Saturday, March 04, 2006

Heart Health Podcast--Your Health Questions Answered and more on the Ports Issue

Have you ever been worried that you're having a heart attack? I should have been six years ago when I did--but I had no idea what was wrong with me. Join us today for our podcast-- we are talking to Dr. Wes Fisher of and the DrWes blog and Laurie Anderson who blogs at WebMD. These cardiac experts will answer our reader's questions on how to take care of your heart, what, if any, foods to avoid, and how to tell if you are having a heart attack.

We also got a chance to speak with Stewart Baker, the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, about the Ports issue. He gives some updated information on what is going on and Glenn asks him what he thinks of these sophisticated points made by Frank J. of

You can listen to the podcast here or subscribe to iTunes.

As always, suggestions and comments are welcome.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just listened to my first Glenn and Helen show...

First reaction - Hah, hah, you're from Tennessee. (All my people are, and if you will someday say "Merville" for me you will make my day.)

Second - Well done, very listenable p-cast. I tuned in mainly for the heart-health segment. Very informative - will help me talk to my doc.

1:42 PM, March 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than once you have described your wife as smart and beautiful. There is no question re the latter attribution; she is stunning. An old retired duffer (with curmudgeon tendencies) who has largely given up on the MSM, I read your blog every day. It is one of the best. Thank you for your thoughtful and courageous treatment of important issues.

1:54 PM, March 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Dr Helen - the heart health portion of the show (only part I listened to) was terrific.

2:04 PM, March 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only listened to your two most recent podcasts. In the previous one (#11), you (Dr. Helen) seemed very nervous and hesitant. I was very pleased to hear a dramatic improvement in your presence with this pc (#12). Clearly your knowledge of the subject material had a significant impact on your comfort level and ability to perform.

Collectively, I am impressed with both Glenn and Helen's ability to setup a Q&A, yet allow the guests to fully provide an answer. Even when you needed to interrupt the guest, it was not disruptive and did not cause the doctor to leave his point.

At this time, my only suggestion is to provide the guests an opportunity to "introduce" themselves or provide an opening comment. To me, it seemed a bit rude to jump right into the first question. Perhaps there was a greeting process that occured but was cut for length reasons, but I felt it should have been there.

Good work, I look forward to future pc's from y'all.

4:12 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

You are so beautiful to me. I still wish you would post transcripts, though.

4:49 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Hey Jon,

Thanks for the comments. Sometimes, we do these podcasts on the fly the best way we can. We have construction going on in our neighborhood, people call us on the spur of the moment to say they are available etc. so we do the best we can, sometimes with no or little preparation. We generally do an introduction in the beginning so people know who the guest is but a greeting is a good idea--thanks!


Transcripts are a great idea--if someone wants to do them for free, let us know.

4:54 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Jacob said...

What about setting up a transcript wiki?

6:23 PM, March 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to heart attacks, please mention the difference between "heart failure" and "heart attack".
I had heart failure back in September and I thought I had heart attack, which almost caused a real heart attack. The emergency doctor then explained the difference. A lot people don't know.
And for those who don't, its simple.
Heart failure is when the heart doesn't do what its supposed to do.
For me, my heart was enlarged and not pumping efficently to standard.
Heart attack IS heart failure but worse than normal heart failure.

7:05 PM, March 05, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...


Heart failure is when the heart does not pump as well as it should. It can be caused by a heart attack, coronary artery disease, a virus, or heart rythym problems or other conditions of the heart. A normal ejection fraction--how well the heart pumps-- should be at least 50 or higher. I have some degree of heart failure since I had a heart attack and a lower than normal ejection fraction. For more information on heart failure, go to the website of the American Heart Association at:

I hope you are doing better--heart failure is quite treatable.

8:23 PM, March 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting timing. I'm 43, 5'11" and pretty large at 118 kg (260 lb) but reasonably active -- I walk a couple of km most days and enjoy 30 - 40 km bicycle rides when I get a chance.

Late last week I started having short episodes of feeling very "light headed" for from a few seconds to a minute or two at a time. It was very wierd as nothing similar has ever happened to me before. Then on Friday I started to feel an ocassional sort of tightness in my chest along with the light headedness. I really didn't think it was a heart problem, but it seemed as if it would be foolish if it was and I did nothing, so I eventually persuaded myself to go to the hospital.

They took it very seriously. Within moments I was hooked up to oxygen, an ECG machine, blood pressure, oxymeter and had an IV put in and a blood sample taken and a chest XRay taken.

Well, other than my heart rate and blood pressure being a bit high (105 and 170/110) when I arrived they found *nothing*. The ECG was normal, all the blood tests were negative (blood sugar fine, liver and kidneys working fine, no markers of any current or prior heart damage, etc etc). After a while my heart rate dropped into the 60's and blood pressure dropped to 120/75 and both stayed there and 2.5 hours after I arrived they sent me home.

The best guess at the moment is that the stress I've beeen under recently -- both personal and work/financial -- has been causing my blood pressure to fluctuate, and when it goes down I get the light-headness. And the tightness in the chest is proabbly just another symptom of the stress. I am to try to take it easy. Which isn't easy because the problems aren't going to go away by themselves -- they need to be solved and only I can do that.

But it's good to know that my heart seems to be fine. And everybody emphasised every chance they got that I'd done the right thing in coming to the ER.

Which is I guess all a reversal of Helen's experience, as mentioned by Glenn at the end of the heart portion of the podcast, where people were apparently telling Helen that she was just suffering from stress when in fact she was having a heart attack.

If you're in doubt, get it checked out.

6:50 AM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Internal Medicine Doctor said...

here I am trying to give you heart tips when you have afull-pledged cardiologist to do it.

why in the world would you need this resident?

10:04 AM, March 06, 2006  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

I agree with some of the other comments suggesting a transcript...

1:23 PM, March 06, 2006  
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