About Connie Jorsvik

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So far Connie Jorsvik has created 10 blog entries.

Understanding Metabolic Syndrome


Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn't have metabolic syndrome. Risk Factors: Abdominal obesity with an enlarged waist line or an ‘apple body shape’. Elevated LDL and triglyceride levels and a low HDL level. Understand how to raise your HDL and lower your LDL. High blood pressure. High fasting blood sugar: pre-diabetes or diabetes. It is possible to prevent or delay metabolic syndrome, mainly with lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. Successfully controlling metabolic syndrome requires long-term effort and teamwork with your health care providers.

Understanding Metabolic Syndrome 2017-12-13T22:12:28+00:00

Understanding Heart Attack a.k.a. Myocardial Infarction (MI)


If you have any chest pain that is new or unusual, ALWAYS seek immediate medical attention! Call 911. Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you. If you are with someone who is having chest pain, do NOT listen to them if they refuse medical attention as denial and embarrassment are signs of something very wrong going on. Call 911. Most heart attacks are the result of coronary artery disease, also known as atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries," a condition that clogs coronary arteries with fatty, calcified plaques over time. The typical trigger for a heart attack is often a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery. Small plaque ruptures can cause a serious or fatal heart attack. Go to this is a great video of what happens during an MI. Risk factors: Smoking Sedentary lifestyle: less than 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise Unhealthy diet: eating foods that contain any trans fats, high amounts of saturated fats, high levels of sodium. High blood pressure (hypertension) High LDL and triglyceride levels Diabetes [...]

Understanding Heart Attack a.k.a. Myocardial Infarction (MI) 2017-12-13T21:25:51+00:00

Understanding Abnormal Heart Rhythms


An abnormal heart rhythm is when your heart beats too slowly (under 60 beats per minute) or too quickly (above 100 beats per minute) reducing heart efficiency and volume pumped to the brain and other vital organs. Atrial arrhythmias can cause serious symptoms but ventricular arrhythmias are often immediately life-threatening or fatal and they are not discussed here. Atrial Fibrillation a.k.a. AF and A Fib: the most common of heart arrhythmias which is not usually life threatening but can cause serious and life-threatening side effects, particularly formation of clots that can move to the brain and cause cerebral vascular accidents (CVA’s) a.k.a. strokes. Normally, the atrium (upper chambers of the heart) contract evenly and forcefully sending blood to the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) to the lungs and organs but in AF, the atrium flutter instead of contract. Risk factors: Age (over 60), smoking, hypertension, heart valve disease, coronary bypass surgery, alcohol binge drinking and chronic use, obesity, sleep apnea. Go to this is a great slide show on atrial fibrillation. Bradycardia: Heart rate that is below 60 beats [...]

Understanding Abnormal Heart Rhythms 2017-12-13T22:18:06+00:00

Angina a.k.a. Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)


Angina is a term used for chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease and narrowing of one or more coronary arteries. Angina is typically described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest.A new onset of undiagnosed and medically untreated chest pain should be assumed to be a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction or MI). Any chest pain that lasts longer than 10 minutes and does not resolve with rest or nitroglycerine should be assumed to be an MI. Call 911. Do not drive, or have someone drive you to the Emergency Department.Angina symptoms in women:Women often experience symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or extreme fatigue, with or without chest pain. Or a woman may feel discomfort in her neck, jaw or back or stabbing pain instead of the more typical chest pressure. These differences may lead to delays in seeking treatment.Stable Angina:Develops when your heart works harder, such as when you exercise or climb stairsCan usually be predicted and the pain is [...]

Angina a.k.a. Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) 2017-12-13T21:56:54+00:00

Is the “Jury Still Out on Saturated Fat”?


by Jennifer Sweeney \When I consume fat, I want to know exactly what type of fat and where it came from. I eat saturated fat, and cook with with it, including ghee (clarified butter), bacon fat, tallow, lard, full-fat coconut milk and coconut oil. But I make sure the the sources of these fats are organic and from grass-fed animals and pastured pork. A recent news headline in Medline Plus stated: Jury Still Out on Whether Saturated Fat Is Bad for You, Researchers Say Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, cautioned against interpreting the study's mixed message as a license to loosen up limits on saturated fat consumption. "Trans fat remains a definite concern," she said. "Saturated fats are a little up in the air. Part of the problem is that we know that there are some saturated fats that are not harmful and possibly even beneficial. However, you cannot separate out the healthy types of saturated fats from those that are not so healthy. They come [...]

