Nuts, when part of a balanced diet, may help decrease your risk for coronary heart disease. Nuts help lower LDL-cholesterol (sometimes called "bad cholesterol"), improve the health of your arteries, and reduce the risk for blood clots. Nuts pack a lot of nutrition into a tiny package, including unsaturated fats, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols and vitamin E. Most nuts contain similar health benefits, including walnuts and almonds. While nuts are healthy, the majority of their calories come from fat. Nuts should be eaten in moderation, and more as a replacement for saturated fats and unhealthy snacks.
Mira Chockalingam, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
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Does eating nuts decrease my risk for coronary heart disease?
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
What causes nephrotic syndrome?
Nephrotic syndrome is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels in the kidney that filter waste and excess water from the blood.
Many conditions and diseases can cause nephrotic syndrome, including:
- Minimal change disease (also called nil disease), a type of kidney disease. The cause of minimal change disease is unknown. But this disease causes most of the cases of nephrotic syndrome in children.
- Membranous glomerulopathy and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which are two other diseases of the kidney. Both of these diseases affect the glomeruli. The glomeruli help filter waste out of your blood. In focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, some of the parts of the glomeruli have scar tissue. This can affect how they filter the blood. In membranous glomerulopathy, the tissue wall (membrane) that separates blood and urine and acts as a filter in your kidney becomes thickened and damaged.
- Diabetes and lupus. Diabetes is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults.
- Infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
- Medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, penicillamine, gold therapy or captopril.
- Illegal drugs, such as heroin.
- Conditions such as preeclampsia, chronic graft rejection following an organ transplant, and allergic reactions to bee stings.
- Unknown (idiopathic) factors.
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Can depression worsen my heart disease?
Up to 15 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease and up to 20 percent of patients who have undergone coronary bypass graft surgery experience major depression.
In one landmark study, the continued presence of depression after recovery increased the risk of death (mortality) to 17 percent within 6 months after a heart attack (versus 3 percent mortality in heart attack patients who didn't have depression).
Negative lifestyle habits associated with depression -- such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, poor diet and lack of social support -- interfere with the treatment for heart disease.
Depression has been proven to be such a risk factor in cardiac disease that the American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that all cardiac patients be screened for depression.
Patients with depression after myocardial infarction, especially those with prior episodes, should be both carefully watched and aggressively treated because they are at an elevated cardiac risk and less likely to improve spontaneously.
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