Health News

Procedures in Diagnosing Cardiovascular Diseases

If you are hypertensive or there are abnormalities found in your heart during a general check-up, your primary doctor in Singapore will recommend heart screening to determine if you have a cardiovascular disease.

If you see symptoms that are associated with heart diseases, you should look for the best cardiologist at the nearest hospital. Different techniques are employed by the cardiologist whom you will be referred to. Let’s look at each procedure.

Checking Your Blood Pressure

The first part in a heart screening is the manual checking of your blood pressure. In this procedure, a cardiologist will use a sphygmomanometer to check the systolic and diastolic pressures. This is usually a good indicator if you have hypertension. The systolic pressure is the upper number and indicates the pressure of the blood on the artery walls. The diastolic pressure is the lower number indicating the pressure on the artery walls when the heart is at rest. The result is measured in mm Hg, and the normal blood pressure is no more than 120/80 mm Hg.

Electrocardiogram

Electrocardiogram or ECG or EKG is a procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart. The result, which is read by either a technician or cardiologist, will show if there are abnormal rhythms or arrhythmias and heart muscle damage in the heart. Each electrical impulse that causes the muscles of the heart to pump will be recorded, particularly the timing of the top and lower chambers of the heart. The cardiologist will look at the interval of the waves and the amount of electrical activity.

Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram, also called echo, uses high-pitched sound waves to assess the condition of the chambers and valves and the pumping action of the heart. You can click here for more info on heart check before going for one. On a monitor, this heart screening process will show an image created by the sound waves that bounce off the parts of the organ. The heart doctor will use an ultrasound probe over the skin surface of the patient. There are three types of echocardiograms; Doppler, transthoracic, stress and transesophageal echocardiogram.

Cardiac CT Scan

The computed tomography scan uses X-rays to check the heart and the blood vessels. There are three types of cardiac CT scan based on what the cardiologist is trying to look for. Coronary calcium scan is for determining the build-up of calcium deposits in the arteries. CT angiography is done to monitor blockages and changes in the arteries. A cardiac CT scan is also done to check the pulmonary arteries and aorta. This last technique is a combination of the two.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI of the heart uses radiofrequencies and magnets to create images of the heart and blood vessels. This procedure will determine the health of your heart’s valves, the major vessels and even the presence of other abnormalities in the system. A heart surgeon will also require a magnetic resonance angiography or MRA before any heart procedure is performed on a patient.

Thallium Scans

Thallium scans are also called myocardial perfusion scans. In this procedure, a laboratory technician will intravenously inject radioactive sestamibi so that a camera can take photos of the heart. It is recommended by a cardiologist so that the blood supply to the heart can be viewed. This will tell him/her if there are areas in the heart that do not receive enough blood. There are four types of thallium scans used in hospitals in Singapore today.

Blood Tests

Blood tests will also be recommended by the cardiologist especially for hypertensive patients who are taking medication. The tests will check the level of cholesterol and triglycerides, sugar, C-reactive protein or CRP, ceramides, brain or B-type natriuretic peptide, creatine kinase or CK, creatine kinase-MB, cardiac troponin or troponin T, myoglobin, and urine albumin/creatinine ratio. The cardiologist will ask you to have a 12 to 14-hour fast before cardiac blood tests are performed. Don’t forget to tell him/her about other medications and supplements that you’re taking.

Stress Test

A stress test may be done by asking the patient to use a treadmill or a stationary bike. Also called exercise ECG, the result of this test will tell the heart doctor in Singapore if a person’s breathing and blood pressure are within normal range during and after a strenuous physical activity. The cardiologist may also administer medicines which will stress the heart during the procedure. The result will help the heart doctor determine if the patient has a high risk of developing coronary artery disease. This is also a way for the heart surgeon to determine if the patient can start exercising after a heart surgery was performed.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization or coronary angiogram is done by placing a narrow hollow tube into the artery in your upper leg, arm or the heart. When the dye is injected, X-ray photos will be taken as it travels through the patient’s heart. The cardiologist will recommend this procedure to determine the extent of the narrowing in the arteries, the functioning of the valves and others.

