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Health Tips


The Number One Killer of Women – Part 1

Heart disease is ranked as the leading cause of death in women. Many women, however, will often not recognize the warning signs of Coronary heart disease (CHD) until their health and lives are in extreme danger.

Here are some FAQs to help you stay informed and in better control.

Why is CHD in women under-detected and under-diagnosed?

Research indicates that a majority of women do not recognize the signs of a heart attack, therefore, there is a delay in seeking treatment. Women are more likely than men to have silent symptoms of heart disease, which make it challenging to know when there’s an issue.

Which CHD risk factors are more significant in women than in men?

Generally, women have the same risk factors for heart disease as men do. However, some risk factors are inherent to women including obesity, hypertension, oral contraceptive pills, estrogen deficiencies, polycystic ovary syndrome, postmenopausal state, and breast cancer treatment.

Why is CHD sometimes a more serious condition in women than in men?

The reasons for this will vary but most are linked to lack of recognition of symptoms or signs of heart disease and subsequent delay in getting the much-needed treatment.

How is CHD treatment and prevention different between women and men?

Consistent studies reveal the disparities in receiving care in men and women when they seek medical help for cardiac problems. When it comes to preventative care, women are more likely to be assigned to a lower risk category and are less likely to be advised about their risk factors than men.

Women are also less likely to be diagnosed correctly or treated with life-saving treatments like heparin, ACE inhibitors and emergent cardiac catheterization as compared to men.

Prevention, early and accurate diagnosis and treatment are quite essential in reducing coronary heart disease. Work with the physicians at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A. to manage your risk factors and fight the disease.

At Carolina Heart And Leg Center, P.A., we are known for our dedication to providing the highest quality cardiovascular care. We’re also committed to helping you take better care of yourself through preventive care and education about healthy lifestyle choices.

Contact us today at (910) 491-1760 to schedule a consultation with one of the most trusted healthcare teams in the area.


High Heels and Varicose Veins

Most women love how high heels make their legs look. They feel taller and more beautiful when wearing them, but the truth is that those gorgeous stilettos can lead to serious health issues. Behind the stylish appeal lies a risk to your vein health especially if you wear them regularly or are already dealing with varicose veins.

When we walk in high heels, the contraction of calf muscles is inhibited meaning that less blood is going upward leading to the pooling of venous blood in the leg. Therefore, it is crucial for women to stay aware of the need to choose their heels correctly, wear them right, and engage in proper varicose vein prevention.

The regular wear of high heels tends to induce venous hypertension by preventing the muscles in the foot and calf from relaxing and contracting naturally and may be a contributing factor in venous disease symptoms.

For many, varicose veins and spider veins is mainly a cosmetic concern of unsightly spider veins, twisted varicose veins, discoloration, and blood clots. Other people experience pain, swelling, fatigue, leg cramps, heaviness, and achiness over or around the enlarged veins and in severe cases bleeding and ulcers can occur.

More than 25 million Americans suffer from this condition, and many of these cases go underdiagnosed or undertreated. Here at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A., we can help diagnose and treat your varicose veins and give you back your confidence to show off your legs and provide a treatment plan to keep you healthy. Don’t trade your health for fashion’s sake.

If left untreated, varicose or spider veins may worsen over time and become a more serious condition. Contact Carolina Heart And Leg Center, P.A. today at (910) 491-1760 and schedule a consultation to see how we can restore the health and beauty of your legs.


Heart Attack Signs in Women

Most people associate heart attack symptoms with a heavy chest pain that radiates down one arm. Although this could be the most common heart attack symptom, the first signs will often not resemble what many individuals associate with heart attacks at all, particularly among women.

Some women experience silent symptoms that they could mistake for something else. The ability to recognize the warning signs and act quickly can be life-saving.

Here are some silent heart attack symptoms that women should most definitely look out for.

  • Chest discomfort – It most likely manifests as a sense of pressure or tightness in the center of your chest.
  • Shortness of breath – Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Cold sweats – Unusual sweating that seems more like stress-related perspiration other than usual sweating from exercising or staying in a heated environment for some time.
  • Lightheadedness – Feeling like you’re going to faint or actual fainting especially if you’re working out are warning signs of a heart attack.
  • Nausea – Nausea, and vomiting are common symptoms in women.
  • Upper Body/back/jaw pain – The pain can be gradual or sudden and radiates to the back, shoulders, arms, neck or jaw.
  • Fatigue – Other women who experience heart attacks feel extremely fatigued after doing simple tasks like making the bed or walking around the house.

