Jun 29, 2016

Knowing the Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension

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Most everyone has heard about hypertension or high blood pressure. If you do not have it, chances are you know someone who does. One out of every three American adults has or will be diagnosed with high blood pressure in the last year. The scary part is that more than half of those who have been diagnosed do not have their blood pressure under control. Scarier still, those who ignore their high blood pressure have a greater risk for developing heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, liver disease or other major medical complications.

If you have no idea what your ideal blood pressure should be, remember the numbers 120 over 80, as that is the optimum level. Any variation of that number, such as 130 through 139 over 85 through 89 is still considered normal but with those numbers your doctor will probably tell you that you are on the border, often referred to as "pre-hypertensive."

If one of your close relatives such as a parent, sibling(s), grandparent(s), aunt(s) and/or uncle(s) has or has had high blood pressure, your risk for developing it is increased. If you are not sure, ask a family member who in the family, if ever, had been stricken by heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes or any other major medical complication. Chances are they too had high blood pressure, which means your chance of acquiring it goes up, as medical histories are known to repeat.

 

Age and gender are also factors contributing to high blood pressure. Statistics show that beginning at age 65, women are at higher risk than men. Younger men, however, under age 45, are significantly more affected by high blood pressure than women in that same age group.

If your doctor tells you that you are “pre-hypertensive,” that should be like a huge stop sign. Stop and think. This is the time to take stock of your life, your daily routine and habits because, at this point, you are at risk. Talk to your doctor as he or she can best help you with starting a new lifestyle regimen by offering suggestions. Your primary care physician knows your strengths and your weaknesses and your limitations, if any. In any case, a hypertension diagnosis should always be treated with respect.

Once you have learned that your blood pressure is out of control it is time to begin monitoring your daily activities and your blood pressure numbers. The best preventive care that you can do for yourself is to learn about high blood pressure and the factors that put you at risk.

Taking Control of Your Blood Pressure – First Take Control of Your Life

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When you come home after work, school or play, like some of us, you may enjoy a couple of beers or cocktails to help you wind down. But, your doctor has told you that is too much alcohol consumption in one day—so how do you cut back? One thing you could do: instead of “free pouring” the liquor into the glass, take a measured shot glass and carefully measure one shot per drink. Eventually, you will get used to measuring your drinks. If you enjoy two or three cocktails in the evening, cut it back gradually to one. Sip your one drink slowly. Or, after you have slowly consumed one or two beers, try drinking a glass of water.

Over time, you will have cut back on your alcohol consumption and it won’t seem like a sacrifice.

But now that you have to embark on a high blood pressure treatment plan, it is time you went to the grocery store. Buy some fruit—even if you do not like fruits or vegetables—surely there is something in the produce department that captures your attention. Soy, oatmeal, avocados, berries, legumes (kidney and black beans), almonds, walnuts, spinach, olive oil and salmon are good for your heart and blood pressure and anti-cancer. If you love french fries, you obviously like potatoes, so buy a few potatoes. When you get home, bake them in an oven and keep them in the refrigerator so you can grab one to take to work with you. A baked potato, a can of low sodium soup and an apple make a well-rounded healthy meal that don’t cost a bundle and they are easy to gather early in the morning on your way out the door.

You have one of those jobs where you sit all day. When you break for lunch try eating a healthy salad without mayonnaise or a heavy dressing instead of double patties and cheese on a bun or fries; drink green tea with a slice of lemon instead of coffee; avoid smoking and second-hand smoke; and go easy on the salt. On your break, take a short walk around or outside the office instead of snacking or smoking.

Eliminate or reduce the sources of stress in your life. Make a special effort to reduce or eliminate the sources of stress in your personal, family and work life. Listen and empathize more to your friends and significant other; changing or compromising your ways a little may go a long way; worry less about your savings by giving up the daily Starbucks, going to the golf range twice a week instead of everyday, buying generics instead of name brands and used instead of new whenever you can buy used. You could also try taking less stressful assignments and enlist the help of others at work.

And exercise whenever you can. The benefits of exercise are cumulative. You can get the same benefit from biking two hours in a single day as you do two hours over a week. Exercise makes you feel positive, happy and healthy.