Positron Emission Tomography Scan

Also called PET scan, it a procedure that looks for signs of damage or abnormalities in the flow of blood and the heart muscles. PET scan is a nuclear scan that uses a radioactive tracer that is given intravenously. You will be asked to lie down in a scanner so the technician can record the signals on the monitor. The heart doctor might recommend a PET F-18 FDG scan to look for damages in the heart. The heart surgeon will also ask for this procedure to assess your condition after a heart surgery.

Tilt Table Test

In this test, you will be asked to lie down on a table. The laboratory technician will secure you on the table with straps and connect an ECG and a blood pressure monitor. The table will tilt you in standing and lying positions alternately to see if your blood pressure and pulse rate suddenly change when you are lying down or standing up.

Alkaline Ionized Water, Treatment for Gout Pain

Gout is one of the common diseases that many older adults and elders in Singapore experience. The pain can get almost unbearable that it can sometimes hinder a person from going through its day-to-day life.

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When the pain caused by gout attacks, it simply means that the body has been producing excessive amount of uric acid that builds up in the blood. To cure the pain, your aim is to reduce the acid in the blood and thus eliminate urate crystals in the joint. Thankfully, alkaline ionized water is here to provide the safest and the most natural way to get rid of the excruciating pain. Let’s find out how alkaline ionized water can help in overcoming gout pain the fastest way.

Cause of Gout Pain

Gout attacks when there’s too much uric acid in the blood that causes urate crystals to form in the joints. The crystallization is primarily caused by the overworking kidney.

After eating, your body starts working to break down purines; and while doing that, you produce uric acid inside your body. Purines are found naturally in the body and in foods like anchovies, organ meats, herring, mushrooms, and asparagus.

If your body works the way it’s supposed to, the uric acid dissolves and gets excreted out quickly through your urine. However, if the body produces more uric acid than needed or your kidney cannot flush them out immediately, the uric acid builds up and stays in the body. You can then drink H2O Life Source alkaline water for health otherwise the uric acid will turn into sharp urate crystals that look like needles and start developing in your joints, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Treating Gout Pain

Some gout symptoms are manageable and can get better immediately without having to see the doctor. However, if yours causes intense pain, discomfort, and stops you from doing your daily activities, it’s strongly recommended to seek professional assistance. For those with still bearable gout pain, here are the things you can do.

• Reduce intake of acidic foods and beverages
• Take measures to eliminate excessive acidity from the body

Minimizing acidic intake and eliminating over-acidity in the body will significantly help the kidneys not to overwork in keeping the body healthy. One proven and effective way to do this is by drinking alkaline ionized water.

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Alkaline Ionized Water for Gout Pain

Many gout sufferers in Singapore feel uncomfortable taking strong medicated drugs to relieve pain, perhaps because of specific health conditions or they are just aware of its side effects. That’s why many turn to a more natural approach in treating gout pain.

If you’re among these people, you may have tried the baking-soda-lemon-water mixture to ease joint aches. While this natural treatment can effectively relief you for days to as long as a couple of weeks, the high levels of sodium in baking soda can worsen more critical health conditions like high blood pressure, not to mention its common side effects like nausea, headache, and stomach pain.

For a more effective and safe way to overcome gout pain, why not try taking alkaline water? Alkaline ionized water contains high levels of pH, much higher than baking soda contains. Therefore, it can raise your pH levels faster and in a much more pleasant drink. Unlike the baking soda mixture, you can make fruit smoothies with the filtered water.

Moreover, drinking water fresh from the water filter contains powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system while flushing out excess acids from your joints and tissues. Unlike baking soda, alkaline water won’t aggravate high blood pressure.

Benefits of Alkaline Ionized Water to Gout Patients

Alkaline water from the ionizing water filter contains many health benefits without side effects that are important in curing gout pain.

• Neutralizes and flushes away acidic wastes from the entire body
• Eliminates pains
• Increased body energy
• Healthier joints and better body motion
• Improved blood circulation
• Better digestion
• Better hydration for improved organ function
• Stronger immune system

Fighting gout and gout pain with ionized water will not only provide instant relief, but also improve overall performance of the body. No need to stay at home and miss your everyday activities because of unbearably aching joints. Simply replace your regular tap water with pure, clean, alkaline ionized water, and you’ll be back on track in no time.