By scheduling regular checkups and learning to identify the symptoms of a heart attack, you can significantly reduce the risk of severe heart damage. Speak to one of the cardiologists at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A. about your risk factors and what steps you can take to lower the risk of heart disease.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing early warning signs of a possible heart condition, Carolina Heart And Leg Center, P.A. is here to help. We are dedicated to serving our patients in a caring and supportive atmosphere with expert knowledge, patient education, and the highest standard of care. Contact us today at (910) 491- 1760 and put your health in good hands


Make Heart Health A Part of Your New Year’s Resolution

Many people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions each year because they focus too much on short-term or superficial goals. Picking a broader goal of improving your heart health will make it easier for you to stay focused and make progress toward a happier more productive you.

Living a heart-healthy lifestyle will naturally bring a fitter trimmer you with a sharper mind and more energy. As a bonus, it will deliver more years to enjoy the new you.

You want to look better, feel better and live a richer fuller life, make heart health a part of your New Year resolutions. Here are a few suggestions on where you can start.

Stop Smoking

No surprise this is the top of the list. According to the CDC, 36.5 million American adults still smoke tobacco. If you are one of them, ask your doctor about medical assistance in quitting. You are much more likely to succeed with their help.

Reduce Your Stress Level

There are direct links between developing heart disease and stress. Identify your stressors and deal with them head-on when possible. Release your emotions and don’t hold things in. Use stress-reducing activities like meditation, focused imagery, deep breathing techniques and daily exercise to reduce stress levels.

Get More Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your heart health. Just 30 minutes a day, five days a week can add years to your life. Find an aerobic form of exercise like cycling, swimming or running and go till you break a sweat and your heart rate increases but not until you are out of breath.

Eat Right for Better Heart Health

Lower your fat intake, watch your cholesterol intake, switch from red meat to fish and chicken, switch to whole grains instead of processed grains and don’t forget your fruits and vegetables. You’ll live longer and feel better.

Vascular conditions like a stroke can be the result of genetics, an unhealthy lifestyle, or another underlying condition.  The best treatment of stroke is to prevent them and treat the risks that increase your chances of having a stroke, like hypertension, hyperlipidemia or atrial fibrillation. 

If you or someone you know may be experiencing early warning signs of a possible heart or vascular condition, Carolina Heart & Leg Center is here to help. We are dedicated to serving our patients in a caring and supportive atmosphere with expert knowledge, patient education, and the highest standard of care. Contact us today at (910) 491- 1760 and put your health in good hands.


Sclerotherapy

 

#‎Sclerotherapy‬ is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Call 910-491-1760 for a complimentary consultation. ‪#‎spiderveins‬ ‪#‎spiderveinsremoval‬ ‪#‎imagespamd‬ ‪#‎imagepspamdmakeover‬ ‪#‎healthandbeauty‬ ‪#‎medspa‬ ‪#‎ranchocucamonga‬ ‪#‎encinitas‬ ‪#‎beverlyblvd‬ ‪#‎ca‬ ‪#‎beforeandafter‬

#‎Sclerotherapy‬ is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Call 910-491-1760 for a complimentary consultation.
#‎spiderveins‬ ‪#‎spiderveinsremoval‬ ‪#‎imagespamd‬ #‎imagepspamdmakeover‬#‎healthandbeauty‬ ‪#‎medspa‬#‎ranchocucamonga‬ ‪#‎encinitas‬#‎beverlyblvd‬ ‪#‎ca‬#‎beforeandafter‬

 


Heart Health

Take a moment this #HeartMonth to learn more heart health facts: http://www.epa.gov/air-research/healthy-heart-toolkit

Take a moment this #HeartMonth to learn more heart health facts: http://www.epa.gov/air-research/healthy-heart-toolkit


Leg Pain, Swelling, Discoloration and Abnormal Veins

LEG SWELLING, DISCOLARATION AND ABNORMAL VEINS

 Symptoms:

 Leg cramping, aching, swelling, visible veins, skin irritation, sores and ulcers can be due to varicose veins.

 What are varicose veins?

In normal circumstances, blood travels from the heart to the legs through ‘arteries’ and return back to the heart through ‘veins’.

 Veins have valves that allow ‘one-way’ return of blood from the legs to the heart without backing off. If the valves leak, blood pools in leg and the veins in the legs to bulge and enlarge.

