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Bluish cold fingers

Question: 
let me start that here in Greece it's very very very cold today. anyhow, my hands and feet are ALWAYS VERY COLD and sometimes go numb if i carry something heavy or wake me up at night being numb. I was watching t.v with my hubby and he noticed that my left hand was turning bluish (my fingers ). i rubbed them against eachother and it went away but i got scared now it's all i think about. any ideas as to what might be wrong? I have hashimotos underactive thyroid condition and mild mvp with trivial regurgu. also i suffer from carpal Carpal tunnel syndrome and i work as a secretary. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Could it be heart problems ?

Is this a new symptom or have you had this all your life? Some people have a very sensitive vascular system with arteries that constrict more
quickly with cold. In extreme situations this can lead to something called Raynaud's phenomenon or disease, a vasospastic disorder causing
discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas, because of a decreased blood supply to the respective regions. Emotional stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon.

Should I use a statin?

Question: 
My Dr. has recommended taking a low dose SIMVASTATIN.  I DON'T WISH TO DO THAT.  MY OVERALL CHOLESTERoL IS 254.  I KNOW THIS IS HIGH BUT MY HDL IS 108 TRIGYLCERIDES 79 AND LDL IS 130.  RATIO IS 2.4  AM I BEING FOOLISH NOT TO TAKE IT.  I EXERCISE DAILY.  I WEIGH 130.  

I agree with you, but only if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Why don't you try:

How do I keep my HDL low?

Question: 
Hello again and thanks for your time...While my over Cholesteral level is good at 150...my HDL is 41 (low average) What foods can I eat to improve my HDL? My Chol/HDL ratio is 3.7 (which I believe is good also). My LDL is 99 and Triglycerides is 42. I am an avid runner and eat pretty healthy...low fat and low cholesterol diet. Any suggestions on my diet or food intake to improve my HDL?

You are in good shape with your cholesterol and exercise.
Take a look here, at my website we focus also on diet etc:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/your-cholesterol
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-disease-treatment/diet-exercise-dis
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-disease-treatment/what-you-can-do

High lipid profile and missing a heart beat

Question: 
I was being treated for high lipid values since june 2010. TGC at that time was 700. Serium chol 240. Atorlip-F was the medicine prescribed. also i was having uric acid around 8. on 14the january 2011 all my lipid values returned to normal(even lower than min. values prescribed ). then i discontinued medicines after 15 days i.e. january end. on feb 15 i again took testes as i was experienceing something abnormal / sinking type of feeling. now just after 15 days of discontinuance of medicines, my lipid values are again abnormal, tgc 317, s.cholestrol 234. is it possible that just in 15 days body again shows such extreme levels of lipid. the problem of sinking type feeling is solved up to 80 % by anxiety related tablet namely ambulax which contains propranolol hcl 20 mg, alprazolam .25. doctor says my heart beat is also missing, ecg also confirmed it, is it something very serious to miss heart beat?

It shows that there is more to keeping your cholesterol down than taking pills: statin treatment needs to be matched with a healthy life style! The fact that your cholesterol went down so quickly is a good sign though, but you should not have stopped taking your medication. As far as skipped beats are concerned, most of us have them every now and then.
Read more here:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/your-cholesterol
You lower your cholesterol to prevent hardening of the arteries:

Two Cardiac Echos, two different results

Question: 
I had an echo done Jan 10 and received 2 different interpretations from the 2 cardios who read it and am very confused. History:  August 2004 (age 53) diagnosed with moderate to severe MR but no MVP (echo and stress echo test).  Started lisinopril, walking and lost 30 pounds.  Had a cardiac MRI in May 2006.  Dx changed to mild MR.  Continue to see a cardio every 6 months with yearly echos all showing mild MR until Aug 2010 when echo showed “mild MVT with mild to moderate MR and small pericardial effusion”.  “Compared to 7/09 echo MR was slightly worse and the pericardial effusion was new.”  Cardio told me to return for echo in 6 months. Current: Had sinus surgery 12/28 and next day at noon passed out and fell and spent 8 hours in ER getting IV fluids and potassium pills due to being dehydrated.  Saw my PCP the next week and he sent me for an echo at the cardio office he is affiliated with.  PCP called me and said I should follow-up with my cardio because this echo showed differences from 7/09 echo:  Mild to Moderate MR but also showed some differences i.e. it showed MVP and mild diastolic dysfunction present. Brought the echo on CD to my cardio and after he scolded me for having an echo at another facility (he can’t trust if the echo technician did the echo correctly) he told me I do not have MVP and there is no DD because there are 4 criteria needed for DD and I only have one which is minor.  He actually said the tech did a good job but couldn’t say that about cardio who read the echo.   He did say he would schedule me for a cardiac MRI since my last one was 5 years ago. Who do I believe at this point?  I asked my PCP for a referral to another cardio (I have an HMO) and he said that wouldn’t help because that would give me a possible 3rd opinion.  Will MRI be more definitive?

While it is true that differences between one well-trained technician and another will be present, in general these are very minor. I just don't buy the argument that this last result cannot be trusted because it was performed somewhere else. It that were true, I would not have been able to practice, most if not all tests on my patients were performed in another office/hospital. I would also say that the results you mention are not that different from each other, especially if not associated with any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or decreased exercise tolerance.

My doctor told me I have an uncoiled aorta

Question: 
I went for a chest Xray for a cough and it was normal but on the report it said uncoiling of the thoracic aorta???? I asked my Dr what it meant and he didn't know..(LOL).. So does anyone know what causes this and is there a way to reverse it.. I do not have high blood pressure and also do not have anxiety. Thank you for the answers ahead of time.. I just want to make sure this isn't anything serious.

 

Uncoiled Aorta (with apologies for poor drafting): The yellow line shows a normal curve of the aorta. The Blue line on the right shows a straighter, wider curve,"uncoiled".

leg pains and cramps while resting

Question: 
My leg pain comes and goes mainly at rest or driving . Have been on simvastatin tired  pravastatin for problem was told to stop until pain goes away has not in 3-weeks .  but the next trial will be crestor . should i ignore pain and treat cholesterol? The pain is in my left leg/ right leg has gotten better  

Statins are indeed sometimes associated with leg cramps. When that happens, this can be very disabling. However, I am concerned your symptoms may also be secondary to a blockage in the arteries to your legs causing "claudication". Has that been excluded?
Statin side effects can indeed be very troublesome. Maybe this can be of help; I have blogged about this before:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/since-i-started-taking-zocor-i-ha
Have you tried Cholestyramine (Questran)? Read more about that here:

My doctor will not tell me about the results of my carotid ultrasound

Question: 
Three weeks ago, I woke up with blurred vision in my right eye.  Last winter I had a problem with this eye (faces on TV screen "split") for a couple of hours and had an MRI/MRA of my brain, normal results.  I went to the ER after the latest incident, attending couldn't find anything alarming, referred me to ophthalmologist, he didn't find anything and suggested I "might" want to have a carotid artery ultrasound at some time in the future, so I asked my primary care physician to order one.  I had it last Thursday.  Today, primary care physician's nurse (he just had bowel resection surgery, won't be back until next month, his partner MD read the results) called and said I should talk to my primary care Dr. about a statin at my next appointment (which isn't until mid March).  I asked her how "bad" the results were; she said the other Dr. had not mentioned that, merely suggested I talk to my primary care Dr. at my next appointment. I am now freaked out. I had a stress echo a few months ago, everything absolutely normal (heart action all rated #1, no abnormality).  I exercise regularly (30 minutes, 2 miles, 4X weekly).  My diet isn't extreme, I eat a lot of whole wheat pasta, veggies, some beef and pork (very infrequently).  Now I'm worried that the eye disturbance might have been related to the plack.  I have hypertension but well controlled (170/80) at Dr. visits (was 150/80 at ER).  Should I have an MRA of my carotids?  Frankly, I don't really trust this Dr., I asked my primary care Dr. if I should have a carotid ultrasound more than 6 months ago, he said "NO", my cholesterol values are under 200, I exercise, etc., so I'm thinking I should call them on Monday and tell them I WANT a carotid MRA.  What do you think?  What's my risk of stroke or other horrendous outcome?  I'm 63, female, in great physical shape, look and feel not much different from when I was 50.

Why not ask specifically for the results of your carotid ultrasound? You "own" it, and the doctor's officer has an obligation to tell you the results, just like they have an obligation to cover a partner's absence. I cannot explain your eye symptoms, but from everything you have told me your risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) is very low. Anyway, the ultrasound will tell whether you have a carotid blockage or not. Another reason for a TIA, is a small clot from w/i your heart as happens with patients who have atrial fibrillation.

Heart disease in Firefighters

Question: 
Are firefighters at a special risk for heart disease?

Yesterday I asked an old friend of mine, the retired Deputy Chief of the Portland, ME Fire department, to comment on the article about heart disease in Firefighters.

I was told I have a biscupid valve

Question: 
what is abnormal if you have too many cusps in bicuspid valve? What are the symptoms?  Can you have too many?

Your heart has four valves:

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