National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a serious condition that often goes unnoticed and untreated. Though on its own the condition’s symptoms may not seem dangerous, the complications and risks associated with the condition are the reasons it is so dangerous.
AFib can present itself in a few ways, but some of the most identifiable symptoms include:

 

·       Racing, pounding heartbeat, that happens for no reason
·       Shortness of breath following light physical activity
·       Lightheadedness and dizziness
·       Unusual or unexplained fatigue

 

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Is Coffee Linked To Hypertension?

It is common for people to strive off a cup or two of coffee in the morning to prevent them from falling asleep on their desk at work. Is it possible that this delicious cup that provides energy is eligible of causing Hypertension? Possibly. To explain, hypertension is a condition in which one’s blood pressure is abnormally high which can ultimately lead to heart disease or stroke. Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee that gives us that energy boost, can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure. If you have any concerns in regards to your blood pressure, our team at Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, located in Mineola, is happy to assess your concerns and will provide you with information on how to prevent hypertension.

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Fruits and Vegetables and Your Heart Health: Recent Study

It is well-known that a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables can carry many health benefits, as they are low in fat and high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. More importantly, fruits and vegetables greatly benefit your heart by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. With so many wonderful health benefits, the crucial role that fruits and vegetables play in our diet is clear, with recent research pointing to just how much we should be consuming.

Various resources can provide people with recommendations for combined daily intake of fruits and vegetables. For example, the American Heart Association recommends consuming up to eight or more servings daily, while the current food pyramid provided by the USDA recommends anywhere from 3-6 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit. Interestingly enough, an important finding has shown that we should consume even greater amounts of fruits and vegetables when possible! The findings (combined results from 95 different studies conducted around the world) showed that increasing fruit and vegetable servings up to 10 servings a day can lower risk of cardiovascular disease by 28% and premature death by 31%!

The types of veggies and fruits consumed are very important. Green leafy  vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and some red vegetables such as beets, are excellent sources of inorganic nitrates. When eaten in their natural form, mixing with saliva and stomach acid releases nitrates from these foods. Further processing in the intestines converts the nitrates into nitrites, an important sources of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, or NO, is a potent vasodilator, and a key natural substance in maintaining our vascular health. A very simple test carried out in our office allows patients to measure their nitrate intake level, and  adjust their nutritional effort to increase their production of NO. This has helped many patients to achieve sustainable blood pressure reductions through lifestyle effort.

While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people still do not consume anywhere near the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly half of the US population has less than 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables every day! Therefore, it’s crucial to raise awareness about how significant increased fruit and vegetable intake can be for our health – more specifically heart health!

If you are concerned about your heart’s health or simply want to take preventative measures to improve and protect it, contact the Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island today. Dr. Druz and her dedicated staff offer expert care through their vast skills, experience, knowledge, and passion to help patients achieve their cardiovascular health goals.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of free radicals in the body outnumbers the amount of antioxidants in the body.

During cellular metabolism, cells use up oxygen to help convert food into energy, producing free radicals as a byproduct. Free radicals are highly reactive, destabilized molecules that can  interact with the body’s cell components like DNA, stealing their electrons to stabilize. By removing their electron, the free radical destabilizes the cell component, which in turn looks to stabilize by taking an electron from another molecule, triggering a chain effect. The end result is cellular damage, manifested as premature aging and emergence of chronic diseases.

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Integrative Cardiac Care for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is rather common in the United States and on Long Island. It affects about one-third of all adults living in the according to the CDC.  A concerning part of high blood pressure is its ability to have serious effects on the body with no obvious symptoms. For this reason, high blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer”.  About one out of every five adults are unaware they are even suffering high blood pressure!

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The Science Behind Positive Habit Building

When we start to form good habits, it can be very daunting and easily defeating as we often set wildly impossible goals for ourselves. Most times we ignore the reality of what it will take to reach our goals and we become frustrated when we realize that it is harder than we think. Specifically, eating and exercise habits are among the most popular areas where we encounter these personal obstacles. Dr. Regina Druz knows the difficulties of habit building, and helps her patients establish a good foundation so that they can achieve their goals with long-lasting results.

