Ashchi Heart & Vascular Center offers articles on the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases (arteries and veins) and a lifestyle blog, including easy-to-share healthy recipes

Slow-Cooker Wild Rice Soup

This soul warming, low-fat chicken soup is so easy to make. And what better meal to come home to on a chilly evening than a bowl of this comforting, heart soup? Make it in your slow cooker then serve for dinner with crackers or rolls.

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens


Total Time: Prep 30 min, 6 hours low or 3 hours high

Yield: 6 servings

Level: Easy Continue reading

Patient Testimonial: Cath Lab Procedure

Dear Dr. Ashchi,

I am writing to express my deep appreciation to you for the fabulous care that I received during my “Cath Lab” procedure on Friday, November 3, 2017.

The Prep Area:

I was met at the door by staff member Julia, who promptly escorted me to the “prep” room, where I also met staff member Jarrahlee. The prep room was spacious and well equipped, and it had a very comfortable easy chair waiting for me. Both Julia and Jarrahlee stepped outside while I changed into a gown and sipped on a comfortable pair of socks. Continue reading

The Connection Between Heart Disease and Diabetes

Most people living with diabetes are aware that they have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. But the statistics can be truly staggering regarding heart disease and the diabetes.

The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. With time, the high glucose in the bloodstream damages the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard.

Fatty material that builds up on the inside of these blood vessels can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke. Your risk of heart disease with diabetes is further elevated if you also have a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke.

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 65 percent of people with diabetes actually die of heart disease or stroke, and a person with diabetes has twice the chance of developing heart disease as someone without diabetes.

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5 Tips to Fight Holiday Stress

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of family gatherings, shopping and parties. Holidays can take a toll – especially on your heart. The holidays are supposed to be carefree, but in fact, holiday stress can increase the risk of heart disease. In more than a few cases of stress-induced cardiomyopathy are seen around the holiday season.

Stress-induced cardiomyopathy happens when stress hormones weaken the heart’s main pumping chamber. It’s most common in women in their late 50s to mid-70s. Someone experiencing this condition might develop chest pains or shortness of breath. Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives, but it is important for the sake of your health to learn how to handle it. Here are five heart-healthy tips for fighting stress this holiday season.

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Cauliflower Chicken Fried “Rice”

Cauliflower Chicken Fried “Rice”

Recipe courtesy of EatingWell

Get an extra serving of vegetables and cut back on carbs by replacing rice with riced cauliflower in this healthy chicken fried rice recipe.

Total Time: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

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Do You Need Antibiotics Before Your Dental Visit?

You may have heard that heart patients should take antibiotics before they visit the dentist. Certain procedures, such as routine dental cleaning, root canal or tooth extraction, may allow bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream. Rarely, these bacteria can infect the heart valves and lining of the heart, causing them to become inflamed. This inflammation is called infective endocarditis (IE). IE has the potential to cause catastrophic medical problems, including heart failure and leakage of the heart valves.

The American Heart Association recommends that people with certain heart problems take a short-term course of antibiotics before visiting the dentist. The goal is to reduce the risk for IE, an infection of the heart’s lining or valves. Continue reading

When to Worry About a Fast Heart Rate

Experiencing a fast heart rate or Tachycardia can be a worrisome occurrence, especially if you are not aware of why it is taking place. Exercise, air temperature, body position, emotions, body size and medications are all factors that can affect heart rate. But did you know that as you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition or other condition that needs to be addressed?

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Sweet Potato Nachos


Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potato Nachos

Courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart Program

Craving a crunchy, savory snack? These baked sweet potato crisps with tasty toppings are a lighter take on nachos.

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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the Deadliest Disease No One Knows About, Puts Life & Limb at Risk

majdi ashchi

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 18 million people in the United States suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a common circulatory problem in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries limiting blood flow to your organs and other parts of your body.

Approximately 160,000 to 180,000 of the estimated 18 million Americans with PAD will undergo a limb amputation as result of PAD-related condition this year, resulting in lower quality of life, high medical costs, and shorter life expectancy. But even with these alarming numbers, general population awareness of PAD is estimated at only 25 percent.

As a vascular specialist, Majdi Ashchi, DO, FACC, FSCAI, FABVM, FSVM has treated hundreds of PAD patients over the course of his 30-year career, so he knows the importance of recognizing PAD as soon as possible. With today’s technology, minimally invasive procedures can be performed in our outpatient cath lab to improve artery flow significantly and ultimately save limbs.

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Chest Pains During Exercise

Whether you’ve just started a new exercise program, or are trying to reach new fitness goals, you may find yourself experiencing some degree of chest pains. Yes, your workouts should feel challenging, but chest pain during a workout is never normal.

If you are experiencing chest pain during a workout, stop, let someone know, and call 911. If you exercise regularly and experience extreme fatigue or shortness of breath that is atypical for you, these could also be warning signs of underlying heart disease.

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