientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites from all sources, not just meats, and people who got a lot of nitrates in their diets from processed meats, like cold cuts, had a 28 to 29 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound. The scientists also found that people who ate the most red meat were younger, less educated, less physically active, and had lower dietary intake of fruits, vegetable, and vitamins C and E than those consuming the least red meat.


Perfumes can be dangerous


A prominent environmental group says perfume makers stink when it comes to divulging the potentially dangerous chemicals in their products

Environmental Defence, along with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, commissioned a study of perfumes sold in Canada. The group says the study shows that perfumes often contain a dozen of what it calls “secret chemicals” not listed on labels — chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt hormones.

A group tested 17 name-brand perfumes colognes and “body sprays” for men and women:

  • Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio 
  • Jennifer Lopez J. Lo Glow
  • Calvin Klein Eternity (for women)
  • Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • Britney Spears Curious
  • Calvin Klein Eternity (for men)
  • Quiksilver (for men)
  • Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly
  • Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
  • Clinique Happy
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce
  • American Eagle Seventy Seven
  • Hannah Montana Secret Celebrity
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
  • Old Spice After Hours Body Spray
  • AXE Bodyspray For Men – Shock  
  • Halle by Halle Berry

All of them contained secret chemicals not listed on the label. On average, they contained 14 chemicals, some are which have been linked to estrogen disruption, sperm production disruption and even cancer, the group says.

According to the study, Calvin Klein Eternity perfume for women, for example, contained 14 unlisted chemicals. Giorgio Armani Aqua Di Gio for men had 17 chemicals, while American Eagle 77 spray contained 24 unlisted chemicals.

The study found the perfumes also contained an average of 10 “sensitizing” chemicals, which are chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions, such as nausea, headaches, wheezing, and vomiting.

The questionable chemicals include:

  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Benzophenone
  • Diethyl phthalate (DEP)
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Galaxoide
  • Tonalide
  • Musk ketone
  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Benzyl benzoate
  • Butylphenyl methylpropional

The report says that galaxolide and tonalide — two synthetic musks linked to toxicity to the endocrine system – were found in 16 of the 17 perfumes. A recent cord-blood study by the Environmental Working Group found those two chemicals inside the bodies of most babies tested.

Twelve of the 17 products in this study were listed as containing DEP, a chemical found in 97 per cent of Americans that is linked to abnormal development of reproductive organs in baby boys and sperm damage in adult men.

Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, says these chemicals easily find their way into our bodies.

“Fragrance chemicals are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, and many of them end up inside people’s bodies, including pregnant women and newborn babies,” she said.

Local Medical services fall drastically short of what it should be


While we now still do tend to have the best medical services availability in Canada, only in some parts of Canada, such as Montreal, Ottawa, Torornto, our medical services still do fall drastically short of what it should be overall still as well. Self centered charge card  happy doctors are still too often uncaring, pretentious, even incompetent.
 Contrast with this with too many people who themselves do still have a very negative overall lifestyle and they also do fail to seriously realize the effect it will have on their personal health..
– and when I see firsthand a seriously suffer, dying of kidney, liver failure in a hospital due to their too much wine, alcoholic consumption it kind of     wakes me some up some more. Alcoholism has always been an undeniable major problem in Canada  now too.. A person is suffering from heart problem, kidney, liver failure, alcoholism, and likely diabetes next and who knows what next now as well?  he also does not take his medical problem serious enough.. he is too typical now as well.. firstly he needs to start off with an eating  diet change.. less red meat and more fruit, vegetables, smaller meal portions too.. which he refuses to do.. so he will likely die an earlier death in a hospital with plenty of sufferings as well.. what is also really unbelievable is that his wife who  is a dietician even and she lets her husband do, eat whatever he wants.. for she still really does not care about his good health, related lifestyle… basically she has her own unresolved needs.. 
On the surface, at least, Canadians  appear to be among the healthiest in the country when it comes to cardiovascular disease.  But the realties  are deceiving and paint a much different picture once you look into them. Twenty-two per cent of them smoke, 60 percent of them drink alcohol, 50 per cent are overweight or obese and 67 per cent do not eat a healthy diet. Many persons have often, continually unresolved negative personal stress   All of these factors contribute to high blood pressure — and they are entirely preventable, or deal able with.  A lot of what we perceive to be healthy eating and doing actually isn’t.  For starters, all persons people should shake their addiction to salty, packaged meals. reduce their red meat consumptions, reduce their meal sizes, eat more regularly too, One of the biggest problems is the high amount of sodium in our food,” This salt encourages water in the blood to remain, and gives more work for the heart to pump. Everyone does have  responsibilities, parents, spouses, food distributors as do governments and food manufacturers. Now  it’s about all of us doing a better job to increase public awareness and promoting more lifestyle changes around being healthy. According to the World Health Association, high blood pressure is the leading risk for death in the world.  Hypertension is the leading cause of heart and stroke disease, but there are no obvious symptoms.  Now  regular Doctor checkups,  with a competent and not too often a pretentious doctor too, to screen for hypertension, Diabetes as well  are required since studies suggest will affect half of all Canadians by the time they turn 60.  Over time, high blood pressure can damage blood vessel walls causing scarring that promotes the buildup of plaque deposits, which narrow and eventually block blood flow. Increased blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and other diseases that many persons next do die from. One in five Canadians has high blood pressure — and many  Canadians are among the least likely in the country to take measures to lower it. Only  80 per cent of the 4.6 million Canadians with hypertension take medication to control it, according to new findings from Statistics Canada. Doing things like having a  healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat is very effective, as is regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight.  The prevalence of high blood pressure was about the same in men as in women, but men were less likely to be aware of their condition. The numbers should give all cause for concern.   
 Blood Pressure Risk Factors
– – Smoking
– – Lack of exercise
– – Poor diet and excess sodium
– – Excessive alcohol consumption
– – Being overweight or obese
It is very interesting that when most of the news reporters, governments tend to write about heart attacks, or car accidents they seem to downplay, omit alcohol’s effect and why is that
– Next I could not help to also notice how many  women I talk to still do wrongfully suffer from their untreated mental depression, not even realizing what the main, root cause of their depression now is as well. Self! An ostrich approach or burying oneself in more activism, denials as well does not help their situations.
– Now as the general population is getting older, for the war babies especially, I could also not help put notice the many problems, including severe  loneliness, anxiety, stresses our seniors do have, and they do now have very few decent advocates to speak out for them. Recently I have met many, many bitter crippled   wheeled chaired seniors indicating no one cares to help them, look after their needs, concerns in Hospitals, convalescent, old age homes and I even here do suffer with them too..
– Hypertension another  leading personal cause of heart attacks, strokes and other major medical problems. For most North Americans even if you don’t have high blood pressure now, you need to make a serious lifestyle, food  adjustments now to avoid personal health problems, especially Cancer and Heart diseases next  in one’s future.   A person is considered hypertensive with a blood-pressure reading of 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or higher. Healthy adults should have a blood pressure in the range of 120/80 mmHg, although that target varies with age and other health conditions. There are many DIFFERENT factors that contribute to high blood pressure, including first the type of one’s food consumption, too much read meat, not enough fruit and vegetables,  being overweight, a lack of physical activity, excessive sodium consumption and aging. Hypertension, while it has few obvious symptoms, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. To Help with many person’s medical symptoms of their diseases often we may still  have to deal with the root causes of their sicknesses too.. including their stress, anxieties, their wrong doings too.
I too have found one of the free great cure, a help to relieve my high blood pressure *, stress, and instead of keeping it all boiled up inside, I express it, share it with everyone else all of  the things that rightfully have peeved me off, and it seems I keep on coming back to my favorite complaints until they actually get resolved including .. http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/cure-for-stress-high-blood-pressure-heart-attack/

