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Open Q & A and Heart Health Month - Sharon Spear, C.D.E., Unity Diabetes & Enedocrinology Services, Rebekah Kepple, R.N., Manager, Unity Cardiology Services, February 25, 2014

Sharon@Unity:
Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Dr. Sharon Spear, a certified diabetes educator from Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology Services, and I’ll be hosting today’s chat. I’m glad you could join us today. We have a heart health expert with us tonight in honor of Heart Health Month: Rebekah Kepple, R.N., Manager, Unity Cardiology Services. We’re excited to answer all of your diabetes questions.

Sharon@Unity:
Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question. It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat

Rebekah@Unity:
Thank you for having me! I am excited to be here!

Sharon@Unity:
Hello Bekah, with February being heart month and March being  nutrition month, what are some things we can do to lower blood pressure?

Rebekah@Unity:
Being active is helpful in lowering blood pressure. Before starting any exercise program it’s best to check with your physician. Eating nutritious meals and lower your sodium intake.

sassy35:
How much sodium should you have each day?

Sharon@Unity:
Great, what are the recommendations for blood pressure in adults?

Rebekah@Unity:
Sodium should be kept to about 1500mg/day or less. Limit your intake of processed, packaged and fast foods that would tend to be high in sodium.

Sharon@Unity:
Reading labels for sodium is important and it is suggested you follow the DASH diet.

janet:
What is the dash diet?

Rebekah@Unity:
Adults should have blood pressure under 140/90, depending on where you normally run. Discuss specific blood pressure goals with your physician.

Sharon@Unity:
The DASH diet stands for Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension. It is a low-fat, high-fiber meal plan rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

lucyblue:
Does alcohol effect blood pressure or increase your risk of heart attack or stroke?

sassy35:
Are people with diabetes at higher risk for high blood pressure?

Rebekah@Unity:
The Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of alcohol you drink because it can affect your blood pressure. If you are a woman, don't drink more than one drink a day. If you are a man, have no more than two drinks a day.

Sharon@Unity:
Yes, sassy35, people with diabetes are at higher risk due to diabetes. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol managed.

janet:
I do not cook with or add salt to my meals, but find I often crave salty snacks. Is there a good substitute for this craving?

Sharon@Unity: 
100 calorie popcorn unsalted nuts, whole grain toast, crackers, or baked chips and salsa to name a few, janet.

lucyblue:
What amount of exercise is recommended for a healthy heart?

Sharon@Unity:
Rebekah, what are some of the symptoms of a heart attack for women?

Rebekah@Unity:
Studies show people who get regular physical activity, 30 to 60 minutes nearly every day, have better blood sugar control and fewer complications. But that is a lot to start! So begin slowly, being active a few minutes every day. Be sure to get your physician’s okay before starting any new exercise program.

lucyblue:
Thanks Rebekah, 30 to60 minutes most days sounds manageable if brisk walking is ok. I walk my dog after dinner.

Sharon@Unity:
Sometimes 30 minutes can feel like alot, especially in this cold weather...hope spring comes soon.

Rebekah@Unity
Women don't typically get the crushing chest pain that is often depicted in a heart attack situation. They often feel jaw pain, shortness of breath, chest pressure, arm pain, or simply are more fatigued than normal.

Rebekah@Unity:
Brisk walking is great!

sassy35:
If you use a treadmill – what's a good speed to get a good workout?

Sharon@Unity:
Is it good to take your blood pressure when this uncomfortable pain is happening?

Rebekah@Unity:
When working out you want to keep your heart rate at 85%. The formula for this is 220 - your age X 85%. Each person's speed is different to keep the heart rate at the 85%, which is optimal cardiac workout. Again, please check with your physician before starting an exercise program!

Rebekah@Unity:
Sharon, can you clarify your question?

Sharon@Unity:
Yes, if you are having fatigue, nausea and pain in arms should you check your blood pressure?

sassy35:
Thank you Rebekah – I'll have to do the math next time next time I get ready to walk on the treadmill!

Rebekah@Unity:
You can certainly take your blood pressure, however, if you are having all of those symptoms, I suggest you contact your physician as something more significant may be happening, such as a heart attack.

janet:
I have panic attacks which sometimes mimic a heart attack but my blood pressure is low during this time...will blood pressure always be high if it is a heart attack?

lucyblue:
Do many people with diabetes have heart attacks?

Sharon@Unity:
Great advice, thanks Rebekah.

Rebekah@Unity:
Your blood pressure will not necessarily be high during a heart attack. A heart attack is when the arteries leading to your heart are blocked and blood cannot reach the muscle. You therefore experience pain, and if not treated, the muscle can die.

Rebekah@Unity:
High blood sugar levels can result in heart disease and stroke. Research is still going on regarding the specific connection between diabetes and heart disease.

Rebekah@Unity:
Diabetic patients have to be concerned with the symptoms of a heart attack. They are often masked and vague. Sometimes it is simply having slight jaw pain or just not "feeling right.”

Sharon@Unity:
Good to know: diet exercise, weight management are all good tools to lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Sharon@Unity:
That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Tuesday March 11 at 8 p.m. with Elva Parker, C.D.E. Elva will be holding an open Q&A session with Elissa Rowley from the National Kidney Foundation and sharing important information about kidney health.

Rebekah@Unity:
Thank you!

lucyblue:
Thank you Rebekah!

Sharon@Unity:
Thanks for the valuable information.

 
 
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