Optimal Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center - June Recap
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June Newsletter

We hope that everyone is staying cool this summer. Read through our newsletter to learn about how to keep your heart healthy with tips, summer grilling recipes and more.

Gastric Reflux Drugs Linked to Heart Attacks
Proton Pump Inhibitors, also known as PPIs, are widely utilized agents for indigestion or gastric reflux, and they may be linked to an increased risk of heart attack.

These types of drugs include Prilosec and Prevacid. It appears these agents may promote inflammation and blood clots by interfering with protective enzymes necessary for healthy blood vessels.

There is no such concern with the "H2 Blockers" such as Zantac or Pepcid. In general, these agents are now preferred for gastric reflux.

Be sure to check out your medicine cabinet to see what over the counter medicines you may have. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Dr. Feyrer-Melk.
High Stress and Depression Can Hurt Your Heart

A recent study demonstrated that patients experiencing high levels of self-perceived stress were more susceptible to heart attacks. Likewise, patients experiencing high levels of depression were also at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack.

Both high stress and high depression contributed to a 48% increased risk of having a heart attack if the conditions were chronic for at least 2.5 years.

Take the time to honestly evaluate your current lifestyle, screening for your personal level of stress and your own potential for depression. It is another important step in keeping your heart healthy.

Healthy Grilling During the Summer

Spending time outside during the summer is both physically and mentally exhilarating. Combined with healthy grilling, you have a truly stimulating and healthful experience. So, turn off the phone, grab an unsweetened iced tea, and get grilling!
Here are some tips for healthy grilling this summer:

  1. Plan ahead. Buy your lean meat, fish or poultry in advance so it has a chance to thaw if frozen.
  2. Limit red meat. If you do choose red meat, pick very lean cuts and trim off the fat. For healthier red meat options, try wild game like venison, elk or bison.   
  3. When grilling sausage, try chicken or turkey sausage. Both taste great and are better for you.
  4. Grill fish on a vegetable grill tray. We prefer using the vegetable grill tray with a little high temp cooking spray because it makes the process easy and the fish tasty. 
  5. Zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers and onions are all excellent grilled. Cut them into ¼ inch pieces (not asparagus), and throw them into a large bowl. Sprinkle a little olive oil, dash a little garlic salt, stir and throw on a preheated vegetable grill tray. Turn over a couple times and to avoid burning. 
  6. Marinade meats with low or no sugar dressings. Put in a large plastic bag, pour in some marinade, squeeze out air, put back in the fridge for 30 minutes and enjoy.
  7. Don’t overcook your meat fish or poultry - timing is everything. Cook veggies first and keep them warm while you cook the meat. You might even be able to grill them both together, but keep an eye on it.
  8. Grill a little extra? Preserve leftover grilled chicken, steak, etc, in the fridge and have it ready for a great lunch or snack later in the week.
  9. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try different things that you like!

Featured Health Tip

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, according to the American Heart Association. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. 

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