Danger – High Sodium Diets Hazardous to Health


According to a recent study, excess consumption of salt is linked to diseases like, hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney damage and stomach cancer etc. Hence high sodium diets are highly dangerous to the health, especially to heart.  The dietary guidelines recommend less than 2,300 mg intake of sodium per day. Americans do not pay heed to the same and eat an average of 3,436 mg every day.  Maximum sodium intake comes from the processed foods like cheeses, sliced meats, sauces and French fries, etc. Sauces and spreads can contain salt to the extent of 1,283 mg of salt per 100 grams. Foods that were once frozen and canned are full of sodium.  Dr. Marc Schweiger, director of Cardiac Catheterization/Research in the Division of Cardiology at Baystate Medical Center, says, “Although salt is found in many foods, maintaining a low-sodium diet will benefit your long-term health in a variety of ways”.


The Number One Health Risk Gallstones in the Liver

The Number One Health Risk Gallstones in the Liver  

Think of the liver as a large city with thousands of houses and streets. There are underground pipes for delivering water, oil and gas. Sewage systems and garbage trucks dispose of waste products. Power lines deliver energy to the homes and businesses. Factories, transport systems and shops meet the daily supply requirements of its inhabitants. The city is organized in such a way as to provide all that is needed for the continued existence and well being of its entire population. However, if city life becomes paralyzed as a result of major strike actions, a failing power supply, a massive act of terrorism or a devastating earthquake, the population will begin to suffer serious shortcomings in all of these sectors.

The liver has hundreds of different functions and is connected with every part of the body. Every moment of the day it is involved in manufacturing, processing and supplying the body with vast amounts of nutrients. These nutrients feed the 60-100 trillion inhabitants (cells) of the body. Each cell is, in itself, a microscopic city of immense complexity, with billions of chemical reactions per second. To sustain the incredibly diverse activities of all the body’s cells without disruption, the liver must supply them with a constant stream of nutrients and hormones. With its intricate labyrinth of veins, ducts and specialized cells, the liver needs to be free of any obstruction in order to maintain a problem-free production line and frictionless nutrient and hormone distribution system throughout the body.

The liver is the main organ responsible for processing, converting, distributing and maintaining the body’s ‘fuel’ supply. Some actions involve the breakdown of complex chemicals; other important functions involve synthesis, particularly the manufacture of protein molecules. The liver acts like a filter to break down and remove excessive hormones as well as alcohol and drugs.

In all cases, it is the task of the liver to modify these biological active substances so that that they lose their potentially harmful effects – a process known as detoxification. Specialized cells in the liver’s blood vessels (Kupffer cells) mop up harmful elements and infectious organisms reaching the liver from the gut. The liver excretes the waste materials resulting from these actions via its bile ducts. To make sure all this occurs efficiently, the liver receives and filters three pints of blood per minute and produces two and a quarter pints of bile every day.

Obstructive gallstones can greatly undermine the liver’s capacity to detoxify all of these externally supplied and internally generated substances in the blood; they also prevent the liver from delivering the proper amount of nutrients and energy to the right places in the body at the right time. This can upset the delicate balance in the body, known as ‘homeostasis,’ leading to malfunctioning of its systems and organs.

A perfect example of such a disturbed balance is the increased concentration of the endocrine hormones, estrogen and aldosterone, in the blood. These hormones, produced both in men and women, are responsible for the correct degree of salt and water retention, When not detoxified, as occurs in bile duct and gallbladder congestion, their excessive concentration in the blood causes tissue swelling and water retention. High estrogen levels are also considered the leading cause of breast cancer among women. In men, high levels of this hormone can cause excessive development of breast tissue. Nearly 60% of the American population is overweight or obese; that is, they suffer from fluid retention (with comparatively little fat accumulation). Fluid retention in the tissues forces other toxic waste matter to be deposited in various parts of the body. Wherever the storage capacity for toxins is exhausted, symptoms of illness begin to occur.

