Clementine Frost

By Mia Brader

Current Problems

I am glad that your transient ischemic attack has brought your condition to the attention of medical professionals. Your current lifestyle choices you’ve made have left you at an extremely high risk to experience more heart attacks in the future as well those with increased severity. Some of the major problems that need to be addressed are your addiction to smoking, your dire lack of sleep and rise in stress, and your increase in the consumption of energy drinks and coffee, all of which have negative effects on your body and health. Your current weight is also a concern as the BMI you currently have is 17.9, which is considered underweight and unhealthy. Lastly, at 228 mg/dL, you have borderline high levels of total cholesterol and at 143 mg/dL you have borderline high levels of LDL in your bloodstream. If your cholesterol levels were to raise more, you may be in even more danger of developing atherosclerosis.

Sleep and Stress

As an acupuncturist, relieving stress is one of the most important aspects of my job and is also one of the first steps for you to take when it comes to reducing your risk of future heart attacks.


  • Stress' ability to raise blood pressure is what can make constant stress such a danger to one's overall health. The hormones it releases causes blood vessels to constrict and the heart to beat faster, causing blood pressure to be raised. Remaining in high gear can cause one's total health to deteriorate.
  • Reducing that stress for you can start with managing the hours you work. Working constantly is a benefit for no one, and the sleep deprivation it causes has the ability to put a major strain on one's body. Finishing your work should not be put above your health.
  • Going to see an acupuncturist is another step to reduce your levels of stress, and therefore your risk for heart attacks. Making weekly appointments, usually up until 5 or 6, can assist you in decreasing risk. If, after 5 to 6 weeks, the treatments are not working, seeing a therapist is another suitable option for managing stress levels.

Eating Habits and Diabetes

From a nutritionist's view, changing what you consume and your diet will be the most effective method to reduce your risk for heart attacks. The most prominent issue is your current consumption of energy drinks and coffee. Though you may be watching your intake of sugars for your Type 1 diabetes, an overall diet change will most likely be necessary if more transient ischemic attacks or other problems are to be prevented.


  • With your history of heart related difficulties as well as the possibility of it being problems that run in with your family, Drinking the amount of energy drinks and coffee you do is potentially an extreme danger.
  • Substances such as those contain unhealthy amounts of caffeine. The high concentrations of caffeine can result in heart palpitations and increased heart rate and blood pressure. Both things have the chance of raising risk for heart attacks.
  • An obvious solution is to cease any and all drinks that posses high levels of caffeine. Lowering blood pressure is essential for reducing heart attacks.


Aside from energy drinks and coffee, your diet will also be an important thing to monitor and improve. Though you watch your sugar intake for your Type 1 diabetes, we have to eliminate the possibility of your diabetes negatively affecting your risk severely.



  • For your carbohydrates, you should consider eating only those that are high in fiber and contain a low glycaemic index such as whole wheat foods.
  • Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is another important factor. You should be eating healthy sources of protein like lean meats as well as trying to cut out saturated and trans fats.

Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart diseases and heart attacks. Many of the chemicals within smoking are extremely harmful to not only the heart but to the whole body. It puts a major stress on the entirety of the cardiovascular system.


  • The chemicals in tobacco smoke harms one's blood cells and damages the structures of one's heart and blood vessels, causing them to function inadequately.
  • The damage smoking creates increases the risk of atherosclerosis in the arteries. This raises blood pressure, causing more damage to arteries, and gives opportunities for plaques to build up enough to fully block arteries and cause heart attacks.
  • The first step to quitting smoking is to create your personal stop smoking plan.
  • This starts with setting a quit date. Your family and friends should be informed of your plan so they can be available to give support and encouragement to you. Removing all tobacco products from places you will be at often like home, your car, or work is another important step. As your cardiologist, I should be informed of what your plan is so that I may provide medication to assist in your cessation of smoking.

Sources

American Heart Association. (n.d.). Stress and Heart Health. Retrieved April 5, 2016, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/StressManagement/HowDoesStressAffectYou/Stress-and-Heart-Health_UCM_437370_Article.jsp


Energy Drinks & The Heart: Know the Risks. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 5, 2016, from http://www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/energy-drinks--heart-know-risks#.VwRgpOIrKUl


How Does Smoking Affect the Heart and Blood Vessels? (2015, December 17). Retrieved April 5, 2016, from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/smo