Weekly health news roundup: Hypothermia, high cortisol, heart valve disease, broken heart syndrome

By: Bel Marra Health | Health News | Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 05:30 AM

Hypothermia and its dangers in older adultsThis week’s health news roundup presents the latest information on hypothermia, high cortisol, heart valve disease, osteoarthritis pain, and broken heart syndrome. This week we looked at the dangers of hypothermia, how to recognize high cortisol levels, diagnosis and treatment for heart valve disease, the benefits of chair yoga for osteoarthritis pain, and what broken heart syndrome is all about.

Hypothermia and its dangers in older adults

Hypothermia is a wintertime health risk that older adults should be mindful of. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s internal temperature drops abnormally low. Normal body temperature is 98.6 °F (37 °C) and hypothermia is classified when the body temperature is below 95 °F (35 °C). Seniors are more susceptible to hypothermia because they have a greater surface area to body weight ratio.

Seniors, in general, have lower body heat, as well as a slew of other conditions that increase their risk of both hypothermia and frostbite. For example, heart problems, thyroid problems, and even certain medications can all contribute to a heightened hypothermia risk. Continue reading…

high-cortisol-stressHigh cortisol: Symptoms and signs to look out for

When we become stressed out bodies release cortisol – the stress hormone – which helps us cope with challenges. Cortisol’s role is to convert protein into energy by releasing glycogen and counteract inflammation. When cortisol is released in the body temporarily, this is okay and won’t have long-lasting detrimental effects to health as it is a natural response to a stressor. But when cortisol levels remain high chronically it can eventually begin to tear your body down thus causing health complications. This is why numerous health experts recommend the reduction of stress as much as possible because in the long run it can harm our health. Continue reading…

Heart valve disease diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measuresHeart valve disease diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures

Heart valve disease or valvular heart disease is a condition that causes your heart’s valves to malfunction. About five million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease annually. Many people live long, active lives with valvular heart disease. However, understanding the treatment for it, as well as preventative measures, can lower the chances of it leading to problems in and around the heart that can become fatal.

There are heart valves at the exit of each of our four heart chambers. The valves ensure that blood flows freely in a forward direction and that there is no backward leakage. When blood is not flowing properly or leakage happens, there could be a valve problem. Continue reading…

Osteoarthritis pain in older adults can be managed with chair yogaOsteoarthritis pain in older adults can be managed with chair yoga

Osteoarthritis pain in older adults can be managed with chair yoga. The researchers randomly assigned 131 older adults to either chair yoga or a health education program. Both interventions took place twice a week for 45 minutes a session over the course of eight weeks.

Measurements for pain, pain interference, balance, gait speed, fatigue, and functional ability were taken at baseline, mid-intervention, end of intervention, as well as one and three months post-intervention.
The researchers found that those who took part in the chair yoga showed a greater reduction in pain interference and continued experiencing these benefits for three months. Pain, fatigue, and gait speed were also improved, but those improvements did not last after the intervention was completed. There was no difference in balance measurements between the two groups. Continue reading…

Understanding broken heart syndrome: Causes, symptoms, and treatmentUnderstanding broken heart syndrome: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Can you die from a broken heart? Researchers and heart experts suggest that broken heart syndrome is a real thing. A broken heart can do more than just cause emotional distress – it can actually compromise your heart health and cause real heart problems. In fact, a broken heart brought on by an emotional stressor such as the death of a loved one or the discovery of a partner’s infidelity can affect your heart health in a plethora of ways and may even contribute to early death.
Broken heart syndrome is also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy and can occur in both healthy and unhealthy individuals. It is triggered by an emotional stressor and is often misdiagnosed as a heart attack. Continue reading…


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