Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Holidays: When You Loose A Loved One

theholidaywhenyou

When most people hear the word loss, they think of death, but it can also mean that your heart has been broken because someone or something you deeply cherish in your life has been lost. It is inevitable that at one point during your life you will experience a loss, but with some planning, you can get through the difficult time with grace and balance. There is no loss that you can’t recover from. “You can love, lose and survive. You can fall to your knees and cry in pain. You can feel a horrible, crippling emptiness, yet recover and fill yourself up again. We all seem to survive it,”

Be Patient with Yourself

Give yourself time to accept what has happened. There is no schedule for when you should feel certain emotions, or be over others. “Choose to stand up for you and the rest of your life, and choose to move on,” says . You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to get through the rest of your life. Just focus on staying in the game and moving forward now. It is normal to cry and be depressed, but you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. “You have to continue carrying on with your life, because going MIA from your routine and support from friends and family will only magnify the grief you feel,” . “Regardless of the specific loss you are going through, expect that the day will come that you will begin to see hope again. You can survive. You do have the strength to get through this.”

Adjust Your Expectations

Accept that your emotions are a natural part of the grieving process. “Experiencing death, divorce or other loss that makes you feel rejected and alone isn’t a life sentence of grief,” . “You will emerge. But don’t put generic expectations on yourself and don’t let others do so either.” You will feel an array of emotions. Remember that grief from any loss is not a linear process. You will begin to move on in your own time; just be sure to move forward before you totally lose your way.

Accept What You Cannot Change

One of the most frequent struggles you may face when you lose someone is a sense of being out of control ” not being able to control when someone leaves you. “Even though we can’t even almost have that control, we are not victims ” or at least we don’t have to be,” . “There is a point in this process where you can and must choose to take a stand for how you are going to react to this hard hit.” You must actively, consciously choose to focus on what you can change, and accept what you can’t change. “This means mentally, emotionally and spiritually accepting the reality of your loss and letting go of a past that you cannot bring back.”

 

Find Strength in Others

Although it may feel like you’re all alone in your experience, try talking to someone who has experienced a similar loss or someone whose presence is a source of comfort. “Sometimes a compassionate person may be a great help, even though they have not been through a similar loss,” . “The very fact that they haven’t been down that road may bring some much-needed objectivity to your dark hour.”

Don’t Get Stuck

“It’s easy to get stuck in this negative experience and all the emotions of it,” . Don’t get stuck in anger or bitterness. “Do what you need to do to help you get unstuck.” This can be different for everyone. You may find help in taking up a new hobby, getting counseling or talking to your doctor about treatment options like antidepressants. “Grief may cause you to be biochemically unbalanced, and medication may be the short-term jump-start that you need to move forward.” Another way to move forward is to focus on all the reasons you need to return to being the person you were before the loss. Beware: if you’ve had an addiction in the past, make sure you don’t turn to that narcotic as a source of soothing.

Recognize that Time is Infinite

“There’s wisdom in that old saying about living every day as though it were your last,” . That doesn’t mean you should go out and be reckless, but rather recognize that the unexpected can happen to you. Nurture the relationships with the ones you love. “You have to see time as a currency that you need to spend now, not wait for a day that may never come.” You are not here forever, and neither is anybody you love.

Create Value from This Experience

Take the time to ask yourself what you’ve learned from going through this experience. “There is value in all experiences; it just may take a closer look or a little time to see what it is,” .

Think about How You Will Prepare for Your Own Death

It is hard to have a family discussion about death, but it is a necessity. Be sure to have the talk with other family members when it is a calm time. Prepare financially for your exit from this world, and prepare your children for life when you’re gone. For example, you can make videos for your kids, sharing your advice about life, and what your hopes and dreams are for them.

Celebrate Life

“It’s a tragic injustice if all you do is focus on the day you lost your loved one, or their illness, accident or death,” . Not only is it painful, it doesn’t help you heal or move on. “You can and need to mourn their passing, but don’t do that to the exclusion of celebrating their life.” Remember, life doesn’t stop just because that person is not alive. Ask yourself if your loved one would really want you to stop your life because they’re no longer alive.

