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Heart Hope A bimonthly newsletter for people and families living with heart failure

Let it snow The scoop on shoveling

& its impact on your heart Winter is here – and with it, the snow and cold that tax our patience. While shoveling snow burns calories, it’s also very stressful on the body. An inch of snow – combined with temperatures below 20°F – have been shown to triple the death rate from heart attack! Why? Temperature. Your body’s natural reflex is to constrict arteries and blood vessels when exposed to cold. Add exercise to the mix and conditions are ripe for a heart attack. If you have a history of heart attack or have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, leave the shoveling to someone else. If you’re normally inactive, shoveling snow should not be the thing that gets you off the couch. Tips for safer shoveling: • Dress warmly, preferably in layers. Working up a sweat doesn’t mean you are immune to the cold. • Keep hydrated. Shoveling is exercise. • Don’t overdo it – listen to your body and take breaks every 15 minutes. • Lift with your legs, not your back. Bend at your knees. • Step in the direction you’re throwing snow. Avoid twisting. • Space your hands on the shovel to give yourself more leverage. • Push the snow rather than lift it. • Small shovelfuls are good. Remember that an average shovel full of snow weighs about 16 pounds. That’s 192 pounds if you shovel 12 times a minute! Don’t smoke or drink beverages that contain caffeine when shoveling. Tobacco and caffeine constrict blood vessels (and caffeine increases your heart rate). Just like the colder temperatures, these can increase your risk of heart attack. If you experience distress or signs of heart attack, stop what you’re doing and call 9-1-1 immediately.

January 2011

Center for Heart Health

notes from the Center for Heart Health The Heart Failure Clinic at King’s Daughters is a collaborative effort, where patients, physicians and nurses work together to achieve optimal health. Nurse practitioner Donna Holbrook is an essential part of our program, working directly with patients to help them understand their health status, adjusting medications and monitoring results. “I truly enjoy working in the clinic,” Holbrook says, “because I have the time to really get to know my patients, to work closely with them, and to make a real difference in their lives.” “They know I care about them – and they appreciate my help.” With more than 25 years of nursing experience, Holbrook is familiar with nearly every issue faced by heart failure patients – and their families. Helping them work through those issues is one of the greatest rewards of her job. Holbrook completed her post-graduate nurse practitioner certification program at the University of Louisville in 1999 and her master of science in nursing from Bellarmine University in Louisville in 1993. She has been providing care for heart failure patients in the clinic since February 2010. She has also worked as a supervisor in clinical education at King’s Daughters, and as a clinical instructor in nursing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. She is certified as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

DONNA HOLBROOK is a nurse practitioner who works closely with Heart Failure Clinic patients at King’s Daughters.

“I am truly here for my patients and want to see them live the fullest life possible, for as long as possible,” she said.

Suggestions? Comments? We’d love to hear what you have to say! Send us an e-mail at or give us a call at 606.408.6000.

Heart Hope



We're Moving ... To Better Serve You! Starting Jan. 24, the clinic will be located in Medical Plaza B at 613 23rd St., Suite 350 in Ashland. Free parking will be available on the surface lot and in the 24th Street parking garage, directly across from Medical Plaza B. Valet parking services are available at the Heart & Vascular Center entrance for a small fee, payable upon departure.

Don't Completely Pass on the Salt Why "Low-Sodium" Doesn't Mean "No Sodium" An important part of managing heart failure is restricting sodium intake. You already know that too much sodium can cause your body to retain fluids, making it harder for your heart to perform its work. What you may not realize is that your body needs sodium in order to function properly. The normal range of sodium in the bloodstream is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter of blood (expressed as mEq/L). Because your body cannot make sodium, it must be replenished through the foods and beverages you consume. A sodium intake that is at, or below, 2,000 mg. per

a convenient comfort food

day will keep blood levels in the normal range, while avoiding complications of excessive salt intake.

A section of



Heart Hope where we shed light on ways to help you take control of your heart failure management.

Sodium helps your body maintain proper fluid balance, regulates blood pressure, transmits nerve impulses and helps muscles, including the heart, to relax. Salt also facilitates the body’s absorption of certain nutrients from the digestive system.

complications for the heart failure patient. And a diet that doesn’t meet the body’s requirement for sodium can give rise to other, just as serious, complications.

As you are working to keep your salt intake below 2,000 mg. day, just remember the most important thing is to practice moderation. High levels of sodium in your diet can cause serious

If you have any questions or concerns about your sodium intake, blood levels or other dietary concerns, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider … or give us a call and we’ll help you make sense of it all.

Low Sodium Crockpot Chili INGREDIENTS 1 T. olive oil 2 small onions, chopped 2 tsp. garlic, minced 2 T. chili powder 1 T. cumin

½8 tsp. black pepper 1 ½ lbs. beef stew meat, cubed 2 cans no salt added tomatoes 4 cups canned black beans ½ cup water

DIRECTIONS • Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and garlic and cook 4 to 5 minutes until onions are softened. • Add spices and beef. • Cook, stirring 6 to 8 minutes, until beef is browned on all sides. • Place beef mixture in slow cooker. • Stir in tomatoes, beans and water. • Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Yield: 5 servings Sodium content: 109 mg. per servings Yield: 5 servings | Sodium content: 109 mg. per serving

Heart Hope, Jan. 2011  

Heart Failure Newsletter, Jan 2011

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