What Do Heart Palpitations Mean?

Blog

Any changes to your usual heartbeat can be alarming. Even occasional heart palpitations can make you worry that something serious is wrong with your health.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, our experienced team of cardiologists offer on-site testing services to uncover the root cause of heart palpitations.

We also work closely with you to identify treatments you may need to restore your heart’s rhythm and lower your risk for more serious cardiovascular complications.

Why you may have heart palpitations

Heart palpitations describe a fluttering or pounding feeling in your chest. You may also feel as if your heart is skipping beats or that it’s beating too fast.

Many people experience heart palpitations during physical activities and strenuous exercise. You may also develop heart palpitations because of:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Strong emotions
  • Certain medications
  • Hormone changes

In most cases, heart palpitations aren’t a sign of a serious heart condition. However, to protect your long-term cardiovascular health, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut if you experience frequent palpitations, even while at rest.

We also recommend an evaluation if you have symptoms that accompany the palpitations such as fainting, chest pain, severe dizziness, or shortness of breath. These issues can be signs that you have an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that may require treatment.

Diagnosing the cause of heart palpitations

To learn more about what’s triggering your heart palpitations, we perform a physical exam and may order blood tests to check your hormone levels.

You may also need diagnostic tests like an electrocardiogram (EKG), which records information about the electrical activity of your heart. If the EKG doesn’t provide enough information about your heart health, you may need to wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours or more to record more details about your heart.

We also offer exercise stress testing and chest X-rays on-site to determine the cause of your heart palpitations. Based on the results of your testing, our cardiology team creates a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and protect your heart’s long-term health.

Treatment options for heart palpitations

For occasional heart palpitations, you may not need any treatment. Our team can suggest lifestyle changes that help reduce stress. We can also refer you for professional counseling if you need help managing depression.

If testing identifies an underlying arrhythmia or heart disease, you may need to make changes to your diet to improve your heart health and lose excess weight. Our team offers comprehensive nutrition services to ensure you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and making the right food choices to protect your heart health.

More serious heart conditions may require medications or surgery. Our cardiology team specializes in different types of heart surgeries, including coronary bypass procedures, stent placement, and pacemaker placement. 

We help you make the most informed decision about your treatment options for heart palpitations that result from underlying cardiovascular conditions. Whether or not you need surgery, we provide support and guidance every step of the way. 

To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for frequent heart palpitations, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut office nearest to you or book an appointment online today. 

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3 Ways Your Diet Affects Your Heart Health

Blog

All too often, we neglect the importance of good nutrition until we’re faced with a diagnosis of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, our team of heart specialists understand that what you eat – or don’t eat – impacts your cardiovascular health. That’s why we offer customized nutrition programs and weight-loss services to get you back on track with a heart-healthy diet.

Our physicians also provide resources that help you make better food choices now, so you can prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases later.

3 key ways your diet plays a role in heart disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of premature death in the United States. While some underlying contributors to heart disease are out of your control, one of the biggest known factors is your diet.

Here are three ways a poor diet can significantly increase your risk for chronic heart disease and other serious health complications:

1. Too much fat

Your body requires a certain amount of fat to function optimally. However, too much fat can have a profound effect on your physical health.

Trans fats found in many processed foods like doughnuts and packaged cakes can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. Eating too much saturated fat in things like beef, pork, butter, and cheese can lead to elevated cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol can eventually build up on your blood vessel walls and affect how well blood can flow to and from your heart.

Mono and polyunsaturated fats are the healthier fats you should incorporate into your diet in place of saturated and trans fats. These fats are found in salmon, avocados, olive oil, and sunflower seeds and can help reduce high cholesterol.

2. Too much sugar

Your body uses the sugar it gets from your diet and converts it into the energy your cells need to function. Consuming too much sugar can throw a monkey wrench in this process and increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity-related complications.

The natural sugars found in fruits are much healthier than processed sugars in soda and cookies. However, to protect your heart health, it’s important that you follow a well-balanced diet that also incorporates leafy greens and other non-processed, no-sugar ingredients.

