Learn about the health of your heart with this useful measurement tool.
A healthy heart pumps about half of its blood volume each time it beats and beats between 60 and 80 times during a minute. Ejection Fraction (EF) measures how much volume your heart pumps in order to tell you and your physician how well your heart is beating. The test can be applied to either the left or right ventricle.
When you get an EF reading of 55-70%, your heart is pumping at a normal rate and a normal amount. Lower than that is a cause for concern.
Who receives an EF test?
How is EF determined?
However, EF tests are not fool-proof. At times, EF results may give a healthy score, showing that over half of the volume is pumped, when in reality, the heart is not pumping as much blood as it should be. For example, if the walls of the heart have thickened, less blood fills it, and the actual volume that the heart pumps diminishes.
EF testing is essential for anyone who has concerns regarding the health of their heart. Schedule an appointment at the Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute today! Call our free Consult-A-Nurse® hotline at 1-800-447-8206 with questions about our diagnostics services or for a physician referral.
Heal your heart by filling up on these super foods.
When you keep healthy options at your fingertips, you're more likely to eat well for your heart. Check out these great options.
Berries and grapes raise your HDL (good cholesterol), lower blood pressure and reduce your chances of a heart attack. Try adding these to salads, breakfast cereals or baked desserts:
Tomatoes, like other red produce, are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber which contribute to keeping heart disease at bay. Some elements like antioxidants and lycopene are "activated" when cooked, so bring on the pasta and pizza sauce!
Fish, especially salmon and tuna, are big heart heroes. Their omega-3 fats reduce the chance of blood clots forming, lower blood pressure and can regulate your heartbeat. Be aware of your mercury intake, however.
Valuable omega-3 fats are also found in flax and canola oils and fish oil vitamins.
Beans, thanks to their high fiber content, lower cholesterol when eaten frequently. Flavonoids found in beans also protect the heart. Try:
Nuts are another omega-3 fat food group stuffed full of great vitamins and minerals. Eating them daily can lower your risk of heart disease. Especially beneficial are:
Whole grains specialize in fiber which lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol) as well as your chance of developing heart disease. When purchasing processed foods containing whole grains, such as pasta or bread, check the ingredient list that the grains haven't been altered. Top whole grain picks include:
Hit the grocery store and stock up on heart-healthy foods today. Do you have questions about nutrition for the heart? Call Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute's free Consult-A-Nurse® service anytime by dialing 1-800-447-8206.
Stroke is the #1 cause of disability in the US and one of the major causes of death.
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops, leading to brain damage or death and, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as many as 80% of cases could be prevented. Stroke can happen to anyone of any age with rates nearly doubling after you turn 55 years old. Reduce your chance of stroke with these five steps.
Are you concerned about your risk of stroke? Talk to a physician today about how you can live a healthy lifestyle. Find a doctor to speak with at the Central Florida Cardiac and Vascular Institute by calling our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
Protect your heart with consistent, committed exercise.
Choose your own adventure. Try all sorts of activities until you find one you truly enjoy. Rock climbing, dancing or martial arts may make you eager – or at least willing – to sweat on a regular basis.
Enlist your calendar. If you've scheduled ahead, you'll never run out of time, nor feel guilty for skipping workouts. If you set a specific goal, such as running a 5K race, write increments on the calendar to motivate you.
Exercise is a family affair. If you spend your workout stressing about your child's homework, you won't enjoy yourself. Instead, take everyone outside for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Doing things together will keep everyone motivated.
Dress right. Comfort and stability will see you through years of exercise. When it comes to footwear, choose shoes appropriate to your activity. The wrong ones can lead to foot, knee or back injury.
Don't max out. If you're too tired for necessary activities after exercise, you won't want to do it daily. The goal is to challenge yourself without scaring yourself off from future exercise.
Reward your successes. Take a moment each day to thank your body and heart for serving you well. If you reach goals you've set, give yourself a little prize. Avoid food as your treat or you might undo your hard work.
Consult your physician. Health changes from year to year. Checking in with your doctor ensures that you are performing the right activities at the right level.
Ready to learn more about ways to strengthen your heart? The Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute is your ally in caring for your vascular health. Call us with questions or for a physician referral, using our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
Is your heart ready for summer?
Rising temperatures can challenge the body's ability to maintain a healthy temperature. Do you know how to protect yourself? Use these important tips to ensure a safe summer, even when it sizzles.
Know your risk. Do you have heart disease? When exposed to heat, a body ramps up its efforts to maintain a comfortable body temperature, mostly via sweat. This extra effort can worsen health in heart disease patients and increase their risk of a heart attack.
Ask about your prescriptions. Certain heart medicines affect your heat perception and how much heat you can stand. Examples of prescriptions that you should discuss with your doctor before working out or exposing yourself to heat are:
Water, water, water. Although experts often recommend eight (eight ounce) glasses of water per day, inhabitants of Central Florida who spend time outdoors would be well advised to increase that amount in order to prevent dehydration. Make sure you always have access to water by carrying a bottle and by drinking plenty before, during and after exercising. Sodas and coffee cannot substitute for water.
Dress right for the heat. Keep your core body temperature low by wearing breathable fabrics made in white or light colors that ward off sun. Since the head and neck are the most important spots for eliminating excess heat in the body, keep these free, but protected with devices like visors or wide-brim hats.
Learn the signs of heat-related problems. Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
Heat stroke signs may appear different and require immediate, urgent care.
The Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute would like you to think before you head out into the heat. Check in with your physician before temperatures rise. To schedule an appointment or ask a question, call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206 or visit us online to find a physician.
Know the difference between harmless heart palpitations and those that may be a red flag.
Almost everyone has experienced a quickening of the heart rate at least once in their life, whether due to drinking too much coffee during the morning meeting or after a scary near car accident. However, if you experience heart palpitations on a regular basis, you may have questions about underlying heart health issues. Here's what you need to know.
What are heart palpitations?
When should I seek medical attention for heart palpitations?
Examples of some serious underlying causes are:
If heart palpitations bother you, don't wait for something more serious to happen. Set up an appointment today at the Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute or receive a physician referral by calling our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
You know your cholesterol numbers, but what do they mean? Here's what you need to know.
Cholesterol levels are a great indicator of your heart health, specifically about your risk of heart disease or stroke. All the numbers and acronyms can be a little confusing. Let's break it down.
What is cholesterol?
What do the numbers mean?
Educate yourself so you can converse more easily with your doctor about your cholesterol health. Learn about The Central Florida Cardiac Vascular Institute’s heart health services today by visiting us online. If you would like a physician referral, please call Osceola Regional Medical Center's free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
From less pain to less recovery time, minimally invasive heart surgery offers many advantages.
The most obvious difference between minimally invasive surgery (MIS), also known as endoscopic surgery, and traditional open heart surgery is that MIS uses a few small incisions instead of a single, large one.
What is MIS for the heart?
How does MIS benefit the patient?
What types of heart surgery can be performed using MIS?
Learn about your heart surgery options so that you can make an educated decision. To schedule an appointment, ask a question or find a physician, you can call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
Learn how smoking affects your health and longevity.
These days, everyone knows that smoking affects your health. But what are the specific consequences? Here are the three big ones.
The added stress increases your risk of developing heart disease or even of having a heart attack. If you smoke, it is essential that you get regular screenings to monitor your risk of heart disease.
Damage to your immune system
A weakened immune system can't efficiently fight off bacteria or virus. Longevity among smokers is much lower than that of non-smokers. However, side effects of smoking can be reversed in a relatively short amount of time.
Time to quit! Check out information from The American Cancer Society for ways to ditch the bad habit, find the right treatment option for you and join support groups to see you through to your goal. Osceola Regional Medical Center invites you to learn more about the link between smoking and your heart's health at the Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute. Schedule an appointment or ask a question by calling our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.
What’s the difference between the two?
Both blood pressure and heart rate provide important information about our health. Here, we debunk some myths about the relationship between the two.
Blood pressure is defined as the changing pressure of blood against the walls of blood vessels throughout the body.
It is extremely important to understand and know your blood pressure measurements and what they say about your health. High blood pressure (hypertension) indicates risk of certain diseases and can be lowered through many methods.
Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of beats your heart makes in one minute.
The only thing that blood pressure and heart rate have in common is that they are controlled by the heart. A heart rate can’t tell you anything about your blood pressure. Rather, it can only inform you about how hard your heart is working to distribute blood and oxygen.
An increase in heart rate does not make your blood pressure rise at the same rate. The reason is that your blood vessels get bigger or smaller to accommodate the amount of blood passing through them. Your heart rate may change greatly while your blood pressure only changes a bit.
Knowing your numbers is knowing your health. Learn more about the Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute online or call us at Osceola Regional Medical Center using our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-447-8206.