If you suffer any of the following symptoms, or similar conditions, you likely have numerous gallstones in your liver and gallbladder:

  • Low appetite
  • Food cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hernia
  • Flatulence
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Most infections
  • High cholesterol
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heart disease
  • Brain disorders
  • Duodenal ulcers
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Puffy eyes
  • Skin disorder
  • Scoliosis
  • Gout
  • Stiff neck
  • Asthma
  • Sciatica
  • Joint diseases

    • Knee problems
    • Osteoporosis
    • Obesity
    • Chronic Fatigue
    • Kidney diseases
    • Cancer
    • MS and MD
    • Nightmares
    • Urinary problems
    • Hormonal imbalances
    • Menstrual and menopausal disorders
    • Problems with vision
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • A ‘bilious’ or angry personality
    • Dull pain on the right side
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Clay-colored stool
    • Prostate diseases


    • Other sexual problems
    • Digestive disorders
    • Liver spots, especially those on the back of the hands and facial area
    • Dizziness and fainting spells
    • Loss of muscle tone
    • Excessive weight or wasting
    • Strong shoulder or back pain
    • Pain at the top of a shoulder blade and/or between the shoulder blades
    • Dark color under the eyes
    • Morbid complexion
    • Tongue that is glossy or coated in white or yellow


    • Frozen shoulder
    • Headaches and migraines
    • Tooth and gum problems
    • Yellowness of the eyes and skin
    • Numbness and paralysis of legs
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Cold extremities
    • Excessive heat and perspiration in the upper part of the body
    • Very greasy hair or hair loss
    • Cuts or wounds that keep bleeding and don’t heal
    • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia
    • Stiffness of joints and muscles
    • Hot and cold flushes


    Clearing the liver and gallbladder from all accumulated stones helps to restore homeostasis, balance weight and set the precondition for the body to heal itself. It also is one of the best precautions one can take to protect against illness in the future The liver cleanse

    The liver flush mentioned here is a simple, safe and painless do-it-yourself procedure using mainly apple juice, olive oil, lemon juice and Epsom salts to dispel gallstones from the liver and, of course, also from the gall bladder. 


    Epsom salts 4 tablespoons
    3 cups of water 3 cups water (=750 dl)  (P.S .!! 1 cup = 250 ml = 2.5 dl = 0.25 l )
    Olive oil 1/2 (half) cup (light olive oil is easier to get down), and for best results, ozonate it for 20 minutes. Add 2 drops HCl.
    Fresh pink grapefruit 1 large or 2 small, enough to squeeze 2/3 cup juice. Hot wash twice first and dry each time.
    Ornithine 4 to 8, to be sure you can sleep. Don’t skip this or you may have the worst night of your life!
    Large plastic straw To help drink potion.
    Pint jar with lid  
    Black Walnut Tincture, any strength 10 to 20 drops, to kill parasites coming from the liver.

    HOSPITALS are filled with infection-causing bacteria that cannot be found anywhere else. Hospitals, which often house very large numbers of sick people, are the ideal breeding environment for the sometimes deadly bugs. Hospital patients generally have a lower level of immunity and offer little or no resistance to them. The hospital staff, due to constant exposure to the bugs, are fairly immune to them, but may pass them on to patients by touching them or their food, bedding, clothing, or medications.* Contrary to common belief, hospitals are among the most contaminated places in the world. In fact  it does not take much dirt to become a breeding place for billions of deadly infectious bacteria.

    * Doctors can be the worst transmitters of disease in hospitals. Most doctors do not wash their hands except before an operation, when they wear sterilized gloves and gowns anyway. They may sometimes touch many dozens of patients within several hours, one after the other, without washing their hands even once. Even the doctor’s white gown is not as clean as it looks. It is only clean if it is washed every single day, which rarely happens. .

    * Bed sheets may be clean, but mattresses and pillows are not. The chance of being infected by bugs living in them is 1 in 20.

    * A hospital patient may receive up to 12 different kinds of medication, all of which produce side effects, SOME  that can lead to serious complications and even death. AND SOME MEDICATIONS GIVEN ARE GIVEN IN ERROR AS WELL

    * NOT SURPRISING TO MANY PERSONS hospitals PATIENTS OFTEN  are suffering from malnutrition due to a poor hospital diet OR BUDGET CONSTRAINTS. Malnutrition, even starvation was found to be the major cause of death among older people in hospitals.

    Add the toxic side effects of the drugs, the presence of deadly bugs, as well as the stress and anxiety that accompany an illness and a stay in a hospital, and a poorly nourished elderly person NOW EVEN has very little chance of surviving.

    Anxiety stress relief vitamins and minerals work in different ways by providing nutrients which control the metabolism rate and the hormone levels within our bodies. By keeping these two things stable we can provide a better mechanism to cope with stress and anxiety inducing situations. Most of the recommended anxiety stress relief vitamins and minerals can be found in the foods that we eat and can simply be attained by eating a healthy and balanced diet covering all the major food groups. And that is why eating proper foods is important.


    Statin drugs expose patients to dangerous, debilitating side effects?

