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Understanding AFib: Living with and treating a common condition

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(Family Features) A diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFib) may be scary, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from enjoying life. Learning more about the condition and treatment options can significantly affect your prognosis and quality of living.

AFib is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. It occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, beat rapidly or in an uncontrolled manner. AFib can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, anxiety, chest pain and dizziness.

AFib impacts nearly 40 million people worldwide, according to research published in the “International Journal of Stroke,” including 6 million people in the United States alone. Despite its prevalence, many people are unfamiliar with the symptoms, available treatment options and importance of early treatment to avoid disease progression or other life-threatening complications such as a stroke.

More than a quarter of adults living with AFib have fears and anxiety about the progressive nature of the disease, according to a survey conducted by Biosense Webster, Inc., part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech. However, a quarter of patients did not get treatment immediately after diagnosis and 44% of patients have ended up in the emergency room due to their condition.

Speak to Your Doctor
Despite half of adults 55 and older believing they may be at risk for AFib, only one-fifth (18%) said their doctors have ever discussed AFib with them and even less (10%) have proactively spoken to their doctors about it. Recognizing symptoms and talking to your doctor as soon as possible can help prevent the progression of AFib.

Make Lifestyle Changes
About 1 in 4 adults over the age of 40 are at risk of developing AFib. The causes are wide-ranging and include non-modifiable and lifestyle factors. Some non-modifiable risk factors include age, family history and a heart disease diagnosis.

Making lifestyle changes to control factors such as obesity, smoking and sleep apnea may help lower your risk. Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption and controlling your stress can also reduce your risk and may help manage AFib episodes.

Consider Treatment Options
For most AFib patients, treatment begins with medication. Medications can be used for controlling your heart rate, rhythm and blood thickness, but about half of patients don’t respond to or can’t tolerate medications. Catheter ablation is a procedure to restore the heart’s incorrect electrical signals that cause an abnormal heart rhythm. It is recommended by the American College of Cardiology, the Heart Rhythm Society and the American Heart Association for patients when medication proves to be unsuccessful.

To learn more about AFib and treatment options, including catheter ablation, visit getsmartaboutafib.com.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor
If you’re concerned about your risk of AFib, consider these questions to ask your doctor at your next visit:

Questions for your primary care physician:

  1. I have some concerning symptoms. Could they be the result of AFib?
  2. Do I need to take any diagnostic tests?
  3. Am I at risk of stroke?
  4. When should I go to the emergency room?
  5. Do I need to make any lifestyle modifications?
  6. What are my treatment options?
  7. Should I see a specialist?

If your physician recommends medications:

  1. Why are you recommending this medication?
  2. What should I do if I have side effects or it doesn’t work?
  3. Can I take this medication with the other medicines I’m already taking?

If medications aren’t working:

  1. .Am I a good candidate for a catheter ablation procedure?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of a catheter ablation procedure?
  3. Can you refer me to an electrophysiologist?

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


SOURCE:
Biosense Webster

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Community Fundraiser Hosted by CFC in Support of Infertility Awareness Week

Canadian Fertility Consulting and Fertility Matters Canada Unite for Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser

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TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Canadian Fertility Consulting is proud to announce a Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser in support of Infertility Awareness Week, scheduled for April 28, 2024. This event aims to raise awareness about infertility issues while supporting Fertility Matters Canada, a national charity dedicated to assisting those struggling with fertility challenges.

The virtual paint night will be led by the talented Jenny Hughes of Oceanside Art Studios, offering participants the opportunity to unleash their creativity while supporting a meaningful cause. Taking part is simple – join from the comfort of your home via Microsoft Teams, and we will provide all the necessary paint materials, conveniently shipped directly to your door.

“We are thrilled to host this virtual paint night fundraiser to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada,” said Janet Harbick, Administrative Specialist at Canadian Fertility Consulting. “It’s an opportunity for our community to come together, express themselves artistically, and raise vital funds for a cause that impacts so many lives.”

Participants are encouraged to register by April 12, 2024, to ensure timely delivery of the paint supplies. Registration and payment are required to secure your spot in this event.

The theme for the evening is to paint a beautiful hatching embryo, with each participant adding their own unique interpretation. No prior painting experience is necessary, as guidance will be provided throughout the virtual session.

Infertility affects one in six Canadians, leading many to explore alternative paths to parenthood. Statistics show that 40% of infertility cases are attributed to female factors, 30% to male factors, and 30% to joint infertility or remain unexplained. Additionally, various factors such as sexual orientation, genetic diseases, gynecological issues, and career considerations contribute to the complexity of infertility challenges faced by individuals and couples across every demographic and economic group.

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, committed to assisting couples and individuals in their journey to parenthood. With a mission to build families with love, we provide guidance and support throughout the process of exploring alternative methods of family building.

Join us for a night of creativity and compassion as we come together to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by infertility.

For more information and to register for the Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser, visit Paint Night Event Registration.

About Canadian Fertility Consulting:

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, dedicated to helping couples and individuals navigate the challenges of infertility. With a focus on compassion and support, we assist in building families through surrogacy and egg donation arrangements.

