- Right at Home Canada -
Published By John Kitchen on March 02, 2017

For information, contact: John Kitchen, Community Relations and Owner


 Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the number one killer in Canada.  It is also the most costly disease in Canada, putting the greatest burden on our national health care system. 

A number of factors, individually or in combination, can lead to heart disease:

  • Smoking;

  • Diets rich in saturated fat;

  • Physical inactivity;

  • Stress;

  • A family history of heart disease; and

  • Being overweight.

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and diabetes are also potent risk factors.

Men are generally more likely to develop heart disease. An increasing number of women are experiencing heart disease but they are under-diagnosed. For both sexes, the risk of heart disease increases with age.

“For many people, heart disease can be successfully managed with wise health habits and medications,” said John Kitchen, Community Relations, Right at Home Barrie. “But those who have heart disease do not always realize that some common foods, nutritional supplements and other medications can cause serious complications.” 

A number of drugs and foods counteract heart medications and should be avoided or consumed in lower amounts, Esson notes. These include the following:

  • Certain fruits and vegetables. Grapefruit and pomegranate are culprits in interacting with medications to lower high cholesterol (Lipitor, Zocor, etc.). Leafy, green vegetables rich in vitamin K such as spinach and kale pose problems for people on blood thinners. Individuals taking anti-coagulant medications including Coumadin or its generic name Warfarin need to find a careful balance of what and how much of high-K veggies they can eat. High-sodium and high-fat foods including aged cheese, bologna, sausage and pepperoni also can raise blood pressure.

  • Vitamins and herbal/nutritional supplements. Many physicians and nutritionists recommend that a wholesome, varied diet is the best way to benefit from a well-rounded amount of vitamins. If you do have a heart condition and take vitamins or herbal/nutritional supplements, beware of which ones cause blood pressure to rise and can interfere with heart medications. Popping a multivitamin may cause more harm than good.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Some common NSAID medications for arthritis and overall pain relief, including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), may cause the body to retain fluids and blood pressure to elevate. Higher blood pressure and slower-working kidneys can trigger a heart attack or stroke. An anti-inflammatory option is acetaminophen (Tylenol), but ask your doctor what’s best for your body. Never take more than the doctor-prescribed amount of aspirin to prevent a stroke or heart attack.

  • Cough and cold medications. These products may contain NSAID ingredients and decongestants that are known to raise heart rate and blood pressure or prevent some heart medications from working correctly. Check the dosage instructions for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs prior to purchasing them, because warnings are now included on some products to not take them if you have high blood pressure.

  • Weight-loss drugs. Appetite suppressants are stimulants that increase blood pressure and put more stress on the heart. Heart patients should always consult with their doctor about taking any weight-loss supplements.

  • Migraine medications. Some migraine medicines can narrow blood vessels throughout the body. Tightened vessels push blood pressure higher, even to dangerous levels.

  • Alcohol For some people, consuming a low or moderate level of alcohol can protect against heart disease and stroke, but heavy drinking or binge drinking can damage the heart muscle and cause heart failure. Anyone with a history of cardiovascular disease should seek professional medical advice before using any amount of alcohol.

Kitchen recommends that heart disease patients be in regular communication with their doctor regarding diet, prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Cardiovascular patients are also advised to be extra diligent during holidays and other celebrations when food and alcohol moderation tends to wane.


About Right at Home Canada

With a unique approach and a higher level of quality of care, Right at Home Canada offers both non-medical and medical care to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Each caregiver is thoroughly screened, trained and insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home Canada provides the Right Care, focusing on the Right People doing the Right Things the Right Way for the Right Reason. Right at Home Canada has offices in Burlington, Oakville, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Mississauga, Hamilton, Georgian Triangle, Brampton, Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Etobicoke South/West Toronto, Etobicoke North, Barrie and Calgary. For more information on Right at Home Canada, visit About Right at Home Canada at www.rightathomecanada.com or contact your local office at 115 Bell Farm Road, suite 107, Barrie,  at www.rightathomecanada.com/georgian-triangle 705-252-8200 or by email at jkitchen@rightathomecanaada.com


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