“The past is over, and the future hasn’t happened yet. Adopt an attitude that says, ‘The only time is now: I need to live in the moment,’

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Articles : Dr. McGraw

312-972-WELL ( 9355)

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Pets, Uncategorized

Dry Food or Fresh for Your Pet?

dogfood

Are You Making This Common Pet Food Storage Mistake?

Dry Food or Fresh Food?

 

If you purchase dry food for your cat or dog, which is not something I recommend unless you can’t afford better food, the way you store it impacts its freshness. An unsealed bag of pet food in a warm pantry or garage can be the recipe for disaster when it comes to avoiding disease and intentionally creating wellness.

 

The enemies of dry pet food include time, heat, moisture and oxygen. The longer the food sits on a shelf (at the grocer or your house) the more vitamin degradation occurs.

 

Depending on the quality, source and stabilization of the fats in the product the kibble also has the potential to become rancid, and as pet food formulator Steve Brown says, “feeding rancid fats is worse than feeding no fats at all.”

 

For this reason he recommends buying dry foods that do not contain additional essential fatty acids (EFAs) and recommends you add the delicate EFAs to your pet’s dry food at the time of feeding.

 

If pet food is allowed to sit in warmer, humid climates or a warm room of the house the potential for bacterial and fungal growth on and in the food is also a big risk to your pet. Storing dry pet food in an airtight container in the freezer, refrigerator or cool, dark room is your best bet.

 

Obviously don’t feed a food that’s expired, and in fact Steve recommends you use up kibble within 30 days of cracking the bag to avoid many of the negative things that can happen to dry food over time.

 

For this reason, I recommend you avoid buying large-sized bags if you only have one pet or small pets; the food will go stale or bad (and at the very least may lose flavor) before you get a chance to use it up within this four-week, optimal timeframe.

 

When you open a new bag, don’t pour the remnants from the old bag into the next, as you may transfer bacteria as well.

 

Keep the barcode around if the bag is gone, just in case there’s a recall or a problem with the product. I offer these tips because I recognize many pet owners do purchase dry food for economic reasons.

 

However, there are many reasons why you may want to reconsider this type of food entirely.

 

Believe it or not, with some pre-planning, sale shopping and an ounce of resourcefulness on your part, you can create well-balanced, homemade meals for little more than that ultra-premium bag of dry pet food you’re currently buying.

 

What’s Really in Dry Pet Food?

 

It goes without saying that feeding an animal kibble every day for its entire life will get boring for your pet. Will it sustain life? Sure, but assuming your pet will derive everything it needs to thrive from a monotonous diet of highly processed, synthetically fortified foods is a stretch. 

 

And while it may meet basic nutritional requirements to keep your pet alive, it certainly does not provide the type of nourishment your pet needs for cellular repair, healthy detoxification and resilient organ function, long term.

 

What’s my problem with feeding a pet an entirely processed diet their whole lives? Well, I have several issues with dry foods, but we’ll start with the quality control issues with the raw materials going into kibble. Rendering plants create meat and bone meal from a mishmash of sources.

 

Parts of cows that can’t be sold for human consumption (bones, digestive system, brain, udders, hide and more), carcasses of diseased animals, expired grocery store meat (including the plastic and Styrofoam packaging), road kill and even zoo animals and dogs and cats that have been euthanized. Slate reported:1

 

“This material is slowly pulverized into one big blend of dead stuff and meat packaging. It is then transferred into a vat where it is heated for hours to between 220 [to] 270 degrees F.

 

At such high temperatures, the fat and grease float to the top along with any fat-soluble compounds or solids that get mixed up with them.

 

Most viruses and bacteria are killed. The fat can then be skimmed off, packaged and renamed. Most of this material is called ‘meat and bone meal.’ It can be used in livestock feed, pet food or fertilizer … There is essentially no federal enforcement of standards for the contents of pet food.

 

… Indeed, the same system that doesn’t know whether its main ingredient is chicken beaks or dachshund really cannot guarantee adequate nutrition to the dogs that eat it.”

