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Denny's Medical Information
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One of the basic nitrogen-containing substances that go into the making of proteins in living matter. There are more than 20 amino acids required for normal good health, but the human body is not able to make the 8 essential amino acids. These are taken into the body in proteins from foods, such as milk, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.


Refers to a specific condition that involves pain from the heart. The pain occurs because not enough oxygen reaches the heart muscle, especially following exercise or excitement. There is a tight feeling across the chest, which may later spread to the neck, jaw, shoulders, and to one or both arms as far as the hands. Occasionally it may also spread to the upper abdomen. An attack is often accompanied by a feeling of suffocation and impending death. The condition is not in itself a heart attack, but may be warning that one could occur.


A series of X-Ray visualizations of the heart and blood vessels. A radiopaque substance (material that does not allow passage of X-Rays through it) is injected into a vein or artery, and X-Ray pictures are then taken on rapid succession. The series of pictures reveals the size and shape of veins or arteries in organs and tissues. An angiogram is used as a diagnostic tool with certain diseases.


This is a procedure in which a catheter with an attached inflatable baloon, boring tool, or laser is used to open a section of the artery that has become narrowed.


Balloon angioplasty is a nonsurgical method of clearing coronary and other arteries, blocked by atherosclerotic plaque, fibrous and fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries.


Laser angioplasty is also now available as a therapy for burning off atherosclerotic plaque build-up. The recent invention of a low-heat excimer laser seems to offer some hope for wider future application.


A Combination of fiber optics and excimer laser beam technology. It is potentially safer, more effective, and less expensive than other types of angioplasty. A catheter is threaded up from the groin or arm to coronary arteries of the heart. This catheter carries on it tip a lens connected to an outside camera, enabling the physician to see on a monitor the plaque build-up. As the catheter tip moves through the arteries, the physician triggers short bursts from the excimer, also mounted on the tip. These bursts, at a temperature of 40° C (104° F), destroy the molecular and chemical bonds of the atherosclerotic plaque instead of burning it, thus avoiding the possibility of damaging surrounding tissue.


Expandable metallic coils or stents can be placed into coronary vessels to reduce the chance of recurrence or restenosis.


An irregularity in the heartbeat that produces a variation in the pulse rate. In sinus arrhythmia, a normal occurrence in children, the pulse rate increases or decreases with breathing. Breathing alters the activity of the vagus nerve, and this changes the pulse rate. Sinus arrhythmia usually does not require treatment. Other arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, bradycardia (a pulse that is too slow), and tachycardia (a pulse that is too rapid), may be more serious and often require medical attention.


An x-ray photograph of an artery. Before taking an x-ray, the radiologist injects a radiopaque dye into the artery. See Angiogram.


A blood vessel leading from a small arterial branch into capillaries. The muscular walls of arterioles play a major role in the regulation of blood pressure.


Often called "hardening of the arteries", is an arterial disorder characterized by a progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries. This causes a decrease in or loss of blood circulation. The most common form of arteriosclerosis, which is characterized by the deposition of fatty substances in large and medium-sized arteries, such as the arteries that lead to the heart and brain.


One of the tubular shaped blood vessels that carries blood away from the heart to the body’s tissues and organs. Arteries are thick walled, flexible, and muscular. The blood carried most arteries is bright red because it has picked up oxygen while passing through the lungs. The blood that flows through the pulmonary arteries connecting the right side of the heart with the lungs has not yet picked up oxygen, so the blood has dark-bluish color. Blood flow is due to contraction of the heart muscle assisted by artery muscle contraction. This push from the heart can be felt as a pulse where large arteries run near the body surface.


Calcium Ascorbate

Magnesium Ascorbate


Is the chemical name for Vitamin C. Principal sources includes citrus fruits, potatoes, and such green, leafy vegetables as broccoli. Vitamin C helps build teeth and bones. A lack of Vitamin C causes the disease scurvy.


A drug that relieves stress on the heart by blocking the effects of adrenal in the heart cells and blood vessels. Beta blockers have been shown to be particularly successful in reducing heart attacks among those who have already suffered them. Physicians often use beta blockers in treating heart patients, people who have hypertension, and persons suffering from angina and irregular heart beat.


