Doctor, I have a history of heart disease. I have a AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm (pronounced “triple-A”) back pain. Is this serious?

It depends on how large the AAA is but the pain needs to be evaluated to determine if the AAA is causing the back pain.

Can heart disease be reversed with the right diet?

Yes. A plant-based diet is best to reverse heart disease. Please do this with a dietitian and a health care provider.

Explain how snoring connects to heart disease?

Snoring can be a sign that someone may have sleep apnea, which can cause the heart disease. Sleep apnea is when someone does not breathe for a prolonged period that causes the pressures in the lungs to increase. This increase in lung pressures causes the right side of the heart to work harder and if this goes on repeatedly can eventually cause right-sided heart failure.

I had chest pain when I drink water and eat food. The doctor said it was inflammation and prescribed me some medicine for acid reflux and some medicine to numb my throat and chest area. It doesn”t hurt anymore. Should I still be alarmed and get a second opinion?

This sounds like a reasonable approach. If you continue to have chest pains, tell your doctor. If you have risk factors for heart disease, work with your doctor to lower your risk.

Dr., Is apple cider vinegar good and does it help cholesterol. How can I decrease my non-HDL cholesterol number?

Apple cider vinegar does not lower choleterol. You can lower your non-HDL cholesterol by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eat more of a plant-based diet and reduce your intake of animal products.

Good morning, Doc. My problem is that my feet tingle when I lay down at night or sit down and I’m starting to breathe harder. I get tired a lot. I am 53-years-old, and female. My height is 5′ 6 and I weigh 196. Is that causing the problem?

Your BMI is 30.7.  This puts you just slightly above the obese category which increases your risk for diabetes, which could be causing the issue.

Are hiccups a sign of strokes & heart attacks?

This is not a usual symptom, but if other more typical symptoms are present please get this evaluated by a healthcare provider.

I perform calcium scores on my job. I’ve had patients with scores over 1000. One patients gets 5 stents.. the other patient their doctor doesn’t do anything. How valuable are these calcium scores?

Very valuable, if used correctly. If the patient is having symptoms, they need an angiogram with potential stents. If not having symptoms, they definitely need to lower their risk with lifestyle changes and medications like aspirin, statins and blood pressure medications.

Is it not true that everyone eventually dies from heart failure? What is the difference between death from heart disease and death from heart failure?

No, heart failure is a specific diagnosis. Heart failure is a weakening or stiffening of the heart that does not pump appropriate amount of blood.

Does a high potassium diet cause heart attacks?

Yes, this is possible since it can cause heart rhythm problems that can cause death.

What was the name of the test to detect heart disease?

CORUS CAD test. Go to for information.

Tom, I lost my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and two aunts to heart disease. It’s scarier than cancer in our family I’m a 45-year-old male having a stress test next week.What questions should I ask?

What is my personal risk and how can I decrease them?

Is a cholesterol reading of 208 cause for concern?

Not necessarily, it depends on what the HDL and LDL cholesterol levels are.

Is swelling of legs and feet without high blood pressure a concern or a symptom of heart disease?

If it is associated with shortness of breath or fatigue, it should be evaluated by a doctor.

My mom has had shortness of breath slight tingling in her left arm. What are some of the other symptoms of heart disease?

The shortness of breath should definitely be evaluated.

Sometimes I feel a flutter in my chest. Is that considered possible heart disease?

Yes, it should be evaluated.

I am a 43 year old Black woman.I have tried various blood pressure meds, but can not seem to get my blood pressure below 210-100. I walk 15 minutes at lunch time and I only eat about 1000 grams of sodium a day. My doctor says because I am young, I am not at risk of a heart attack.

NOT TRUE! Please go to another doctor!

Does an EKG provide enough testing to rule out heart disease/heart attack?

An EKG can be helpful but there are other tests that need to be done.

What are the risks of heart disease for a Black woman is her 30s?

It depends on your risk factors but low in general but a heart-healthy lifestyle should be started.


For more information on heart health, go to the next page.

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