How to Increase Your Good Cholesterol, and Lower the Bad

We, as physicians, always tell our patients that the goal is to lower their LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise their HDL (good cholesterol).

Why is HDL considered the good cholesterol, and why is it so important?

The cardioprotective effects of HDL are strongly suggested by the consistent inverse relationship between HDL levels and the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD).

When HDL is high, the risk of CAD is lessened. For example, when one eats a fatty meal, the food is broken down resulting in LDL depositing in the coronary arteries (the pipes that feed the heart). Over time, plaque builds up and the risk of heart attack increases. Read more

A Slippery Slope: The Most Common Injuries for Skiing and Snowboarding

The holidays are over, but many of us here in the Northeast, or out in the West, are just beginning to hit the slopes. Whether you are a traditional skier, or a “shredder” snowboarder like me, safety is always of the utmost concern. While these two sports tend to be leisurely for many, the possibility of serious and debilitating musculoskeletal injuries should be recognized and prevented as best as possible. Read more

Helping More Patients Survive Heart Attacks

Everyone needs to remember when it comes to heart attack, time is muscle. If you are feeling chest pain, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Our heart teams at Mount Sinai know that improving heart attack patient survival is all about teamwork and timing. The team includes the dispatchers, paramedics, FDNY, hospital teams, emergency room staff, and interventional cardiologists who are working together to reduce wait times in emergency rooms and speed communication to get a patient to the catheterization laboratory as fast as possible to open a blocked heart artery. The goal timing is for less than 90 minutes. Read more

Attention Statin Patients: Are You Experiencing Muscle Aches, Weakness, Decreased Exercise Capacity, “Brain Fog”, Impaired Clarity, or Memory Loss?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have statin intolerance.

What are statins?

Statins are a class of cholesterol lowering medication therapies that have been extensively evaluated in controlled clinical trial studies. These medications have been consistently shown to reduce the risk of a first cardiovascular event including heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease. Also, the drugs can reduce recurrent (two or more) cardiovascular events in people with a prior heart attack, or other acute coronary syndromes that result from a reduction in blood flow to the heart muscle, or stroke. In addition, studies show statins have helped reduce the total amount of deaths worldwide overall from cardiovascular diseases. Read more

Nutrition Trends – Separating Fact and Fiction

The nutrition world is constantly buzzing with new trends and the latest and greatest “it” diet or food–many of which aren’t backed by sound nutritional evidence. Separating the trends from the facts is a big part of my job as a registered dietitian. Here are a few thoughts on some of the latest newsmakers and trends of 2015:

Gut health.

Research continues to point to an increasingly important role the gut plays in our overall well-being. Probiotics have been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms (think bloating, constipation and diarrhea), environmental allergic reactions and may even reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. From fermented foods and drinks (kimchi or kombucha, anyone?) to our favorite yogurt standbys, keeping our intestines happy should be a priority this year. Read more

Mount Sinai First in U.S. to Use Drug-Coated Balloon for Peripheral Arterial Disease

The Mount Sinai Hospital became the first institution in the United States to use a U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration-approved drug-coated balloon to reopen arteries in a patient’s leg. The new device was approved last October to treat arteries above the knee that have been narrowed or blocked by peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a potentially life-threatening condition that may cause leg pain, skin ulcers, and gangrene, and can result in amputation if left untreated. Read more

Overcoming Congenital Glaucoma

In the summer of 1998, Shavanne McCurchin noticed something odd about her 2-month-old son’s right eye. “The entire eye looked white,” she says, remembering that she thought she had accidentally sprinkled powder in his eye while changing his diaper.

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