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Posts for category: Cardiovascular

By BIGGERS FAMILY MEDICINE, P.A.
April 13, 2020
Category: Cardiovascular

You have the ability to protect against heart disease by making healthy choices.

Despite the fact that millions of Americans have some form of heart disease, there is comfort in knowing that you have the ability to reduce your risk for heart disease through simple lifestyle adjustments. Leading a healthy lifestyle can greatly improve your heart health, and our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers can help you make changes to your lifestyle now to prevent heart disease from happening to you. Here are three steps you can take right now to greatly improve your heart health,

Quit Smoking

If you smoke or uses tobacco products one of the best things you can do for your health, particularly your heart health, is to quit. Even secondhand smoke has the ability to increase your risk for heart disease. As soon as you quit smoking, your risk for heart disease begins to drop, and your risk will continue to decrease over the years. If you’re having a hard time quitting on your own, our Brandon, FL, doctors can recommend certain programs or products that can help you quit smoking for good.

Get Up and Moving Daily

It’s important that everyone gets at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity most days of the week. Staying fit and active can greatly lower your risk for heart disease. Plus, exercise can also boost endorphins, which is known to improve mood. Regular exercise can also reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you’re not sure how to begin exercising, talk with your doctor first.

Eat a Healthy, Heart-Friendly Diet

What you eat can also have a major impact on your overall health, particularly your heart. Many people follow a Mediterranean-style diet because it’s chock full of healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, as well as lots of vegetables, whole grains, lean meat (like fish and chicken) and low-fat dairy. Processed foods are often high in sodium and sugar, which can have a serious impact on your heart. Foods that also contain a lot of saturated and trans fats such as red meat, fast food and desserts can increase your risk for heart disease.
 

If you are looking for strategies to protect your heart, the medical team at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, is here to help. No matter how at-risk you are for heart disease, leading a healthy lifestyle will improve your heart health and overall wellbeing. Call us today at (813) 655-4646 to learn more.

By BIGGERS FAMILY MEDICINE, P.A
February 20, 2020
Category: Cardiovascular
Tags: Heart Disease  

Could you be at risk for heart disease? Also known as cardiovascular disease, the disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. Your Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, can help you protect your health and decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease includes several different types of conditions, including narrowing of blood vessels and arteries, heart valve problems, abnormal heartbeats/rhythm, and defects, diseases, and conditions that affect the heart muscle.

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a common cause of heart disease. It occurs when plaque collects in the walls of arteries, impeding the normal flow of blood to the heart and brain. Plaque, a substance comprised of cholesterol, calcium, and fat, is soft and sticky at first but soon becomes hard and inflexible.

Who is at risk for heart disease?

You may be more likely to develop heart disease if:

  • You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • You're a man or a post-menopausal woman.
  • You're 65 or older.
  • You smoke.
  • Other members of your family have had heart disease.
  • You often eat foods that are high in salt, sugar, cholesterol, and fat.
  • You often feel stressed.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You're obese or don't exercise regularly.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Chest pain doesn't always occur if you have heart disease. In fact, many symptoms of heart disease can be subtle at first. Symptoms may not occur at all during the early stages of the disease. In addition to chest pain, symptoms may include:

  • Palpitations or fluttering in your chest or throat
  • Racing heart or skipped heartbeats
  • Pressure in the chest, arm, shoulder, jaw, abdomen, or back
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet, or hands
  • Fatigue after minor exertion
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

It's important to pay a visit to your Brandon doctor if you have any of these symptoms or have risk factors for heart disease. Go to the emergency room immediately if you experience chest, jaw, or arm pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, fainting, sweating, or pressure or a squeezing sensation in your chest.

Concerned? Give us a call

Are you concerned that you may have heart disease? Call your primary care physicians in Brandon, FL, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, today by dialing (813) 655-4646.