 

There is one dry food company, Carna4, that prides itself on using ethically sourced, humanely raised meats and no synthetic nutrients from China (unlike all the other brands). So if you must feed kibble, I suggest this brand. However, there are still other issues with kibble, in general.

 

Problems With Dry Food

 

Aside from the poor-quality meats, byproducts and synthetic vitamins and minerals, most commercial dry pet foods are based on high glycemic, genetically engineered (GE) corn, wheat, rice or potato — grains and starches that have no place in your pet’s diet and create metabolically stressful insulin, glucagon and cortisol spikes throughout the day.

 

In fact, many of the “grain-free” dry foods have a higher glycemic index than regular pet foods due to the excessive amounts of potatoes, peas, lentils or tapioca included in the formulas.

 

Carbs also break down into sugar, which fuels degenerative conditions such as diabetes, obesity and cancer. In the last 50 years we’ve learned the hard way that feeding biologically inappropriate diets (low-fat, high-carb diets that permeate the pet food industry) do not create health. If your veterinarian hands you a can of food appropriate to his health, he is probably doing his best, but fresh is better.

 

In fact, the amount of chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases is epidemic, all relating to diet and lifestyle, in my opinion. Further, low-quality proteins and fats (not fit for human consumption), when processed at high temperatures, create cancerous byproducts, like heterocyclic amines.

 

It’s estimated that meat going into pet food undergoes at least four high-temperature cooking processes in an average bag of food, leaving the digestibility, absorbability and overall nutrient value highly questionable.

 

Most dogs and cats will thrive when given fresh, whole foods, which mimic their ancestral diet, but unfortunately, many must make do with entirely processed, largely inferior alternatives. Your pet may have adapted to this diet, but it’s a recipe for chronic disease.

 

The low moisture content of dry food is also problematic, especially for cats. Dry cat food provides only about one-tenth the amount of moisture cats receive from prey animals, living foods and even commercial canned diets, which puts significant stress on their kidneys and bladder.

 

Dogs also tend to become excessively thirsty when fed a dry-food diet. The carb-heavy nature of dry food, along with the propensity for owners to feed more than their pet metabolically needs, is also a significant factor in rising rates of pet obesity. So, in my book, the issue is far less about how to properly store your pet’s dry food as it is about choosing the best food for your pet in the first place.

 

What Are the Best Choices for Pet Food?

I recommend pet parents ditch dry food entirely and instead feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of her weight, your pet needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in high-quality animal protein and moisture, healthy fats and fiber, with low to no starch content.

 

A nutritionally balanced raw or gently cooked homemade diet is the top choice for pets, but you should only attempt this if you’re committed to doing it right. The one mistake many people make is to feed their pet hamburger, green beans and rice daily. No one can get the right nutrients by eating the same thing everyday.  If you don’t want to deal with balancing diets at home, choosing to feed a pre-balanced, commercially available raw food is a great choice.

 

A freeze-dried/dehydrated diet is second best. Human-grade canned food is a mid-range choice, but hard to find, followed by premium canned food. Avoid semi-moist pouches, as most are made with an unhealthy chemical called propylene glycol.

 

Remember, too, that you can incorporate fresh foods into your pet’s diet as treats. Blueberries, chia seeds in coconut oil, banana slices, raw pumpkin seeds and even fermented vegetables and kefir make great fresh-food snacks and provide your pet with a variety of nutrition and flavors.

 

If you’re transitioning your pet over from a dry food diet, do so gradually. It may take your pet time to get used to the new healthier diet, but in many cases you’ll find even your cat grows to love it and you’ll love the health benefits (and smaller vet bills) from feeding a fresh, species-appropriate diet.

Please share with family and loved ones.

