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Can Cayenne Pepper Really Stop a Heart Attack?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH A couple of weeks ago I wrote about deciding what to do if you have chest pain far away from expert help. As usual my readers contributed some thought provoking comments. Two suggestions in particular inspired me to write additional posts. Last week I discussed so-called cough CPR. This week, it’s cayenne pepper. The claim that cayenne pepper can stop a heart attack in its tracks is found far and wide on the Internet. So I decided to check out, as best I could, whether there’s any truth behind the headlines. […]

By | March 23rd, 2015|General|7 Comments

Does Cough CPR Work?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Last week I wrote about deciding what to do if you have chest pain far away from expert help. Several comments on that post and on Facebook suggested vigorous and repetitive coughing could be tried. Since that suggestion is found far and wide on the Internet, I decided to check out, as best I could, whether there was any truth behind it. […]

By | March 16th, 2015|General|7 Comments

Wilderness Heart Attack: Should You Walk or Wait?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH If you have a heart attack in the wilderness, it’s judgment-call time. In my last post, I talked about the fact that you’ll have to weigh walking for help with waiting for help that you don’t even know is coming. Walking could damage your heart further. Waiting could postpone care too long. In this post, we’ll go into the details of how I’d make the decision. […]

By | March 9th, 2015|General|11 Comments

Why Winter Heart Attacks Are More Common No Matter the Weather (and What You Can Do)

Part 2 in a two-part series on cold weather and your heart. See part 1 here. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH In my last post, I talked about the effects of cold weather on your heart. But there are other possible reasons winter is prime time for heart attacks even when it’s warm out. So there are even more steps than the ones I mentioned that may help lower your risk. […]

By | November 17th, 2014|Cold, Weather|10 Comments

How Cold Weather Affects Your Heart (and What to Do About It)

Part 1 in a two-part series on snowy weather and your heart. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Every year people have heart attacks shoveling snow. Your heart attacking you is never good, but a slick road may make quick emergency transport harder than ever. And since the first few minutes can be crucial, that could make a difference in life or death. Simple solution: Don’t shovel snow, correct? Well, maybe. Maybe not. […]

By | November 10th, 2014|Cold, Weather|8 Comments

What Is Inflammation in Your Body? How It’s Measured and Treated

Inflammation has been connected to heart disease, stroke and cancer. But what is inflammation? How do you know if you have it? How is it measured or tested? And what should you do about it? A family doctor answers. […]

What I Did to Lower My Blood Pressure Without Medications

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I used to have quite the problem with high blood pressure. Even as a teen, it was always a little high during my sports physicals. In my twenties it jumped up high enough that I started on medicine. But now, it’s no longer a problem. I don’t take medication, and every time I check, it’s actually below 120/80. Now, let me tell you my secret on what to do to lower blood pressure to a very healthy level. For me, it was one simple dietary change. […]

By | February 14th, 2013|General|12 Comments

5 Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH As it gets close to Valentine’s Day, many of our thoughts turn to the heart. At The Survival Doctor, we’re no exception. And so, this week, we celebrate in our own little way, with posts on how to prevent heart disease. Because there’s nothing more of a bummer than to be trying to survive a disaster only to be struck down by a heart attack. Unfortunately, that’s not too unusual of an occurrence. And many people don’t even have a warning. You’re stressed to the max, maybe doing labor you’re not used to, not eating right, maybe out of your medicines, and you begin having chest pain. In past posts, I’ve written about what you can do for a heart attack and a fast heart rate until you can get to a doctor, but this week, I’ll concentrate on the best option: prevention—specifically, how to lower high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure. Today, we’ll go over cholesterol. […]

By | February 11th, 2013|General|36 Comments

Are Heart Palpitations Dangerous? A Doctor Explains

Are heart palpitations dangerous? A doctor explains what happens when your heart seems to skip a beat. […]

2 Major Causes of Chest Pain That Are Not From Your Heart

Like any other joint, the rib joints can get inflamed and painful. The pain can make you think you’re having a heart attack. (Always get it checked out if possible though because you might be.) by James Hubbard, MD, MPH More than once I’ve had a patient complain of severe chest pain and we just can’t figure out what it is. There are no other signs or symptoms. A few days later a rash develops in the area of the pain, and we have a diagnosis—shingles. Other times the patient just knows it’s a bad case of indigestion. Antacids even help it. It’s not until we get an EKG (heart tracing) that we find out he/she’s having a big ol’ heart attack. One of the more difficult diagnostic dilemmas in medicine is to completely rule out heart trouble as your cause for chest pain. So if you’re having pain, don’t assume. Get it checked out. My last post has tips for what to do until you can. In this post, though, I’m going to go over some causes and treatments for non-heart chest pain. […]

By | November 8th, 2012|General|111 Comments