Chat Transcript: Dr. Oz on Heart Health | Reader's Digest

Chat Transcript: Dr. Oz on Heart Health

 

annbar29 asks: Is 3 grams of fish oil too much?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: It is probably not too much, but also probably not needed.

Guest1 asks: I keep hearing about walnuts for a healthy heart. But I don’t really like raw walnuts. What can I have instead?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Hazelnuts and almonds are also great. Also, flaxseed oil.

dandoun asks: Heart problems, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure run in my family. I take 20 milligrams of Lipitor every day and Nexium occasionally. What kinds of preventive heart tests should I be asking my doctor about?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Exercise stress test should be the first step for men, with addition of an echocardiogram for a woman. The key question to ask is whether these risk factors are present because of obesity in the family.

Danielle asks: I have a strong history of heart disease in my family — can I really beat bad genes when it comes to the heart?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Absolutely. Your genes only control 1/3 of how you age. You control the other 2/3rd.

Guest1 asks: What are the warning signs of heart disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: The most important signs are shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating… but often, the heart attack comes up without any warning, so a stress test is essential.

vickcha asks: What is a beta blocker?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: The body has an autopilot system that controls many of its functions. The beta blockers block one part of the system that stimulates you, so that your body can relax. That’s why it is used for so many different problems ranging from high blood pressure to anxiety attacks.

pskumar6 asks: Other than the calorie perspective what are the advantages of sweeteners over white sugar?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Artificial sweeteners have no advantages over sugar other than the calories, and have not been helpful at helping people lose weight either. So, search for a natural alternative like good old water if possible.

neospyce asks: Is edema, particularly in the left foot, a cause of concern for heart disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Edema in one leg is not concerning, and is probably due to veins not working in that leg. Edema in both legs is a concern. Heart failure might be part of the problem.

Danielle asks: When is it time to see a cardiologist?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: If you have risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and are having trouble controlling these, or if you have very high blood pressure, you should seek out the help of a cardiologist early in life. In most people, you should have a stress test by a cardiologist by age 50.

Guest1 asks: How much is stress a factor for a bad heart?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Stress is a major driver of heart disease, especially when it is associated with hostility. It overstimulates the body’s autopilot system, and the heart suffers accordingly.