 How can I prevent varicose veins?

According to “Office on Women’s Health” -Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have:

  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
  • Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
  • Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
  • Don’t cross your legs for long times when sitting. It’s possible to injure your legs that way, and even a minor injury can increase the risk of varicose veins.
  • Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
  • Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
  • Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.
  • Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins.

Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.

 What is the best and less invasive way of treatment?

Varicose vein treatment is a less invasive treatment that uses “Laser” energy to close the abnormally enlarged veins in the legs usually called as “varicose veins”.

 Laser treatment is done using ultrasound guidance to generate heat by laser energy to close these defective veins. Now the blood flow can be diverted to the healthy veins, which can carry the blood back to the heart.

 Laser treatment successfully closes the abnormal veins in more than 90% of the situations. Additional treatments are often required after the Laser treatment for small abnormal dilated veins. This is usually done by injection of scleroscent liquid.

 Please see http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.html for more information

 LEG PAIN AND BLOCKED ARTERIES

 Peripheral arterial disease

Blockage in the leg arteries can cause pain, ulcers, and difficulty in walking. Usually poor circulation in the legs called ‘peripheral artery disease’ (PAD) causes leg pain when walking. Sometimes loss of blood supply due to blocked arteries can cause loss of leg and gangrene.

 Peripheral artery disease signifies that there is a widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries called atherosclerosis. This condition not only reduces blood supply to the legs this can be a indirect event that there is also reduced blood flow to your heart and brain.

 How to control peripheral arterial disease?

You can prevent developing peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

 According to National institute of Health

“Balance exercise with rest. Walk or do another activity to the point of pain and alternate it with rest periods. Over time, your circulation may improve as new, small (collateral) blood vessels form. Always talk to the doctor before starting an exercise program.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking narrows the arteries, decreases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, and increases the risk of forming clots (thrombi and emboli).
  • Take care of your feet, especially if you also have diabetes. Wear shoes that fit properly. Pay attention to any cuts, scrapes, or injuries, and see your doctor right away. Tissues heal slowly and are more likely to get infected when there is decreased circulation.
  • Make sure your blood pressure is well-controlled.
  • If you are overweight, reduce your weight.
  • If your cholesterol is high, eat a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level if you have diabetes, and keep it under control.”

 For further reading http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000170.htm

 Treatment Surgical vs. non surgical:

After the above conservative therapy, either surgical or minimally invasive procedures can be performed to increase the blood supply to the legs to decrease the pain and to save the legs. Surgery usually has a long period of recovery compared to few hours of recovery in catheter based minimally invasive methods.

 Minimally invasive treatment:

Using a catheter based minimally invasive method, the artery can be entered with a tiny nick in the skin usually at the groin using local anesthesia. Then a thin catheter that looks like a piece of noodle is passed into the femoral artery. Next a contrast dye is injected to provide direct visualization of the artery. Blockage is usually fixed with a atherectomy (more or less like a small roto-rooter) to take away the blockage then balloon is used to expand the vessel and rarely a stent need to be used to keep the artery open.


Heart Attack – What should you know?

Heart attacks – Facts, statistics and how to keep them at bay!

Amongst the most common health issues that affect people all over the world, heart attacks or cardiovascular diseases are perhaps the most typically prevailing ones, deeming it all the more necessary for people to learn how to stop heart attack. These are basically a form of ischemic heart disease, which are known to be amongst the leading causes of death worldwide. When a person suffers from a heart attack, it is basically the blood supply to part of his or her heart that gets interrupted. As a result, there is a severe shortage of oxygen, which causes major damage to the heart tissue, and has the tendency to kill it as well.

 Risk factors for heart attacks
There are many risk factors associated with the prevalence of heart attacks. A few of them are:

  Having previously suffered from a heart attack or stroke

  •   Having a history of vascular disease or angina
  •  Aging, as you get older the risk increases
  •  Smoking
  •  Ingesting excessive amounts of alcohol, moderate alcohol is protective
  • Drug abuse such as cocaine
  • Obesity
  •  Extremely low good cholesterol or high bad cholesterol
  • Intensive levels of stress
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

 Heart attack statistics

Cardiovascular diseases truly are one of America’s leading health issues – and a leading cause of death as well. Research shows that nearly one out of every three deaths is caused by a heart attack. Considering the larger picture, it is believed that 250,000 Americans die on a yearly basis because of Sudden Cardiac Death. This means. That 680 people die of this condition on A DAILY BASIS, and one half of these deaths are of individuals who are under 65-years of age!

