Posts for tag: 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.
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.
Know the warning signs that could spell heart trouble.
According to the CDC, approximately 1 in every 4 deaths is associated with heart disease each year in the US alone. This makes heart disease the leading cause of death in both men and women. Knowing the signs and symptoms that something might be wrong is important so that you know when to turn to our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers, for a checkup.
This is probably the most obvious and common symptom that something is wrong, and yet, some people don’t even realize that their chest pain may actually be an emergency situation. If you don’t feel well and you are experiencing chest pain, you need to call 911 or have someone drive you to your nearest ER right away. If you are having a heart attack, you may experience chest tightness or heaviness that feels as if someone is sitting on your chest. You may also find it difficult to breathe.
Chest pain that appears during physical activity or movement may be associated with angina. Of course, chest pain isn’t always heart-related, but it’s best to rule out a heart attack or other heart problems first if you are experiencing chest pain.
Sudden Aches and Pains
When the heart doesn’t get enough blood it needs to work harder. This doesn’t always mean that the pain will develop in the chest. Sometimes you may experience pain in the shoulder, arms, back or stomach. If you notice any pain that comes on during activity but goes away with rest, this could be a sign of heart disease.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
While swelling can occur for a number of reasons such as standing/sitting for long periods of time or being overweight, the type of swelling associated with heart disease is more severe. If you have heart disease, swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet is surprisingly common. Severe swelling should be checked out right away by one of our doctors.
A palpitation refers to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. While palpitations can sometimes be harmless or be induced by stress, dehydration, or caffeine intake, some palpitations point to heart problems. When you experience a palpitation it’s important to write down everything you know about it including when it occurs, if something has triggered it, and how it feels. Giving this information to our doctors can be very helpful in providing an accurate diagnosis.
Concerned? Call Us
Protect your heart health by visiting your Brandon, FL, doctor at least once a year for a physical. Call Biggers Family Medicine today at (813) 655-4646 if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or if it’s time for your annual checkup.
Thanks to preventive care, it's possible to identify health issues or potential problems before they can damage your health. Primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine offer preventive care services in their Brandon, FL, office.
How can preventive care protect my health?
Some diseases and conditions can affect your health without causing any symptoms initially. For example, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes may not cause noticeable signs and symptoms in the early stages but may still affect your health.
Early detection not only ensures that you receive the treatment you need to remain healthy but can also encourage you to improve your eating or exercise habits if you're at risk for developing a health problem if you don't make a few lifestyle changes.
What types of screenings are part of preventive care?
Preventive care screenings include blood pressure measurements, height and weight checks, heart and respiration rate, prostate exams for men, and pelvic and breast exams for women. Your Brandon primary care physician may also recommend urine or blood tests to screen for diabetes, high cholesterol, or liver, kidney or blood issues.
Although some screenings are offered if you schedule a visit due to an illness or injury, you'll need to make an appointment for a physical to fully take advantage of health screenings.
What other services are considered part of preventive care?
Your primary care physician also wants to hear about your concerns about your physical and mental health. If you would like to become healthier by losing weight, he or she can advise you how to drop those extra pounds safely. When depression or anxiety affects your enjoyment of life, your physician can provide advice, discuss the possible use of medication, or make a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Has it been a while since you scheduled a preventive care visit with your doctor? Call your Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, at (813) 655-4646 to schedule your next appointment.