     Science is an art where you measure visible results. If you take a specific medicine for a period of time and you notice a specific result, that is also part of valid science. Anyone who takes medicine regularly tends to know that medicine generally still  has both the positive and negative side effects as well..
    Statin drugs especially  can expose patients to dangerous, debilitating side effects;

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the drug company, Pfizer, Inc. about not reporting the side effects of several of their medications to the public, neglecting to quickly report serious and unexpected potential side effects from its drugs already on the market. Delays of reporting these side effects go back as far as 2004, including some of the companies top selling medications such as Viagra (for impotence), Lipitor (for cholesterol) and Lyrica (for seizures). Pzifer was criticized by Ronald Pace, director of the FDA’s New York office, that the company had not properly documented or investigated reported problems in patients who took these drugs after they were approved for use. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6586PE20100610
    if you add a serving of good fat-olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, dark chocolate etc.-to every meal, it’ll target the bad fat. And ditch the donuts and up (or down) the vegetables.
    People taking cholesterol-lowering statins to treat heart disease may be at higher risk of liver, kidney and cataract problems, and should be monitored for these side-effects, http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/05/21/statin-cholesterol-side-effects.html
    Statin drugs do expose patients to dangerous, debilitating side effects
    Statin drugs drugs are often unnecessary, as most persons could lower their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels simply by changing their diet and lifestyle. The problem with these so-called “magic pills” is that they often end up doing more harm than good. Such is the case with Lipitor, the most popular of the five statin drugs available today. Proponents of Lipitor and other statin drugs claim that they, in addition to normalizing cholesterol levels, can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart-related deaths in general. What doctors and pharmacists are less likely to explain in full to patients, however, are the potential side effects of drugs like Lipitor — side effects that can outweigh any potential good the drugs might purport to do. The cholesterol-lowering drugs like Lipitor “work by inhibiting the enzyme needed to manufacture cholesterol in the liver. However, these drugs also block the manufacture of important nutrients like CoQ10, which has been shown to benefit heart health. The other main drawback of this class of drugs is debilitating muscle pain … Other side effects, according to the Physicians Desk Reference, include liver problems, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches and skin rash.” Aching muscles are especially common among statin drug users, and according to Bottom Line Yearbook 2002, muscle ache can actually be a sign that body tissues are breaking down, which can lead to serious kidney damage. Also memory loss CAN BE A SIDE EFFECT OF TAKING THESE PILLS. When it comes to statin drugs, many are being overdosed with prescription medications they probably don’t even need in the first place. We now know that high doses of these drugs can have serious side effects in many areas of health. To avoid getting hooked on these dangerous drugs don’t just turn to mega-doses of Lipitor for help.
    Statin drugs side effects can include.
      • lack of appetite
      • headache,
      • depression,
      • difficulty swallowing,
      • distorted facial muscles,
      • dizziness,
      • abnormal heartbeat,
      • allergic reaction,
      • black stools,
      •  changes in eyesight, 
      •  unstable emotions,
      • urinary problems,
      • changes in taste sensation,
      • chest pain,
      • constipation, 
      • fatigue, 
      •  hearing difficulties,
      •  heartburn,
      • increased muscle movement,
      •  leg cramps, muscle aching or weakness,
      • purple or red spots on the skin,
      • rash,
      • respiratory problems, 
      •  sensitivity to light,
      • weight loss,
      • lack of appetite,
      • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
      • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat.
      • headache
      • heartburn
    •  Wheezing or difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat.
    • symptoms of muscle damage, such as muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, or brown or discoloured urine, especially if you also have a fever or a general feeling of being unwell
    • severe skin rash, including skin blistering and peeling (possibly with headache, fever, coughing, or aching before the rash begins)
    • symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing
    • diarrhea
    • gas
    • nausea
    • rash
    • stomach upset
    • vomiting
    Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
    • have kidney or liver problems
    • have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
    • have a history of muscle pain or weakness while taking other cholesterol-lowering medications 0 such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, or simvastatin
    • are more than 70 years old
    • have undergone surgery or suffered any traumatic injury
    • are frail
    • have diabetes
    Serious side effects of Lipitor include; allergic reactions (closing of the throat, swollen lips, trouble breathing, swelling of the face or tongue; and hives breakouts), decreased or rust-colored urine, or unusually blurry vision.  Though muscle damage, sometimes debilitating muscle pain and disintegration, is the most common side effect, statins have been found to cause many other serious adverse effects. Patients taking Lipitor have had a higher incidence of cancer, neuropathy, heart failure, dizziness, memory failure, and depression.  If Lipitor is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lipitor with any of the following drugs – Antacids such as Maalox TC Suspension, Colestipol (Colestid), Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral), Digoxin (Lanoxin), Erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, others), Fluconazole (Diflucan), Gemfibrozil (Lopid), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), Niacin (Niaspan, Niacor, Slo-Niacin) and Oral contraceptives.

    Healthy living – Heart, atrial fibrillation




    Many Canadians pose severe health risks  Edmonton Sun –    OTTAWA — Ninety per cent of Canadians over the age of 20 have at least one “risk factor” associated with heart disease and stroke, the Public Health Agency of Canada warns in a comprehensive study of cardiovascular illness.

    The document, which distils data from several scientific sources about all areas of heart and stroke illness, says that in terms of risky behaviour:

    – more than 56% of adults don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables;

    – almost 50% don’t get enough exercise;

    – almost one-quarter feel high stress levels;

    – more than 15% are daily smokers;

    – between 60% and 85% eat too much sodium (salt).