Is a slow pulse rate. A pulse rate below 60 is considered to be bradycardia. Any symptomatic individual with bradycardia should receive an immediate medical evaluation; an underlying heart disease may be present. As a medical disorder, bradycardia can follow a virus illness, such as influenza or infectious hepatitis. Resting bradycardia occurs in normal healthy individuals, including those who exercise regularly. Bradycardia also occurs with the underactive Thyroid disorder myxedema, and with a heart block. Symptomatic bradycardia, that is, less than 50 beats per minute or with pauses in the beat of 2.5 seconds, often requires the insertion of a pacemaker.


Is an alkaline metallic element whose compounds occur widely in the body, primarily in bones. Calcium ions are essential for good health; the body requires calcium for muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, blood coagulation, and other functions. Insufficient calcium in the body can lead to such bone disorders as rickets. An abnormally high build-up of calcium can lead to muscle weakness and eventually to coma. Adults need between 0.8 and 1.3 grams daily; men require 0.8 grams; young women require 1.2 grams; and women past menopause require 1.5 grams. Calcium intake is supplied through a well-balanced diet, and it absorption is controlled through vitamin D. Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, collar greens, and the soft bones of fish such as sardines.


Is an organic compound furnishing most of the energy needed in a healthy diet. Carbohydrates exist as "simple" sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, and lactose) or as glucose polymers (starch or "complex carbohydrates," glycogen, and cellulose). It is preferable to eat more complex carbohydrates. Foods high in carbohydrate content include fruits, bread, rice, cereals, pasta, potatoes, and corn. During digestion of such foods, the carbohydrates are broken down into energy-producing sugar , glucose, and ultimately into water, carbon dioxide, and energy.


Diagnostic procedure in which a catheter , or tube, is passed along a blood vessel into the heart in order to investigate the heart at work. The procedure is performed with a local anesthetic where the catheter is inserted near the groin area.


Describes anything pertaining to the heart.


The sudden stoppage of the heart. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be started immediately following cardiac arrest in order to prevent heart, lung, kidney, or brain damage.


A graph that records the electrical activity of the heart muscle. The term cardiogram is often used colloquially for electrocardiogram, abbreviated as EKG or ECG.


A tube inserted into a body cavity to extract or inject fluids. A catheter is usually made of flexible plastic or of rubber. One type of catheter is inserted into the bladder in order to allow drainage of urine. Another type is used to administer intra venous fluids.


HDL Cholesterol (good)

High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. If the blood level of this type of (this good) cholesterol is high , there is a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis. HDLs move cholesterol away from artery walls and back to the liver.

LDL Cholesterol (bad)

Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. Lower the amounts of LDL (bad cholesterol). An LDL level in excess of 100 confers an increased risk of heart disease. LDLs keep cholestraol circulating in the blood, causing the arteries to become clogged with deposits. Normal range is 0 – 129.


Dietary fats are a concentrated source of food energy. The are also the source of linoleic acid, an essential nutrient, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. While we all need some dietary fat each day, a tablespoon is generally sufficient. When cutting back on fats. It is helpful to know which are the worst dietary culprits per the following:


Saturated Fats

Monounsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated Fats



A rapid, irregular twitching of muscle fibers. Any muscle can fibrillate, and the fibrillation sometimes accompanies degenerative disorders, such as motor neuron disease. It may also occur in skeletal muscle that has recently been deprived of its nerve supply. The most serious site of fibrillation is the heart, in which the condition affects either of the two pairs of chambers: the atria or the ventricles.


Is extremely rapid twitching of the muscle of the upper chambers of the heart (atria). The atria no longer contract rhythmically, causing inefficient pumping of the blood. The pulse at the wrist is irregular because the main chambers (ventricles) of the heart are not receiving a regular stimulus from the atria. Atrial fibrillation is may be caused by many linds of heart disease, such as coronary artery disease due to atherosclerosis or heart valve disease due to rheumatic fever. It may also be caused by hyperactivity of the thyroid gland (thyrotoxicosis) or by alcohol abuse.


This condition resembles atrial fibrillation in its action but affects the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The disorder is rapidly fatal, because the weak, rapid hearbeats pump little or no blood into the circulation. Ventricular fibrillation may be caused by coronary thrombosis, drugs such as digitalis, excess diuretic use, or electric shock.


Atrial fibrillation is effectively treated with digitalis or with other drugs used to bring the rhythm of the heart under control. All such drugs are used under medical supervision. If fibrillation is associated with a thyroid disorder, thyroid treatment is necessary. Ventricular fibrillation is an emergency treated as a cardiac arrest. Regular heart rhythm is restored using a special machine that causes defibrillation.


