Ballinasloe Heart Health Event

Join Croí for a Ballinasloe Heart Health Event

Free public talk with heart experts, plus heart health checks

The key to healthy ageing is a healthy heart. That’s why local Heart & Stroke Charity, Croí, is coming to Ballinasloe to host a free Public Talk ‘Listen to Your Heart …The Key to Healthy Ageing’ on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7.00pm in the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.

This event is part of the Croí Third Age Programme, which is a healthy ageing initiative aimed at improving health and longevity. So come along and learn how to keep your heart healthy as you age.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Aidan Flynn, Consultant Cardiologist, Portiuncula Hospital;
  • Catherine Nolan, Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist, Portiuncula Hospital;
  • Dr. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital.

Everyone welcome but places are limited at this free event, so early booking is advised. To reserve your place, call Croí now on 091- 544310.

PLUS! Free Heart Health Checks

Croí is offering free heart health checks for 65+ year olds on Wednesday, October 23rd at the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe.

So, if you are over the age of 65, Not attending a cardiologist, and have Not had a heart health check in the past 6 months (e.g., blood pressure check / your heart listened to), contact Croí now to register for this FREE heart health check.

Time slots for the heart health checks are available from 9:30am – 4:30pm. Places are limited and you must register in advance. Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

Health checks supported by:

Be a Croí Heart Hero and make a promise for your heart

We can all be Heart Heroes by making a promise, to ourselves and those we care about, to look after our hearts.

The team at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle, Galway, encouraged the people of Galway to make an important promise for their heart health in celebration of World Heart Day on September 29th. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, and approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease in Ireland.

With sign-sheets scattered across Galway in locations such as University Hospital Galway, Bon Secours, NUI Galway and Galway City Council, the Croí Team gathered almost 2,000 signatures from Heart Heroes who promised to make a change for their hearts!

Some of the promises included:

  • A promise to your families to cook and eat more healthily;
  • A promise to your children to exercise more and help them to be more active, to say no to smoking and help your loved ones to stop;
  • A promise as a healthcare professional to help your patients give up smoking and lower their cholesterol;
  • A promise as a policymaker to support policies that promote healthy hearts;
  • A promise as an employee to invest in heart-healthy workplaces.

You can become a Heart Hero at any time by making a promise to make a change for your heart health!

Galway goes red for World Heart Day!

In the lead up to World Heart Day, Bon Secours Hospital Galway; The Browne Doorway in Eyre Square;  the Human Biology Building in NUI, Galway; and Kylemore Abbey were lit up red – in association with Croí!

On September 29th, The Croí Health team were in Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, to take part in a special World Heart Day event, with the Abbey lighting red in celebration! The Health Team offered free blood pressure and pulse checks, and took part in a guided hike to the Sacred Heart Statue along with other heart heroes.

Mitchell’s Café, who are renowned for their wholesome home cooking, also took part by serving a special heart healthy menu on the day. Many became Croí Heart Heroes by making their heart healthy promise, joined by Mitchell’s Sous Chef Dolores Heanue, who recently recovered from a major coronary event.

The Story Of My Heart

By Pearl O’Kennedy

Pearl is 80 years old and lives with her husband on Rahoon Road in Galway. They have six children and 12 grandchildren.

“10 years ago, following a visit to my GP, I was diagnosed with a murmur in my heart. As it wasn’t causing any problems, I was kept under supervision. For the next few years, my heart was checked every six months, then every three months – during which time I had started to feel a little breathless.

One day, last October, I was going to have an angiogram. When the procedure was over, the doctor sat me down and told me that I needed to have a valve replaced in my heart – the aortic valve. I was sent for a scan the following week to determine if I would have to undergo open-heart surgery. When I met with my doctor to get more tests done, he explained that he had been working on a new type of valve. After showing me diagrams of the valves and explaining how they work – as well as the potential complications – he asked if I would be prepared to let him use one on me. He told me that this would be the first time this particular valve would be used in Europe. After some hesitation, I agreed to let him use the new valve.

A month later, I had the valve replaced. It was a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVI) and I was conscious throughout it all. The procedure lasted for a little over two hours, during which time a nurse stayed beside my head. When it was over, I was transferred to a warm bed and given some medication to help me sleep. When I woke up, I was back in the Cardiac Ward. I felt good and was discharged three days later.

