Tag Archives: Dr. Zipes

High BP in A.M.

High BP in A.M.

My blood pressure is high in the morning. What causes this? When you are at rest in a warm bed, arteries dilate and blood pressure tends to be low. When you stand up, your body elevates blood pressure to be sure your brain is perfused so you don’t black out. Getting out of bed in […] ... More
Two Views on Calcium Deposits in Heart

Two Views on Calcium Deposits in Heart

I have a leaky mitral valve and calcium deposits in my heart. One surgeon said: “We leave calcium deposits alone.” Another one said: “We always remove them.” Both doctors are world-class. Why would they have different opinions? Both of your doctors could be right. It depends on where the calcium is, how much is there, […] ... More
Burning Pain in Arms

Burning Pain in Arms

Q: I used to have terrific burning pain in my arms when walking. Since having stents and open-heart surgery, the arm pain continues, but is less severe. What causes it? I’m scheduled for another stress test. A: Skeletal muscles in your arms and legs need oxygen and can produce pain if they do not get […] ... More
Atrial Fibrillation Stops on Its Own

Atrial Fibrillation Stops on Its Own

Q: After having atrial fibrillation (AF) for nine years, I woke up one morning and my heartbeat was normal. An EKG showed no problem, not even a skip. Does this happen very often? To me, it was a miracle. A: What you describe is not common, though it unquestionably happens. Unfortunately, atrial fibrillation generally recurs […] ... More
Acid Versus Alkaline

Acid Versus Alkaline

Q: I look forward to reading your articles. Recently, I read that it is better for the heart and other organs to have an alkaline, rather than an acid system. How does one achieve an alkaline system? A: I am not aware of the information you cite. In fact, the body tightly regulates its pH […] ... More
Slow Pulse

Slow Pulse

Q: I have been told that I have sinus bradycardia (heart rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute resting, sometimes below 40 while sleeping). I feel fine, no dizzy spells, good energy. I am 76. What should I be doing for this; is it life threatening? ... More
Drug Safety

Drug Safety

Q: I take warfarin and atenolol for atrial fibrillation and simvastatin for high cholesterol. I also take potassium and calcium supplements. Might one work against the others? ... More
Slow Pulse

Slow Pulse

Q: I have been told that I have sinus bradycardia (heart rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute resting, sometimes below 40 while sleeping). I feel fine, no dizzy spells, good energy. I am 76. What should I be doing for this; is it life threatening? ... More
Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Q: What are some possible causes of atrial fibrillation, and how can I get rid of it? My doctor said I have it, but I was unaware of it. He put me on Coumadin to guard against stroke, etc. Now I do not sleep well. ... More
Left Branch Block

Left Branch Block

Q: Will you please explain a left branch block and what it implies? Other than occasional fatigue, I feel no ill effects. ... More

Keep the Beat

Today’s electronic devices for the heart are like “having an emergency room in your chest,” says cardiology consultant Dr. Douglas P. Zipes. Devices such as pacemakers and ICDs deliver electricity via thin wires called leads, which can wear out over time. ... More
Calcium Deposits and Valve Function

Calcium Deposits and Valve Function

Dear Dr. Zipes: I have calcium deposits on the aortic valve that keep it from opening and closing all the way. If my family doctor had not told me, I would not know I have the problem. I am 82, have no symptoms and am very physically active. Is there anything I can do to keep the problem from worsening? Would avoiding high calcium foods help? ... More
It’s a Balancing Act

It’s a Balancing Act

Dear Dr. Zipes: I have an implanted defibrillator for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. My blood pressure is under control. In November, 2007 I had a stroke. After the stroke I had fluid in my legs and chest, but that has gone away. Now I seem to have fluid around my waist. I take three Lasix pills a day. I gain two pounds one day and lose two pounds three days later. A recent BUN (blood urea nitrogen) count was 48. What might cause the fluid build up? Can my high BUN be a result of too many Lasix? ... More
Exercise is the Best Rx

Exercise is the Best Rx

Dear Dr. Zipes: I have PVCs that are controlled by a beta blocker (Toprol ER). I see the electrophysiologist annually, work out to stay in shape, and seldom notice any problem. The doctor says to let him know if the PVCs become a big a problem. How do I evaluate when they are a big problem? I am 77, have no shortness of breath, and can do anything my old body will allow. ... More
Heart Arrhythmias

Heart Arrhythmias

Dear Dr. Zipes: In a prior response, you explained that caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks, and sometimes swallowing, coughing, or an upset stomach may cause irregular heart rhythms. Can you provide a list or direct me to a web site listing other foods that may cause an irregular heart beat? Might sneezing also trigger the problem? ... More
Biological vs. Mechanical Heart Valves

Biological vs. Mechanical Heart Valves

To Mary in Wyoming: Porcine heart valves (made from pig hearts) have been used to replace narrowed and/or leaking human aortic and mitral valves since about 1965. Tissue valves eliminate the need for anticoagulation with warfarin that is required for mechanical prostheses. On the downside, they are not as durable as mechanical valves and therefore […] ... More
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