If you already have diabetes, you really need to stay on top of your diet to lower your risk for heart disease, nerve damage, and other diabetes complications. To keep your diabetes well controlled, be sure to take your medications as directed by your doctor and regularly check your blood sugar levels.

3. Too much sodium (salt)

Your body needs some amount of salt to maintain a proper balance of fluids, transmit nerve signals, and relax muscles in your heart and throughout your body.

Too much salt can lead to excess fluid buildup that puts pressure on your heart, increases your blood pressure, and increases your risk for chronic heart disease.

Following a low-sodium diet means eliminating prepackaged foods, processed meats, and salty snacks. Learn how to read labels when grocery shopping to ensure what you buy isn’t loaded with sodium, and opt for fresh vegetables and fruits as much as possible.

If you need to make changes to your diet but aren’t sure where to start, schedule a consultation at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, today. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online. 

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The Link Between Obesity and Heart Problems

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Obesity is a chronic problem in the United States, affecting the long-term health of 36.5% of the adult population. This condition can increase your risk for a wide range of chronic illnesses, especially cardiovascular disease.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our team of cardiovascular specialists offer solutions to fight obesity and protect your heart health. Losing even 5% of your body weight can significantly lower your risk for heart disease and other health complications.

How obesity contributes to heart disease

There is a strong link between obesity and factors that contribute to heart disease. When you’re overweight or obese, you may be more likely to develop coronary artery disease, a condition that describes blockages in the vessels that carry blood to your heart. This condition can lead to stroke and is often the result of:

Excess weight can also put unnecessary pressure on your blood vessels and heart, interfering with proper blood circulation and causing enlargement in the heart’s ventricles. Ventricle enlargement (ventricular hypertrophy) can increase your risk for heart failure.

Evaluating your risk factors for obesity-related heart disease

There are two ways to determine if your weight contributes to your risk for heart disease – measure your body mass index (BMI) and your waist.

BMI

Your BMI is a mathematical formula that calculates your height and weight to determine your risk factors for obesity. If you have a BMI over 25.0, you’re overweight. If your BMI is 30.0 or over, you’re obese.

Waist circumference

Your waist circumference is a measurement of your waist, the area just above your navel. This measurement gives an indication of how much abdominal fat you have.

Women with a waist circumference over 35 inches and men with a circumference of 40 inches or more may be at increased risk for heart disease.

If your weight puts you at risk for heart disease, there are things you can do now to protect your long-term heart health.

Making changes for your heart health

Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut offers customized solutions for treating obesity and its effect on your cardiovascular health.

We start by helping you make heart-healthy food choices that support safe weight loss and ensure you’re giving your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. Our team works closely with you on dietary modifications you can make now and carry with you for the rest of your life.

In general, you should focus on incorporating more fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats in your daily diet. You should also limit your intake of processed foods, saturated fats, sugars, and alcohol.

We can also help you start a daily exercise routine, so you can get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Exercise not only helps you lose fat and maintain a healthy weight, but it is also essential for good heart health.

Staying accountable

Through regular weigh-ins, our team can ensure you’re staying on track with your weight-loss goals. We can also help you modify your plan as you achieve each of your goals.

Our office features advanced screening technologies to evaluate your heart health before and after weight loss. We offer on-site blood work and other testing services to identify high cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions that obesity can cause.

If you need help losing weight, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest to you today or book a consultation online.

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What Is Hypertension and What Can I Do About It?

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition that can lead to a wide range of long-term health complications. The most troubling part is that you can have hypertension for years without knowing it because symptoms tend to develop only when the damage is done.

That’s why our heart specialists at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, offer preventive blood pressure screenings on-site. By regularly checking your blood pressure levels, we can identify signs of hypertension in the earliest stages and give you the educational resources you need to get it under control.

Why you have hypertension

Hypertension affects nearly half of the population in the United States. What does it mean exactly to have high blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels. In hypertension, the force is too high, which can damage the vessels and increase your risk for cardiovascular complications.

There are two classifications of hypertension – primary and secondary.