    High percentages of adults also have underlying health conditions that add to their risk, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

    Irregular heartbeat quintuples stroke risk CTV.ca

    Study Shows Prevalence Of Dangerous Irregular Heartbeats In Canadians CityNews

    all 32 news articles »
    A new report out from the Heart and Stroke Foundation says a quarter million Canadians have a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. They’re also concerned that not enough patients are getting the right care, and may be at risk of dying. The foundation says doctors also need to be aware of the increased stroke risk linked to atrial fibrillation and ensure patients are properly treated.  “Most patients with atrial fibrillation are treated with medications to either slow down the heartbeat or to stop the irregular beat from happening, or with a procedure called ablation,” notes Dr. paul Dorian of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  “As a separate matter, most patients with atrial fibrillation are at some risk for stroke and need a blood thinner of some type to reduce the risk of stroke…”HEALTHY LIVING  Canadians who have an irregular heartbeat problem called atrial fibrillation are at least five times more likely to have a stroke, and twice as likely to die from one — and most don’t realize it, reports the Heart and Stroke


    Just a quivering heartbeat away from stroke

    When walking up the stairs at home to get ready to go run some errands, Gordon MacKay noticed he was out of breath and a little weak, which was unusual for the healthy 54-year old. Then, just as he was pulling on his boots to go out the door, the strength drained right out of him − so much so that he could barely sit up. He felt his heart beating out of control. “It was very scary,” Gordon says. His wife Claudette called an ambulance.

    At the hospital, doctors diagnosed Gordon with atrial fibrillation, a condition involving an irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia, affecting approximately 250,000 Canadians. While it is rare in people under 40, its prevalence increases with age. About 3% of the population over the age of 45 and 6% over age 65 have atrial fibrillation.

    During atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart known as the atria contract chaotically and in a disorganized manner. Instead of beating normally and efficiently, the atria quiver. Because the atria can’t move blood properly, blood pools and gets stuck in the grooves of the heart. Clots can form in this pooled blood, which may get pumped up to the brain and cause a stroke.

    It is estimated that up to 15% of all strokes are due to atrial fibrillation (AF). This risk increases with age, so that after age 60, one-third of 50,000 strokes that occur in Canada are due to AF.

    Gordon has been lucky that his condition has not led to a stroke. Foundation researcher, Dr. Michael Gollob, says that this is partially because Gordon was able to recognize something was wrong before the problem got worse. “Some people with AF never notice any symptoms. Sometimes the heartbeat is irregular, but not excessively fast. People who get a more rapid heart rate are more likely to notice symptoms and get help. But whether or not that person notices the symptoms, the risk of stroke is always there,” says Dr. Gollob. The good news is that once it is diagnosed, there are treatments that can help.

    The shortness of breath and weakness some people experience are usually caused by a racing heartbeat (also called tachycardia) that occurs in some people with AF, he says. Also, that kind of heartbeat feels different:  “Usually, the elevated heart rate is very noticeable,” Dr. Gollob says. It’s not like what happens after drinking too much coffee or during stressful periods, he explains. “ It’s quite rapid and the symptoms occur at rest when they haven’t been exerting themselves very much, if at all.” However, in some people, heart rate may fall within normal range. It may even be slower than normal.

    For some, there are no symptoms. But others with AF may experience:

    • irregular and fast heartbeat
    • heart palpitations or a rapid thumping in the chest
    • chest discomfort, chest pain or pressure
    • shortness of breath, particularly with exertion, or anxiety
    • fatigue
    • dizziness, sweating, nausea
    • lightheadedness or fainting

    Once a diagnosis of AF has been made, there are ways to control the condition and reduce the risk of stroke. Medication is usually the first approach. In Gordon’s case, he was immediately put on a drug in hospital to try to slow his heartbeat, but it didn’t have the desired effect.  So, the doctors performed a cardioversion procedure, in which the heart is shocked back into its normal rhythm. “When it was over,” says Gordon, “I felt right as rain and I walked out of the hospital, happy to see the blue sky again.”

    Eight years later, Gordon continues to take medication to control his heart’s rhythm and a blood thinner to prevent blood clots. “My physician is very aware that my mother had a stroke and has helped me manage the atrial fibrillation between visits to my heart specialist.” Gordon has also made some healthy changes to his lifestyle to manage his atrial fibrillation as well, including taking his dog Maggie for long walks twice a day. “I am extremely grateful for our health-care system. I have an enormous appreciation for all that the doctors and nurses did to save my life.”

    Dr. Gollob says that although some people don’t notice any symptoms, regular visits to the doctor can help in identifying the condition to avoid a stroke. “This is just one of many reasons why it is so important to get regular check-ups at the doctor – even when you feel fine. For some people who have no symptoms, the doctor will be able to listen for irregular heartbeats with a stethoscope and then can do other tests to confirm the cause and help get you treatment early on.”

    Read more about atrial fibrillation.

    Heart disease – atrial fibrillation

    Atrial fibrillation is a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia. It is the most common type of arrhythmia, affecting approximately 250,000 Canadians. While it is rare in people under 40, its prevalence increases with age. About 3% of the population over the age of 45 and 6% over age 65 have atrial fibrillation. After the age of 55, the incidence of AF doubles with each decade of life.

    Generally the risk of developing AF increases with age and with other risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and underlying heart disease. One of the main complications of atrial fibrillation is that it may result in a stroke. Individuals with atrial fibrillation have 3 to 5 times greater risk for stroke than those without AF.

    Atrial fibrillation and stroke

    AF increases your risk of stroke and it is estimated that up to 15% of all strokes are due to atrial fibrillation. This risk increases with age, so that after age 60, one-third of strokes are due to AF. It is estimated that individuals with atrial fibrillation have 3 to 5 times greater risk for ischemic stroke (see here for more information).