At the moment, amongst all of the Americans who are alive right now, around 7.9 million are those who have suffered from a heart attack, and nearly 80 million of all Americans suffer from one or more types of cardiovascular diseases


Red Wine – Good or Bad for Your Heart?

Red Wine – Good or Bad guy?       
Wine is perhaps the most sophisticated form of alcohol, viewed as an expensive drink to be had sparingly at fancy parties, savored glass by glass.  Red and white wine are extremely different, but there isn’t a set argument as to whether one is better than the other. However, there are rumors that alcohol in small quantities – specifically red wine – may actually benefit your health. You’ve heard about how excessive drinking is bad for your health; it causes liver damage, inhibits your senses, and can lead to poor decisions and life-altering accidents.  Binge drinking every night is not encouraged, but rather warned against.  

Increase in good Cholesterol

As a result of the grapes used in creating it, red wine contains antioxidants, which counteract the effect of oxidation.  Such antioxidants may be able to either increase the consumer’s level of ‘good’ cholesterol, or lower the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol.  These antioxidants may also help protect against damage to the arteries of the heart, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. 

 Resveratrol, the magic content
A particular antioxidant called resveratrol is responsible for this, as it helps protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart. Resveratrol is found in red grape skin, which is perhaps why it is said red wine specifically – not white – has more health benefits.  It is supposed that resveratrol could work by helping to activate a protein that helps prevent heart inflammation, keeping the heart healthier.  Some have also begun to speculate that resveratrol might even prevent fat cells from maturing fully, which could prevent obesity.  Resveratrol is often sold as a supplement in capsule form.

Advertisements for such supplements claim that resveratrol helps with weight loss, and may even contain anti-aging properties.  These statements are currently being disputed, as scientists are not entirely sure what properties resveratrol possesses.  A few of the supposed benefits include prevention of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack, limitation of the spreading of cancer cells, protection of nerve cells from plaque buildup that could lead to Alzheimer’s, and prevention of diabetes through prevention of insulin resistance. 

French Paradox      
Some support in the theory that red wine prevents heart disease can be found in what has been called the ‘French paradox.’  The French diet consists of many foods high in saturated fat; however, less of the French people die as a result of heart disease than do people in countries with a lower intake of saturated fat.  Although it has never been proven that French consumption of red wine is the cause, many people suspect that wine is the solution.

A study in Copenhagen, in which over thirteen thousand men and women were observed over the course of twelve years, suggested that those who drink red wine halve their risk of dying from stroke or heart disease.  While some studies have shown similar results, others have not; red wine’s benefits have not been proven to be completely true.

No concrete evidence
Although there have been studies that seem to prove that red wine really is beneficial to your health, there still isn’t much concrete evidence.  What could seem to be the work of red wine could, in fact, be induced by other foods in people’s diets, or other aspects of their daily lives.  Someone who exercises regularly and eats healthily, for example, is less at risk for stroke or heart disease than someone who dose not exercise and consumes large quantities of unhealthy food.

Limit your drink
Even if red wine proves to be beneficial to the health of your heart, too much of it can be harmful.  Overindulgence in alcohol not only affects the liver, it affects the brain, heart, immune system, and pancreas as well.  Even though you may drink red wine to try and make your heart healthier, you could seriously damage it.  Excessive drinking – whether it be in a short period or over time – can cause the heart muscle to stretch or droop, and can make your heartbeat irregular.  Too much alcohol also increases your blood pressure and your risk of stroke. American heart association recommends no more than 2 drinks for male and 1 drink for females and elderly. Pregnant patients should not take alcohol.

It’s a fine line between drinking for health and overdoing it, and wine is not a superdrink.  Red wine will not cure your heart problems, nor will it extremely decrease your risk of heart disease or stroke.  Red wine is only a stepping-stone at most, a little nudge in the right direction for your body.  It is not something to be relied on, and overindulgence can really hurt your body.  So although you may be curious to experiment, to see if the theories about antioxidants and red wine’s power are really true, beware.  Don’t overdo it, and always play it safe.

 Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/resveratrol-supplements

http://www.nutrition.org/asn-blog/2013/01/the-french-paradox-was-it-really-the-wine/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100621/how-red-wine-helps-the-heart

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/2/e10.full

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001963.htm


Don’t be moody, your Heart does not like it

Depression after a heart attack

Have you or a loved one ever suffered from a heart attack or heart disease?  Have you ever suffered from depression?  Well, it just may be that depression and such heart problems are related.  For instance, it’s three times as likely that you’ll get depression after a heart attack than you would normally.  Fifteen to twenty percent of those who have suffered a heart attack are later diagnosed with depression; larger numbers also exhibit some symptoms of depression that does not meet the cut off for a diagnosis as such.

 How do you feel?

Depression affects your mood and perceptions, which can increase your lack of confidence and inhibit the recovery process after a heart attack.  Do you have continuous feelings of emptiness, sadness, or anxiousness?  How about trouble staying asleep, insomnia, or sleeping too much?  Are you overeating or losing your appetite?  Being unable to concentrate, remember things accurately, or having a hard time making decisions?  These are all signs and symptoms of depression.  Depression can be extreme or a little lighter, but its symptoms can encourage negative thinking, uncertainty, and worry, leading to thoughts of death or attempted suicide.

 Heart and mind are connected

It’s not only common for those who have suffered a heart attack or have heart disease to be diagnosed with depression, but it’s common for those who have depression to be diagnosed with heart disease or suffer a heart attack.  Depression reduces mental and physical health, which can increase the risk of heart-related problems or make such problems worse.  Lack of proper nutrition and exercise especially increases the risk of heart disease or heart attack.

 Good mental and physical health is necessary for a healthy heart.  This makes depression especially dangerous, as it lowers your self-confidence and inspires unhealthy habits such as lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and over or under-eating.  

 Yoga and Meditation

Yoga can also help with depression.  In doing yoga, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel happier and increases your sense of well-being.  Yoga works by using exercises that put pressure on certain organs or glands, triggering the release of a chemical balance that induces feelings of well-being and relieves stress.  The movements required in yoga – stretching, bending, and reaching – also work to expel toxins from the body.  Meditation is sometimes used as a supplement to yoga or other depression treatments, as it reduces stress and calms the mind and body.

Friends and Family Support

Other strategies to combat depression include social support.  Depression can cause you to withdraw from your family and friends, making you feel isolated and alone.  Talking with your family, friends, or a therapist about your feelings and your problems can help alleviate some of your stress and make you feel better.  Support from people who know and care about you may be that extra boost you need to fight depression.

 Exercise is your ally

As depression can increase your lack of motivation and unhealthy eating habits, exercise is also encouraged.  Exercise is good for your heart, making you healthier and reducing your risk of heart attack or heart disease.  Exercise can also be calming, reducing stress and making you feel better overall.  Other healthy habits, such as healthy eating, reduction in alcohol consumption and smoking, are also good for your heart in addition to helping you fight depression.

  Cognitive behavior therapy

There are several ways to treat depression.  One of the commonest is cognitive behavioral therapy.  Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy that focuses on helping the patient change negative thoughts and behaviors that could be contributing to their depression.  By changing the way you think and act in a more positive direction, cognitive behavioral therapy can help alleviate depression.

 Medications to control the mood

Another common treatment is medication such as Prozac or Cymbalta.  Such medication acts as reuptake inhibitors, preventing neurotransmitters from being absorbed back into the brain.  High levels of certain neurotransmitters are thought to improve nerve cells’ communication with each other, strengthening the brain circuits that control your mood and correct the chemical imbalance that might cause depression in the first place.  Most reuptake inhibitors inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrin, two neurotransmitters that have a strong effect on your mood.

 Don’t be afraid

If you have depression, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Most people describe depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain.  This does not mean that you’re crazy, or that you’re destined to feel empty and lonely and worthless forever.  What it does mean is that your depression is not your fault. It is a health issue like the ones affecting any other part of your body that deserves attention and help sooner rather than later. Seeking help, whether through therapy or medication, will only benefit you.  Although seeking help for your depression is the first step, in doing so you are starting on a long road to recovery.  Don’t expect to be cured instantly; it will take time and dedication.  However, know that by starting treatment for your depression, you are on your way to a healthier heart, happier life, and happier you.

 Sources:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-and-heart-disease/index.shtml

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/25/e639.full

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/womens_cardiovascular_health_center/patient_information/health_topics/depression_heart_disease.html

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/treatment_strategies_depression.htm

http://www.webmd.com/depression/symptoms-depressed-anxiety-12/treating-depression


Carolina Heart & Leg Center, PA
3637 Cape Center Drive
Fayetteville, NC  28304
910.491.1760

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