Top 10 healthy donations

Food items can be dropped off at the U-M Frankel CVC


donation[1]As the holidays approach, many of us become increasingly aware of opportunities to donate household items, especially food, to those in need.

In support of, U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center employees and patients will find a convenient donation cart located at the 3rd floor Frankel CVC entrance. But before you make your donation, consider tips for healthy holiday donations from U-M Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Kathy Rhodes and Sarah Meyers. The two stress the importance of donating food items that will help recipients stay in good health. Continue reading

Diabetes apps for your smartphone

Join us at the Diabetes Health Fair Nov. 7


November is American Diabetes Month, so in recognition, here are a few smartphone diabetes apps designed to help you track, analyze and manage your numbers.

Glucose Buddy by

  • Features: This app helps manage diabetes by tracking glucose readings that are entered four times a day, along with food consumed, exercise and medication. There’s also an alarm that reminds you to take your glucose readings. You can even write notes to explain unusual circumstances, such as high-carbohydrate meals. Data can be uploaded to for a more detailed analysis.
  • Operating System: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android
  • Cost: Free

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You’ve been diagnosed with an enlarged aorta: Now what?

enlarged aorta blog

If you’ve been diagnosed with an enlarged aorta, you likely have many questions about your condition: How big is too big? When should I be worried? What does “watchful waiting” mean? Are there any early warning signs before it bursts?

Most of the answers to these questions depend on a variety of factors, including your age and body size, medical history and the position and size of your aorta, among others.

University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center patient Bob Stephens found he had all of these questions and more when diagnosed with a total of five aortic enlargements.

“It’s awfully scary, but you don’t have a choice,” Bob says. “When I was first told about my condition, it worried me, but I knew the U-M team of doctors was watching me closely, especially my abdominal aortic aneurysm, which was large.” Bob admits that “watchful waiting” can be stressful, but “I knew I had the right people taking care of me.” Continue reading

LVAD patient is living life in “drive”

Sharon Gillon enjoys renewed energy, thanks to a left ventricular assist device


Sharon Gillon 2[1]Sharon Gillon might not be test-driving cars anymore, as she did during her career with Chrysler Corporation, but the 73-year-old is raring to go after having a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted in 2013. Sharon says the device has made a remarkable difference in her quality of life, which she now realizes began to decline nearly 15 years ago.

“I noticed some breathing issues in 2000 or possibly even before that, but I didn’t realize anything was wrong,” she says.

Sharon’s health continued to decline for the next few years when she was diagnosed with an arrhythmia, which led to a pacemaker, followed by a pacemaker/defibrillator.

When her breathing worsened and required hospitalization, Sharon’s doctors recommended she be taken by ambulance to the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. After extensive testing, the CVC team, led by Dr. Francis Pagani, determined that Sharon’s failing heart could be strengthened with the assistance of an LVAD. Continue reading

Pumpkin seeds: Nutrition in a colorful container

Try our baked pumpkin seeds recipe for a heart-healthy snack

pumpkin seeds blog

This Halloween, scores of pumpkins will be transformed into festive Jack-o-lanterns. But did you know that pumpkin seeds can be eaten as a heart-healthy snack? Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, pack a powerful nutrient punch with heart-protecting benefits.

Heart-protecting nutrition

Pumpkin seeds have fiber and are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats (the “good” fats) — both of which help lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. The seeds are also a great source of magnesium, which can benefit blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke.

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What weighs 10 pounds?

Post-surgery lifting advice made easier

baby blog[1]

If a surgical procedure is in your future, your doctor may advise you not to lift anything that weighs 10 pounds or more during your recovery period. One reason is that the stress of lifting a heavy object could result in increased blood pressure, causing a surgical wound to break open and bleed.

So, what weighs 10 or more pounds? Here are just a few examples:

After surgery, your doctor tells you, "Don't lift more than 10 pounds." But what weighs 10 pounds?

Following surgery, most doctors recommend patients refrain from lifting anything weighing 10 or more pounds.

At home:

  • Average three-month old baby
  • Laundry basket filled with towels or jeans
  • Medium size bowling ball
  • Small microwave oven
  • Medium size cat or small dog
  • Most vacuum cleaners
  • Large garbage bag (filled)

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