    Here’s what can happen: Normally the heart receives electrical signals from the brain via the sinoatrial (SA) node, which regulates heart rhythm. The SA node sends impulses through the atria to tell them to beat. The impulses then makes their  way to the lower chambers of the heart, the ventricles, which pump blood to the rest of the body. During atrial fibrillation, the atria contract chaotically and in a disorganized manner. Instead of beating normally and efficiently, the atria quiver. Because the atria don’t move blood properly, blood pools and gets stuck in the grooves of the heart. Clots can form from this pooled blood, which may finally get pumped up to the brain and result in a stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot in one of the blood vessels leading to or in the brain. Studies show that long-term use of the blood thinner warfarin in patients with AF can reduce the risk of stroke by 70% to 80%

    Atrial fibrillation

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia. It is the most common type of arrhythmia, affecting approximately 250,000 Canadians. While it is rare in people under 40, its prevalence increases with age. About 3% of the population over the age of 45 and 6% over age 65 have atrial fibrillation. After the age of 55, the incidence of AF doubles with each decade of life.

    Generally, the risk of developing AF increases with age and with other risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and underlying heart disease. One of the main complications of atrial fibrillation is that it may result in a stroke. Individuals with atrial fibrillation have 3 to 5 times greater risk for stroke than those without AF.

    What is atrial fibrillation?

    It is called “atrial” fibrillation because the irregularity originates in the atria, the top two chambers of the heart. Atrial fibrillation falls under a larger category of illnesses called arrhythmias, which are electrical disturbances of the heart. Arrhythmias can also occur in the ventricles, the two chambers below the atria, and these tend to be more serious than arrhythmias affecting the atria.

    Through regular electrical signals, the atria (the heart’s “collecting chambers”) are designed to send blood efficiently and rhythmically into the ventricles (the “pumping chambers”), and from there blood is pumped to the rest of the body. But in atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals are rapid, irregular and disorganized and the heart may not pump as efficiently.

    Atrial fibrillation can cause the heart to beat very fast, sometimes more than 150 beats per minute. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is called tachycardia.

    Read more about the anatomy of the heart.

    Although untreated atrial fibrillation can cause considerable impairment of quality of life, the majority of patients with AF lead active, normal lives with treatment. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have atrial fibrillation but continue to feel unwell.

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) has different forms:

    Paroxysmal: Paroxysmal AF is a temporary, sometimes recurrent condition. It can start suddenly and then the heart returns to a normal beat on its own, usually within 24 hours, without medical assistance.

    Persistent: If you have had atrial fibrillation for more than seven days, this is considered persistent AF. With this type of AF, the heart continues to beat irregularly, and will require either medical or electrical intervention to return the heart to a normal rhythm.

    Permanent: In permanent AF, the irregular beating of the heart lasts for more than a year when medications and other treatments have failed. Some patients with permanent AF do not feel any symptoms nor do they require any medications.

    What causes atrial fibrillation?

    Quite often, the cause of atrial fibrillation is not known. Here are a few conditions that might lead to AF:

    • high blood pressure, the most common cause
    • abnormal structure of the heart
    • infection or inflammation of the heart (myocarditis or pericarditis)
    • diseases that damage the valves of the heart
    • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
    • a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism)
    • congenital heart disease
    • excessive use of alcohol

    How do I know if I have atrial fibrillation?

    Some people with atrial fibrillation may feel perfectly fine, and not know that they have the condition until they have a routine test called an electrocardiogram (described below). Others with atrial fibrillation may experience various symptoms including:

    • irregular and fast heartbeat
    • heart palpitations or a rapid thumping in the chest
    • chest discomfort, chest pain or pressure
    • shortness of breath, particularly with exertion, or anxiety
    • fatigue
    • dizziness, sweating, nausea
    • lightheadedness or fainting

    How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

    If your pulse is fast and your heartbeat is irregular, your doctor may have you checked for atrial fibrillation. First, your doctor will take your medical history. Your doctor will ask you details about your condition and risk factors: How long have you had it? What does it feel like? Does it come and go? Do you have other medical conditions? How much alcohol do you drink? Your doctor will also ask you whether anyone in your family has atrial fibrillation, if you have heart disease or a thyroid condition. Your age is also a factor to take into consideration, as AF is much more common in older people.

    Stethoscope: Using a stethoscope, your doctor will listen for fast, irregular beats. Your doctor will also check your pulse and assess the regularity of it.

    To hear what atrial fibrillation sounds like, listen to this sound file.

    Electrocardiogram: The main diagnostic test is an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a painless procedure done in a clinic setting. Small electrodes are attached to your arms, legs, and chest, and the machine charts the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can tell from the printout what type of arrhythmia is causing the irregular beats. Read more about electrocardiogram.

    Echocardiogram: A painless procedure, an echocardiogram uses sound waves to make a picture of your heart. Read more about echocardiogram.

    Holter monitor: To test the rhythm of your heart while you do regular daily activities, you may be asked to wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours. This is a small, portable device that is strapped to your body. It records the electrical activity of your heart at rest and during activity.

    Event monitor: This electrical device, which is strapped to your body, monitors your heartbeat only when you turn it on to record your symptoms. It is generally worn for one or two weeks at a time.

    Read more about holter and event monitoring.

    Blood tests: Your doctor may also order blood tests to rule out thyroid disease or other blood chemistry abnormalities. Read more about blood tests.

    Treatments for atrial fibrillation

    Your physician will help decide what is the best approach to treat your atrial fibrillation. Your doctor will customize the treatment to your needs, based upon your risks, medical profile and how much the symptoms are interfering with your quality of life.

    Most patients with atrial fibrillation will likely need to be on some form of blood thinner in order to reduce the risk of stroke. The risk of stroke depends on several other risk factors, including the presence of heart muscle weakness, having high blood pressure or diabetes, being over 75 years of age, or having had a previous stroke or a mini stroke (TIA). Accordingly, your doctor may prescribe blood thinners such as an antiplatelet like ASA (Aspirin®) or an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin) so that clots won’t form in the heart and travel to the brain.

