Season 2, Episode 3

On this special “Heart Month” episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl is joined by local cardiologist, Dr. Julian Thomas. Dr. Thomas tells listeners about the three main types of heart disease. These three types are blockages and stenosis of the coronary arteries (plumbing), heart muscle and valves which can contribute to congestive heart failure (pumping), and irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation (electrical).

Carl shares his own experiences over the past 2 years, from first learning that he had A Fib and sleep apnea through his ongoing treatment. He tells of that which led him to first go to the emergency room; the extreme fatigue and shortness of breath and the feeling of being smothered while trying to sleep. Once he received his diagnoses, he found that he was overwhelmed emotionally. That was until he began talking with others who also had A Fib, sleep apnea, and other heart related issues. These conversations provided support and encouragement.

Through this journey, Carl has learned a considerable amount about his heart health. Thanks to Dr. Thomas and his other doctors, he has started using techniques such as mindfulness, maintaining a healthier diet, and regularly exercising in addition to his prescribed medications. He also has been using a CPAP machine and has noticed a drastic improvement in his sleep as well as his peace of mind.

Dr. Thomas describes the symptoms and impacts of conditions like A Fib and sleep apnea, revealing that the two are – in fact – linked, and can even cause strokes if left untreated. He encourages listeners to know their bodies and take action if they notice anything that doesn’t feel right, especially concerning heart palpitations or shortness of breath. Seniors and those with genetic predispositions are most vulnerable and should be vigilant about remaining healthy and discus any concerns with their doctor. A Fib feeds off of aggressive nervous energy and becomes particularly active during times of concurrent illnesses and in individuals who heavily consume alcohol. If your partner frequently complains about your snoring or tossing and turning at night, it is a good idea to see a doctor for sleep apnea testing. The treatment for sleep apnea is simply using a CPAP machine, and this easy action can save your life.


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Carl White