Cardiovascular Disease

Join the Conversation on
Cardiovascular Disease
2.2K people
0 stories
665 posts
About Cardiovascular Disease
Explore Our Newsletters
What's New in Cardiovascular Disease


Burnt-out from the ignorance that comes from the mouths of so called trained medical professionals whom attended society's schools to acquire a stamp of approval that they specialize in whatever 🙄 and obtained A DEGREE.

#Allergies #SpinalMuscularAtrophy #Anxiety #GastroesophagealRefluxDisease #SpinalStenosis #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #BrainInjury #MentalHealth #CardiovascularDisease #RheumatoidArthritis #Osteoporosis #Peripheral #InflammatoryBowelDiseaseIBD #InflammatoryArthritis #CrohnsDisease

34 reactions 9 comments

How to help an alcoholic without hurting yourself

Part 1 of 2 In this article, you’ll find practical ideas to help you:

Understand the biggest needs of someone suffering from alcoholism

Distinguish between helping vs enabling

Encourage a loved one to seek treatment

Before discussing this topic in detail, it’s important for you to understand a hard truth about having a loved one suffering from alcoholism: It is not within your power to fix or cure this person. Recovery requires cooperation on the part of the person dependent on alcohol, a decision that things need to change radically. Once someone has become addicted, the goal of “cutting down” on alcohol is a lie that often enables the person to continue alcohol abuse and all its painful consequences. Accordingly, breaking addiction begins when a person recognizes his or her alcohol dependence and agrees that it needs to end.

The Biggest Needs of a Person with Alcohol Addiction

It goes without saying that the biggest need of an alcoholic is recovery. Alcoholism not only damages the health of the addicted but risks financial problems stemming from the behavioral problems (e.g. inconsistency at work, excessive absenteeism, etc.) associated with the disease. The problems of alcoholism also extend beyond the person suffering from the addiction. Common alcoholic behaviors such as drunk driving put the welfare of others in harm’s way.

Substance abuse in any form is a health risk. With respect to alcohol, addiction can produce a variety of medical problems from high blood pressure and heart disease to problems with liver function. An alcoholic may begin to skip meals or otherwise eat poorly. If an alcoholic has not yet agreed to treatment, you should still encourage a health diet, proper nutrition, and regular medical check-ups.

An understanding of alcoholism is another extremely important need for an alcoholic. Family and friends who have self-educated on alcoholism will avoid:

Blaming themselves for an alcoholic’s drinking

Making excuses for a loved one’s drinking or covering it up

Believing common lies alcoholics tell themselves (and others) to justify their drinking

Behaving in a way that is problematic around an alcoholic (such as drinking in their presence or leaving alcohol in a place where it is easily accessible)

Financially supporting an alcoholic so he or she may continue drinking despite losing employment due to compulsive drinking

The Importance of Self-Care for the Family & Friends of an Alcoholic

Alcoholism, like many other illnesses, affects not only a person who suffers from the condition but also the loved ones within his or her life. Addiction can manifest itself in innumerable ways that hurt those around the person dependent on alcohol. Most notably, typically loved ones spend an extreme amount of effort and energy on the alcoholic to address consequences of drinking and perform obligations that the alcoholic failed to perform. In this scenario, self-care can fall by the wayside.

If you have someone in your life struggling with alcoholism, remember to maintain a self-care routine to preserve your physical and emotional health. Consider the following self-care practices:

Attending a support group for people with alcoholic loved ones (e.g. Al-Anon)

Getting regular sleep


Regularly pursuing activities you enjoy (e.g. movies, concerts, museums, sports events)

Obtaining therapy if you struggle with feelings of depression or regret or fear

Writing your feelings in a journal

Maintaining a healthy diet

Understand Alcoholism Goes Beyond Drinking

Alcohol addiction has a host of negative behaviors associated with it because alcohol affects the way the brain functions. Some of the activities that may occur during alcoholism include:

Spending money on alcohol that was meant for the family (e.g. food, gas, insurance, savings, etc.)

Lying about quitting alcohol or lying about the extent of drinking

Failing to control anger or impulsive behavior

Engaging in reckless behavior such as drunk driving

Losing inhibitions while drunk and engaging in promiscuity

Acting in a manipulative or secretive manner

During therapy, alcoholics are encouraged to recognize these behaviors and work on replacing them with healthier ways of behaving that preserve important relationships and build trust.

