What’s the problem with too much sodium?

Why too much salt is unhealthy and tips for cutting back

nutrition-label-sodiumToo much sodium may cause your body to hold on to extra water, which can raise your blood pressure and force your heart and kidneys to work harder. By limiting sodium, you will lower your risk of serious health issues.

Where is all that sodium coming from?

The most common source of sodium is salt. According to the American Heart Association, up to 75 percent of the sodium that Americans consume is found in processed foods such as tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and prepared mixes. Fast food and restaurant meals also are very high in sodium. Doctors recommend reducing your sodium consumption to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if you are 51 or older, are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

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Heart attack symptoms for women

Some surprising signs that can cause women to delay treatment


Although the most common heart attack symptoms for women and men are chest pain and chest pressure, women are more likely than men to have other symptoms. The American Heart Association identifies these common signs of heart attack in women:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

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Preventing stroke

Lifestyle changes that can help

vegetables and shrimp in bowl

Eating healthy food is one way to help prevent stroke

Making changes in your lifestyle today can help reduce your chances of experiencing future health issues, such as stroke. For example, “Blood pressure is one of the biggest modifiable risk factors in connection with stroke,” says Dr. Eric Adelman, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan. And there are other lifestyle changes that can help in preventing stroke and improve your overall health:

  • Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
  • Take aspirin or a blood thinner if recommended by your doctor.
  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around you.
  • Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Raise your heart rate by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise (walking, swimming, cycling, etc.) on most days of the week.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in cholesterol, saturated fats and salt.


University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Logo - blueThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit the Heart and Vascular page on UofMHealth.org.

Preventing high blood pressure

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

You can reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) — and blood-pressure-cuffthe subsequent risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, headache and heart failure — by doing the following:


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Do you have vein disease?

Don't miss the Livonia Vein Center booth, May 2-5 at the Novi Women's Expo


Vein problems can include blood clots, phlebitis, and varicose and spider veins

As many as 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 have some sort of vein health issue, says Dr. Lisa Pavone of the Livonia Vein Center. These issues include:

Dr. Pavone suggests individuals ask themselves the following questions to determine if they have a vein issue:

  • Are your legs tired, heavy, restless, swollen, sore or painful, especially at the end of the day?
  • Are symptoms worsened by prolonged sitting or standing?
  • Do your legs feel better when you’re walking or when legs are elevated?
  • Have you tried support stockings to alleviate the pain?
  • Do you find yourself using Motrin or other ibuprofen to relieve the pain?


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What is patient and family centered care?

U-M professor Dwight Lang joins Patient Family Advisory Council to share story with others

Dwight's photoIf you have ever been a patient or caregiver, then you’ve probably been faced with the uncertainty that comes with encountering unfamiliar medical terminology and procedures. In fact, it might have seemed like your doctor barely discussed your surgery with you or didn’t allow time for your family to ask questions about your options. For most patients and family members, this makes the medical process rather intimidating.

Fortunately, healthcare is moving away from this patient-directed approach and shifting toward a patient-centric model. Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) is a healthcare approach that works to remove the barriers between medical professional and medical patient by truly valuing the concerns, opinions and voices of patients and their families.

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