Thursday, March 13, 2014


So many of us fitness minded people focus on the outside of the body, but what about the inside? Does the outside really reflect the health of what is going on inside of us?

There are some tell tale signs of heart disease, that can be identified by examining the outside. Heart disease runs in my family, but I have read time and again this illness of the heart can be controlled.  

Some exterior signs of heart disease~

i)  Believe it or not, if you are over 50 years old, and have droopy ear lobes, yes, you read correctly!, then you may be at risk.  Do not avoid this overt sign of potential heart weakness, ask your doctor, do some research on your own! Observe those people close to you, see anything?

ii)  Please beware of exterior fat lying on top of the abdomen.  This is so simple to identify, if you have gained a few inches here and there get rid of them! The weight around the waist is an indicator in my genetic family. We have thin arms and legs, but anything over 36 inches I have learned is an indication of heart disease. or at least a warning and precursor, stay healthy!

iii) Running out of breath.  Yes, we sit at our desks, in our cars, but are you getting any warning signals you are at risk?  Do some aerobic exercise, anything, and see if you are breathless after a time, anything that seems unusual and not what you want.  You will know what is healthy for you and what is not.  Be very aware of your aerobic limits.  

  • Check your pulse! Either by your wrist or the underside of your neck, count the beats within a 10 second period and multiply by 6.  Click here to compare your pulse rate to the norm.

iv) Swollen ankles. This cannot be more of an obvious sign of heart disease. Take heed!

Some interior signs of heart disease~

In women, heart disease is known as the 'silent killer.' We really do not have obvious signs, even of a full blown heart attack. My mother saw a cardiologist faithfully due to her advancing age, and she checked out fine.  Yet, she passed suddenly from undiagnosed heart disease with a full blown attack over a period of three days and under the best of medical care.

i) In hindsight, that last day of my mother's did exhibit variable subtle signs of which we were all unaware.  My mom was nervous, sweating, it was summer so neither we nor she paid too much attention, later in the evening I was standing with her and while brushing her teeth she said her jaw hurt. We both dismissed the thought of anything serious, as she had had some dental work done a few weeks ago, plus my mom probably underplayed the pain not wanting to worry me. I should have asked more questions, how much more I know now than then! She just wanted us all visiting to have a wonderful time.

ii) Another sign, which could mean anything, is indigestion. On its own, indigestion could be a mild daily event.  No big deal. But, combine it with the other tell tale signs mentioned above, and all these factors can be telling you a much more important and life risking story.

iii) Water retention.  Yes, this symptom reverts back to the swollen ankles, a huge red flag.  But also, be aware of your hands, and extremities, that swell suddenly or over time. Be aware of your food intake, your environment, when these symptoms occur.  is it just in the morning as you arise? Or, any time during the day, at rest or at play?  The take away here is to get to know your physiology, and your daily environment and habits. My hands swell in the morning, but recede as the day progresses.  If I notice a ring is tight in the afternoon, then I need to think about what I have been doing, what I recently ate, perhaps the nutrition is not so good?  Our bodies will tell us what is good for us and what is not.  Create a habit to get to know your healthy and not so healthy signs.

  • Puffy eyes.  May not be from sleeping on your tummy, or that red wine from the night before. Mine are chronic with good days and bad puffy days, something I personally need to work on. I wonder if it is a food allergy, a too strong eye makeup remover, an old mascara (please throw out after 3 months!), but sometimes I confess I lose track of how long they are in use :) Or, maybe a link to heart trouble, I am keeping an eye on this one, to see if combined with puffy eyes I have any other symptoms, an ongoing project of mine!

iv)  Not being able to think straight. Yes, this is a good one. Maybe in one way or another we all have this issue to some degree?  Seriously though, the mind is unique for us, and if you have trouble being cognizant or whatever your usual self is, again, this could be a sign of lack of oxygen and limited blood flow. Think about it, the circulatory blood stream defies gravity to get the blood flow to your head! Your heart pumps away to get your system running at an even keel, so be aware that you could have a heart issue if you are not your usual self.

  • Blood pressure. Yes, this is a good one, and I highly recommend that everyone get a blood pressure machine, these are not expensive and the battery operated ones are fine, I have had mine for 12 years now. Take your pressure under varying conditions to see what is normal for you.  Take it a few times a day, a few times a week.  Look for numbers 110/70.  No longer the 120/80, as these numbers fluctuate anyway, thus the 110/70 will still keep you in a safe zone if it rises.  Also, be aware of low blood pressure, as this could mean your heart is having trouble pumping at all! Always seek a doctor's advice, especially if you witness anything out of the ordinary.

In summary~

Understanding the heart is a complex matter, however today's technology allows us to be proactive and in tune with what is acceptable for a healthy heart.  To some degree we can even reverse heart disease, as that is my personal goal as I progress in life, and I hope it is for you, too.  We will have backward steps, transgressions, but we all have the freedom to know what is right and to do our best.  Even if there is limited nutrition available, in other, little ways you can help your heart, even by helping others each day relaxes our hearts and improves our health. Stay with it, stay on course, and you will improve daily, reverse the aging process starting with a healthy heart.
Courtesy of Wellness Guides

Just so you know~

  • These are thoughts and ideas I have taken from actual experience, so I hope they can be of help to you and your loved ones.
  • Never dismiss anything that could be a sign of a seriously impending consequence.
  •  Make the goal to be heart healthy, know your warning signs!

A recipe for you, takes 10 minutes to make!

16 oz. miso broth
1 bag of spinach
1/2 bag of kale
some small round potatoes
sliced thin mushrooms
some orzo
cut onion
some cumin
some rosemary
some thyme

Heat the broth, wash and dry the greens, then add all the ingredients in to the broth! It takes about 45 minutes to simmer. Sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese. Tastes even better the next day!!

To YOUR good health!

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