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Can’t Hit the Gym? Hit your Desk!

November 16, 2017

DESKERCISE BLOG 11.16.17By Steve Milano

Adding short exercises to your daily routine – even if only for 5 or 10 minutes – can help maintain and improve your health. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, there are mini exercises that you can do right at your desk to keep you in shape. Continue reading “Can’t Hit the Gym? Hit your Desk!” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

October 24, 2017

THOUGHTFUL TUESDAY 10.24.17“Inner peace is the new success.”

Meditation not only helps reduce stress, but also lowers your risk of heart disease. Dr. DeNeen believes in the importance of daily meditation: “My day is not the same without taking a few minutes for myself in the morning,” she says.

Passionate Team of Experts Save Patient During Hurricane Irma

October 19, 2017

PCMC CATH LAB STAFF BLOG 10.19.17Billy Fowler woke up from a late nap feeling pressure on his chest and pain in his arms. He told his wife he didn’t feel well. “She told me to take a few aspirins,” Billy recalls, “But this didn’t help.”

A little while later, Billy looked over at his wife and told her, “You need to take me to the hospital.” Continue reading “Passionate Team of Experts Save Patient During Hurricane Irma” »

Cholesterol Education

September 28, 2017

CHOLESTEROL EDUCATION 9.28.17By Lauren Dimitrov, RDN, MPH, LDN

Did you know that September is National Cholesterol Education Month? It’s important to maintain your cholesterol levels because high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Thankfully, with the help of your physician or registered dietitian, your diet and other lifestyle changes can help you reach and maintain your cholesterol goals.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in your body and in many foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Our body naturally produces plenty of cholesterol, but many foods also contain it.

There are two kinds of cholesterol that travel through your bloodstream: LDL and HDL. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because too much can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it works in unison with your liver to remove excess cholesterol from your body.

There are several lifestyle choices you can make to maintain healthy cholesterol levels:

Eat heart healthy foods

  • Incorporate healthy fats, leaner meats, low-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats – found in olive and canola oils – into your diet.
  • Eliminate trans-fats, which increase LDL and lower HDL, from your diet. Trans-fats are common in processed foods and labeled as “partially-hydrogenated oils.” Look for this term on the ingredient’s list of products.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, and flaxseed as these decrease triglycerides and reduce blood pressure.
  • Increase the amount of high fiber foods in your diet, such as oats, fruits, and vegetables, which helps lower LDL levels.

Exercise and be physically active most days of the week

  • Exercise improves cholesterol by raising your HDL levels. Exercising for just 10 minutes several times per day can help improve your cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke – quit! Within just 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease. Within one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. If your doctor recommends medication to lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed, but continue with your lifestyle changes. Everything you do to improve your health matters!

Stress & Heart Health: The Connection

August 17, 2017

HEART BLOG 8.17.17Stress is an inevitable aspect of life. Whether it’s the stress of meeting deadlines at work or school, managing your finances, or juggling multiple obligations between family and friends, stress is something that is part of our daily lives.  Not only can stress leave you feeling mentally exhausted, it can also produce very real physiologic symptoms that may affect your heart. Continue reading “Stress & Heart Health: The Connection” »

How to Have a Healthy Summer

July 21, 2017

blogWith summer in full swing it’s more important than ever to maintain your health during these hot summer days! Whether you are taking a vacation, staying at home, or enjoying a day at the beach, these tips will help you stay happy and healthy this summer:

  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is essential in helping your heart pump blood efficiently throughout your body. While a tall glass of water is the most direct way to keep your body hydrated, there are other sources of water that can be found in variety of foods such as watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, and cucumbers.
  • Wear sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen can help prevent your risk of developing skin cancer during your lifetime. The AAD recommends using a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin.
  • Wear sunglasses. Although you may not realize it, the sun’s damaging rays can affect your eyes just like they affect your skin increasing your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration (or vision loss), and even eyelid cancer.
  • Beat heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when your body’s temperature reaches 104°F or more, which can cause brain, heart, and kidney damage if not treated promptly. Symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, vomiting, headache, and tachycardia. Beat the heat this summer by avoiding intense outdoor activities between noon and 3:00pm when the sun is at its hottest.
  • Make a healthy summer treat. Rather than reaching for an ice cream cone, which can be full of empty calories, try making your own fresh fruit pops for a sweet treat that’s also good for you. Simply mash up some of your favorite fruit in a cup (such as strawberries, mangoes, or watermelon) and freeze overnight with a popsicle stick in the middle. The next day you’ll have a healthy sweet treat to enjoy!