I got home before Christmas and had a lovely time. However, I did notice my hearing had started to deteriorate. Following a visit to the doctor, I was told that I had lost 50% of my hearing. After having hearing aids ordered for me, I learned that hearing loss is something that can happen a person if they’ve had work done on their heart.

Earlier this year, I received a letter from Galway University Hospital asking me to attend an eight-week cardiac rehabilitation programme in Merlin Hospital. This entailed going to the Cardiac Unit two days a week where we did light workouts such as cycling, rowing, walking, and weight lifting. We were also given talks on diet and other general health topics. There were six men and two women in attendance and I was surprised to see some very young men there. When the eight weeks were over, I started to go back to my own gym. Now, I go twice a week. I spend half an hour on the machines and forty-five minutes doing water-aerobics. Life is good now and although I’m still coming to terms with having to use hearing aids, they are becoming part of my life.

Thank God, my heart is good.”

Pearl

Pearl O'Kennedy

Croí is taking part in European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week (September 16 – 22, 2019), which aims to raise awareness and improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease in Europe. #HeartValveWeek19 See www.heartvalvecouncil.org/heart-valve-week for more information.

Cajun Salmon Salad

Salmon and other oily fish such as mackerel, herring, trout and sardines are a great source of polyunsaturated fats which can help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. You should try to include some oily fish in your diet at least once or twice a week. This recipe for Cajun Salmon Salad is a quick and easy lunch or dinner option!

 

 

 

Ingredients – Serves 1:

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • Cajun spice
  • Handful Mixed leaves
  • Handful Green beans
  • 4-5 Asparagus spears
  • ¼ Avocado
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 baby potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped parsley

 

  • Sprinkle some Cajun spice onto the salmon fillet and rub in.
  • Wrap the salmon in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 12-15minutes or until cooked.
  • Boil the baby potatoes. When cooked, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and chopped parsley.
  • Boil the green beans and asparagus for a few minutes until cooked.
  • Chop the avocado and tomato into bite size pieces.
  • Mix your salad ingredients together and place your cooked salmon fillet on top.

 

Aisling Harris

Croí Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian 

Chickpea, Avocado and Mango Salad

This is a lovely fruit summer salad, perfect for those hot summer afternoons or evenings. Avocados and nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats which can help to increase levels of our good cholesterol (HDL). Chickpeas are a good source of soluble fibre which can help lower levels of our bad cholesterol (LDL). Too much bad cholesterol and not enough good cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • A few basil leaves
  • 1 dessertspoon olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 Handfuls mixed leaves
  • ½ Avocado
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ Mango
  • 1 Grilled Red Pepper
  • Dessertspoon of toasted nuts and seeds (dry fry some cracked hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds on a frying pan until lightly toasted).

In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, olive oil, chopped basil leaves and a light sprinkle of sea salt.

Chop the avocado, mango and grilled red pepper into bite-sized chunks.

Assemble all the ingredients together and top with the toasted nuts and seeds.

 

Aisling Harris

Croí Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian 

Salt and Blood Pressure

Salt and Blood Pressure

Question: This is probably a silly question, but if I have low blood pressure do I have to worry about salt? I love salt and use way too much!

 

Answer: Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats.

Current guidelines identify normal blood pressure around 120/80mm/Hg. This can vary up and down depending on what you are doing, how you are feeling, whether you are well/unwell, the medications you are taking, what you are eating/drinking, your hydration levels (dehydration can cause low blood pressure) and the time of day.

For many people low blood pressure causes no problems and may be desirable. For some, abnormally low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting. Most doctors only consider low blood pressure too low if it causes symptoms because what is low for one person may be normal for another.

Without knowing any medical background it is difficult to advise but in general we don’t advocate excessive use of salt as there is plenty already in foodstuffs.

In general, guidelines recommend that we should consume no more 4-6g of salt per day. However, it is estimated that on average, Irish people currently consume about 9g per day which is a lot more than they need.

The main sources of salt in our diet are packaged foods and meals eaten out of the home at restaurants or takeaways (65-70%),salt added to home cooking or at the table (15-20%) and salt found naturally in food (15%). Foods that are naturally high sources of salt include cheese, processed meats such as ham and salami, bacon, bread, jars of sauce, crisps, salted nuts, salted crackers, soya sauce etc. It is important that people consume these foods in line with an overall healthy balanced diet. Your GP will be able to advise you about whether you need additional salt in your diet and how this can be achieved safely.

 

For more information on blood pressure see here and other resources are www.HSE.ie and www.INDI.ie