Is a monosaccharide, a simple sugar that is essential to body cells for energy. Because it does not have to be broken down in the lower digestive system, it passes directly into the bloodstream from the small intestine and is stored as glycogen in the liver. Glucose is classified as a carbohydrate and is found in most sugars and starches. The amount of glucose in the blood is called the blood sugar content, which is carefully regulated by the pancreatic hormone insulin and, to a lesser extent, by other hormones. Glucose preparations are used in the treatment of dehydration and other disorders.


Or Myocardial Infarction, begins when a section of the heart muscle suddenly loses its blood supply, due to a partial or complete obstruction of the coronary arteries. Such obstruction is usually the result of coronary arteriosclerosis. If the obstruction persists longer than a few minutes, that section of the heart muscle will die. This is know as a heart attack. If, however, the obstruction lasts only a short time (a few minutes), the patient will experience chest pain, angina pectoris; but there is no permanent damage. Medication can then be used to dissolve blood clots early in a myocardial infarction (with 4 to 6 hours). In this fashion, the amount of heart muscle that might die can be decreased. Also angioplasty may be done early in myocardial infarction to limit the damage.


Term used to describe a variety of heart disorders. The sac surrounding the heart, the pericardium, may become inflamed (pericarditis) as a local disease or as part of a general heart inflammation, such as rheumatic fever. The heart muscle itself may become inflamed (myocarditis) or degenerative (cardiomy-opathy) from a variety of causes.

Atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries) can cause coronary heart disease, which in turn may lead to coronary thrombosis. The aortic valve can be affected by valvular disease; it narrows, becomes deformed, and sometimes causes an obstruction; of the forward flow or back flow of the blood. The distortion of the normal blood flow from the valvular disease causes heart murmurs.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) may produce hypertrophy (increase in thickness of the heartr muscle) and, like other forms of disease, may eventually cause heart failure.

Disorders of the normal electrical impulses in the heart may produce fibrillation, flutter, or hearblock. Such disorders can also occur with valvular disease, rheumatic fever, or coronary heart disease.

Electrical disorders of the heart include bradycardia, extrasystole, Stokes-Adams syndrome, tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, and vasovagal syncope.


Any heart disorder or disorder of the major vessels of the heart (aorta and pulmonary arteries) that is present at birth, although the condition may not be diagnosed until later in life. Some of the most common conditions include an open vessel between the aorta and pulmonary artery; a hole between the two lower chambers or ventricles; a narrowing of the aorta, the main artery from the heart; the wrong positioning of the aorta and pulmonary artery; and nondevelopment of the left side of the heart and aorta.


Is any damage to the heart muscle resulting from reduced blood supply from the coronary arteries. Normal blood supply is reduced by narrowing of any section of the artery. The type of arteriosclerosis known as atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in the arterial walls, is the most common cause. The artery usually affected is the first descending branch of the left coronary artery. The symptoms sometimes, are a pain in the center of the chest (angina pectoris) occurs during exercise. Such pain usually vanishes wgen the exercise ceases. Often, there are no symptoms at all until thrombosis (blood clotting) shuts off the blood supply completely. This causes death of part of heart muscles, a condition known as myocardial infarction.


Occurs when the heart’s pumping ability is impaired. The heart continues to beat, but not strongly enough to maintain adequate circulation. This results in a retention of blood in the organs and tissues throughout the body. The reduction of heart function may be due to a variety of conditions: hypertension (high blood pressure); valvular heart disease; congenital heart disease; or coronary heart disease and disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). Acute heart failure may follow a pulmonary embolus (a blood clot blocking an artery in a lung) or coronary thrombosis (a blood clot blocking an artery in the heart).


Is a condition in which the heart is unable to maintain the normal circulation of the blood. Heart failure does not mean that the heart stops suddenly (cardiac arrest), rather that it gradually becomes inefficient as the blood in the veins increases in volume and the veins become dilated. The lungs, liver, and intestines become congested with blood. There are many causes: hypertension (high blood pressure); heart attack; a chronic lung disease (such as emphysema); disease of the heart valves; hyperthyroidism (over activity of the thyroid gland); a viral illness; arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat); severe anemia; or pulmonary embolism. Untreated, the condition can be fatal. The symptoms include breathlessness (as fluid backs up in the lungs), swollen ankles (a form of edema), and weakness

HOMOCYSTIENE (an Amino Acid)

Researchers found that people whose blood contained high levels of the amino acid Homocystiene were more likely to have a heart attack. High levels of Homocystiene seems to damage artery walls and promote clotting of the blood.