Health and Wellness Associats

Carol Becker

312-972-WELL

 

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Turkey Salad

turkeysalad

Clean Eating Turkey Salad

 

Ingredients

 

 

2 – 3 cups of leftover turkey – cut into cubes

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/2 cup red seedless grapes, quartered, or cranberries

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, non-fat ( I also use Hellman mayonnaise, regular)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt to taste

Pinch of turmeric

2 whole-wheat pita pockets, halved

4 romaine lettuce leaves

Directions

 

In a large bowl, mix all of the salad ingredients. Chicken salad can be eaten as is or eat as a pita sandwich. Recipe serves 4

 

 

Do you have a favorite turkey meal? We’d love to hear about it, so please do not hesitate to share with us.  You can always find us on facebook, HWellness Associates or Health and Wellness Associates.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Risk of Stroke with Nexium, Prilosec, and Other Heart Burn Drugs

riskofstroke

Risk of Stroke with Nexium, Prilosec, Other Heart Burn Drugs Seen in New Study

 

The findings of new research raise additional concerns about the potential side effects of Nexium, Prilosec and other heart burn drugs, suggesting that certain users of the popular medications may face an increased risk of stroke.

 

According to preliminary findings of a study presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016, researchers from the Danish Heart Foundation indicate that the overall stroke risk with Nexium, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI) increased 21%, especially among users of higher doses, which is a strong indicator that the drugs are likely causing the strokes.

 

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of heartburn medications used by millions of Americans, including blockbuster brands like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant, AcipHex and others, many of which have over-the-counter versions available without a prescription.

 

Although most users assume the drugs carry few serious side effects, often continuing to use Nexium or other PPIs for years, without any attempt to discontinue the drugs, the medications have been linked to a number of possible health risks in recent years, including heart attacks, dementia, kidney disease and kidney failure. However, some experts suggest that the link between Nexium and strokes may be most worrying, if confirmed.

 

“At one time, PPIs were thought to be safe, without major side effects,” Dr. Thomas Sehested, the study’s lead author, said in an American Heart Association press release. “This study further questions the cardiovascular safety of these drugs.”

 

The study, which has not yet been completed or peer-reviewed, looked at the records of nearly 250,000 Danish patients, with an average age of 57, who underwent an endoscopy procedure to seek out causes of stomach problems. Nearly 9,500 of those patients suffered an ischemic stroke during the six year follow up period of the study. The researchers looked to see which of those patients were taking either Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, or Prevacid.

 

Researchers found that the overall stroke risk with Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Prevacid increased by 21% for patients taking the drugs. The risk increased at higher doses for some, with high doses of Prevacid increasing the risk of stroke to 30%, and high doses of Protonix carrying the most risk of stroke with a 94% increased risk.

 

The study also looked at another class of heartburn drugs, known as H2 blockers, which includes Pepcid and Zantac. However, no increased risk of stroke was seen with those other drugs.

 

The researchers said their findings should inspire doctors to be more cautious in prescribing PPIs, and suggested that they should carefully consider if a PPI prescription is necessary and for how long to keep the patient on the drugs.

 

Other Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Protonix Health Risks

 

Over the past year, a growing number of Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits ,Prevacid lawsuits, Protonix lawsuits, Dexilant lawsuits and other claims have been brought against the makers of proton pump inhibitors, alleging that users and the medical community were not adequately warned about the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

 

The litigation has emerged over the past year, after a series of independent studies suggested there is a link between Nexium and kidney risks, including acute interstitial nephritis, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney failure. This has raised questions in recent months about whether the drugs may be overused.

 

Earlier this year, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine also found an increased risk of chronic kidney disease with the heartburn medications, indicating that users of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI may be 50% more likely when compared to non-users.

 

In 2014, a study published by researchers from the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy noted that not only was overuse and abuse of heartburn drugs widespread, but many who take the drugs do so for longer than four years. The study noted that this increases the risk of any side effects associated with the drugs, but it also has a large economic impact as well.

 

Plaintiffs claim that drug makers placed their desire for profits before consumer’s safety by withholding important safety information, alleging that if warnings had been provided about the risk of acute interstitial nephritis, kidney injury, kidney disease and kidney failure, many individuals may have been able to avoid these severe and potentially life-threatening injuries.

 

Given the large number of users throughout the United States, it is expected that thousands of cases may be filed in the coming months as heartburn drug injury lawyers continue to review and file cases.

