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Spotting a Heart Attack Before It Becomes a Heart Attack

November 30, 2017

HEART ATTACK BLOG POST 11.30.17By Priscilla Christopher

Every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack, according to the American Heart Associations’ (AHA) 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Report. Its symptoms and warning signs vary based on several factors: age, family, personal health history, gender and lifestyle. Many people ignore warning signs long before the attack occurs. Continue reading “Spotting a Heart Attack Before It Becomes a Heart Attack” »

Raising Awareness for Peripheral Artery Disease

September 14, 2017

PAD AWARENESS BLOG 9.14.17-1September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) awareness month! PAD is a cardiovascular condition characterized by narrowing of the peripheral arteries, which results in poor blood flow to the extremities. While PAD can affect the arteries of the head, arms, and stomach, the disease is most prevalent in the legs and can cause symptoms such as leg cramps, leg pain, and fatigue when walking. Continue reading “Raising Awareness for Peripheral Artery Disease” »

Optimistic People May Live Longer

December 30, 2016

tmp_6793We know optimistic people are generally cheerful and pleasant to be around.  A new study recently found that even your heart doctor will thank you for an optimistic attitude.

A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that heart attack survivors who had an optimistic outlook were more likely to live longer. The study examined  over 600 individuals under the age of 65 between 1992-1993. Researchers followed up with the patients in 2015 and found that participants who had scored in the highest third of optimism levels were 33% more likely to have survived than those who had scored in the middle and lowest third. That’s something to be said about having a positive attitude!

Optimism in this context refers to a hopeful outlook of the future. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to hardships but rather learning how to deal with the hardships in a productive way. Optimists typically take proactive steps in their health, compared to pessimists who can often engage in health-damaging activities.

Increasing your optimism levels can take time and personal growth. Test out these strategies to help increase your optimism:

  • Set reasonable goals for yourself
  • Keep a journal of your progress with your goals
  • Take the time to tell yourself three things you are grateful for everyday
  • Identify stressors and identify a strategy to cope with them
  • Spend time around people who uplift you

Practice Meditation for Better Heart Health

July 21, 2015

In our newest guest blog post, Karen from the Jacksonville Transcendental Meditation Center talks about the benefits of meditation for heart health. Read on for her advice!

Doctors have long suspected that there is a powerful connection between mind and body. This connection means that practicing mental techniques like meditation can affect physical wellbeing and reduce the risk of disease. Meditation has benefits that extend across the mind-body continuum; according to WebMD, regular meditation can help the body release stress, anxiety and pain, boost mood and immunity, and even resolve pregnancy problems.

Transcendental MeditationA recent study showed the benefits of a particular kind of meditation, the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique, for people with heart disease. Continue reading “Practice Meditation for Better Heart Health” »

12 Million Americans Suffer from PAD – Are You at Risk?

April 10, 2015

Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, is a narrow blockage of the artery that can lead to heart attack or stroke – and it affects 12 million Americans. Dr. Jason Roberts sat down with WSOS 99.5 St. Augustine Radio to share more information about this condition:

  • PAD is most common in men and women over the age of 65.
  • Risk factors for PAD include smoking (even electronic cigarettes), a family history, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Symptoms can manifest themselves in the legs – including pain while walking, poor toenail growth, one leg getting colder than the other, and a lack of hair below the knee.

For more, listen to the radio interview below or call 904-436-6420 to set up an appointment with the FCCI team.

Learn About Uncommon Heart Attack Symptoms

February 17, 2015

Most people are aware of the common heart attack symptoms: pressure, tightness, or pain in the chest. But some people can experience cardiac arrest without these symptoms. Individuals at higher risk – men over the age of 45 and women over 55 – must educated themselves about all the warning signs in order to identify or even prevent a heart attack as soon as possible.  Continue reading “Learn About Uncommon Heart Attack Symptoms” »

Reaching a Milestone in Cardiac Care: The Subcutaneous ICD

February 10, 2015

dr ibrahim s-icdFirst Coast Cardiovascular Institute has hit another milestone – last month, Dr. Morhaf Ibrahim was one of the first physicians in the area to implant the new, leadless subcutaneous implantable cardiac defibrillator (S-ICD™) device. This device, developed by Boston Scientific, is a safe, noninvasive way to monitor heart activity and protect patients from sudden cardiac arrest.




Continue reading “Reaching a Milestone in Cardiac Care: The Subcutaneous ICD” »

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

May 15, 2014

These days, we all move fast. Between work, soccer practice, laundry and cooking meals, it’s difficult to find time for yourself or even stop to recognize when your body is trying to deliver you a message. The warning signs before a heart attack are clear and it’s important to stop, take a breath, and recognize the dangers before it’s too late.

Although some heart attacks are sudden, there are subtle hints that can lead up to them as well.  Here’s what to look for before a heart attack.

  • Discomfort in the chest – Some patients feel a discomfort in the center of the chest that can last up to a few minutes at a time. That discomfort can go and come back multiple times a day. The discomfort can often feel like a pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest.
  • Pain in the upper areas of the body – Patients have often felt pain in other areas of the body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Fatigue – Exhaustion is especially common in women and may start months before a heart attack.
  • Shortness of breath – Patients may feel a shortness of breath that may be accompanied with chest pain.
  • Unusual Sweating – Sweating more than usual can be another sign of a heart attack, especially if you’re sweating when you’re sedentary or asleep.

Warning signs in Women

Women may experience different warning signs prior to a heart attack. Men and women can experience chest pain, but women may have a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead, they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, lightheadedness or fainting, dizziness, upper back pressure or severe fatigue.

The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. If you think there may be something wrong, contact your specialist at First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to schedule an appointment.

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