Helping an Alcoholic vs. Enabling an Alcoholic

Loved ones wish to protect an alcoholic from the dangerous consequences of this addiction. This is especially true when the alcoholic is a son or daughter, though it can equally apply to a spouse. Unfortunately, this protective instinct can transform into enablement of addiction because it creates an environment where the personal costs of addiction are reduced for the person

3 reactions

Parental Guilt

For all the unintentionally insensitive and thoughtless things people have said to me over the years, no one has ever asked me the question, “Do you feel guilty for passing the gene for SELENON related myopathy to your sons?” Perhaps this question is a step beyond what most people consider good decorum, however I wonder how many people have thought it and stopped themselves from asking it out loud.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about the question, I’ll answer it.

I feel guilty for many things as a parent, but this is not one of them.

SELEON related myopathy is autosomal recessive which means both my husband and I need to have the gene for the disease to appear in our children. This is exactly what happened in our case. Had I chosen a different father for my children (To be clear, I don’t regret my choice), the recessive gene likely would have remained hidden for future generations to discover. Maybe it would have never surfaced. We have no way of knowing how long our disease causing gene has been lurking in our gene pool.

On the other hand, the gene for this disease and many others can mutate spontaneously. Meaning, a disease causing gene can appear in the affected child and not the parents. Was the gene passed down to me from my great great great grandfather? Or did it just appear in me? Same for my husband. We have some clues to this puzzle but we will never know the full story.

Also, parents pass along all sorts of undesirable genes to their children – ones that cause common ailments such as heart disease, ones that cause mental illness, or even ones that give the child a nose way too big for his or her face.

The more I learn about genetics, the more procreation seems like a roll of the dice. You never know what might happen even if you do prenatal genetic testing. Currently no prenatal genetic test includes all possible rare diseases and new rare diseases are discovered every day. When our boys were born less than two decades ago, a genetic test did not exist for their disease.

While science will certainly get there someday, we can’t genetically engineer our children to rid them of all possible diseases. What you get is what you get and sometimes unlikely events unfold.

I can live with that.

3 reactions

Cardiac Exercise Test (not for ME/CFS)

I am having a cardiac doppler and treadmill stress test next week. The test is to rule out cardiovascular issues beyond dysautomnia (including orthstatic intolerance) and ME/CFS (my doctor has diagnosed those based on history/discussion alone). Due to family history and long lasting breathing difficulty and chestbpain following COVID-19 infection, my cardiologist wants to rule out cardiovascular disease or heart issues. Of course I will most likely have horrible PEM afterwards because of ME/CFS. I might also have trouble during the test due to heart rate spikes (might be POTS or might be random- but they happen).
The test is on Wednesday morning and I have cleared my calendar until Sunday.

Any other advice from the trenches?

Since we are hoping/expecting for normal results as far as cardiovascular disease, what should I expect as far as symptoms/results due to ME/CFS? Anything I should ask about to support getting a wheelchair?

3 reactions 5 comments
See full photo

Why We Need to Use Pacing Skills With Chronic Conditions

When looking at the reasons we need to pace its important to start with the autonomic nervous system (ANS), as it can both be a cause of predisposed disorders turning on, and inflammation in the body that worsens current disorders.

Next, we should also look at how our bodies make energy because that will impact any fatigue symptoms you might have. After reviewing these area’s we will gain a deeper understanding of what happens in the body that’s impacting us daily. After which we will move on to how we can learn to pace our bodies to lower symptoms.

So I wanted to post today and dive into the autonomic nervous system as it is impacted by both chronic conditions and our stress. It is through this connection that the nervous system acts as a hidden cause of predisposed disorders and through constant stress can even worsen these disorders. Numerous research studies, and Doctors like Gabor Mate and Bessel Van der Kolk, discuss this topic in great depth. And right now I just wanted to briefly review what is known about how stress affects our chronic conditions as they have thoroughly shown that stress is associated with all non-genetically inherited conditions, and that it can also be a trigger for predisposed conditions. So how did we get these conditions?