Is a condition that results from an inadequate supply of hormones from the thyroid gland in the neck.


International Units


It is very important to Block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. LDL is benign until it has been oxidized. Only then can it be incorporated into obstructions along the wall of the coronary arteries. These obstructions are called Plaques.


A compound found in the body that consists of such lipids as triglycerides and cholesterol, combined with protein molecules. There are several kinds of of lipoproteins. The two most closely linked to risk for heart disease are high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Recent research in heart disease has found that a ratio of high HDL to low LDL in the body seems to offer protection against developing heart disease.


Do not raise blood cholesterol levels. Canola and olive oil contain the highest proportion of monounsaturated fat compared with other cooking oils. See polyunsaturated fats.


See Heart Attack


Is a severe form of hypothyroidism characterized by swelling of the face, particularly the lips, nose, and around the eyes. The hands and feet also swell.


Heart attacks occur when a plaques fissures or cracks, triggering formation of Clots that block the flow of blood to the heart.


Do not raise blood cholesterol levels. Safflower and corn oil contain the highest proportion of polyunsaturated fat compared with other cooking oils. See Monounsaturated Fats.


Is a class of complex nitrogenous compounds composed of amino acids. Human proteins are formed in the body from amino acids derived from the digestion of protein-containing food or from amino acids manufactured by the body. Proteins are formed from about 20 different amino acids, and the body is able to synthesize most of these. A total of eight essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, and so they must be obtained from the diet. These essential amino acids occur in a wide variety of foods, including grains, seeds, and vegetables, as well as meat, fish and dairy products. Hemoglobin, a complex iron-containing protein, is responsible for carrying oxygen to all cells. Enzymes are also complex proteins and are necessary for metabolism


The rhythmical expansion and contraction of an artery that can be felt near the surface of the body. The rate and regularity of the pulse is an indication of the pumping action of the heart and varies with age and activities. The pulse rate of a young baby may be as high as 120 to 140 beats per minute; for a resting adult it is about 70 beats per minute. Ectopic beat (missed beat) occurs more frequently in persons who smoke or those who have some underlying form of heart disease. Rapid pulse rates are known as tachycardia and slow pulse rate as bradycardia. Totally irregular pulse rates are usually caused by atrial fibrillation. The strongest pulse is felt in the neck (the carotid pulse). To feel the carotid pulse, carefully place your finders alongside the windpipe near to the angle of the jaw. The heartbeat may also be felt in the wrist (the radial pulse) as the blood is pumped down the arm to the hand. Place your finders in a line along he inside of the victims arm, on the same side as the thumb, just above the wrist.


Are the only fatty acids that raise blood cholesterol levels. Butter, margarine, and fats in meat and dairy products are all especially high in saturated fats.


A temporary suspension of breathing during sleep, sometimes occurring periodically. Sleep apnea is caused by a variety of problems, including severe obesity. It may be seen for periods in healthy people, particularly newborns and the elderly. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an airway obstruction that is causing the apneic spells. In severe cases of obstruction sleep apnea, the patient may need to have a tracheostomy to be able to breath while sleeping. Weight loss us often an important factor in successful treatment.


Is a sweet-tasting carbohydrate, present in many foods. The sugar commonly used to sweeten food is sucrose, but there are many other sugars. They are either simple monosaccharides such as dextrose, glucose, and fructose) or disaccharides (such as sucrose, maltose, and lactose). Sugars are a readily available source of energy and can be broken down by the body to form glucose (blood sugar). Glucose can be reconstructed by the liver and body cells into other forms of carbohydrates. Excess intake of sugar contributes dental caries and obesity and may be a contributory factor in arteriosclerosis


Is a rapid heart rate of more than 100 beats a minute when the patient is at rest. Tachycardia may be caused by excessive exercise; an emotional response, such as fear, which may occur with hyperthyroidism (hyperactivity of the thyroid gland), fever, or infection. Tachycardia may also result from anemia, hemorrhage, a heart disorder, or the use of certain drugs.


Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia is a sudden increase in the heart rate to 15-200 beats per minute for no apparent reason. The average rate during an attack is around 180 beats per minute. Normally, the adult heart beats about 70 times per minute. A large quantity of urine may be passed after the attack. Frequently the cause is not known, but the origin seems to lie with a sudden increase in the number of electrical stimuli starting the atrium of the heart, producing a rapid, regular contraction of the ventricles. The cause of the attack is usually arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).


