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    Subtle Signs of Heart Disease You Shouldn't Ignore

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Most people think of things like chest pain and shortness of breath when they think of heart disease symptoms. While those are certainly signs which indicate that you should head to the emergency room, the actual symptoms of heart disease may by much more subtle. Although some heart disease symptoms are non-specific and could be associated with many other conditions, it’s important to never ignore them. If your heart is to blame, early treatment can help you avoid complications.

    Male Pattern Baldness

    What does hair loss have to do with your heart? As it turns out, there could be a bigger link than you might imagine. In some cases, male pattern baldness can be triggered by a problem with circulation. The hair follicles may not be getting adequate nutrition from the blood because of circulation issues. Hair loss can also be an indicator of high blood pressure—a major risk factor for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about your hair loss and make sure he or she knows about your family history of both baldness and heart disease.

    Sexual Dysfunction

    Like hair loss, issues with sexual function could be triggered by circulation problems. Don’t shy away from telling your doctor if you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction. In addition to helping you get back on track with your sexual health, your doctor may also be able to diagnose and treat underlying heart disease.


    Snoring is more than an annoyance. It can be a sign of sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that causes sufferers to repeatedly stop breathing while they sleep. Those with sleep apnea have a dramatically increased risk of heart disease, so tell your doctor if your partner has been complaining that your snores are keeping him or her up all night. Please mention our sleep center here.

    At Blake Medical Center, our hospital is home to an emergency room plus the highly ranked Heart & Valve Institute to meet all of your cardiac care needs. You can find out more about our services, including cancer care, by calling our Manatee County hospital at (888) 767-5071. 

    Spotlight on Mitral Valve Regurgitation

    Last updated 10 days ago

    At Blake Medical Center, our West Florida Mitral Valve Repair Center is able to repair—instead of replace—damaged mitral valves over 98 percent of the time. We are one of the only hospitals in the country to do so. This is why we’re able to give so many patients a better quality of life and diminish the need for anti-coagulation medicines. One of the conditions we treat at our hospital is mitral valve regurgitation. Here’s what you need to know about this valve issue.

    With mitral valve regurgitation, blood leaks from the left ventricle, across the mitral valve, and to the left atrium. This represents a backwards flow of blood and can be very serious if the flow is severe. Early treatment is a critical factor in the successful management of this condition.

    If you’ve been diagnosed with a mitral valve problem, ask for a referral to Blake Medical Center and the West Florida Mitral Valve Repair Center. From emergency care to cancer care, our Bradenton, FL hospital has the services your family needs to stay well. Learn more by calling us at (888) 767-5071. 

    Surprising Facts about Stroke in Young People

    Last updated 17 days ago

    Most people associate strokes with seniors, but strokes can and do strike patients of all ages. Because young people think a stroke can’t happen to them, they may delay going to the emergency room for symptoms, which can be dangerous. The truth is that you’re never too young to have a stroke, and that people of all ages should react quickly when stroke symptoms strike. Here’s what you need to know about strokes in young people.

    Risk of Stroke Under Age 45 May Be Increasing

    Doctors define stroke in a young person as a stroke that affects a person under age 45. According to the American Stoke Association, 4,000 infants have strokes every year. In kids from infancy through age 18, 11 out of every 100,000 children experience a stroke. For all people under 45, the rate of stroke is about seven to 15 in 100,000. There is some indication that the rate of stroke in young people is increasing, but doctors are not sure if there is a true increase or if emergency rooms are getting better at diagnosing strokes in young patients.

    Stroke Causes Are Different in Young People

    Strokes in seniors are usually caused by blood clots that travel to the brain and disrupt blood flow. For young people, infections, sickle cell disease, dehydration, and trauma are more typical causes. Cardiogenic causes, including rheumatic heart disease and heart valve disease, are also possible triggers. Young people are much more likely than seniors to experience a stroke because of drug use. Migraines, birth control pills, smoking, and pregnancy may also be contributing factors.

    Recovery Is Better in Young People

    Because young people have better brain plasticity, they tend to recover from stroke easier than older patients, provided they seek emergency care as soon as possible. More than half of young people are able to return to work after a stroke, and 90 percent can live independently.

    The emergency room at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, FL is equipped to handle all of your urgent medical needs, including stroke. Our hospital provides a long list of services, including trauma care, oncology, and care for stroke patients in our Orthopedic and Neuroscience Tower. Call our Manatee County hospital at (888) 767-5071 to learn more.

    Exploring the Symptoms of Gynecological Cancers

    Last updated 25 days ago

    Women are not routinely screened for most gynecological cancers. While regular Pap tests can detect cervical cancer, there are no regular tests for ovarian, uterine, vaginal, or vulvar cancers. Instead, doctors rely on patients reporting symptoms to decide when testing is needed. Would you recognize the signs and know when to call your doctor? Talk to your gynecologist about your risk factors and be vigilant about these cancer symptoms.

    Bathroom Habit Changes

    With both ovarian and uterine cancers, women often notice a chance in their bathroom habits. These changes can include an increased frequency of urination and the sensation of having to urinate very badly often. Both of these cancers can also cause constipation or diarrhea. Like most gynecological cancer signs, these symptoms are non-specific and can be caused by many things other than cancer. However, you should always bring these changes to your doctor’s attention so cancer can be ruled out.

    Vaginal Bleeding and Discharge

    When it comes to bleeding and discharge, it’s important to know what is normal for you. If your periods are irregular, then bleeding between menstrual cycles may not be a cause for concern. However, if your cycle is regular and you begin having irregular bleeding or unexpected discharge, talk to your doctor. Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge is associated with cervical, ovarian, uterine, and vaginal cancers.

    Skin Changes

    With vulvar cancer, the skin is usually impacted. Vulvar skin may change colors, becoming red and irritated or spotted with white patches. You may also develop a rash, warts, or sores. Cancer may also cause the skin of the vulva to itch or burn.

    When you get a cancer diagnosis, knowing what step to take next can be difficult. The fully-accredited Cancer Care Center at Blake Medical Center is here to help. Our skilled oncology specialists and patient navigators will support you every step of the way through your treatment and beyond. For more information about our Manatee County oncology services, call (888) 767-5071.  

    Do You Really Know How Much Salt You're Consuming?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    You know eating too much salt is bad for your blood pressure and heart health. You make an effort to keep your intake low and season your food with herbs and spices. Did you know, however, that despite your best efforts, you could still be eating too much salt? This video explains more.

    To really get a handle on how much salt you’re eating, start by looking at food labels. You may be shocked to see how much sodium is actually hiding in some of your favorite pre-packaged foods. Restaurant foods are another culprit. Restaurants often rely on salt to add flavor, so it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re getting.

    When your heart health is on the line, choose Blake Medical Center. Our Bradenton, FL hospital is a Thomas Reuters Top 100 Cardiac Hospital and provides a range of cardiac services. Learn more by calling (888) 767-5071. 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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