To understand it further you need to delve into predispositions. So think of your DNA strand with each gene as a light switch that your born with and all the genes you have that are not dominant are in the off position. You have them they just aren’t on. More specifically though, our DNA contains genes that are expressed (like blue eyes and blond hair) these are dominant traits that are again like light switches turned on. And others that are not expressed due to the presence of something called the epigenome. These predispositions can be turned on or off like a switch based on various lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and mental health (Mate, 2023). This means that stress and trauma can directly impact our physical health through our genetics. For example, if someone has a predisposition to diabetes but maintains a healthy lifestyle, that predisposition may not be activated. However, if they experience high levels of stress and unhealthy habits, that predisposition could be turned on and result in diabetes. Thus, stress has a large impact on disorders that we have genetic links to and its also a catalyst. As stress can have a significant impact on chronic conditions, as it can exacerbate the existing symptoms and potentially lead to the development of new conditions that is not a predisposed condition. Chronic stress can cause physical changes in the body, such as an increase in cortisol levels, which can contribute to inflammation and tissue damage. This can lead to a range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and mental health conditions.

While stress can contribute to the development or worsening of chronic conditions, it is not necessarily the sole cause. Many chronic conditions have a multifactorial etiology, meaning that they arise from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. However, chronic stress can be a significant contributing factor in many cases and should be addressed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Strategies for managing stress, such as mindfulness practices, exercise, and therapy, can all be helpful in reducing the impact of stress on chronic conditions.

That's just a little of how I understand chronic conditions and I'd love to hear about how you understand them and if you have any questions.

I also go over how pacing can help and how our chronic conditions can cause crash cycle's in our counselling practices youtube channel that you can check out here:

Or you can check out our online chronic health counselling:

#Fibromyalgia #ChronicFatigue #chronic #chronic pain #lupu #MentalHealth #Stress #MentalHealth #Cancer #Caregiving


How Does Chronic Illness Cause A Crash Cycle?

A short clip on how the crash cycle effects chronic health issues and how we can end up in a cycle of symptom flares and bursts of energy. Elysia Bronson is ...
6 reactions
See full photo

Benefits of Nutmeg

Did you know nutmeg trees are evergreens? They grow mostly in the Spice Islands of Indonesia.
Nutmeg is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect against the signs of aging, cancer, heart disease, and liver disease.
Nutmeg has lots of health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function, prevent leukemia, and improve blood circulation. Many of us suffer from depression, anxiety or even both. It's always best to aim for natural remedies, and there is no better one than nutmeg. Nutmeg contains myristicin and elemicin, two significant compounds. By working together, they relax your brain and act like a mild sedative. Nutmeg also promotes serotonin and other neurotransmitter production in the brain.
Ancient Romans and Greeks noticed the benefits of nutmeg on the mind right away. They made it into a tonic and drank it to prepare for grueling mental challenges. Nutmeg improves your brain's sharpness and memory capacity.
Having difficulties sleeping at night? Give nutmeg a try. It can work as a natural sedative and calm your body down. Because it's so soothing, you can relax and fall asleep easier than ever. It's a natural sleep aid.
Many experts either advise adding nutmeg to your diet or taking nutmeg-based medicines.
Myristicin is not only useful for battling stress and sharpening your mind. This essential oil that is present in nutmeg allows you to get rid of any joint or muscle pain. This is because it has many anti-inflammatory properties. It doesn't only reduce pain. It also battles swelling, infections and other possible detrimental factors. To get the full effect, use nutmeg oil. Mixing it with coconut oil or olive oil, you get relief from the critical area of any possible pain. Adding a little bit of spice to your cooking might also help. Problems with acne? Nutmeg is another healthy food full of antioxidants. In fact, it's so abundant with them, there aren't many foods that can treat skin conditions better and faster. The antioxidants in nutmeg have multiple ways of battling acne and skin conditions. They prevent free radicals from multiplying too much. Also, inflammation and irritation will be a thing of the past. If you have acne scars, rub a little nutmeg oil into them. They will start being less noticeable on a daily basis.
Nutmeg has many benefits to the digestive tract. From nausea, vomiting, indigestion and bloating, and Crohn's disease – it eliminates everything. Many people face digestion problems because they have a high amount of intestinal juice. The essential oils lower the concentration of juice. Some studies have also shown that nutmeg is an excellent fast-acting solution for diarrhea. It brings the colon and the esophagus back to normal.
Nutmeg also has incredible antibacterial properties. Tooth decay happens by neglecting to clean food particles from your mouth. Those particles attract bacteria, which can infect your mouth. Nutmeg has a strong antibacterial effect. On consuming it, all those bacteria will go in a matter of minutes. You can also eat a bit in the morning. It’s excellent for preventing bad breath.
Nutmeg is full of nutrients. Add antioxidants to that, & you get an efficient system against diseases & infections. Antioxidants are important. They prevent free radicals from spreading & reduces infection. Potassium, calcium, & iron are also key ingredients.
Thinking about adding nutmeg to your diet? No more than a half teaspoon daily is recommended.