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World Health Day 2020: Celebrating Nurses and Midwives in Healthcare

World Health Day: Celebrating nurses and midwives, the backbone of healthcare. #HealthcareHeroes #WorldHealthDay2020

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Today isWorld Health Day, an annual event that takes place on April 7th, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). This day serves as a platform to highlight various health issues and set the tone for future developments in the global wellness and medical world. From mental health to insurance and everything in between, World Health Day tackles it all.

Let’s delve into the history of this significant day. The creation of the World Health Organization marked a turning point in international health efforts. In December 1945, officials from Brazil and China proposed the establishment of a comprehensive and independent international health organization. Half a year later, in July 1946, the WHO Constitution was approved in New York. On April 7, 1948, this constitution entered into force with 61 countries signing an agreement to inaugurate the NGO.

World Health Day: Celebrating nurses and midwives, the backbone of healthcare. #HealthcareHeroes #WorldHealthDay2020

Among the early initiatives of WHO was the introduction of World Health Day. Originally observed on July 22, 1949, the date was later changed to April 7, coinciding with the establishment of WHO, in order to encourage student participation. Since 1950, each World Health Day has been assigned a different theme, chosen by the WHO Director-General in consultation with member governments and staff.

World Health Day offers a globally significant opportunity to draw attention to crucial public health issues that impact communities worldwide. On this day, various promotional programs are launched that extend far beyond April 7th, raising awareness and fostering positive change.

This year, World Health Day shines a spotlight on the exceptional contributions made by nurses and midwives to the healthcare industry. Nurses and midwives are the devoted and restless workforce that has transformed healthcare as we know it. Their tireless efforts, compassion, and expertise make them the backbone of the healthcare system, providing invaluable care and support to individuals and communities across the globe.

World Health Day 2020 celebrates nurses and midwives by organizing advocacy events worldwide. One of the highlights is the launch of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing Report. This groundbreaking report will provide critical insights and recommendations to optimize the contributions of the nursing workforce. In 2021, a similar report focusing on the midwifery workforce will follow.

On this World Health Day, let us all join hands in acknowledging and appreciating the vital role played by nurses and midwives in providing healthcare. We owe them our gratitude and support. Take a moment to thank a nurse or midwife who has made a difference in your life or participate in events and discussions that promote their recognition.

Remember, every day is an opportunity to prioritize our health and well-being. Let World Health Day serve as a reminder to embrace healthy living, support those who care for us, and work towards a healthier future.

Stay joyful, stay healthy, and happy World Health Day!

https://nationaltoday.com/world-health-day/

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/

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Walk Your Way to Better Health

A walk is not just good for your body, it’s also good for your soul. Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways to reduce stress and boost your mood for better health.

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(Family Features) A walk is not just good for your body, it’s also good for your soul. Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways to reduce stress and boost your mood. However, reports show walking rates are declining steadily in the United States.

On average, 1 out of every 4 U.S. adults sits for longer than eight hours each day, per research from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, which can have negative consequences on physical and mental health. Regular exercise improves mood, boosts energy and can even help you sleep better. Staying active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy.

Consider this advice from the American Heart Association, which has worked for decades to promote policies and strategies that make it easier for communities to get and stay active. One example is National Walking Day on April 3, established by the organization to encourage people to move more throughout the day so they can feel, think, sleep and live better.

Indeed, adding more movement can benefit your body and mind in numerous ways, such as:

Lowering disease risk. Getting the recommended amount of physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate, 75 minutes of vigorous or a combination of those activities per week) is linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and cognitive function and lower risk of depression, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

Increasing sunlight exposure. Outdoor exercise is an easy way to get moving and take in the sunlight, which can improve mood, boost immunity and help you get some vitamin D. Spending time outdoors is a no-cost option and has been shown to reduce stress, promote a sense of belonging and improve mood.

Improving cognitive and mental function. Physical activity keeps your mind sharp now and later. Studies show higher fitness levels are linked to better attention, learning, working memory and problem solving. What’s more, a study published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” shows people who get the recommended amount of physical activity are less likely to develop depression.

Living longer. Healthy life expectancy can be positively impacted by increasing activity. According to research published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology,” swapping just 30 minutes of sitting with low-intensity physical activity reduced risk of death by 17%.

Get moving to reduce your stress and step into better health. Learn more at heart.org/movemore.

Get Inspired to Get Moving

A little creativity can go a long way to make your walk more fun. You might think of walking as a solo activity, but a companion makes it even more enjoyable. Ask colleagues, friends or family to join you.

A walk is a perfect excuse to take a break from a long day at your desk. If you work remotely, take a conference call on the go or plan your walk as a reward for completing a project.

Use your walk as a guilt-free opportunity to listen to a new audiobook or create a walking soundtrack of your favorite upbeat music.

Mix up your scenery. Taking new routes keeps your walks interesting and helps prevent boredom from traveling the same predictable path.

If you need an extra nudge to get moving, a pet may help you get fit. Dog parents are more likely to reach their fitness goals than those without canine companions. In fact, according to the “Journal of Physical Activity & Health,” dog parents are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking a week than non-dog owners. Pets can also help lower stress, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar and boost your overall happiness and well-being.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/health/

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