Habits are hard to change. Activities that you do every day come naturally and easily. Think about your routine when you wake up in the morning. Often, we find comfort in the daily routine of putting on slippers, having that first cup of coffee and reading the newspaper or checking emails on our phone. Habits can bring true comfort, except if those habits are actually doing us more harm than good.
Often, my patients admit to me the anxiety and fear that they have surrounding giving up smoking. Know that, because we each have habits that bring us comfort, we can understand how giving up one of those habits might be a scary concept.
People verbalize a fear of giving up something that helps them cope with boredom, loneliness or stress. They associate smoking with friendship, socializing, driving or relaxation. Although most people know and understand the risks of smoking, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, fertility problems, insomnia and premature aging, many people find it difficult to bridge the gap between knowing these dangers and taking action to quit this dangerous habit.
As your healthcare providers, our job is to support you on your journey to better health. Dr. Katapadi as well as the physician assistants and nurse practitioners of Ohio Heart Group can counsel you on ways to tackle your smoking habit. These include lifestyle changes, medications, nicotine replacement and reaching out to supporting organizations in our community. We encourage you to replace an unhealthy habit like smoking with a habit that could improve your health like going for a walk, playing with your children or grandchildren, cooking a healthy meal, calling a friend, volunteering your time in the community or learning a new skill.
By giving up the habit of smoking, you can gain your health back, as well as money in your pocket. An average pack of cigarettes in Ohio costs more than $6/day. That is more than $2,000/year. For less than $2,000, you can take two people on a 7 day cruise from Florida to the Caribbean. Now THAT is something to strive for!
Summer is right around the corner, and with each change of the season, so follow your habits. It's time to treat yourself to better health!
Hypertension, high blood pressure, or HTN, no matter the name you use, is a problem you should not ignore. HTN will not present with symptoms most of the time, therefore it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
HTN can be caused by a multitude of offenders, ranging from things that are out of your control such as family history, age, gender and race to those you you can control, such as high-sodium diet, obesity and lack of physical activity.
HTN can lead to stroke, heart attack, vision loss, heart failure, kidney damage and sexual dysfunction. Now what can you do about it? Focus on the things you can control:
What can you look forward to? A healthier life!
The summer months are upon us and it is time to get outside and move. Take advantage of all that Columbus has to offer outdoors. Take a walk with a friend, go for a bike ride, or head out for a jog. No matter your activity level, get out there and move. Local metroparks are a great opportunity to relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Another opportunity that the summer presents is fresh fuit and vegetables. Now is the time to introduce new fresh foods into your diet. You will be surprised what you enjoy!
Tips for a successful summer:
One of the questions many of our patients have is “do I have congestive heart failure?” We can sense the patient’s concern, especially with the word “failure.” When you’ve only got one heart, “failure” sounds scary.
After understanding the patient’s symptoms, doing a physical examination, and getting the necessary test results, our next step is to assess the patient’s heart. There are three primary types of heart conditions that can lead to failure:
Our goal in heart failure treatment is first to understand what stresses your heart is under and then deal with them. In the case of a weakened heart, for example, we often prescribe medications to manage blood pressure, reduce the forces against which the heart has to pump blood, and also help the heart to physically get stronger, if possible. We also counsel patients limit their fluid and salt intake – as well as take a daily weight -- so that the heart pumps blood and not extra fluids. Other advice includes avoiding alcohol, which can cause a weak heart to get even weaker, and to exercise prudently.
What are the effects of treatment? In some cases – such as a partially blocked coronary artery – placing a stent or another type of intervention may solve the problem. In some cases, medications and changes in personal habits may strengthen your heart. In other cases, the heart impairment is permanent, however medications and behavioral changes can lead to “compensated” heart failure, where you can continue to lead a near-normal lifestyle.
When should you be suspicious of having heart failure? The most common symptom of congestive heart failure is shortness of breath with exertion. In fact, if you don’t have this symptom, research tells us that you are 84% likely not to have the condition. If you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, there is an 84% change that you do have the condition, though we would also have you tested for sleep apnea.
Heart failure is a serious condition, but one that we can work on together. If you have any questions regarding your symptoms and treatment, please let us know.