We here at Health and Wellness Associates have mentioned this many times over the past few years.  Luckily, we have helped many of you get off these drugs safely.  If you are on any of these medications and you wish help in getting off them, please call us, or write to us, and we will be happy to get back with you.

Let us cure the cause, not just treat the symptom.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

 

 

Uncategorized

5 Ways to Survey Thanksgiving with the family

thanksgivingpic

5 Ways to Survive Your Next Family Gathering

In the Uncle Remus story of the tar baby, Brer Rabbit picks a fight with a lifelike doll made out of tar and turpentine. The tar baby is so gluey that when the rabbit punches it, his fists get hopelessly stuck. He tries to kick his way free, trapping his feet, then finishes off with an infuriated head butt that renders him utterly helpless.

I can’t think of a more fitting metaphor for family life in the 21st century. There’s nothing in the world as sticky as a dysfunctional family. You can put half your life’s savings into therapy—good therapy, effective therapy—and, 15 minutes into a holiday reunion, you still become hopelessly enmeshed in the same old crazy dynamics. Your assertiveness training goes out the window the minute your brother begins his traditional temper tantrum. A mere sigh from your grandmother triggers an attack of codependency so severe you end up giving her your house. For many people, family get-togethers require strategies for staying out of such sticky situations. Before you head over the river and through the woods, give some thought to the following suggestions.

Strategy #1: Give Up Hope

Most of us go home for the holidays thinking (along with comedienne Abby Sher), God, grant me the ability to change the things I cannot accept. Even if we don’t consciously realize it, we want our families to cease and desist from all the things that affect us like fingernails on a chalkboard. We don’t ask much—just socially appropriate behavior, dammit, and minimal reparations for the more damaging incidents in our past. Although come to think of it, things would certainly go better if our relatives would listen openly, communicate honestly, and agree with us on all significant issues. And possibly offer money.

The hope that our families will act perfectly—or even reasonably well—sets us up to whack the tar baby, to be incapacitated by the dysfunctions we’ll almost certainly encounter. Before you meet your relatives this season, take a few moments to sit quietly and acknowledge what you wish they were like. Then prepare to accept them even if they behave as they have always done in the past. At best you may be surprised to find that they actually are changing, that some of your wishes have come true. At worst you’ll feel regrettably detached from your kinfolk as you watch them play out their usual psychoses.

Strategy #2: Set Secure Boundaries

Given that your family members will probably go on being their same old selves, you need to decide how much contact with them you really want. Are there certain relatives you simply can’t tolerate? Are there others you can handle in group settings but not one-on-one? How much time and intimacy with your family is enough? How much is too much?

It’s crucial to answer these questions before, not during, a family gathering. Prior to the event, think through various boundary options until you come up with a scenario that makes you feel comfortable. Would you be more enthusiastic about a get-together if you planned to leave after no more than four hours? Or three? Two? One? Would you breathe easier if you rented a car so that you could get away without relying on relatives for transportation? Would it help to have a friend call you on your cell phone halfway through the evening, providing an excuse for a graceful exit?

Strategy #3: Lose Control

You’re in the middle of a holiday feast, enjoying your favorite pie and eggnog, when your mother leans over and whispers, “Honey, have you tried Weight Watchers?” Those six words may wither your very soul, challenging every ounce of self-acceptance you’ve gleaned from myriad self-help books, support groups, and several enlightened friends. You might feel desperate to make Mom recognize all the hard-won truths you’ve learned about the intrinsic value and beauty of your body. You’ll want to argue, to explain, to get right in there and force your mother to approve of your appearance. You are coming perilously close to whacking the tar baby.

Remember this: Any attempt you make to control other people actually puts you under their control. If you decide you can’t be happy until your mother finally understands you, her dysfunction will rule your life. You could spend the next 20 years trying to please her so much that she’d just have to accept you—and she still might not. Or you could hold her at gunpoint and threaten her into saying the words you want to hear, but you’ll never control her real thoughts and feelings. Never.