25 reactions 8 comments

CRPS Awareness and Prevention What can we learn from each other

Part 1 of 2 America needs to take a play from the United Kingdom’s playbook when it comes to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Sometimes I think that our healthcare system is too arrogant for its own good. We believe we are the best in the world, and in some things, that might be true. In regard to CRPS, there is room for much-needed improvement.

We have our specialists who have mastered the skills required to help some CRPS patients manage their symptoms, but we fail as a nation to diagnose and prevent the onset of CRPS in the first place.

We should be taking a cue from other countries on how they treat CRPS. It always seems to this writer that we are years behind other nations. We know that early intervention can prevent the spread of CRPS, or even stop its onset. The key is early detection and aggressive treatment. However, before we can even get to treatments, we have to improve awareness and recognition among our medical providers, and society generally.

I’ve personally been faced with a doctor in an emergency department refusing to believe that CRPS is real and that I am not a drug seeker. That incident has produced a permanent trauma in my brain that, to this day, brings on anxiety. The entire experience nearly caused me to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and give up. How many people do sign a DNR? How many give up on themselves because the medical community gave up on them? With a 70% suicide consideration rate among CRPS patients, you would think that we could do better. We will not reduce those incidents until medical providers are better educated and far more aware. There is no doubt in my mind that countless lives are lost due to the sheer ignorance of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

In contrast with the United States, the UK has a national treatment plan and efforts to diagnose and treat CRPS at the onset, which have been in place for a decade now. Here, we haven’t even put out a white paper. These guidelines are not written for just one type of doctor, but 30 different specialties. Each discipline is addressed in theComplex regional pain syndrome in adults (2nd edition). It is due to be updated soon. The RCP revises its policies every five years. The CRPS protocols were last revised in 2018. Here in the United States, we’ve not even begun to have protocols, or for that matter, treatment plans nationally recognized. The federal government is slow to put anything on the books for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. How slow? It’s been over 200 years since CRPS was first diagnosed on the battlefields of the Civil War, and yet the FDA has never approved a single treatment for it. We have achieved orphan disease status, which “should” give us better access to treatments like ketamine infusions and low-dose naltrexone to name. Yet for some, there is no access to any treatments at all.

I want to lobby for change. I need you to join me. For the medical community in the United States to know that CRPS patients exist. It needs to start in medical school, with more than a twenty-minute cursory lecture. Doctors are told to practice for the majority. If it sounds like the person has heart disease, then it’s heart disease. They say, “If it sounds like a horse, then it’s a horse.” However, sometimes there are zebras. Zebras are a medical rarity, patients who have rare diseases. Medical zebras are not spoken of enough to stay relevant in the minds of our medical providers. Unlike the UK, we do not have protocols and best practices for our providers when it comes to rare diseases. I often wonder how “rare” CRPS truly is, and how much it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The average CRPS patient will tell you that it took years, and many doctors, to finally arrive at the correct diagnosis, and the right treatment combination to allow them to have some semblance of a “normal” life.

What do I mean by “normal” life? I’m talking about bathing without help, cooking a meal, or even just walking around a grocery store. Of course, my motto is to “work smarter, not harder,” so I use my limited energy for things I truly want to achieve even if it’s only something as simple as grocery shopping.

