Time for a Heart to Heart

Heart Disease generally refers to conditions that result in compromised heart muscles, valves, or rhythm. Any or all of these can lead to heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke.

Believe it or not, the World Health Organization (WHO), reported “Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death in the US, Canada, and Australia.” Some reports say the death toll is even greater than that of every type of cancer.

Now I know what you’re saying, how the heck does someone get Heart Disease? Well here are a few noted causes:

  • High amounts of fats and cholesterol in the blood
  • High amounts of sugar in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Smoking
  • Family history of the illness

Over time, any of these can create toxic conditions for the heart, and lead to Heart Disease.

*This is with special exception to Congenital Heart Defects. In those unfortunate cases, someone is born with a defect that affects how the heart works.*

There is also research that suggests, “a sudden release of STRESS  hormones, may play a role in causing this disorder.”

This is the perfect Segway to the other thing I wanted to talk about, Stress.

Stress is a silent killer that takes a toll on every aspect of your well being. Namely, your mind, your spirit, your body and especially your heart, all fall victim to its undiscriminating wrath.

While we navigate the rigor of our constantly changing day, all while moving at the speed of life, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. Yeah, sure. “In the pursuit of happiness,” we all get caught up and tend to lose track of some traditional values. But ask yourself, at what cost.

My sister worked a full-time job, a part-time job, and went to school full time. She was quite driven and ambitious. She juggled all of this while simultaneously raising two beautiful young daughters. Successfully graduating with her RN license in 2010. 2 weeks later she suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 32, and died.

Her short-lived “Pomp and Circumstance became her Veteran waltz to “Taps.”The official autopsy report stated the cause of death as “Stress.”


Heart Attacks occur when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of the heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, that section of the heart muscle begins to die. Just imagine your heart being strangled. Well that’s kind of the idea.

heart squeezetired heart

Would you know if you or someone you know were actively having a heart attack? We often ignore physical discomforts, just assuming it will pass. If you knew you were having a heart attack, would you react so nonchalantly? Here are a few signs to look for just in case.

  • Chest Discomfort (Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. )
  • Discomfort to other areas of the body (Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.)
  • Shortness of Breath (with or without chest discomfort.)
  • Other signs (can range in breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.)

The American Heart Association recommends that heart disease prevention begin early in life. Assess your risk factors and work to keep them low.

A healthy diet and active lifestyle are key. Now I know often when we see the words Active Lifestyle, there is an assumption that you have to be in the gym 5 days a week. That’s not necessarily the case. All things, including lifestyle changes should be done gradually and at first, in moderation.

Here are some of my simple tips. See if they work for you.

  • Try walking 10 minutes more each day than usual. Each week afterward add 5 more minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be in the swing of things.
  • Stop lying down less than 30 minutes after you eat. The food needs to move. If you are lying down, where is it going to go? It stays right there, where it shouldn’t be. A lot of illness result from that very behavior. (Look it up) Get up and walk around a bit. And don’t be afraid to stretch a bit. (It helps)
  • Drink lots of water. I mean there are just too many benefits to list. Some research says it can reduce your risk of Heart Attack by 50%.

water-man Water is life

  • Add more greens and beans to your diet. They help regulate your metabolism.
  • Just as a backup, it’s a good idea to carry chew-able Aspirin in your bag. If worst comes to worst, chew two and get to an emergency room immediately.

First time victims of heart attacks or strokes suffer fatal or disabling effects, so prevention is critical. The sooner you begin reducing your exposure to things that may damage your heart, the longer and stronger your heart will beat.

It doesn’t take much to just get started, but it will totally be worth it.

Your family, your friends, your body and especially your Heart will thank you.


Thanks for listening.

Now go get your life together.


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In Case of Emergency: Who’s in Your Top 5?


In 2004, British paramedic Bob Brotchie devised a solution to help first responders make contact with friends and family members of those involved in an accident or other type of emergency. The solution, which launched as the “In Case of Emergency (ICE) Program” in 2005, encouraged people to include ICE in front of their cellphone contacts as a way of designating who emergency workers should reach out to when the phone’s owner was unable to call or speak.

Over the past 10 years, many people across the United States have made this simple addition to important members of their contact list. Yet, while the program does address a fundamental issue, it doesn’t provide a truly comprehensive solution in the event of an emergency. Namely, it relies on responders already being on the scene of your emergency, having unrestricted access to your phone (meaning no passwords or locks), and being trained to use your phone for this purpose.

What the program did, however, was spark a conversation about who would be the best people to contact during an emergency. And now with the iUDAME app becoming available, this conversation is more important than ever before. Not only does the app get police, ambulance and fire & rescue on their way to your exact location, but iUDAME also reaches out to 5 people who matter to you most – friends, family or contacts who you trust to make critical decisions.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on who to add to your top 5:
Allergies & Medical Conditions
When paramedics and other responders arrive on a scene, they often have no way of knowing if a chronic medical condition might be contributing to the situation. The same could be said about allergies, as some drugs or drug combinations that might otherwise save another patient’s life, could very well make your health emergency worse.
While you may have been fully alert when you used the iUDAME app, any number of circumstances might arise which make it impossible to communicate effectively. This is why it’s important to have at least one contact on your list who will respond quickly by letting medical personnel know about these issues and conflicts if the need arises.
Choose: Your partner, close relative/friend or family doctor are ideal.

Local, Reliable & Proactive
One of the advantages of the iUDAME app is its ability to reach out immediately to 5 people who care deeply about your well being. Doing so also ensures at least one of your contacts will be available to meet you at a nearby hospital, connect with other friends and family members, or provide assistance in other ways.
At iUDAME, we recommend your top 5 list contains someone who lives close to your home, or at the very least, is proactive enough to communicate your situation to nearby relatives and loved ones. In addition, it’s equally important to have someone you can count on during a time of emergency – for example, a person who answers their phone, text messages and emails quickly, and will speak to others on your behalf without hesitation.
Choose: Again, your partner or a close relative/friend who lives in the same area is likely your best choice.

Who Can Handle an Emergency?
Take a moment to think critically about the personality types contained within your contact list. Who among them is best suited for handling any type of emergency? It’s likely you have one person at a minimum who is well-equipped to tackle every situation, including significant crises that involve someone they care about deeply.
If an accident or injury occurs, having someone who is level-headed and won’t be overly emotional about the situation is often a great person to add to your list. Ideally, this person can answer questions posed by medical personnel or help you sort things out calmly.
Choose: In this case, we recommend a friend/family member with a military, medical or strong leadership background.

Important Business & Family Contacts
If you are a single parent who works away from home, there’s a good chance you already know someone on your contact list who will take care of your child in the event of an emergency. This might include a babysitter, a neighbor or a nearby relative who can respond quickly when contacted through the iUDAME app.

Other options for you to consider adding to your top 5 is your lawyer, who can make your wishes known to medical staff and loved ones, or business partners and coworkers, who may be able to make arrangements for work, take care of your home or provide other kinds of assistance.
Regardless of who you choose, be sure to let those you add know why you chose them to be an important part of your top 5. After all, iUDAME is more powerful and meaningful than any emergency contact list ever designed, and it could very well save your life.