Americans Forgoing Healthcare Due to Costs

July 13, 2017

iStock Healthcare Costs - font 2 blogEveryone wants to stay happy and healthy. However, rising healthcare costs may deter patients from seeking the care they need. According to a survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 25% of Americans have neglected their medical care, or know someone who has, due to the costs. Furthermore, the same study found that 56% of Americans worry that they may not be able to afford quality healthcare.  Continue reading “Americans Forgoing Healthcare Due to Costs” »

Gluten-Free Diets and Heart Health

June 29, 2017

LAUREN GLUTEN FREEBy Lauren Dimitrov, RDN, MPH, LDN

“Gluten-free” is a term that we see more often than ever with food companies and diet trends stating that gluten is harmful.  But what exactly is gluten? Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as glue that holds food together. It can be found in a variety of foods, some that you may not even realize.  Continue reading “Gluten-Free Diets and Heart Health” »

Pulmonology & Cardiology: The Connection

March 2, 2017

TMP_5226

A patient undergoes cardiopulmonary stress testing to assess how well his lungs and heart work together and individually.

As a board certified Pulmonologist, Dr. Irram Hamdani specializes in disease of the lungs and airway. Patients who may need to see a pulmonologist include those who had childhood asthma, smoked in the past, or are experiencing shortness of breath, chronic coughs or occupational exposure. Dr. Hamdani’s expertise is an ideal complement to our cardiovascular services.

We offer a range of diagnostic pulmonary services that can detect the occurrence of a pulmonary issue. In the event the diagnostic test shows a cardiology problem instead of a pulmonary issue, a team of board certified cardiologists is just down the hall. Housing cardiology and pulmonology under the same roof ensures patients receive expedited and comprehensive care when they need it the most. Continue reading “Pulmonology & Cardiology: The Connection” »

Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation

February 9, 2017

TMP_6927Nearly half of unhealed diabetic foot ulcers result in death within five years. In fact, 85% of lower-limb amputations in patients with diabetes are preceded with a foot ulcer, according to Diabetes Care. New Cardiovascular Horizons estimates the associated cost with amputations is $10-20 billion, every single year. These figures are staggering.

The consequences of amputations are devastating, yet many amputations can be prevented through early screenings and care. The Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) Foundation aims to reduce the incidence of lower-extremity amputations through education and patient advocacy. The SALSAL Foundation works closely with First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to inspire hope in those patients told nothing could be done for them.

Of the people who have benefited from the work of the SALSAL Foundation is Carla Urff. Carla has been a diabetic since the age of 11. She found out she had peripheral artery disease (PAD) at the age of 37. “In less than 2 years of diagnosis, they told me I needed to prepare for amputation because I had developed gangrene in the foot,” Carla said. She had several surgical procedures, which bought her some years, but were not a permanent solution.

After developing gangrene a second time and having three toes turn black, Carla decided to search the internet for a solution. She found the SALSAL Foundation and contacted Dr. Desmond Bell, the Founder & President of the SALSAL Foundation, as well as a top Wound Care Specialist. “He sent me to an Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Yazan Khatib, who confirmed he could help me,” Carla says.

“Dr. Khatib started cleaning out my arteries and stenting, putting stents in my legs and my heart,” Carla says. Dr. Khatib worked on her for five and a half hours straight to get the first stent in.

“He was not going to stop. He told me I can fix this,” Carla says, “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I was, knowing that I was so close to amputation, that there was actually help out there.” Carla now lives a healthy life without the fear of amputation.

It is stories like Carla that inspires Dr. Bell to spread the mission of the SALSAL Foundation. “We are trying to educate people so they can be proactive and avoid getting to a state where amputation is their only choice,” Dr. Bell says.

To learn more about the Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation or to donate to the cause, visit www.thesalsal.org. Donations will go towards raising awareness and assisting those in need to purchase diabetic shoes, socks, and supplies for PAD screenings.
Continue reading “Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation” »

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