The only way you can avoid getting stuck in other people’s craziness is to follow codependency author Melody Beattie’s counterintuitive advice: “Unhook from their systems by refusing to try to control them.” Don’t violate your own code of values and ethics, but don’t waste energy trying to make other people violate theirs. If soul-searching has shown you that your mother’s opinions are wrong for you—as are your grandfather’s bigotry, your sister’s new religion, and your cousin’s alcoholism—hold that truth in your heart, whether or not your family members validate it. Feel what you feel, know what you know, and set your relatives free to do the same.

If you’ve been deeply wounded by your family, you can stop trying to control them by accepting full responsibility for your healing. I’m not suggesting you shoulder all the blame, but rather that you acknowledge that you and only you have the ability to respond to injury by seeking cures instead of furthering pain. Whatever the situation, accepting that you can control only your own thoughts and actions will help you mend more quickly and thoroughly.

Strategy #4: Become a Participant Observer

Some social scientists use a technique called participant observation, meaning that they join groups of people in order to watch and report on whatever those people do. Back when I was training to become a sociologist, I loved participant observation. People I might normally have avoided—criminals, fundamentalists, PTA presidents—became absolutely fascinating when I was participant-observing them. Almost any group activity is interesting when you’re planning to describe it later to someone who’s on your wavelength. Here are some approaches to help you become a participant observer of your own family.

Queen for a Day
This little game is based on the old TV show in which four women competed to see who had the most miserable life. The contestant judged most pathetic got, among other things, a washing machine in which to cleanse her tear-stained clothing. My version goes like this: Prior to a family function, arrange to meet with at least two friends—more, if possible—after the holidays. You’ll each tell the stories of your respective family get-togethers, then vote to see whose experience was most horrendous. That person will then be crowned queen, and the others will buy her lunch.

Comedy Club
In this exercise, you look to your family not for love and understanding but for comedy material. Watch closely. The more atrocious your family’s behavior is, the funnier it can be in the retelling. Watch stand-up comics to see the enormous fun they can have describing appalling marriages, ghastly parenting, or poisonous family secrets. When you’re back among friends, telling your own wild stories, you may find that you no longer suffer from your family’s brand of insanity; you’ve actually started to enjoy it.

Dysfunctional Family Bingo
This is one of my favorite games, though it involves considerable preparation. A few weeks before the holidays, gather with friends and provide each person with a bingo card, like the one on page 93, only blank. Each player fills in her bingo squares with dysfunctional phrases or actions that are likely to surface at her particular family party. For example, if you dread the inevitable “So when are you going to get married?” that question goes in one square of your bingo card. If your brother typically shows up crocked to the gills, put “Al is drunk” in another square, and so on.

Take your finished cards to your respective family gatherings. Whenever you observe something that appears on your bingo card, mark off that square. The first person to get bingo must sneak off to the nearest telephone, call the other players, and announce her victory. If no one has a full bingo, the person who has the largest number of filled-out squares wins the game. The winner shall be determined at the postholiday meeting, where she will be granted the ever gratifying free lunch.

Strategy #5: Debrief

Even if you don’t play any participant observation games, it’s crucial to follow up on family events by debriefing with someone you love. If your brother really “gets” you, call him after a family dinner you’ve both survived. If you don’t trust anyone who shares a shred of your DNA, report to a friend or therapist. Generally speaking, you can schedule a debriefing session for a few weeks after the holidays, when everybody’s schedule is back to normal. However, you should exchange phone calls with your debriefing partners within a day or so of the family encounter, just to reconnect with the outside world and head off any annoying little problems, such as ill-considered suicide.

All of these strategies, from relinquishing hope of transformation to mimicking your relatives in riotous conversations with your friends, are designed to help you love your family unconditionally, in whatever way works best for you. They help you greet the tar baby with genuine affection, then walk away clear and happy. And that, in the end, may be the best holiday present you’ll ever give to the people you cherish most.

 

Please share with family and friends

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

 

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

antipastoskewers

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

This should make a nice light and healthy appetizers to have for anyone’s diet and food needs.

Ingredients

Cooking spray

12 ounces fully cooked Italian-style poultry sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil

1 12 -ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large

1 14 -ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

 

Directions

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; mist with cooking spray. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes.

Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.

Per serving (4 skewers): Calories 140; Fat 5 g (Sat. 2 g; Mono. 1.5 g; Poly. 1 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 970 mg; Carbohydrate 12 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 12 g

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Uncategorized

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

sausagestuffedmushrooms

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Stuffed mushrooms make the perfect bite-sized appetizer for Thanksgiving.

 

Ingredients

16 extra-large white mushrooms

5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or medium sherry

3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings

6 scallions, white and green parts, minced

2 garlic cloves minced

2/3 cup panko crumbs

5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.

Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the stuffing for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.

Please share with family and loved ones

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

30 Minute Walking Workout for Arthritis

walkinthewoods

30-Minute Walking Workout for Arthritis

 

 

Arthritis pain leads many people to become less active, which is the exact opposite of what they should do. A 150 minutes per week of moderately-intense and joint-friendly activity (such as brisk walking) is recommended for those with arthritis by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Arthritis Foundation.

 

One in 10 American adults have arthritis-attributable activity limitations, and it’s even higher in the one third of Americans who are obese, according to the CDC.

 

 

For 10 million people, that means they have difficulty walking for a quarter mile. Each extra pound puts four more pounds of stress on the knees, according to the CDC.

 

Walking for 30 minutes at a time, five times per week is the recommended goal. If it is too challenging at first, it can be broken into 10-minute walks, three times per day.

 

Consult your health care team to see if walking is the right exercise for you and whether any precautions are necessary for your individual circumstances.

 

Walking Goal: To walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace, five or more days per week. Use a pedometer to aim for 6000 steps each day in a dedicated walking workout.

 

What You Need for a Walking Workout

Walking Shoes: Get fitted for flat and flexible athletic shoes. The right athletic shoes will allow you to move with greater comfort and less pain. Stiff shoes fight your natural foot motion, while shoes that are too flimsy don’t give you the cushioning and stability you need. Visit the best running shoe store in your area to get fitted by experts. If you have been wearing slip-ons or velcro-tabbed shoes to avoid having to bend over to lace them, discuss this with the shoe store as there are athletic shoes with these features and lacing systems that may be easier for you to use. But remember that these shoes wear out a lot faster, and loose their support quicker.

Walking Clothing: Wear clothing that gives you good freedom of movement. Wear a fitness t-shirt and fitness shorts, warm-up pants or yoga pants.

Walking Poles: A pair of walking poles can help relieve pressure on your joints and maintain your shoulder mobility. Use handrail on a treadmill also.  You will also burn more calories per mile at the same speed, enhancing your workout if you aren’t able to walk briskly.

 

Where to walk: You can use a treadmill for your walking workouts, which can help build confidence and speed and won’t have any curbs, hills or hazards to negotiate if those increase your discomfort. But walking outdoors is good for the spirit. You can still avoid hills by using a track at a nearby school. Look for a walking route on asphalt or level natural trail which will have less impact on the joints than concrete sidewalks.

Walking Warm-Up and Stretches: You may be stiff and need to wake up your joints and muscles before starting your walk. A warm shower before you begin may help. Begin by getting up and circling the room a few times or marching slowly in place. Then use the stretching routine to prepare your body for a walk.

Adjust Your Posture: Good body alignment is key to walking with less pain and strain on your joints. You may have developed bad posture habits with arthritis and it can help to practice good posture in front of a mirror. Stand up straight, with your eyes forward and your chin parallel to the ground. Engage your core muscles by pulling in your stomach and tilting your hips slightly forward as you tuck in your rear. Now straighten up by pretending there is a string attached to the top of your head and, with feet flat on the ground, raise yourself up from your hips to the top of your head. Relax your shoulders with another couple of shrugs. Bend your arms. Now you are ready to walk.

 

Walk at an Easy Pace for 3 to 5 Minutes: Continue your warm-up with an easy walking pace, bringing blood flow to your muscles and joints. Listen to your body and warm up for as long as it takes. If you have been inactive, do this 2-3 times per day at first before building up more time walking.

