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Posts for: May, 2020

By BIGGERS FAMILY MEDICINE, P.A.
May 13, 2020
Category: Family Medicine
Tags: Smoking  

Find out the many ways smoking can impact your overall health.

So, you’re thinking about quitting smoking, but you’re not sure where to begin. Our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers, are glad to hear that you want to ditch this seriously unhealthy habit. They can even provide you with programs, treatment options, and other recommendations to ensure that you finally kick smoking to the curb. Wondering why you should quit? Here are the many ways smoking can affect your health:

Smoking Affects Your Heart

Cigarettes have a profound effect on your cardiovascular health. For instance, smokers are far more likely to develop heart disease or experience a stroke than non-smokers. Smoking causes the blood vessels to thicken and narrow, which increases blood pressure and causes the heart to beat faster. You don’t even have to be a heavy smoker in order to develop heart disease (even less than five cigarettes a day is enough to increase your risk). After just one year of quitting you can cut your risk for coronary heart disease in half.

Smoking Damages Lungs

Smoking can cause long-term damage to the airways and increase the likelihood of dealing with conditions such as:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer

If you have asthma, just being around secondhand smoke alone can trigger an asthma attack. While smoking can cause detrimental effects to your respiratory system, the good news is that even in as little as one month after quitting, your lung function will improve. You may suddenly notice that it’s easier to take a full breath, you may not get as winded going up stairs or you may cough less.

Smoking Increases Your Risk for Cancer

Smoking isn’t just responsible for lung cancer, it can also increase your risk for developing cancer anywhere in the body including the liver, pancreas, stomach, colon, and esophagus. Smoking also increases your risk for cancer-related death. Fortunately, by quitting smoking, you can reduce your risk for different cancers including lung cancer. In as little as five years, your risk for certain cancers, such as esophagus and mouth cancer, are cut in half, and cervical cancer risk is the same as a non-smoker.

Prioritize Your Health

Stub that cigarette out and take control of your life; it’s never too late. If you are dealing with any health concerns or issues, know that the team at Biggers Family Medicine are still here for you, even during these challenging times. We can provide drive-up appointments to minimize exposure and to keep patients healthy. To schedule an appointment please call (813) 655-4646.


By BIGGERS FAMILY MEDICINE, P.A.
May 13, 2020
Category: Family Medicine
Tags: Heart Disease  

Discover some key changes you can make to your current lifestyle to prevent heart disease.

The goal of our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers, is to help patients lead long, healthy lives that support good general health. With heart disease being incredibly common in both American men and women, it’s important that everyone understands what lifestyle factors play a role in their heart health and how they can change them for the better. Here are some ways to prevent heart disease,

Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices

There are many factors that can predispose you to heart disease. Fortunately, just by making heart-healthy habits, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing the condition. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to deal with heart disease. If you are overweight or having trouble losing weight talk with our Brandon, FL, doctors to find out ways to safely but effectively shed those unwanted pounds. Even just losing 10-15 pounds can improve heart health.
     
  • Choose heart-healthy foods: Your diet has a significant influence on your health. It’s important that your body is receiving the vital nutrients it needs through healthy, whole foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods, as well as foods high in sodium, cholesterol, trans fat, and sugar. If you do drink alcohol do so in moderation, as drinking too much alcohol can elevate your blood pressure.
     
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising most days of the week will not only go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also improve your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. It’s recommended that all adults receive around 2 and a half hours of moderately intense exercise every week, while children and teens should receive about one hour of exercise each day.

Get Health Conditions Under Control

Another way that you can take charge of your health is to know your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. All of these can affect the health of your heart. While you can monitor blood pressure and sugar from the comfort of your own home, you should also visit your primary doctor at least once a year to make sure that your cholesterol and blood pressure are in check. If there is a problem, we can prescribe medication to help improve these conditions to prevent heart complications.

We want you to know that the medical team at Biggers Family Medicine will still be providing medical care during this Covid-19 pandemic. If you are concerned about your health, dealing with an urgent health problem, or if you are worried that you might have coronavirus, please contact our office at (813) 655-4646 to schedule a drive-up appointment.