Are fats that contain, in varying proportions, three groups of fatty acids – saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. A type of lipid that is formed from a combination of fatty acids and glycol. Most animal and vegetable fats are triglycerides, but because those of origin are saturated fats, a diet high in animal fats has been implicated in various disorders. The relationship between triglycerides, cholesterol, and lipoproteins is complex, but there is evidence to associate high levels of these three substances in the blood with an increased incidence if arteriosclerosis.


A thin-walled blood vessel that carries blood from the body tissues back to the heart. All veins, except the pulmonary veins and the umbilical cord, carry blood with a low concentration of oxygen and high concentration of carbon dioxide. Like the arteries, the walls of the veins consist of three layers, but the muscle and middle layers are thinner than the arteries and cannot keep the vein open if the blood pressure is low. Many of the veins have valves to prevent the backflow of blood.


Is either of the two lower chambers of the heart that receive blood from the atria and force blood into the arteries.

VLDL Cholesterol

Very Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. If the blood level of this type of cholesterol is high , there is an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis



This is a Salt Substitute which tastes like ordinary salt. Ounce for ounce, this salt contains half the sodium, along with extra potassium and magnesium which is believed to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.


Numerous studies have shown that the omega-3 oils in certain kinds of fatty fish (blue fish, mackerel, salmon, cod, sea bass, tuna, etc) inhibit blood clotting and lower the risk for sudden cardiac arrest.


In addition to reducing LDL, garlic helps prevent blood clotting. If the taste of garlic or bad breath are concerns, take garlic capsules daily.


Almond and Pistachios contain the same kind of monounsaturated fats found in Olive Oil. While nuts are too fatty to eat all the time, an occasional snack of almonds or pistachios could be beneficial to your heart.


Substituting Olive Oil for other oils helps keep your heart healthy. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil reduce levels of LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol..


Any form of alcohol raises HDL cholesterol and reduces clotting. Red Wine has additional benefits – if consumed in moderation (no more than TWO Glasses a day). It contains clot-inhibiting bioflavonoids and resveratrol, a power antioxidant that guards cholesterol from oxidation.


Tofu, miso soup, textured vegetable protein (TVP) and other soy products lower levels of LDL cholesterol. A compound in soy called beta-sitosterol .



Vitamin – E is a potent antioxident which keeps LDL cholesterol from turning into its toxic form. Ask your doctor abount taking 400 IU’s to 800 IU’s per day. Of the many forms of vitamin E now available, capsules containing d-alpha tocopherol succinate are the best since they don’t go rancid.

Vitamin – E 400 IU’s per day to

Vitamin – E 800 IU’s per day

VITAMIN – C (ascorbic acid)

This antioxidant vitamin protecxts the smooth tissue that lines the coronary arteries against microscopic injuries caused by high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol. These injuries provide a beachhead for plaques. A daily dose of at least 500 mg of Vitamin-C is best. It is better to get your C from the form of calcium ascorbate or magnesium ascorbate.

Vitamin – C 500 mg per day


Vitamins B – 6, B – 12 and Folic Acid all reduce blood levels of Homocystiene. High levels of this blood clot-promoting amino acid are linked to heart disease. Recommend daily doses are:

B-6 100 mg per day

B-12 500 mcg per day

Folic Acid 800 mcg per day


Beta-carotene is the best known member of this family of antioxidants. Another carotenoid called lycopene also offers protection against heart disease. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. Red, Yellow or Leafy Green vegetables is a natural source of carotenoid.


Red Vegetables

Yellow Vegetables

Leafy Green Vegetables


Textured Vegetable Protein.

Folic Acid



This mineral is the raw material used by the body to make antioxidant enzyme glutabione. Taking selenium reduces the risk for both heart disease and cancer. The usual Dose is:

Senenium 100 mcg per day


It is important to keep levels of blood sugar in balance. Elevated blood sugar spurs the body to secrete insulin, and chronically high insulin levels can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and high trigycerides, all boosting heart disease risk. A daily dose of 200 mcg of chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate are natural forms of chromium which are safe and readily absorbed.

Chromium Picolinate 200 mcg per day OR

Chromium Polynicotinate 200 mcg per day


Magnesium helps lower blood pressure by relaxing the tiny muscles that line the blood vessel walls.

Potassium lowers blood pressure by replacing sodium, a known provoker of high blood pressure. The best way to get these minerals is from fruits and vegetables.


Citrus Fruits


Zoloft 100mg

Zocor 20mg