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Macronutrients and Metabolism

Best Nutrition Counseling in Nassau County

Many health and nutrition experts discuss the importance of macronutrients.  However, what exactly are macronutrients?  Its pretty simple actually.  Macronutrients, or “macros” are any carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that make up your diet.  In general, any nutrient consumed in large amount in the human diet is a macronutrient while “a chemical element or substance (such as calcium or vitamin C) that is essential in minute amounts to the growth and health of a living organism” is considered a  micronutrient . Macronutrients are used for caloric intake, and provide  energy for the human body.  Macronutrients also impact the taste, texture, and overall appearance of food.  This helps the human diet in general. When you are looking to have , for example, 60% fat in your daily diet, you are describing a proportion of macronutrient (in this case, fat) and how it compares to the other two major macronutrients, proteins and carbohydrates. The total always sums up to 100%.

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We Age Every Time We Eat: Can We Do Something About It?

We-Age-Every-Time-We-Eat-Can-We-Do-Something-About-It

Have you ever thought about fasting? While many may think of fasting as an unhealthy practice, a controlled and intermittent fasting can actually extend your life. Food has a sizable impact on the body as it affects our metabolism and influences hormonal and chemical balance. If you fast the correct way, you could see some real results in your body and weight. Processing of the food, resulting in absorption and use of the macronutrients and micronutrients, is the energy-consuming process. In fact, consuming sugary or highly-caloric foods increases oxidative stress, and results in premature aging. Continuous consumption of such foods is consistently linked to heart and vascular disease, dementia and cancer. Continue reading

My Winter Prep: Introduction to Six Domains of Wellness

As many of you noticed already, the weather is getting colder.

Now is the perfect time to go ahead with the winter preparations that can positively impact your wellness.

In the next few blogs, we will focus on the few essential steps to make sure you that you and yours maintain energy and stay well throughout the cold season. I called these 6 domains of wellness.

I practice what I preach. So, here is what  I am planning to focus on for myself:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Energy repletion
  3. Hormonal optimization
  4. Micro-nutrient balance
  5. Sleep and stress cycle management
  6. Immune function boosting

While there is some overlap, all of these strategies are equally important in optimizing our wellness and vitality. Many of us will be focusing on the weight loss maintenance, and trying to avoid the winter ’15” (like the “freshman 15”). However, the weight is simply a reflection of how effective your efforts  are in the 6 domains of wellness  listed above.

Here is a helpful diagram to keep it in check:

 

6 domains of wellness pic_Page_2_Page_2

In the next post, we will focus on toxic exposures and several effective detoxification strategies.

New Year’s Resolution 2015: Find Your Inner Happiness

It is no secret to many of my colleagues and friends that exactly one year ago, I abruptly fell off my professional trajectory. I lost the battle I was fighting-trying to bring new and fresh ideas and a measure of fairness and accountability into a dictatorial academic establishment-and, pretty much, lost the war. The year that followed was a spectacular  ride, filled with new ideas, meeting great people, creating business ventures such as my integrative practice and a start-up company, and relentlessly forging ahead. I listened to my inner voice, and learned that self-doubt is a luxury that I cannot afford. I uncovered the confidence and focus I did not know existed, the clarity of vision, and the guts to convince others in its value. Ultimately, through these efforts, and the unwavering support  of my family and friends, I regained my inner happiness.

Yet happiness is an elusive concept. As the 2015 approaches, and many of us are making the New Year’s resolutions, the very idea of happiness often equates with external values and attributes, the material things, and is devoid of inner focus. This is poignantly expressed by Dr. Robert Oliva in his recent blog post “The Truth About Stress and Its Cure.”

The inner focus may be just what the doctor ordered to cure the pervasive stress, despondency and malaise experienced by many American physicians. One does not have to go far to hear their unhappy voices. Check out the community dialogue on Sermo.com, or a book by my former colleague,Doctored: The Disinlussionment of an American Physician“. There is no question that we are at the most significant inflection point in the history of medicine in this country. Physicians have been marginalized and turned into “providers”, and over the course of several decades, the health insurance corporate tactics enriched the companies while costing us trillions of dollars. Older generations of doctors, our mentors, spent too much time defining their happiness through external attributions, and acquiesced to the troublesome developments even though they were internally unhappy over a loss of autonomy, public trust, and income. The Accountable Care Act, while sorely needed and a very significant step in the right direction, only added to the unhappiness and disengagement already experienced by many.

My resolution and my wish for 2015 is for myself and my colleagues to cure ourselves by finding and growing our inner happiness. Go beyond your professional exterior, your titles, positions and degrees, and focus on listening to your inner voice. In every one of us, there are dreams, ideas and aspirations that hold the keys to fulfillment. The growth of inner happiness is critical to our survival as physicians, and is a catalyst for change from passive observers who are feeling victimized to masters of our destiny.

Happy and Healthy 2015 to all of my colleagues and friends! I want to hear your stories and suggestions on curing the American physicians.