Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re joining us today. You know, there’s been a lot of talk in the news about heart and heart related problems, cardiac arrest. How do we know if our heart is in good working order? Plus, it’s February and that is national Heart month. And so, joining us today is Dr. Chad Rodgers, just kind of talk in general terms, just about heart disease. And what does that mean? What does the phrase heart disease mean?

Dr. Chad Rodgers: Well, it is a pretty broad term. I mean, specifically applies to the heart, but it is a big term because there are a lot of things that make up heart disease. There’s a lot of things that can kind of affect the heart. So, in terms of like structural things, or maybe we think about the heart muscle, you think about the vessels that support the heart. You think about the electrical system that makes the heartbeat. And so, there’s a lot of different types of things that can occur that can affect the heart. So, it’s a pretty I think most people think of heart disease as coronary artery disease, which is actually the most common. And so,  that’s what we tend to talk about the most.

MR: So how is heart disease, and we can even take the angle of coronary artery disease, but how do you get that, Like how do you catch that? How do you develop it?

CR: Right. There’s a lot of factors that kind of influence that. I mean, one thing is just genetics, some of the people are more likely to have trouble with things like cholesterol. Certainly, if you have other disease, diseases like diabetes, or high blood pressure. Those can contribute to heart disease. But really, there’s a lot of other things that play into that. And the biggest things that we have control over, you don’t have control over your genes, right? But you have control over what you eat and exercise. So,  one of the things if you eat a diet that’s pretty high in fat fats and sugars  your risk of heart disease are going to be much higher. If your blood pressure is not well controlled, the heart has to work harder and so that’s just going to make the heart  have more difficult. might lead to damage to the heart. So, there’s a lot of factors that can contribute. So, by having a better diet and by exercising you can actually improve your odds of lowering your risk for coronary artery disease. Can you have heart disease but not have any symptoms you can. And so that’s probably the thing that people worry about the most. And it’s also the thing that tends to make the news right, because there are the things that kind of, you don’t hear about joe Lowe’s heart attack every day, because, you know, he had terrible chest pain. and he went to the hospital, and he had a heart attack. So, those are that’s fairly common, but there are people who, because it’s kind of a slow process and it develops may not have any symptoms until the really big symptom happens.  but most people are going to experience some symptom and that’s probably what it’s one of the main things that when people go to the doctor that they’re actually worried about, that they have questions about, because you do hear these, stories. You have a perfectly healthy football player, I think that’s what’s been the news lately that gets hit in the chest and has, you know, this kind of sudden life event, you know, that’s very alarming. But most people are going to have some symptoms along the way that lead up to that.

MR: And let’s talk about that, because you are, you’re talking about an elite athlete, you are talking about the best of the best if listen, if he’s not eating right and exercising, right, what’s he doing on the football field in the first place? But one of the terms we heard was cardiac arrest. So, is that the scientific term for heart attack or is that referring to something completely different?

CR: Right. So essentially refers to when the heart just stops functioning. And so that can be two things. One is that you have an electrical system in your heart, and for some reason it malfunctions, it’s not working or it’s working abnormally. So, then the heart is pumping but it’s not pumping effectively. So just like the bottom part of your heart is pumping, but it’s not coordinating with the top part of your heart and so your blood flow is not good. So you have this immediate failure of the heart to move blood around the body, and that’s what carries oxygen to all the organs of your body into your brain, which is most important, And so that cardiac arrest is when that heart suddenly stops working and that can be from trauma, it can be from a heart attack, it can be from a longstanding, you know, heart disease problem  And so even though, you know there’s a variety of causes of that probably the most common symptom, even though there’s different types of heart disease is just people sometimes complain about shortness of breath. And so you know, if you are experiencing something like that, that is something you want that’s kind of new and normal. I think I climbed the stairs on the way here and I got short of breath, but then I was fine in a few minutes, so we all get short of breath. It’s something when it’s like when I’ve climbed the set of stairs and I’ve done that and been fine. But then Also, I’m not fine then that’s kind of the time to bring it up.

MR: And symptoms of heart disease or heart attack rather. Excuse me, symptoms of heart attack are different between you and me.

CR: Right, between men and women. And women, it can be very elusive. And so, and we all tend to minimize our symptoms a lot. But sometimes, you know, I think people most think of chest pain, but people women will often complain in things like hand pain or elbow pain because in your left arm, the same nerves that go to your arm go to your heart. So the people will complain about that sometimes it can just be jaw pain or just maybe, you know, just that sense of not feeling or if you’re feeling your regular beats on a regular basis.  Those are all things that people sort of feel. But women tend to get symptoms that are very different from men. Men tend to get that really kind of bad heart attack acute onset because I mean we tend to ignore what’s going on with our bodies anyway, so listen to your body.

MR: Listen to your body. One final question I have is you know, of course it’s February, It’s the month of love, it’s valentine’s and we always hear that dark chocolate and red wine are good for your heart. And of course, they would be good for our hearts this time of year. But is there is there some validity to that?

CR: There is. Well, number one love is good for the heart. But we do know that red wine can be very effective in helping reduce your risk for disease because it has some anti-inflammatory things within the wine that kind of help lower your risk for developing heart disease. Although wine in excess or any alcohol excess can be a leading cause of heart disease. So a little bit is good. One glass for women, maybe up to two glasses for men a day.  It can help with  kind of with that anti-inflammatory effects. Chocolates also have flavonoids in them when the real specific chocolate, is that really good? Dark chocolate? Not everybody loves it, but it’s someone that’s really high in content and has some good anti-inflammatory effects.

MR: Awesome. Ok, and if you’re not used to having a glass of wine, this is not Doctor Chad saying go ahead and start.

CR: It’s probably ok if no wine at all. But if you do drink one glass of red wine a day is a great way to help with heart disease.

MR: Right. Doctor Chad, anything else you’d like to add?

CR: I think the good thing, the most important thing is just, you know, good heart health, make sure you eat well and and exercise often.

MR: OK. All right, well, thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more AFMC TV.