There is an active protocol in the UK that warns doctors to look out for signs or symptoms of CRPS in instances of physical injuries. For example, orthopedic doctors are specifically told to watch out for symptoms. One recommendation states, “Surgeons should be aware that the diagnosis of CRPS can be made in patients who have only had minor soft tissue injury. It may even occur without a traumatic event. A CRPS diagnostic checklist should be available in orthopedic and plastic surgery departments, including outpatient departments and plaster rooms.” (1) This reminder to providers prevents years of undiagnosed suffering. Why do

Complex regional pain syndrome in adults (2nd edition)

Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
2 reactions

Insomnia is So Much More Than Being Unable to Sleep

I wish more people understood the complexities of living with insomnia and sleep anxiety. It is so much more than what people see on the surface like staying up late, sleeping in, daytime tiredness, and the struggle to be on time for things.

According to Cleveland Clinic, “Roughly, 1 in 3 adults worldwide have insomnia symptoms, and about 10% of adults meet the criteria for insomnia disorder,” and “About half the people with chronic insomnia also have at least one other mental health condition, like anxiety or depression”(Cleveland Clinic, Insomnia: What it is, causes, symptoms & treatment 2023). That is a LOT of people struggling to sleep at night. People are quick to judge and blame it on technology use before bed but for some of us, we’ve been struggling with sleep long before ever owning a cell phone. At least, that’s been the case for me.

Insomnia for me is crippling. It’s intense dread each time the sun begins to set. It’s an anxiety response each night when bedtime rolls around. It’s a constant battle in my mind of knowing I should go to sleep at a certain time but anxiety runs through my body as I watch the minutes and sometimes hours passing by as I lay in bed. It’s a struggle to wake up in the morning because you finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning with the help of a sedative which leaves you groggy and still exhausted.

Insomnia is daytime anxiety, emotional sensitivity, and irritability because of the fatigue that radiates through every cell in your body. It’s the desire to lay down and take a nap but knowing that if you do, it will just make it even harder to sleep that night. It’s snapping at those you love because the exhaustion is just too overwhelming to your nervous system. It’s anxiety and dread for events or appointments planned in the morning, not because it’s something you don’t want to do but because you know that having to get up early will wreak havoc on your body and mind.

You see when I have something in the morning and I lay down in bed the night before, my mind races. It calculates how much sleep I’ll get, how that will affect my body, mind, and mood when I’ll be able to take a nap if I can, and how I’ll be able to put on a mask for the thing I’m supposed to do. While I would love to wake up early, see the sunrise, and be productive every day, that’s not my reality or the reality for many suffering from insomnia.

I would love to be able to wake up early on Sunday mornings to go to church but instead, I’m having to weigh the costs between going or staying home to sleep.  It’s a constant fight internally between going to church but dozing off through the entire sermon, getting incredibly irritated, and needing to come home and nap anyway or just staying home to sleep in but missing out on seeing important people in my life and hearing bits and pieces of the sermon. It’s a constant battle each week trying to decide. Something that many people with insomnia have to deal with daily. Getting up early for me isn’t an issue of laziness. It’s an issue of anxiety and depression.

Not only is insomnia associated with anxiety but it can also be a result of depression too. For instance, while I have been in this long fight with Treatment-Resistant Depression, my nights are often filled with hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, and dread for the next day of waking up and facing it all again. This dread turns into anxiety which keeps me up in fear of having to face another day of the same fight.

Insomnia can also cause serious damage to one’s body too. For instance, according to Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia and poor sleep quality can lead to complications like “increased risk for heart disease, increased risk for stroke, increased risk for diabetes, excessive weight gain or obesity, depression, and increased of injury to self or others, such as a car accident caused by driving while drowsy” (John Hopkins Medicine, Insomnia). It is so much more than what one sees on the surface.

Insomnia affects so many people worldwide and is multifaceted. It’s complicated. It is crippling. And it’s incredibly infuriating for the one suffering. I just wish more people could understand or have empathy for people like me who struggle with it.

11 reactions 4 comments
See full photo

How do you manage your energy when you go grocery shopping?

Grocery shopping can be so draining — I know it is for me 🙋! I have to be really intentional with what time of day I go and how much I buy so I don’t exhaust myself too much, too fast. Chronic illness can also add a whole other dimension to the dynamic!

When you go grocery shopping, how do you manage your energy or spoons? What are some tips and advice you would give to someone who plans on taking a trip soon?

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Disability #Caregiving #RareDisease #Migraine #Stroke #CardiovascularDisease #AutonomicDysfunction #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #Spoonie #Lupus #Endometriosis
#Cancer #Anxiety #PTSD #CheckInWithMe

87 reactions 30 comments