Primary hypertension

In primary hypertension, your blood pressure increases gradually over time, but there’s no identifiable cause of it. Factors that can contribute to primary hypertension include:

  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Weight challenges

Primary hypertension is the most common type that people develop in their lifetime and, in some cases, it’s preventable.

Secondary hypertension

Secondary hypertension is high blood pressure that results from underlying illness. Those who have kidney disease or thyroid disease are at increased risk of developing hypertension.

Hypertension treatment starts with change

The initial treatment we use for hypertension focuses on lowering your blood pressure levels naturally. To do this, our heart specialists work closely with you on a management plan that helps you make important lifestyle changes.

If you’re overweight, we can recommend a healthy, nutritious diet plan that supports weight loss and also your heart health. We can also suggest a daily exercise routine that boosts blood circulation and can lower your blood pressure levels.

When stress is a contributing factor to hypertension, you will find that increased exercise can help lower your stress levels. There are also a variety of mindfulness exercises, such as breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga, that you can practice to better manage your stress.

When lifestyle and diet changes aren’t enough to control hypertension, you may need medications. It’s important that you take the medications as prescribed and implement the diet and lifestyle changes that we recommend to keep your blood pressure levels healthy.

Ditching the bad habits

Unhealthy habits, like smoking and excessive alcohol use, contribute to hypertension and can ultimately lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. If you’re not able to quit smoking on your own, our providers can recommend programs that help you quit for good.

You should also limit your alcohol consumption to help lower your blood pressure levels. We can provide guidance on how much is too much, so you can prevent high blood pressure, liver damage, and other long-term complications.

If you’re not in the habit of visiting with your doctor regularly, it’s important that you stay committed to scheduling regular blood pressure checks with our team.

We can also screen for hypertension-related cardiovascular conditions to identify concerns as early as possible. With the right treatment plan, you can manage your blood pressure and any hypertension side effects you experience.

Schedule a blood pressure screening today to lower your risk for hypertension complications. You can call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest to you or book an appointment online. 

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The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Stroke

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In the United States, stroke is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability and death among men and women.

To reduce your risk for stroke and the high blood pressure that causes it, our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, offers comprehensive preventive screenings and other services on-site.

Understanding high blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, describes elevated blood pressure within your arteries, the vessels that carry blood to the heart and other tissues of your body.

You can have either primary or secondary hypertension. In primary hypertension, your blood pressure is elevated for no identifiable reason. This type of high blood pressure typically develops gradually over time due to weight challenges, poor diet, and smoking.

Secondary hypertension occurs because of an underlying medical condition, like adrenal disease, thyroid disease, or kidney disease.

When blood doesn’t flow easily through your arteries, it can lead to damage in the vessels and increase your risk for heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, and stroke.

What to know about strokes

A stroke occurs when something interferes with blood flow to your brain. Even if your brain is deprived of oxygen for only a few minutes, it can lead to the death of nerve cells and irreparable brain damage.

Without immediate treatment, you may be left with mental or physical disabilities because of a stroke. You may also be at risk for premature death within minutes of having a stroke.

Warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Numbness
  • Stumbling
  • Clumsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Noticeable facial drooping

What’s the link between high blood pressure and stroke?

Untreated high blood pressure can damage, block, or rupture the arteries throughout your body.

As your arteries become weaker from this type of damage, you can develop a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or experience a rupture (hemorrhagic stroke) in the arteries that supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood.

You can also have a transient ischemic attack (TIA) if a blood clot temporarily limits blood flow to your brain. These attacks are also known as a mini-stroke, which can be a warning sign that you’re at risk for having an actual stroke.

Stroke prevention starts here

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, we specialize in stroke-prevention services to protect your overall health.

As part of your prevention plan, we may recommend one or more of these strategies:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Increasing exercise 
  • Taking medications to control high blood pressure

We also offer carotid ultrasound screenings to check your arteries for blockages or narrowing that can lead to a stroke. We can also help you manage diabetes, a chronic condition that can cause damage to your blood vessels and increase your risk for stroke.

