Drop the Sugar, Boost Your Health

When it comes to health, refined sugar seems to be the new “cigarette”. We all thought it was just fine for us for years to consume a moderate level of refined sugar, just as, back in the ’40s and 50’s advertising had us believe that smoking was non-health threatening.

The truth is sugar is just as dangerous as smoking. Both are appealing because they target the pleasure centers of the brain. Hand in hand, both are highly addictive. Not much was known about the dangers of sugars to the body until recent years.

The harmful effects of a high sugar diet are becoming more publicly known, but many are still unaware. They still view soda, candy, cake, cookies, and other sweets all just as food. While there is other nutritional value to it, that sugar intake adds up quickly.

We all keep hearing “Sugar is bad”, but rarely do you get the explanation behind the statement. Let’s delve into it and see exactly why it’s been deemed “bad”.

You will end up visiting the dentist more often:
Sugar loves your teeth, but it’s a one-way relationship. Sugar sticks to your teeth and feeds the bacteria found there. Over time, teeth can decay and rot as a result.

Your liver has to work harder

Sugar is just plain bad for your liver. Excess sugar consumption has a similar effect on the liver as drinking mass amounts of alcohol. This is because of the high fructose content in sugar, which turns into fat, and after becoming lodged in the liver, it can often develop into non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Sugar can cause type II diabetes.

High amounts of sugar in your diet can result in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can result in an excess of glucose in the blood which is toxic. This can cause a number of conditions to develop, perhaps the worst of which is type II diabetes.

The Big C (Cancer)
Sugar feeds cancer cells. Numerous studies have shown that there is a connection between sugar in excess and cancer. Once again relating to insulin – sugar creates elevated insulin levels, creating an environment where the body can’t properly regulate the abnormal growth and multiplication of unwanted cells, thus, potentially leading to cancer.


Sugar attaches to the same pleasure centers in the brain that result from doing heavy drugs and is equally addictive. It may be hard for people to practice moderation when it comes to junk food. Quitting cold turkey can actually lead to withdrawal symptoms. It’s best to ease it out of your diet if you are a big sugar fan.

Sugar contributes to obesity. If you eat a lot of sugar, you will have a higher tendency to become overweight. Fat gained from sugar consumption attaches around your gut, earning itself the nickname “sugar belly.”

Heart Disease

That’s right. Consuming sugar excessively over time can lead directly to heart disease.
Heart disease is the #1 killer worldwide, and recent studies show that a diet high in sugar could be a major contributing factor.

Other issues

Sugar can raise your blood glucose and insulin levels

Sugar leads to obesity

Sugar can make you depressed.

Sugar contributes greatly to your overall mental health

Sugar can bring on anxiety
Sugar has even been related to memory issues especially later in life.

For further guidance please make an appointment with the onsite nutritionist available at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates by calling (813) 975-2800. Not only are our physicians dedicated to keeping your heart health at its best, but we’ll do anything we can to help you improve your everyday quality of life through important lifestyle choices. www.tampacardio.com.

Originally posted on www.tampacardio.com

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the medical term for a blood clot. This condition can occur when one or more blood clots form within the deep veins of the circulatory system (most commonly in the legs). It can result in swelling, tenderness and pain in the legs but often times presents no noticeable symptoms.

DVT is more likely to develop if you have certain medical conditions which effect blood clotting. It can also take place if you are sedentary for an extended period of time, such as being confined to bed rest, if you are taking hormone therapy or are late term in a pregnancy. DVT risk is also heightened if you are over 60, smoke, are overweight or sit for extended periods of time.

It is a condition that needs to be taken seriously. Blood clots in your veins are unpredictable and can break loose allowing them to travel through your veins and if the clot reaches your lungs can cause a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms can be life-threatening, but prompt treatment can greatly reduce the risk of death. The very best treatment is prevention. If you suspect, you may have deep vein issues consult a specialist as soon as possible.


What are the signs that you may be experiencing a blood clot or possible serious venous issue?

  • Abnormally warm or red skin on one or both legs
  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs (seated, standing or walking)
  • Visible veins
  • Tired legs


When to consider going straight to the ER

  • Sudden coughing (especially if you are not otherwise sick) This type of cough may produce blood
  • You experience sharp chest pains
  • Your breathing becomes more rapid and you become short of breath
  • You become severely lightheaded


What tests are used to diagnose DVT?

A duplex ultrasound is a painless noninvasive test. The doctor spreads warm gel on your skin and then rubs a wand over the area where the clot is suspected. Ultrasound sends sound waves into your body and relays the echoes to a computer, which shows images of your blood vessels and if there is a clot. Ultrasound is most compatible with medium to surface vein issues.

Another avenue with which to be able to detect clots is called Venography. Venography is a specialized X-ray that is taken along with a radioactive dye injection that is placed into a vein on the top of your foot. This allows the vein to be seen visibly and is very easy to detect a clot. It’s more accurate than an ultrasound.

If it is suspected the clot may be housed within your pelvis or thighs where the body is thicker your doctor may opt to use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology. During an MRI you will lie very still on a narrow table that slides into the imaging tube. Inside of the encasement radio waves and a strong magnetic field create a detailed picture of the inside of your body visible for analysis on the computer screen for the technicians and doctor to go over.

What happens if you are found to have a blood clot?

Tampa Cardiology Associates recommend and perform various procedures for the treatment of DVT:

Surgical or non-surgical removal of blood clots. The Tampa Cardiology Associates are experienced in non-surgical catheter-based techniques of clot removal from both the legs and the lungs (AngioJet, Catheter directed thrombolytics (clot busting medications) and Angiovac).


IVC Filter Placement
An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a temporary medical device that is required if  a patient cannot tolerate blood thinners. The IVC filter is implanted to trap blood clots, preventing them from traveling to the lungs where they can become life-threatening.


DVT is often treated with anti-coagulants (blood thinners). These medications help in preventing existing clots from growing larger and any future clots from taking form.


Simple actions or lifestyle changes can often make a world of difference in some DVT patients after the initial clot is treated to prevent future clots. Recommended home treatments can include adding in frequent walks daily, elevating the legs, and wearing compression stockings. It is important to note that DVT cannot be cured with at home therapy but lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms and prevent future complications from occurring.


Blood clots are not a condition where a wait and see tactic is in the best interest of your health, if you are having any of these symptoms to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Tampa Cardiovascular Associates invite you to call us at 813-975-2800 or contact us through the web.http://www.tampacardio.com/contact-us/. If it is an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest ER.

Originally Published: http://www.tampacardio.com/2015/11/deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt/