From the Doctor’s Desk

Dr. Obinna Nwobi                 

Vascular & Interventional Pavilion

April 2, 2015

Celebrate Foot Health Awareness Month with a Brisk Walk Suggests Dr. Nwobi

Tampa, Florida - A walk in the fresh April air is an ideal way to participate in the national American Podiatric Medical Association’s Foot Health Awareness Month. 

“Walking is great exercise for the feet,” said Obinna Nwobi, MD, of Vascular and Interventional Pavilion. Both podiatrists and vascular surgeons agree that good blood flow is essential for foot health. A brisk 30-minute walk every day is just what the doctor ordered.
Simple steps for daily foot care include:   

• Improve circulation by walking, bicycling, dancing, and swimming  
• Inspect feet for the cuts, sores, blisters, redness, warm spots, or swelling. Wash feet in warm water. Moisturize for soft skin. Cut toenails straight across  
• Wear socks and proper fitting shoes
• Protect feet from heat and cold
• Wiggle toes. Flex feet and ankles for five minutes two to three times each day to maintain blood flow 

“Feet are our foundation,” said Dr. Michael King, president of the American Podiatric Association. “Healthy feet are fundamental to the quality of our daily lives. We need to take care of them every day, and see a medical professional if they begin to hurt.” Vascular surgeons and podiatrists work closely to access and treat patients with severe foot problems. 

Symptoms that require care by a podiatrist:    

• Hair loss on toes may be a sign of poor circulation
• Blue thread veins and very white skin is common among lifelong smokers and may indicate vascular disease 
• A swollen foot may indicate a blocked lymph node or deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous blot clot in the legs  
• Corns and blisters are important to treat promptly in those with diabetes. Sufferers may not feel the pain in their feet due to numbness, and left untreated, these conditions may lead to serious illness. 
• Dry, cracked heels may indicate a thyroid problem 
• Swollen feet may indicate heart or kidney problems 
• Any changes in the color, thickness, or loosening of the toenails should be evaluated

Additional foot care information is available at www.todays podiatrist.org, www.VascularWeb.org, and www.VascularPavilion.com or call (813)-922-3177.

If you have any questions regarding anything vascular feel free to call our offices at 813-922-3177 or visit our website at www.VascularPavilion.com, or www.PremierVeins.com

Dr. Obinna Nwobi                 

Vascular & Interventional Pavilion
March 20, 2015

It’s March Madness a.k.a. Couch Potato Time Advises Dr. Nwobi

Tampa, Florida - From March 15 (Selection Sunday) to April 6 (National Championship), March Madness consumes America. Arm chair hoopsters stare at their flat screens with tournament brackets in hand.  

“Instead of simply cheering, try some fancy footwork,” said Obinna Nwobi, M.D., a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Participate in March Madness by shooting a few hoops.” 

For a 150-lb. person, 30 minutes of basketball can burn off: 

• 153 calories shooting hoops solo
• 204 calories during an informal game 
• 272 calories during a five-on-five game of basketball*
Source: www.livestrong.com

“Your vascular system will have a great work out,” said Dr. Nwobi.  “Vigorous exercise such as basketball pumps your blood and lowers your blood pressure. This helps to keep your weight down. These are all positive health benefits.” 

For the slam-dunk of vascular health: 

• participate in 30 minutes of exercise daily. This may reduce the risk of stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in America according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Vital Statistics Report. In 2010, 137,000 Americans died of stroke. 
• eat healthy,
• don’t smoke, 
• maintain a healthy body weight.

The lack of regular physical activity results in 250,000 deaths annually according to a 2003 report in the medical journal, Circulation.  Least physically fit persons have a mortality risk 4.5 times higher than physically fit persons.

Non-invasive vascular disease screening tests and medications are available. For vascular health information, visit: www.PremierVeins.com, www.VascularPavilion.com, or VascularWeb.org. 

If you have any questions regarding anything vascular feel free to call our offices at 813-922-3177 or visit our website at www.VascularPavilion.com, or www.PremierVeins.com

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Better Walking with Chocolate

By Beth Fontenot, MS, RD, LDN

Chocolate may not be health food, but its health benefits continue to mount. A new study from Italy suggests that chocolate may improve walking ability in people with poor blood flow in their legs because of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

In PAD plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, arms, and legs. limiting the flow of blood to those parts of the body. People with PAD often experience pain and numbness in their legs, as well as an increased risk of infection.

Chocolate can help; or at least dark chocolate can.

People between the ages of 60 and 78 with PAD were put on a treadmill in the morning to see how far and how long they could walk. Two hours later, on separate days, they were fed 40 grams of either dark chocolate or milk chocolate and asked to walk on the treadmill again.

Those who ate the dark chocolate walked an average of 39 feet farther and 17 seconds longer than they did when they were tested earlier the same morning. Though these are modest improvements, they are potentially relevant for the quality of life of PAD patients, according to Lorenzo Loffredo, M.D., assistant professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, co-author of the study.

Unfortunately for milk chocolate lovers, the sweeter chocolate had no effect on either walking distance or time walked.

The improvements may be the result of polyphenols, compounds found in cocoa, which decrease oxidative stress and increase blood flow to the peripheral arteries. The higher the cocoa content of a chocolate, the more polyphenols it contains. The cocoa content of the dark chocolate used in the study was 85 percent, while the milk chocolate only contained 30 percent cocoa.

After eating chocolate, the levels of nitric oxide rose, and this may be what made the difference. Nitric oxide, a gas produced by cells in the body, has been linked to better blood flow. It may help widen peripheral arteries and ease the symptoms of PAD, particularly pain while walking. Score another one for dark chocolate.

The study lacked a Placebo group, and the participants knew which type of chocolate they were eating, factors that could skew the outcome. A larger study with long-term chocolate consumption is needed to help confirm the results, the researchers said.

Previous research on polyphenols demonstrated improved function of blood vessels, but it's too early to start recommending chocolate for vascular health. For one thing, it's high in calories, sugar, and saturated fat, a fact that can’t be overlooked.

Other foods high in polyphenols with fewer of the diet busters include various spices and dried herbs — such as cloves and peppermint — dark colored berries, flaxseed, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and olives.

It’s possible for chocolate lovers to enjoy their chocolate and reap the potential health benefits. As long as your diet is otherwise healthy, a few ounces of dark chocolate a week is unlikely to have an adverse effect on your health or weight. As with everything, moderation is the key.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. July 3, 2014

Source: www.TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com


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