Stroke rehabilitation

If you’ve already had a stroke and need help recovering, our team can work with you on a rehabilitative plan. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore your mobility after a stroke so you can lead a full and active life.

Learn more about the stroke-prevention services available at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, by calling the office nearest you today or booking an appointment online. 

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Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

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Your lifestyle plays a big part in the development and management of diabetes. While not all types of diabetes are preventable, how you live and what you eat makes a difference.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our cardiovascular specialists offer comprehensive management services for diabetes. We give you the tools to make the lifestyle and dietary changes necessary to support your health and prevent certain types of diabetes.

Our other goal is to reduce your risk for heart-related complications of diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke.

Preventable and non-preventable diabetes

There are four types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and even with a healthy lifestyle, you can’t prevent it. With the other three types of diabetes, there are things you can do to lower your risk for developing them.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that causes your body to mistakenly attack your pancreas, the organ that produces the insulin hormone. Insulin helps convert the sugar from your diet into the energy you need to function.

Without sufficient insulin, the sugar levels in your blood rise too high. This can lead to blood vessel damage, nerve damage, and other long-term health complications.

Many people develop diabetes in childhood, but you can also be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an adult.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce as much insulin as you need or doesn’t properly use the insulin it produces. This leads to high blood sugar levels that can increase your risk for nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke.

Lifestyle factors like a poor diet, lack of exercise, and weight challenges contribute to Type 2 diabetes. These factors also contribute to prediabetes, a condition where your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be considered diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes describes a rise in blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This condition isn’t always preventable, but women can work with their obstetrician to lower their risk factors for it.

Typically, this type of diabetes resolves after childbirth. Lifestyle and diet changes can help prevent gestational diabetes and manage the condition if you get it.

Options for diabetes prevention

Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, provides comprehensive heart evaluations for people who already have diabetes. We perform blood work, echocardiograms, and other advanced heart testing to ensure your heart is free of diabetes-related damage.

We also customize a health care plan to lower your risk for prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and diabetes heart disease. Our office features nutritional counseling and obesity treatments in-office, so you can learn how to make changes to your diet and incorporate more exercise into your life.

If you have diabetes, you should also keep up with appointments with your primary care provider to ensure that your condition is well-controlled and that the treatments are working well. You also need to continually monitor your blood sugar levels at home to stay on top of diabetes.

To schedule a screening for heart disease, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you today or book a consultation online. 

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Try These Things to Improve Your Nutrition

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The definition of nutrition is eating a healthy, balanced diet that supports the function of your body. There are many facets of good nutrition, but understanding some basics can help you make better food choices.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our medical specialists offer nutrition services to improve your diet and ensure that what you’re eating benefits your health.

When to consider a medically supervised nutrition program

We recommend scheduling a consultation to discuss our nutrition program if you’re not sure how to create a well-balanced diet. 

Our team also suggests that anyone who has diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or existing heart disease check out our nutrition program to better manage their condition.

Because everyone has different needs when it comes to nutrition, our nutrition specialists will customize a program just for you. However, there are some things you can do on your own right now to incorporate a healthier diet into your life.

Tips for improving your nutrition

Here are some tips to get you started on improving your health, your energy, and your overall quality of life:

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables

Eating more fresh produce and limiting processed foods can make a big difference in your health. Choose recipes that use fewer processed ingredients and more fresh ones, and always keep fruits and veggies on hand for snacking.

Focus on low-fat proteins

When choosing proteins for a meal, opt for low-fat foods like lean meats, seafood, eggs, and beans. These foods are rich in essential nutrients but have less calories and saturated fats, making them especially good choices for your heart health.

Watch your portion sizes

Portion size refers to the amount of food you choose to eat during each meal. How much you eat matters just as much as what you eat. It’s hard to know what the right portion size is, though.

There are several ways to estimate portion sizes based on these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Learn to read labels

Most foods have labels that list important information about the ingredients of the product, calorie counts, and vitamin content. It’s important that you learn how to read labels correctly and do so every time you get groceries.

For a heart-healthy diet, be sure to pay attention to the amount of sodium (salt) and trans fats in the items you choose. Avoid high-salt, high-fat foods as much as possible.