Is the “Jury Still Out on Saturated Fat”? 2017-12-18T08:52:27+00:00

Heart symptoms you should never ignore


by Connie Jorsvik Don't ignore these signs and symptoms even if you don't have any cardiac disease factors which usually include being over 45 years of age for men and 55 for women, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight (BMI greater than 30), a smoker, diabetic or have a family history of heart disease:Chest discomfort: Note that only half of women have this warning sign. Usually this is sharp pain, squeezing or pressure under the breast bone and to the left of center. Women often feel an ‘ache’ or burning sensation.Left shoulder and arm pain or aching; left neck and/or jaw aching or pain.Heartburn, feeling of gas buildup in stomach with excessive burping, nausea, vomiting.Cold sweating.Symptoms of an anxiety attack: Anxiety is a warning sign—especially if you don’t normally have anxiety attacks. Take it seriously. Only health professionals can differentiate between anxiety and a heart attack.Shortness of breath, coughing, production of watery (often pink tinged), wheezing which is often worse when lying flat are signs of Congestive Heart Failure. This CANNOT be differentiated from pneumonia by a stethoscope –a chest [...]

Heart symptoms you should never ignore 2017-12-18T08:54:01+00:00

What is Patient Centered Care?


by Connie Jorsvik The IOM (Institute of Medicine) defines patient-centered care as: "Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions." Based on that definition, of course all health care should be patient centered. However, it’s not even close and likely never will be. Patient Centered Care will require ‘buy in’ and change of practice at every level, from governments, health authorities, doctors (a massive stumbling block as they are not taught patient centered care), and nurses (who are taught what it means and how to deliver it but quickly learn there is not the time or money to implement it). In order for patient centered care to work, every health care provider (nursing at all levels to physicians at all levels) will have to be accountable, be willing to give every patient the time they need, be empathetic, be teachers and listeners. Patients will have to be accountable (wherever possible) and work at improving their own health outcomes and give up the idea of [...]

What is Patient Centered Care? 2017-12-13T11:46:09+00:00

Why does the MS Society of Canada help promote unhealthy food?


by Jennifer Sweeney This past year, the MS Society of Canada has embarked on a new fundraising strategy to appeal to “Canadians.” At first I thought it wasn’t a bad idea since the rate of multiple sclerosis is higher in Canada than anywhere else in the world. The intent was to challenge us to raise money to help research and to find a cure. Yet, the search for a cause seems to have taken a back seat to the search for a cure, much like the idea of conquering cancer. Coming soon is a day across the country where people are encouraged to eat fast food and one dollar for one type of burger sold will be donated to the MS Society. I didn’t support it last year and thought it was easy enough to ignore and suggest that people donate a dollar or more directly to the MS Society and spare the assault on their health. But this year, the promotion is even a bigger deal, along with a sadly-misguided long video showing people in wheelchairs and MSers in [...]

Why does the MS Society of Canada help promote unhealthy food? 2017-12-13T11:46:10+00:00

Dangers of False Reassurance & Hope


by Connie Jorsvik Doctor Speaking with Patient --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis Statements of false reassurance and hope that patients hear all of the time from doctors and nurses but the only person they reassure is themselves. These statements damage the health provider-patient relationship and have the potential of causing physical and emotional harm – and possibly death. To our nurses and doctors, we ask that you tell us the truth. Please never again say: “Don’t worry.” “This is a minor problem – nothing to worry yourself over.” “You’re just being overly anxious about this.” “You’re being hyper vigilant.” “I would tell you if there was something to worry about.” “It’s a minor problem that will resolve itself.” If you are concerned about any health issue, you have every right to be concerned, and any of these statements should be a big red flag that you are not being heard or being cared for appropriately. As a cardiac nurse I heard statements like this dozens of times: “My doctor said there was nothing to worry about so I [...]

Dangers of False Reassurance & Hope 2017-12-13T11:46:10+00:00

Why we need to be Empowered Patients and Families


by Connie Jorsvik When we are accessing medical care, we are doing so because something is wrong. Our bodies, and often our heads, aren’t operating with their usual sharp and intelligent approach to problems because we are sick and hurt. The very definition of needing healthcare is to seek treatment because something is wrong, and when we are debilitated we just can’t think as straight as we can when we are healthy. Trisha Torrey – Founder of AdvoConnection and Author of “You Bet Your Life: The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes In the following education series I hope to give you the information and tools so you can get the healthcare you need and deserve within the BC Healthcare System. Sometimes, to get the care you need, going to the United States or abroad may be an option – but I hope that with these tools, it can be your last option. Our health care system is in crisis. It’s going to get much worse as the huge bulge of baby boomers really begin to age. The oncoming tsunami of [...]

Why we need to be Empowered Patients and Families 2017-12-13T11:46:10+00:00