Building a Healthy Lifestyle

At LACVT, we want everyone in Cenla to have the healthiest lifestyle they can have. Below, we’ve collected information about easy ways to stay healthy and get the most out of life!
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Keep Louisiana Walking

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) affects over 8.5 million people in the United States. PAD is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs and is caused by the accumulation of fatty plaque in the blood vessel walls. PAD leads to decreased blood flow causing severe pain and discomfort when walking. Arterial ulcers (leg wounds) develop as a result of damage to the arteries due to a lack of blood flow to the tissue. When left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputations. People with PAD have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke.
What’s an easy way to prevent PAD? Take to walking!

Dr. Jones

Early Diagnosis Can Save Limbs

  • Do you have leg or foot wounds that are slow to heal?
  • Check for a change in color of your feet and ankles.
  • Check for a pulse in your feet.
  • Do you have decreased nail and hair growth on your toes, feet, or legs?
  • Do you have leg pain or cramping, especially during exercise or walking?

Diabetes and PAD

There are approximately 500,000 diabetics in Louisiana. Diabetes is a major cause of nontraumatic amputations, and diabetes costs Louisiana over $5 billion dollars each year (a large part of this expense goes toward amputations).

Risk Factors for Peripheral Arterial Disease

  • A history of smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Advanced Age
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of PAD
  • High cholesterol

Get Screened

Vascular disease is among the leading causes of death in the US. Vascular disease is usually asymptomatic until a catastrophic event occurs. Screenings for Strokes, Heart Disease, and abdominal aneurysms can save lives. Knowing your risk or your loved ones’ risk for vascular disease and catching the disease early will also reduce the cost of medical bills, disabilities, or death.

LACVT Health Screenings offer four different ultrasound screenings: carotid screenings, abdominal aorta screenings, PVD screenings, and thyroid mass screenings. Our mission is to provide accurate health screenings to identify the people that have undetected health problems. Our local physicians and staff are committed to community awareness of vascular disease.

Consider the following:

  • 97% of the adult population cannot recognize the warning signs of a stroke
  • Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S and the #1 cause of disability.
  • A majority of all victims of vascular disease have no symptoms
  • Medical costs can range from $40,000 – $60,000 for one stroke victim
  • HOWEVER, Strokes are the Number 1 most Preventable catastrophic disease
  • Only 10% of all aneurysm ruptures will survive
  • Vascular disease can impair circulation to the legs, reducing the ability to walk and in some cases, leg amputation

Early detection can save lives.

The SVS (Society of Vascular Surgery) recommends that individuals 55 years of age or older with cardiovascular risk factors such as a history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, or known cardiovascular disease may benefit from preventive screening for vascular disease.

Here in central Louisiana, we are seeing vascular disease in people in their 40s. Noninvasive screening examinations have proven to be accurate in detecting vascular disease prior to active warning signs and before a major medical incident such as stroke, or sudden death from aneurysm rupture. Appropriate screening examinations in high-risk individuals include:

  • Ultrasound scan of the aorta to identify aortic aneurysms
  • Ultrasound scan of the carotid arteries to assess stroke risk
  • Blood pressure measurements in the legs to identify PAD and risk of heart disease

Why Should I Be Screened?

The carotid artery supplies the brain with oxygen. Any blockage or narrowing of the carotid artery can cause a stroke. You may have no symptoms before the stroke happens. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US. Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability in older people.

A quick carotid screening ultrasound can tell you if you have plaque in the arteries in your neck. Knowing you have a disease will help you decide what choices you need to make to prevent more buildup of plaque.

Signs that you are having a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Facts about Carotid Artery Disease and Screening (PDF)
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
  • Known as the silent killer, abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) have no symptoms until they rupture. If an AAA ruptures, there is only a 10% chance of surviving. An abdominal ultrasound screening will let you know whether your aorta is dilated or calcified.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

There may be no symptoms of early PAD. Developing symptoms may include pain or discomfort in your legs when you walk, and the pain goes away when you rest. This could be PAD. A quick ABI screening would reveal if you have any diseases in your legs.

Venous Reflux Screening

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They are often raised above the skin on the legs and look like twisted, bulging chords. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the leg veins no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs.

Get Fit Louisiana

At Louisiana Cardiovascular & Thoracic Institute, we realize the importance of a healthy community, and that your health is much more than just another politically driven agenda. LACVT is committed to turning the focus back to patient care and positive, individual lifestyle choices that will change each person’s life for the better!

Obesity rates for both adults and children throughout our nation are staggering and are inducing life-threatening diseases because of poor lifestyle choices. Heart, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes can be tremendously decreased if each individual chooses to join forces with LACVT as we “Get Fit Louisiana” by making the right lifestyle choices.

LACVT encourages you to embrace these five simple lifestyle choices and change your life today for the better! Working together as a community, we will heal Louisiana, one heartbeat at a time:

  1. Daily fruits and vegetable intake: LACVT encourages a plant-based diet. Currently, only 10% of Americans follow such a diet. Juice Plus, a whole food supplement, helps bridge the gap between what we actually eat and what we should eat each day. When taken daily, it is clinically proven to improve cardiovascular health, immune systems, and DNA.
  2. Daily water intake: Increase water intake to eight 8oz. servings of water daily instead of soda & juices.
  3. Daily moderate exercise: Increase exercise with the 10,000 daily step challenge, which you can track with an inexpensive pedometer or even your smartphone!
  4. Daily reduction of stress: Try to have 30 minutes daily of Meditation, Yoga, Prayer, and Unplug from the world.
  5. Stop all use of tobacco products: Call LACVT & make your appointment to stop today!

Healthy Information

Louisiana Tobacco Quitline

Louisiana Council on Obesity

Louisiana Action for Healthy Kids Today!

Lousiana Statistics

  • 66% American adults overweight
  • 33% American youth overweight
  • Increased risks: cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes
  • Inflating healthcare cost
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we as healthcare providers must focus on prevention, not a political stance

Tobacco Treatment Clinic

We can provide treatment plans, behavior modification exercises, nicotine replacement therapy, and medications to aid in quitting smoking and chewing tobacco.