Benefits of personalized nutrition care

If managing your diet on your own stresses you out, or if you’re not getting the results you expect from your dietary changes, you can benefit from the personalized nutrition care we offer.

Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, will customize a nutrition plan based on your unique needs and existing health. This ensures that you receive the maximum benefit of your efforts to support your long-term health.

Through our nutrition program, you can:

  • Prevent obesity
  • Boost your energy levels
  • Protect your heart health
  • Incorporate long-term nutritional changes into your life

We not only help you learn how to eat better, but our team can also address practical matters like grocery shopping, meal planning, and even exercise routines, so you can achieve success.

Call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you today or schedule a nutrition consultation online. 

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What Is Radiofrequency Ablation?

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Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment option for unsightly, painful varicose veins. You no longer have to have surgery to repair these veins, thanks to innovative radiofrequency technologies like Venefit™.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our vein specialists offer in-office radiofrequency ablation procedures to treat damaged veins and improve your blood circulation. We also use the treatment to improve the appearance of your legs without the risk for scarring.

Why you have varicose veins

The veins in your legs have to work hard to send blood back to your heart. The force of gravity makes it more difficult for the blood in your legs to move upwards.

Over time, the valves in your veins can stop functioning correctly, which is a condition known as venous insufficiency. This allows blood to flow backwards and pool in your vein, resulting in twisted, bulging veins that you can see through your skin.

Obesity, pregnancy, smoking, and spending too much time on your feet can also contribute to varicose veins. Also, as you age, your risk for varicose veins increases, especially if you have a family history of the condition.

Consequences of varicose veins

Varicose veins not only affect how your legs look, but they can also cause symptoms that negatively affect your quality of life and your leg health.

Damaged veins can cause symptoms in your legs like:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Aching
  • Heaviness
  • Skin discoloration

In some cases, varicose veins can cause more serious complications, including ulcers, bleeding, and blood clots (thrombophlebitis).

If you have any of these complications or you’re unhappy with the appearance of your legs because of the enlarged, twisted veins, our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, can evaluate your veins to determine if you’re a candidate for radiofrequency ablation.

What to expect from radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a nonsurgical procedure that requires only a local anesthetic or a mild sedative to keep you comfortable.

Using ultrasound technology to ensure the correct placement, our physicians will guide a thin tube (catheter) into the affected vein. Radiofrequency energy moves through the catheter to collapse the varicose vein and seal it off.

Blood in the vein naturally reroutes to nearby healthy veins. Over time, the treated vein is reabsorbed by your body without any additional treatment.

Following your radiofrequency ablation procedure, you can expect to wear compression stockings to improve the blood circulation in your legs and reduce complications like blood clots. 

At your follow-up appointment, you will receive an ultrasound of the treated vein to ensure it’s completely closed.

Keeping your leg veins healthy

To prevent a recurrence of varicose veins, our providers can recommend lifestyle changes you should make after your radiofrequency ablation. This may include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a low-salt, high-fiber diet
  • Getting daily exercise
  • Quitting smoking

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, wear comfortable shoes that provide support, and limit the wearing of high heels. You can also continue wearing compression stockings to improve your circulation.

If you’re interested in finally getting rid of varicose veins, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you to schedule an appointment, or book one online today. 

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I’m Struggling to Lose Weight

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It’s no coincidence that the diet industry is a billion-dollar business. Many people struggling to lose weight are on an eternal hunt for weight-loss solutions that work – and fast. 

Since there are no magic pills that will fight fat, a proper weight-loss program will teach you how to lose weight through lifestyle changes and dietary improvements.

At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our team of physicians offers medically supervised weight-loss programs that are both safe and effective at helping you shed excess weight. We customize the plan to your needs to ensure you achieve your weight-loss goals and keep the weight off for good.

Why weight loss is so difficult

There are a number of underlying factors that can make weight loss more difficult for some, especially for those who are battling obesity. Some common reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight include:

Age

As you get older, your body starts changing how it stores fat. Additionally, common age-related ailments like arthritis can make it more difficult for you to move around, limiting the exercises you can do to prevent weight gain.