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How To Beat This Summer’s Heat

Last year was only one of the hottest the world has ever experienced so it’ll be wise to brace up for this coming summer as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be just as hot this year or not. What matters is we don’t let the hot weather melt away all our summer fun. A lot of people in Singapore may skip outdoor activities because of the sweltering heat. This can be a wise option but you don’t need to keep yourself limited with indoor summer activities.

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Consider these tips on how to beat this summer’s heat so you can still have fun:

The secret is in the chili

There’s something in chili peppers that sweat us up but also help our bodies deal with heat better. So go on and indulge in hot and spicy summer food. Sweating and eating at the same time can be a good secret to keeping fit and sexy while still giving in to your spicy food indulgencies.

Go footloose and lose your shoes

Summer is the best time to shelve away those closed shoes for some cool flip flops. Putting on breathable slippers will make us feel comfortable. This also allows our bodies – or feet rather – to have a cooler sensation instead of the heat that summer brings.

It’s all in the mind

How about creating the illusion that it’s not really hot? Re-design your room in such a way that it gives off a cool and light atmosphere. Indulge in cold food, watch winter movies, read stories that feature a lot of snow and cold temperature. Forget that it’s actually hot.

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Keep yourself hydrated

Sweating may dehydrate us so it’s important to drink as much water as you can. You can also take food that are good for keeping you hydrated such as fruit smoothies. Speaking of fruit, you might as well make watermelon your favorite food in summertime. Also, be wise enough to avoid dehydrating fluids like alcohol and coffee.

Eat summer food

Choose the right food this summer. There’s a reason why fruits are symbolic of the summer season. Fruits and vegetables are light enough and our tummy’s best friends as they are easiest to digest. On the other hand, some food like hamburger – fast food’s staple – is harder to digest and would only make us feel worse. Keep it easy on your tummy, too, and give it a summer break. How about some watermelon?

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4 Healthy Practices You Should Steal From Your Girlfriend  

Despite being stubborn and moody, she’s usually always right; and every once in a while, it would benefit you to notice. These four healthy practices your girlfriend swears by can also be life-changing for you. Steal these practices from her and see how much change it can bring to your health.

Couple having dinner outdoors.

  1. Washing Your Face Before Going to Bed

Women religiously wash their face before hitting the sack to remove oil, dirt, and makeup, and let the skin breathe and repair itself for another day. Although you don’t wear that much makeup, you’re skin is no exempted from zit-causing oil and dirt. Washing your face saves you from pimples and clogged pores, making your skin look healthy and young.

  1. Going Out With Friends

Apart from clubbing, where you have to shout to communicate, daytime hangouts and talking with your best buds can do your health a big favour. A study shows that since women have been taught to express their feelings, they stay healthier than men. Researcher even found that those with more friends live seven years longer than those with only a few.

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  1. Having Group Exercises

No, you don’t have to take jazzercise or zumba classes, but hitting the gym in groups boost your odds of sticking with this healthier lifestyle. Plus, if you always go out for a morning jog, lifting some weights with your buds or going to yoga classes with your colleagues help mix things up a bit.

  1. Carrying a Bottle of Hand Sanitizer

Somewhere within your girlfriend’s purse sits a little bottle of hand sanitizer. And not because she’s a germaphobe, but because she’s always prepared. Diseases-causing bacteria lurk everywhere and just waiting for a chance to attack, but proper hygiene can prevent these germs from infecting you. Carrying a bottle of sanitizer and using it every now and then is a simple yet a very effective way to keep your hands free from germs and yourself healthy.

Women do their own wellness routine to keep their skin and overall health in best condition. Since we also want to stay healthy and look young, why not give your sweetheart’s health and beauty regimen a chance and reap the same benefits she’s enjoying?

