Chat Transcript: Dr. Oz on Heart Health


respiterri asks: Do you think it is more important to limit fat or sugar/carbs in the average diet for heart health?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: I think sugar is a bigger problem. I would strongly encourage that you cut out the trans-fats also.

achampl asks: This is not a question but more a thank you. My daughter is 19 and in college but unfocused until she read your book YOU: The Owner’s Manual. She’s now studying nutrition in college and driving us all crazy but eating healthier.

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Notes like this make all the hard work worthwhile. Thank her for becoming an expert on her own body, and encourage her to spread the word to start a movement to have all Americans recognize that the only way to make our nation healthier is to do it ourselves.

dandoun asks: I am almost 34 and about 5 years ago, I started having pains on the left side of my chest after I gave birth to my daughter. After some tests, my doctor dismissed this. The discomfort is bearable but I worry about what it means for my heart. What should I do?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: If you have ensured that the pain is not from your heart, then at least the most dangerous risk is removed. Now focus on alternative possibilities, including gastroesophageal reflux and musculoskeletal pain.

ellie518 asks: I’m 37, but both my brother and dad died early from heart disease-related problems. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are great. Should I get a stress test to check my heart?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: You can start around age 45 unless you are having problems, although it never hurts to get a stress test now if only to make you more comfortable emotionally.

yayabain asks: You said blood pressure is so important to heart health, but no one seems to agree on what your BP number should actually be. What number should we aim for? Is lower always better?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: There’s a lot of data that the optimal blood pressure is 115 over 75. You generally do not treat blood pressure with medications once it is below 140 over 90, because there is no evidence that it helps. If you can get it lower with diet and exercise, you are much better off. High blood pressure will strip a decade off your life.

neospyce asks: Why is it that diabetics are more susceptible to heart disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: The excess sugar in diabetes strips the teflon lining of the arteries. The answer above about high sugar applies here also.

bymywitz asks: What are your thoughts on low-carb diets when it comes to treating heart disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: I have a lot of confidence that these can help because they are feasible ways to lose weight, which is the major driver of heart disease. asks: Doctor, can you actually HEAR your heart thumping loudly? This happens to me in the morning. Please advise.

Dr. Mehmet Oz: You can feel your heart — sometimes it is beating harder and sometimes you are more sensitive to it. It generally is not dangerous if you otherwise feel OK, but you should make sure you’re not having irregular heartbeats.

Thejonnybomb asks: I am a pretty healthy 30-year-old man. I just came off beta blockers. How long will I feel the rebound rapid heart rate and blood pressure?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: It can last up to a week or two. That’s why the drug should be tapered slowly.

jerrydawson asks: What is your opinion on bioidentical hormone replacement?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Bioidentical hormones are reasonable, but should be used with the guidance of a physician who understands the nuances of the potential dangers of any hormone replacement therapy.

Chat Moderator: We will take one more question…

Thejonnybomb asks: What does a BP of 145/92 in a 16-year-old point to?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: You may have a narrowing of one of your major arteries (coarctation) or in your kidneys, or a hormone tumor, and you must be seen by a physician for a thorough evaluation.

Chat Moderator: Thank you all so much for the great questions! And thanks to Dr. Oz for providing answers.

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