    With respect to specific treatment for atrial fibrillation, there are two general strategies – one is called rhythm control and the other is rate control. Your doctor will decide which strategy is best for you based on your symptoms and other factors.

    Rate control: Almost every patient with atrial fibrillation will be prescribed a medication that is designed to slow the heart rate during atrial fibrillation. For some, this type of medication is enough to control the symptoms related to atrial fibrillation.

    Rhythm control: These treatments attempt to prevent the irregularity of the heartbeat in an effort to restore and maintain a normal, regular heartbeat. Generally, the first approach to rhythm control involves taking medications that will attempt to prevent the atrial fibrillation from occurring. Occasionally, some patients will require a controlled electric shock to the heart (called electrical cardioversion) to restore a normal rhythm. In some cases, if medications fail, or are not well tolerated, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for consideration of an electrophysiologic study (see below).

    When taking medications of any type, it is important to follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions. Establish a routine for taking your pills, and keep to the daily schedule. Don’t share medications with others. Don’t stop taking your medications without consulting your doctor. Report any side effects to your doctor, who may decide to change the dosage or type of medication to make it work better for you.

    Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) and Catheter Ablation: Very rarely, some patients with atrial fibrillation may be candidates for an EPS in order to try to stop atrial fibrillation from recurring, especially when medications and electric cardioversion have not helped to keep atrial fibrillation under control. The objective of EPS testing is to locate the problem that is causing the electrical impulses in the heart to be irregular. Catheter ablation can then be done at the same time to destroy, through tiny burns, the electrically chaotic tissue in the heart.  During EPS and catheter ablation, thin wires (or catheters) are introduced to the heart through veins in the leg and neck. Radiofrequency energy is sent through the catheters to the parts of the heart where the electrical impulses are thought to be malfunctioning. Ablation essentially creates scars in the heart that stabilize the electrical short circuits.

    Read more about electrophysiology studies.

    Read more about heart treatments.

    Atrial fibrillation in people under 60

    If you develop atrial fibrillation and do not have any structural heart disease, this is considered idiopathic (or lone) AF. This usually occurs before the age of 60. Researchers have so far identified a handful of genes that predispose families to atrial fibrillation. Once all the genes are identified, researchers may be able to begin to develop new treatments.

    Those who have the genetic predisposition may develop the disease in their 30s and 40s. It is also possible for young people who do not have AF in their family to develop the disease.

    What can you do?

    Healthy lifestyle change is always a good idea. Your risk for many different diseases is reduced if you eat nutritious food that is lower in saturated and trans fats and includes plenty of vegetables and fruit, fibre and lean protein. In study after study, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and reducing stress as much as possible have been shown to increase good health. Any lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure (such as maintaining a normal weight) are likely to reduce the chances of developing AF.

    It may be possible to prevent atrial fibrillation by staying physically active. A large study of people over the age of 65 found that participating in light- to moderate-physical activities, particularlyleisure-time activity such as gardening and walking, were associated with significantlylower AF incidence. Doctors say that even if you have AF, physical activity is probably good for you because it increases overall health. Again, each case is different. Consult your doctor before becoming physically active.

    Visit your doctor regularly. Your physician is the best person to monitor your atrial fibrillation. You may notice international websites selling high-tech, expensive equipment to monitor your own heart rhythm. Doctors don’t recommend this because it may unnecessarily elevate stress.

    If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor how to monitor your own blood pressure at home.

    Atrial fibrillation and stroke

    AF increases your risk of stroke and it is estimated that up to 15% of all strokes are due to atrial fibrillation. This risk increases with age, so that after age 60, one-third of strokes are due to AF. It is estimated that individuals with atrial fibrillation have 3 to 5 times greater risk for ischemic stroke.

    Here’s what can happen: Normally the heart receives electrical signals from the brain via the sinoatrial (SA) node, which regulates heart rhythm. The SA node sends impulses through the atria to tell them to beat. The impulses then makes their way to the lower chambers of the heart, the ventricles, which pump blood to the rest of the body. During atrial fibrillation, the atria contract chaotically and in a disorganized manner. Instead of beating normally and efficiently, the atria quiver. Because the atria don’t move blood properly, blood pools and gets stuck in the grooves of the heart. Clots can form from this pooled blood, which may finally get pumped up to the brain and result in an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot in one of the blood vessels leading to or in the brain. Studies show that long-term use of the blood thinner warfarin in patients with AF can reduce the risk of stroke by 70% to 80%.

    Learn about the warning signs of stroke.

    Watch an animated illustration on how the heart works.

    Posted: June 2009


    US States with the highest diabetes prevalence in the analysis also have the highest levels of blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk, cancer risk, and none of this surprising since diabetes is   often related to the type of food they eat too.. and poorer people tend to eat junkier foods..   U.S. scientists also say they’ve found that in human breast cancer cell tumors in mice, a diabetes drug worked better than chemotherapy in prolonging remission. It is interesting that diabetes medicine already has also been found to help 30 percent of heart patients get better too. The drug, metformin, appears to selectively kill cancer stem cells in culture dishes and in mice. Health Ministers and Health Canada should seriously be looking into this too