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Graciousness to Mentally Ill Neighbours

Not all people are gracious enough to help other neighbours let alone understand or endure their shortcomings. For those with neighbours, friends or family members with mental conditions (those who are enduring and suffering depression, schizophrenia and dementia), they should be gracious enough to look out for them. People suffering from mental conditions are struggling enough it will not do them good if we judge them and discriminate.

Let us all make a difference by making the lives of mentally ill neighbours easier and forget about stigmas that are usually associated with mental illness. As a neighbour or a concerned citizen, it is important to overcome the stigmas associated with mental illness.

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Stigma means someone is judging someone basing on his/her personal traits. Stigma can either be subtle or obvious depending on the person judging and how the mentally ill takes it. If you understand the mentally ill, there will not be problem. Apart from overcoming stigmas, here are some things that you can do for your mentally ill neighbours:

Accept

The basic thing that you can do is accept the person. There is no use looking back to the person he/she was once. Senile dementia or mental deterioration for example is related to old age. You cannot just wish that he/she will get younger so you can restore your likeness to him/her. Accepting them and living with that will help a lot.

Take Them seriously

Sometimes, mentally ill people do things out of the ordinary. It is important that you do not laugh at him/her or make fun of him/her. They have feelings too you know. It can reduce their self confidence and self worth. You should take him/her seriously.

Separate the Disorder from the Person

Think that the disorder and the person are different, that they are not the same. For example, if your neighbour or loved one was once happy and cheerful, you should still see them like that despite the illness that they have.

Types of Health Screening

Any person with unfavorable health screening results can always do something to reverse many health issues, like adjust in diet, live an active lifestyle, and develop an exercise program. Blood tests are common to many health screening packages, but there are also body scans, X-rays, pelvic screenings, liver testing, and bone density testing. Basic blood test is usually the starting point of many health screenings, but your physical complaints and medical history are also considered in determining other health tests.

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Basic Health Screenings

Health screening packages for this type of screening includes blood glucose reading, cholesterol reading, blood pressure reading, and height and weight measurements. These basic tests from Asiamedic health checkup packages in Singapore alone can already provide a good overview of your total wellness. Singapore healthcare providers will also ask questions and visually evaluate you to decide if other more tests are needed.

Intermediate Health Screenings

Intermediate health screening packages include all the screening tests in a basic screening package, but with added HDL cholesterol test and coronary risk assessment. High results of this test indicate protection against heart attack and low results indicate more possibility of developing the disease. Singapore healthcare experts may strongly recommend intermediate health screening to people who are under a lot of stress and pressure, a smoker, and is obviously overweight.

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Advanced Health Screenings

This type of health screening aims to collect all information needed for a basic screening package, but includes tests for bad cholesterol (LDL), good cholesterol (HDL), and triglycerides. Bad cholesterol tends to build up in the inner walls of your arteries that feed the brain and the heart. When combined with other unhealthy substances, plaque may develop in arterial walls. Triglycerides are excess fats formed in the body. High levels of triglycerides indicate existing or impending heart disease and/or diabetes.

Additional Health Screenings

Some screening packages, like corporate health screening, only include limited types of tests. For a more comprehensive physical examination, you can add a couple of screening tests to your existing health package. Medical assessments or individual blood panels are available to screen a number of health issues, such as diabetes, liver disease, prostate abnormalities, pulmonary function, bone density, skin cancer, basic hearing or vision problems, and necessary immunizations. Mention your health problem to your doctor to be able to identify which health screening test is appropriate for you.

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Age-Related Health Screenings

Men aged 50 and above should have a regular colon and prostate cancer screening. For females, screening for breast cancer of the reproductive organ should be conducted. The follow-up screening for breast, pelvic, and colon health should be regularly scheduled semi-annually, annually, or whenever your doctor decides. Family history and other risk factors are also considered to determine the frequency of the screenings.

Personal Accountability

You should not rely solely on the calendar in scheduling your health screening sessions. Everyone should pay attention to their body to be aware of certain symptoms, like breathing problems, chest pain, joint problems, or unusual changes in bladder or bowel habits. Enduring any pain and waiting for your regularly scheduled screening appointment may only aggravate you condition and allow development of life-threatening diseases.