 

Managing Your High Blood Pressure the Holistic Way

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More people than you might think are constantly searching for alternative methods to treat their health conditions. Maybe they believe a complete approach to health is more dependent on practicing preventive health care than reliance on circumstantial health care when one is ill. If you desire to work at lowering your high blood pressure the natural or holistic way, there are quite a few choices. Of course, never ignore signs that your medical condition(s) or health problem(s) is worsening, and always consult a doctor to be safe. If you feel your chest tightening or your heart has an irregular beat, go straight to the doctor’s office. Not all medical conditions are suitable for the holistic approach.

Potassium is an important nutrient for the body, especially for the maintenance of healthy blood pressure. Everyone needs potassium as it placates the muscles, causing steady, undisturbed contractions. Potassium is also instrumental in removing waste from the body.

If your blood pressure is in the higher number zone, potassium can help lower it, and if it is already where it should be potassium will help keep it there. Bananas are a great source of potassium.

Magnesium has many essential roles, including: the storage, transfer and use of energy; protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism; maintenance of normal cell membrane function; and the regulation of parathyroid hormone secretion. It also lowers blood pressure and heart beat, modulates blood vessel resistance, strengthens bones and facilitates a healthy immune system. You can find magnesium in a lot of foods such as fish, namely tuna and halibut; fruits such as artichokes and figs; whole grains—any foods made with whole wheat flour, brown rice or barley; prune juice; yogurt; nuts; and legumes.

 

Garlic One of the more common nutrients that has received a lot of hype in the past for helping to lower and maintain optimum blood pressure levels. Garlic helps to lower cholesterol and has been proven to naturally lower high blood pressure. If garlic breath is an issue, try a garlic supplement.

                                                                                                        

L-arginine is a little known amino acid that helps the body produce nitric acid. Nitric acid is conducive to lowering blood pressure. L-arginine can be found in meat, peanuts, soy and wheat products. Taken in moderation on a daily basis, L-arginine, which, like garlic comes in a supplement form, can reduce blood pressure and is also known to help lower cholesterol.

The wonders of vinegar: Did you know that apple cider vinegar is one of the best nutritional products on the market for reducing high blood pressure? Apple cider vinegar is chock full of vitamins and nutrients that are considered helpful for lowering high blood pressure because it includes many vitamins such as A, B1, B2 & B6, C and E, in addition to potassium, magnesium, above, as useful natural nutrients for lowering and maintaining optimum blood pressure.

But diet may not be enough—exercise should be incorporated into your daily health regimen. This does not mean you have to run on the treadmill for an hour every day. If you are just starting out on an exercise regimen and want to slowly build up to a more strenuous work out, start slow. There are many kinds of exercise that will not only help you stay in shape but will also lower your blood pressure in ways that do not tax your body too strenuously

Walking- Anyone who is just starting an exercise regimen can incorporate walking more into their activities of daily living. Anyone can walk around a little more, e.g., use the steps, walk during breaks at work, and to the television to change the channel or volume, perform simple chores more often like dusting and running the sweeper. For a start, try walking at a brisk pace 30 minutes a day five days a week.

Swimming- This low-impact activity encourages muscle use, thereby burning calories, and since the body is supported by the water, swimming provides a good workout without stress to limbs or muscles. Swimming is highly encouraged for those healthy enough to swim, as it is an optimal source for both exercise and blood pressure control.

Yoga is an excellent exercise choice for those healthy enough to participate. It is a mind and body exercise that helps improve balance and mobility while building muscle strength. Yoga also helps to lower blood pressure.

Pilates is also low impact, although a bit more strenuous than yoga. Pilates is for the person who wants to build core strength, flexibility and endurance. Much like yoga, the exercises consist of low repetition stretching and controlled movement, along with measured and timely breaths. Not only is Pilates excellent for a maintaining controlled blood pressure it also helps to alleviate back pain.

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice that has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity in the west these past few years, uses fluid body movements to strengthen muscles and relieve stress. Regular Tai Chi exercise will improve balance, posture, strength and flexibility and will assuredly help to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Keep in mind that there is no one type of exercise better than the next. It is up to you and your doctor to determine what kind of physical program you are fit enough to try. The doctor’s advice is very important before choosing an exercise program that suits your needs and in evaluating its results for you.