    influenza A (H1N1) -swine flu –

    “ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Arnold Van Ginkel says his flu-stricken Alberta hog farm and his livelihood are hanging in limbo while the government dithers over what to do with his 2,200 pigs. For the 37-year-old farmer, a Dutch immigrant, the solution is simple: destroy all the animals and compensate him for his loss. “I think they should depopulate the herd as soon as possible and give me compensation for the animals, give me compensation for the loss of income and everybody can go back to normal life,” Van Ginkel said Monday.” Money from a stingy, cheap Albertan Government? dream on.. they will sell the sick pigs first likely instead.
    Pregnant women are at higher risk for A/H1N1 flu because pregnancy weakens a woman’s immune system, according to doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed 31 new cases of H1N1 virus or human swine flu Wednesday. That brings the national number to 389 cases, the agency said.  B.C. reported nine new cases for a total of 92, while Alberta revealed eight new cases which brings its number to 61.  Saskatchewan reported four new H1N1 cases for a total of 16, Manitoba cited two more for a total of four, and Ontario now has a 119 cases after six more were confirmed Wednesday.  Quebec has one more case bringing its number to 26, while Nova Scotia reported one new case for a total of 65.  Prince Edward Island still has only three confirmed cases of H1N1, the Yukon is reporting one case while Newfoundland and Labrador have no confirmed cases of the virus. Alberta has had the only two serious cases of the H1N1 flu. A 49-year-old woman from the Gift Lake Metis Settlement died in hospital after catching the virus from unknown sources. The investigation continues into whether the flu caused her death. A girl with the H1N1 virus is still recovering in an Edmonton-area hospital. There’s still no word on when she’ll be discharged. May 12, 2009
    WE ALL  CANNOT TRUST THE RCMP, or Stephen Harper, Lawyers, our politicians   ‘OTTAWA, CALGARY, TORONTO — Farmers debated culls and Canadian politicians dished out pork yesterday as pig producers faced a consumer-confidence crisis brought on by a new flu strain that has passed from swine to humans and back again.
     “What is clear is that there is no concern about the safety of pork,” Jurgen Preugschas, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, said as MPs and staffers wolfed down pulled-pork sandwiches served by federal cabinet ministers in a courtyard of Parliament Hill’s East Block. Mr. Preugschas urged Canadian families to eat pork and help pig farmers who have seen their meagre profits whittled away by fears that the A/H1N1 virus could somehow be passed through the food chain. But the public-relations gesture that filled political bellies was undermined when a World Health Organization official was quoted by Reuters yesterday saying that meat from pigs infected with the new virus shouldn’t be consumed.’

    In an e-mail exchange with The Globe and Mail, the director of WHO’s Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases cautioned consumers against eating meat from sick or dead pigs infected with swine flu because the virus may survive the freezing process. “Almost all microorganisms, including most viruses, can to some degree survive freezing,” Jorgen Schlundt said. But Dr. Schlundt stressed that influenza viruses are not known to be transmissible to people through eating COOKED pork. “Heat treatments commonly used in cooking meat will readily inactivate any viruses potentially present in raw meat products,” he added.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/


    Jorgen Schlundt, director of the World Health Organisation’s Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases, said care must be taken to ensure that pigs and their meat were checked for all diseases, including the H1N1 virus that may be present in the blood of infected animals.

    “Meat from sick pigs or pigs found dead should not be processed or used for human consumption under any circumstances,” he told Reuters.  It is possible for flu viruses such as the new H1N1 strain to survive the freezing process and be present in thawed meat, as well as in blood, the expert said. But he stressed that there was no risk of infection from eating or handling pork so long as normal precautions were adhered to.  “While it is possible for influenza viruses to survive the freezing process and be present on thawed meat, there are no data available on the survival of Influenza A/H1N1 on meat nor any data on the infectious dose for people,” he wrote in an email reply to questions from Reuters about risks from the respiratory secretions and blood of infected pigs.  Schlundt said it was still unclear whether and how long the virus, which is commonly known as swine flu but also contains human and avian flu pieces, would be present in the blood and meat-juices of animals which contracted it. “The likelihood of influenza viruses to be in the blood of an infected animal depends on the specific virus. Blood (and meat-juice) from influenza H1N1-infected pigs may potentially contain virus, but at present, this has not been established,” he said. The WHO has urged veterinarians, farm hands and slaughterhouse workers to exercise caution in their contact with pigs to avoid contamination until more is known about how it manifests in the animals.  “In general, we recommend that persons involved in activities where they could come in contact with large amounts of blood and secretions, such as those slaughtering/eviscerating pigs, wear appropriate protective equipment,” Schlundt said.

    World Health Organization announced that it will henceforth refer to this flu as influenza A (H1N1)   Canadian health officials  American officials changed their nomenclature  too. 

     Simple Ways to Stay Healthy
    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advice on protecting yourself against swine flu:
    – Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.
    – Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are also effective.
    – Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. That’s a major route of entry into your body.
    –Try to avoid close contact with sick people or those in close contact with sick people.
    –The virus can remain on objects previously touched by infected people, so regular hand washing is very important.
    – Influenza is thought to spread from the coughing or sneezing of infected people.
    – If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them



    Trunnell and his lawyer, Marc Rosenthal, do not claim that Smithfield purposely bred the virus, but rather that its Perote operation, which raises some 1 million pigs annually in close quarters, established the necessary conditions for the virus to arise. If Smithfield had taken better care of its farm, the petition claims, H1N1 might never have been introduced to the world.  

    “We think that the conditions down there are a recipe for disaster,” says Rosenthal. “This type of virus is more likely to evolve and mutate in this much filth and putrescence. It’s more than a mere coincidence that the first cases emerged right there in La Gloria, Mexico.”

    H1N1 Virus: The First Legal Action Targets a Pig Farm

    In an initial step toward what could be the first wrongful-death suit of its kind, Texas resident Steven Trunnell has filed a petition against Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, based in Virginia, and the owner of a massive pig farm in Perote, Mexico, near the village of La Gloria, where the earliest cases of the new H1N1 flu were detected.

    Trunnell filed the petition in his home state on behalf of his late wife, Judy Dominguez Trunnell, the 33-year-old special-education teacher who on May 4 became the first U.S. resident to die of H1N1 flu. New viruses have emerged from animals to infect and kill humans for thousands of years, and while today’s factory-farming conditions may raise that risk,