Hormone changes

Hormone changes that occur as you get older or because of underlying health issues can influence your weight. A reduction in certain hormones, especially leptin, can trick your brain into making you think you’re hungry more often.

Interestingly, this happens most often when you lose weight, and your leptin levels drop. This drop causes your brain to send out a starvation signal that makes you hungry.

Slower metabolism

Aging and hormone changes also affect your metabolism.

As your metabolism slows, you’re not able to burn as many calories as you need to, and keeping the weight off becomes increasingly difficult, even with regular exercise.

Poor nutrition

Many people make the mistake of eating whatever they want simply because they exercised that day. The reality is that you may be eating more calories than you’re burning off each day, especially if you’re still eating junk food and processed products instead of the nutrients your body needs.

How a medically supervised weight-loss program can help

Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut offers comprehensive resources that support healthy and safe weight loss. We focus on addressing excess weight and obesity through changes in your diet, improvements in your nutrition, and an upgrade to your daily exercise plan.

We help you set reasonable goals that ensure you aren’t starving yourself and can give your body what it needs to function optimally. Our team also helps you make lifestyle and dietary changes that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

If you have underlying medical issues like heart disease that make it difficult to exercise and lose weight, we offer in-office treatment options to make sure your condition is well-controlled. Our providers can also recommend exercises and diet plans that focus on your heart health as well.

Losing weight is difficult for many people, so you’re not alone in your struggle. To schedule a weight-loss assessment, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you or book a consultation online today. 

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5 Telltale Symptoms of a Stroke

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An estimated 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year, and about one in four of them have had a previous stroke.

To reduce your risk factors for a stroke, our specialists at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, offer some insight into the signs and symptoms you should recognize that warn of a stroke. 

Our team also offers guidance to help you lower your risk of having a stroke so you can prevent lifelong complications and premature death.

Understanding strokes

A stroke is a medical emergency that develops when the flow of blood to your brain is obstructed. Blood clots and bleeding in your brain can block the arteries that deliver blood to your brain.

Another common cause of stroke is atherosclerosis, a narrowing of your blood vessels due to a buildup of cholesterol that hardens into plaque.

When your brain doesn’t get the blood it needs to function, nerve cells can begin dying right away, leading to physical and mental disabilities. This can all happen very quickly, and you need to seek medical attention right away to prevent permanent brain damage and death.

Five common symptoms of strokes

While not everyone experiences symptoms of a stroke in the same way, there are five common warning signs that a stroke can cause. These signs include:

Numbness

A stroke can cause sudden numbness and weakness in your arms, legs, or face. Generally, numbness affects only one side of your body.

Blurred vision

Blurred vision is a common side effect of a stroke. You might have trouble seeing out of one or both of your eyes.

Slurred speech

During a stroke, speaking might become difficult and your speech may be slurred. Strokes can also cause sudden confusion.

Clumsiness

Clumsiness can occur because of a stroke. You might suddenly feel dizzy and have trouble walking. You might also stumble due to a loss of balance and a lack of coordination.

Headache

A severe, sudden headache with no identifiable cause can be a symptom of a stroke.

If you’re with someone who’s having a stroke, you may notice these symptoms plus drooping on one side of their face.

Stroke treatments work best when you get medical assistance as soon as possible, generally within three hours of your first symptom. If you or someone you know have symptoms of a stroke, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital.

Tips for preventing a stroke

While not all strokes are preventable, many of the underlying causes of a stroke are. Many people, especially men, end up having a stroke because of poor lifestyle choices like smoking and excessive alcohol use. You might also be at a higher risk for a stroke if you have underlying conditions like:

Making changes to your lifestyle and nutrition now can lower your risk for stroke and improve your overall health. Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, can also provide other stroke prevention recommendations like smoking cessation programs, diabetes management services, and routine screenings to evaluate your cardiovascular health.

To learn more about stroke prevention or to schedule a health screening, call the HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, office nearest you or book a consultation online today. 

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