Posts Tagged ‘blood pressure’

What’s Causing Your Fainting Spells?

fainting spellsMany people have experienced what is commonly called “passing out” or “fainting.” The medical term for this is syncope.

Syncope happens when, for short periods of time, there is a sudden drop in blood pressure and there is reduced blood flow to the brain. The most common cause of syncope, especially in healthy young people, is vasovagal syncope. The good news is that, even though vasovagal syncope sounds scary, most of the time it is nothing to worry about.

Vasovagal syncope is due to slow heart beat or expansion of blood vessels. This allows the blood to accumulate in your legs, which lowers your blood pressure and reduces blood flow to the brain. There are certain situations that can provoke these responses, for example pain, fear, standing for too long, being over tired or over heated. It could even be an unusual reaction to coughing, having a bowel movement or urinating. Before you faint you might experience lightheadedness, nausea, cold sweats, a feeling of warmth or blurry vision.

The diagnosis of vasovagal syncope can be made without further testing or by excluding other causes, but sometimes tests like blood work, electrocardiogram, exercise stress test or tilt table test are performed. In most cases, treatment for vasovagal syncope is not necessary. Your doctor might recommend that you increase your liquid and salt intake, wear compressions stockings or avoid prolonged standing, especially in crowded or hot places. Occasionally, medication to increase your blood pressure is needed.

Other less frequent causes of syncope are problems in the brain or in the valves, muscles or the electrical system of the heart. All of these causes will be considered by your doctor or nurse when evaluating your case. Because the causes may vary, it is important that every person who faints is evaluated by a healthcare professional.

To make an appointment with an Emory Healthcare physician, please call 404-778-7777.

About Dr. Gongora

Carolina Gongora, MDDr. Gongora is a Board certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Gongora went to medical school in Bogota, Colombia, where she is from originally. She moved to Atlanta in 2005. Before starting her training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Emory University, Dr. Gongora did a post doctoral research fellowship in hypertension and renal disease. Her research was partially funded by the American Heart Association. During this time she published in recognized journals like the Journal of American College of Cardiology, Hypertension and Circulation. Also, she presented in nationally renowned meetings, like the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension and the American Physiology Society meetings, among others. She has been a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Physiological Society and the American Heart Association-Council for high blood pressure. She is board certified in Cardiology, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography.

Emory Explores New Treatment Option to Reduce High Blood Pressure

heart-stethoscopeAbout, 10-20 percent of high blood pressure, or hypertension, patients cannot control their symptoms with medication. A new experimental procedure, The SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure trail, is being conducted to help these patients drop their blood pressure an average of 30 points.

Dr. Chandan Devireddy recently reported to Fox 5 Atlanta that approximately 40 percent of people with treatment-resistant hypertension experience surges of adrenaline, signaling the kidneys to ramp up blood pressure. For these patients—who can’t control their blood pressure no matter how many medications they’re taking—Dr. Devireddy and his team are exploring a new treatment option. Because Dr. Devireddy has identified the kidneys as a potential source of the problem in treatment-resistant hypertension patients, the study will evaluate how hypertension among these patients is affected by delivering radio frequency energy to the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. The goal of the procedure is to diminish or cease the excess adrenaline being delivered to the kidneys, thereby reducing blood pressure.

The study’s procedure, which will be conducted at Emory University Hospital Midtown, is recruiting 20 volunteers. Candidates for the study are those with long-term high blood pressure that hasn’t responded to treatment from at least three medications.

“The SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure study is double-blinded, so half of the volunteers will get the investigational procedure; half will get a so-called “sham” procedure. Researchers and participants won’t know who got what until it’s over,” says Dr. Devireddy.

Read more about the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 Blood Pressure trial being conducted at Emory University Hospital Midtown.


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An Easy Heart Healthy Recipe for the Holidays

No Bake Breakfast Bar RecipeDuring the hectic holiday season take time to eat a healthy breakfast by preparing these heart healthy No Bake Breakfast Bars. You can find more information on these recipes and other weight management and heart healthy recipes from Emory Healthcare by visiting:

Recipe developed by Meagan Mohammadione, RD, LD, and is courtesy of the Emory Bariatric Center.

No Bake Breakfast Bar Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter such as almond or cashew butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit, diced)
  • 5 cups high fiber cereal (we used Kashi Go Lean! Crisp cereal)

Recipe Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, pour in honey, vanilla and salt. Heat in the microwave until mixture is thin and watery, about 60 seconds. Add peanut butter and stir until it melts. Add dried fruit and cereal and combine until cereal is well coated. Line a baking dish with wax paper and spread cereal mixture evenly into pan and press firmly to set. Leave to cool overnight or place in refrigerator. When bars are hard, cut into squares.

Yield: 24, 2x1x1 inch bars

Nutritional Information Per Serving

  • Calories: 167
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 179 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Sugars: 18 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

For other heart healthy recipes, visit Emory Healthcare’s Recipes for Wellness at We have recipes for appetizers, entrees, side dishes, soups and salads as well as desserts to keep your diet heart healthy during the holidays!

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Is Your High Blood Pressure Out of Control?

High Blood Pressure Web ChatDo you have uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) and need another option for your care?

If so, the Emory Heart & Vascular Center is now enrolling patients in a study for this condition. Called the Symplicity HTN – 3 Study, this clinical research study will test the safety and effectiveness of a procedure called renal denervation using the Symplicty Catheter System as a treatment for uncontrolled hypertension. You may be eligible to participate in the research if you are between the ages of 18 and 80, you have an average systolic blood pressure (SBP) > to 160mmHg and you are taking three or more antihypertensive medications. Chandan Devireddy, MD, FACC, FSCAI is the principle investigator in the trial at Emory.

For more information about the clinical trial, please contact Emory HealthConnection 404-778-7777.

CAUTION: Investigational device. Limited by Federal (United States) law to investigational use.

If you have high blood pressure and want to learn more about what you can do to manage it, join us tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. for a chat on hypertension with Dr. Susmita Parashar. Visit to register and see a complete listing of Emory Healthcare’s live chats.

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Talk to an MD About Your Blood Pressure – No Appointment!


Do you suffer from high blood pressure and want to ask a physician questions without scheduling an appointment?
High Blood Pressure Chat

One third of people living in the United States  experiences high blood pressure. If you are one of the many who suffer from high blood pressure, join Emory Heart & Vascular Center preventive cardiologist Dr. Susmita Parashar on Tuesday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. for an interactive online Q & A web chat. The topic is “Diagnosing, Treating and Managing High Blood Pressure.”

Dr. Parashar will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about hypertension including symptoms, diagnosis, and treating and living with hypertension. To register for the online chat, visit: or click the image to the right to be directed to the chat sign-up form.


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