Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cardiac Ablation

Ablation uses a catheter inserted through a vein in the groin which is then guided through the vasculature to the area of problematic cardiac tissue. At this point, radiographic frequency is used to destroy the tissue that are causing electrical disturbances {arrhythmias}.

There are many risks associated with ablation. Such as bleeding, sudden cardiac arrest, damage to the heart's electrical system, blood clots leading to stroke or heart attack, narrowing of the vein and kidney damage from the dyes used in the procedure. Therefore, it is not the first line of treatment. Typically, the physician must have used less invasive treatment options first to correct the arrhythmia. Patients who have not responded to cardiac medication or who have had serious side effects from the medications are candidates for ablation. For these patients, ablation will be the next treatment option.

Cardiac ablation may take up to 6 hours to complete. Procedural complications may make the procedure run longer. It is important to make lifestyle changes post-procedure to keep your heart healthy. Avoid caffeine. Decrease sodium intake. Exercise. Lose weight. Eat heart healthy foods. Quite smoking. Continue to take medications as prescribed. You have just been given a lease on life.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soapy, greasy material found in your body and in foods such as egg yolks, cheese and meats. Cholesterol is also made by your liver. It is an important substance that is used by your body to help make hormones and bile. Bile is needed to help digest food. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it begins to build up on the inside of your blood vessels thereby making them narrow and blocking the flow of blood. This is one cause of increased blood pressure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists risk factors of high cholesterol. Unhealthy eating habits. Eating a high fat diet on a regular basis will not only increase bad cholesterol levels but will cause increased weight. An unhealthy diet will cause known chronic illness problems.

Genetic factors. If you are genetically prone to have increased cholesterol levels, it is all more important you limit the amount of cholesterol ingested. Smoking. There are thousands of medical study material that link smoking to chronic illness. Smoking has been scientifically proven that it is a root cause for many catastrophic illness.
There is no scientific data stating smoking is healthy.
Medications. There are certain medications that will elevate cholesterol levels. It is wise to discuss treatment plans with your doctor. Be pro-active. Prepare a list of well thought out questions prior to seeing your doctor.

Get your blood cholesterol level checked annually. More often if your doctor requests to. Blood contains different types of lipids, also known as blood fats. Your doctor will will be able to get a general idea of your risk of cardiovascular disease by comparing the different levels of fats. The lipid panel consists of total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides.

We know we cannot change intrinsic factors. But we can change extrinsic factors.
You are the catalyst to change. First and foremost change bad dietary habits. Choose fish, lean meats, chicken. Choose grilling and broiling over frying. Cook with olive oil instead of butter. Avoid trans fats found in chips, cookies, fries. Increase fiber. Choose whole grain and brown rice over white rice and white breads. Choose foods high in Vitamins B, C, and E. Found in green leafy vegetables, fruits and carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. Nutrition plays an important role in staying healthy or in some case staying unhealthy.

Exercise regularly. Exercising is very simple and easy to do. Simply incorporate 30 minutes everyday into your activities of daily living. Walk. Bike. Jog. Hike. Swim. Aerobic dance. Walk stairs. Run in place. Do whatever physical activity you enjoy. The idea here is strengthen your heart. The above listed do not require expensive gym memberships. Stop smoking. Keep alcohol comsumption moderate. Limit yourself to 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day. Bottom line, when it comes to keeping your heart healthy, why so many excuses?

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The value of life insurance

Final expense life insurance is designed for a specific need. The face value of a life insurance policy is paid to the policyholder's beneficiaries at the time of death. In most cases, the money is received by the beneficiaries on a tax-free basis, and no additional fees need to be paid. The beneficiaries can use the money to pay the policyholder's final expenses such as funeral costs.

By covering funeral related costs the financial burden is removed from the equation and guarantees expenses will be paid without any money coming out of your loved ones' pocket. The average cost of funerals today are higher than $9,000. For just pennies on the dollar, life insurance is affordable for everyone.

To put the cost of life insurance in perspective, anyone who has cable or satellite TV your paying more for entertainment than you would for life insurance. If you have a car payment you have car insurance, those costs are higher than that of life insurance. If you have a cell phone, your monthly phone charge is higher than that of life insurance. The money spent on holidays: candy, meals, gifts, decorations over time are much higher than the cost of life insurance.

With the price of food, fuel, utilities increasing and our budgets shrinking, life insurance is proven to be the financial comfort needed the most. If you are an individual who is on a fixed budget and living paycheck to paycheck, chances are your next-of-kin will be. Placing that multi-thousand dollar bill on your family could catapult them into financial ruin. Experiencing the death of a loved one is highly emotional. Worrying about how to pay for the funeral and end of life costs should not take precedence. Without a financial plan in place decisions are made that are not exactly how you or your family would have wanted if a plan had been in place.

There are many reasons to benefit from owning a life insurance policy but not 1 reason not to have a policy. The application process takes lesser amount of time than it does to grocery shop. In a just a few minutes you can be qualified and enrolled. Coverage begins after 1 monthly premium.

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN