HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Coronary artery disease is a major issue in women’s health care – in fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, says Dr. Gretchen Wells, medical director of the University of Kentucky Gill Heart & Vascular Institute’s Women’s Heart Health Program.


Heart disease is also the leading killer of women in Kentucky. And Kentucky women are at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease than women in other states. That’s why the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute has a cardiology program focused on the heart health needs specific to women in Kentucky.


Led by Dr. Wells, the Women’s Heart Health Program addresses the unique cardiac demands of women with a specially tailored program. Its one-of-a-kind, thorough approach provides personalized heart care for women by a predominantly female group of physicians, nurses and staff.


“The Women's Heart Health Program came out of our recognition that cardiovascular disease in women is different from what we see in men,” Wells said. “Not only are the symptoms different, but the diagnosis and treatment may be different as well.”


As part of a comprehensive spectrum of care available at UK HealthCare, patients of the Women’s Heart Health Program have access to the most advanced treatments for cardiovascular disease

TAKE IT TO HEART

in pregnancy, chest pain, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, microvascular disease and spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). Providers perform a personalized risk assessment for each patient and then design an individualized prevention and treatment strategy.


Advancing treatments through research

In the past, women who have had chest pain and abnormal stress test results but no diagnosis have had no further options. But now, by utilizing Volcano ComboMap testing, UK is the only site in the Commonwealth with the ability to definitively diagnose microvascular disease.


UK is also the first site in Kentucky for the Women’s Ischemia Trial to Reduce Events in Non Obstructive CAD (WARRIOR) trial – providing access to the nation’s first large, randomized controlled research study for women with cardiac symptoms but no significant blockage on testing. Finding solutions and treatment options for a diagnosis of SCAD will take a lot of research, and UK HealthCare is the sole location in Kentucky participating in the iScad Registry with the mission of improving patient care and driving scientific discovery.

Understanding that prevention is key when it comes to heart disease, this Gill team is made up of not only a physician, physician assistant and nurses, but patients also have access to a registered dietitian and cardiopulmonary rehab experts to help improve their overall health.


Women sometimes overlook heart disease symptoms

Women sometimes are dismissive of their heart disease symptoms and delay seeking treatment more often than men. “Women tend to attribute their symptoms to things other than heart disease,” Wells said. “When they have profound fatigue, they know something’s not right, but they may attribute it to anxiety or depression. Many women have different symptoms, and anything out of the ordinary, they should take seriously and investigate.”


Unfortunately, women often are not diagnosed with heart disease until they have had a major event. They often experience heart attack symptoms that differ from the crushing chest pain many men have. Some women do present that way, but fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea are other signs. Additionally, other female-specific disorders can increase a woman’s risk of heart disease, including diabetes (as well as gestational diabetes), hypertensive complications during pregnancy and low levels of estrogen after menopause.


“All of these position a woman to develop heart disease later in life,” Wells said. “It’s important we identify these women early and get them on

treatment so we can hopefully prevent these events from occurring later.”


Heart disease is not inevitable, nor is it incurable. “We know from many studies that heart disease is largely preventable,” Wells said. The best actions women can take to ensure heart health are:



“Most of these things we’re talking about that are good for your heart are fairly low-tech,” Wells said.


A family history of heart disease is a red flag, but even under those circumstances, it can be controlled. “We can’t pick our parents but we can mitigate the risk factors,” she said.


FACTS FROM THE WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH PROGRAM