Every year, National High Blood Pressure Education Month takes place throughout May with the goal of helping Americans prevent and control high blood pressure. This campaign has been occurring since May 1974 thanks to the support of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). More than four decades later, community groups, civic organizations, hospital outreach programs, public health departments, and workplaces still come together each May to renew educational efforts geared toward minimizing the impacts of high blood pressure. Read More
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, has become one of the most popular dietary supplements in the United States, yet many medical professionals still overlook its importance in the maintenance of cardiovascular wellness.
What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like compound found throughout our bodies that plays a critical role in how we produce energy. Small amounts of CoQ10 are naturally found in some foods; however, most CoQ10 is synthesized by tissues in our body. As we age, our bodies produce less CoQ10, resulting in less efficient energy production. Studies have shown vast benefits with CoQ10 supplementation in patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Read More
Dr. Christopher Davis has been named one of Scene Magazine’s Doctors of Distinction for January 2017. Thank you all so much for your support of Dr. Davis and Manatee Cardiovascular Wellness Institute!
John Murano thought he was having back problems, and that his legs were hurting as a result. As it turns out, that pain may have saved his life.
An otherwise healthy 55-year-old, he figured he just needed to learn some back-strengthening exercises, so he found a personal trainer to help him. But despite the workouts, his leg pain got worse making it hard for him even to walk from the car to the grocery store entrance. He and the trainer suspected something else was wrong and he sought the advice of his doctor.
Soon his doctor’s tests revealed the true cause: blockages in the blood vessels of his legs. In fact, the arteries going to his lower extremities were nearly 100 percent blocked. The cause? Years of heavy smoking and high-fat meals, and other factors had caused cholesterol, scar tissue and blood clots to build up inside his blood vessels.
Most people think this kind of clogged artery disease, or arteriosclerosis, only happens in the heart. But as Murano’s case shows, it can happen throughout the body. When it does, it’s called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.
And in some people, PAD causes leg pain that acts as an ‘early warning’ that someone is at high risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
In fact, nearly a quarter of people who have leg pain due to PAD will be dead in five years, mostly due to heart attacks and other heart problems, Dr. Davis says. For people like Murano, whose leg pain kept them from walking even short distances, the odds are even worse: as many as half will die by five years.
Fortunately, Murano got diagnosed and treated before that happened to him. Dr. Davis performed a vascular bypass operation to open his blocked leg arteries, similar to the bypasses that heart patients have. A recent checkup showed he’s doing well.
“For sure, it’s a wake-up call,” says Murano, who has quit smoking and changed his eating habits. “You know that old saying, ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’? I’m sure that I not only have the vascular issues in my lower extremities, but I’m sure I have them in other parts of my body.”
Murano isn’t alone, says Dr. Davis, who has operated on many patients with severe PAD. Nearly 30 million people in the United States have some form of PAD, though the vast majority are “silent” cases that don’t cause symptoms. Among people over age 70, nearly one person in five has PAD.
Who’s most at risk for PAD? People over 50, smokers, people with diabetes, people with high blood pressure, people with high cholesterol, and people who are overweight or obese, Dr. Davis explains. In other words, it’s the same group of individuals who have a high risk of heart attack and stroke.
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition where the flow of blood through the veins is inadequate. Problems with the valves of the veins can cause the blood to flow backwards causing blood to pool in the legs. The greatest and most common symptom patients usually complain of is leg pain, which can be intensified by standing for a long period of time. Swelling in the legs and/or ankles is also a common symptom. As fluid accumulates the patient often experiences leg tightness, cramping and tingling sensations. Skin changes are often seen, varicose veins and in extreme occasions leg ulcers. Read More
Manatee Cardiovascular Wellness Institute, located in Bradenton, Florida, was recently granted accreditation of Echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. This is a major achievement, given the vital nature of echocardiography in cardiovascular medicine.
Everything You Should Know About Echocardiography
Echocardiography is the use of ultrasound waves to investigate the action of the heart, and it is utilized to evaluate the health of the heart. It might also be called an echo test or heart ultrasound, but regardless of the name, it will take “moving pictures” of the heart to help determine what caused problems like heart murmur, heart attack, rheumatic fever, or unexplained chest pain.
Only a trained sonographer can complete an echocardiogram. The procedure is painless, but it can gather critical information regarding your health. For example, the test will show the size and shape of your heart, how well it is working, what portions are weak or malfunctioning, and where any blood clots are located. There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome. After the echocardiogram is performed, your cardiovascular specialist uses the results of the echocardiogram to ensure the best plan is prepared for your care. Read More
Coenzyme Q10 was introduced to the United States market about twenty years ago. However, during the most recent years Ubiquinol has become one of the most popular dietary supplements. Before being introduced to the American market, Ubiquinol was used in Japan as a prescription drug to treat cardiovascular disease. Coenzyme Q10, is an endogenous synthesized and diet supplied lipid-soluble cofactor that functions to improve the production of energy and the antioxidant defense in every cell of the body. Ubiquinol is important for those taking statins to reduce cholesterol levels, it’s also been found to lower the risk of a variety of chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure. Read More
Type II Diabetes Mellitus, used to be known as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar. Diabetes Type II makes your body resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the levels of sugar in your body, by transporting it to your cells. Unfortunately, Diabetes Type II is no longer a common disease that affects only adults, in facts its name has changed because it increasingly affects children as childhood obesity has doubled. According to the center of disease control and prevention, “The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.” Read More
Getting too much added sugar in your diet could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. For many years high cholesterol was believed to be the number one cause of heart disease. Recent studies have shown that in fact added sugar in your diet significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to studies performed by JAMA, “those who got 17 to 21 percent of their calories from sugar had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who consumed eight percent of their calories from added sugar.” Read More
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. This disorder is most common in middle and older age groups and affects 10-15% of the US population. Some of the Symptoms of RLS include:
- Itchy, burning and tingling sensations on the legs “pins and needles”
- Pain and cramping of legs increased at night that is relieved by movement or walking.
- Difficulty falling asleep and/or repeated awakenings due to muscle cramps or leg discomfort.
Causes Read More