Speed Up: It may be difficult at first to walk faster than an easy pace, but you will get more exercise benefits if you practice speeding up. Move your arms faster in coordination with your steps to help pick up the pace. A brisk walking pace is one where you are breathing heavier but you can still speak in sentences. Aim for 50% to 70% of maximum heart rate. Use our Heart Rate Zone Calculator to find the right range for your age. Take your exercise pulse to see if you are in the moderate intensity zone. Using walking poles can help boost your heart rate at lower speeds. More: Tips for How to Walk Faster

Duration: Build up your walking minutes. A 10-minute walk is the minimum goal. A 30-minute walk, five days per week is the preferred goal. Walking longer, such as 60 minutes at a time, can help burn stored fat and support weight loss. More: How to Start Walking

Cool Down for 1 to 3 Minutes: Finish your walk by walking at an easy pace. You may want to end with the stretching routine again.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have RA in your family and you want to prevent getting it, or you already have RA or another form of arthritis, call us to see what you can do to alleviate your situation.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

polycystic

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

When a woman is diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it seems that she is not being given the correct follow up treatment or even advice.  We have been working with many women who have fallen into this group.

 

Did you know that there are many other diseases that are associated with Polycystic Ovaries. Having Polycystic Ovaries is almost a blessing because the other diseases can be worse for you.  It is almost like falling down for no reason, and when they examine your bones they find bone cancer.

 

In an article on the polycystic ovary syndrome, McCartney and Marshall (NEJM July 7 issue)1 did address the topic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Several studies have recently shown that the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is markedly increased among women with the polycystic ovary syndrome, independent of overweight or obesity and other coexisting components of the metabolic syndrome, and that these women are more likely to have the more severe forms (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, advanced fibrosis, and cirrhosis).2 Accumulating evidence also suggests that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease exacerbates hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance, confers a predisposition to atherogenic dyslipidemia, and causes the release of several proinflammatory, procoagulant, and profibrogenic mediators that may play important roles in the pathophysiology of the polycystic ovary syndrome and its related complications (principally cardiovascular disease and diabetes).3-5 These findings call for a more active and systematic search for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with the polycystic ovary syndrome. ( New England Journal of Medicine)

 

As you can see the NEJM talks about polycystic ovaries as a metabolic syndrome.  Not a condition and not a disease.  A syndrome which is a clue to other diseases in your body.

 

If you need assistance with this, and how to turn this around and prevent or reverse this metabolic syndrome, please call us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Low Blood Pressure

low-blood-pressure-s3-blood-pressure-chart

Low blood pressure facts

 

Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is blood pressure low enough that the flow of blood to the organs of the body is inadequate and symptoms and/or signs of low blood flow develop shock.

Low pressure alone, without symptoms or signs, usually is not unhealthy.

The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms are most prominent when individuals go from the lying or sitting position to the standing position (orthostatic hypotension).

Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. It’s most severe form is shock.

Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood, heart disease, and medications. volume of blood, heart disease, and medications.

The cause of low blood pressure can be determined with blood tests, radiologic studies, and cardiac testing to look for heart failure and arrhythmias.

Treatment of low blood pressure is determined by the cause of the low pressure.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. It constitutes one of the critically important signs of life or vital signs which include heart rate, breathing, and temperature. Blood pressure is generated by the heart pumping blood into the arteries modified by the response of the arteries to the flow of blood.

 

An individual’s blood pressure is expressed as systolic/diastolic blood pressure, for example, 120/80.

 

The systolic blood pressure (the top number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart contracts and pumps blood into them.

The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart relaxes following its contraction.

Blood pressure always is higher when the heart is pumping (squeezing) than when it is relaxing.

The range of systolic blood pressure for most healthy adults falls between 90 and 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal diastolic blood pressure ranges between 60 and 80 mm Hg. Current guidelines define normal blood pressure range as lower than 120/80. Blood pressures over 130/80 are considered high. High blood pressure increases the risk of damaging the arteries which leads to the development of:

 

Heart disease

Kidney disease

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis)

Eye damage

Stroke

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is pressure so low it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidney, the organs do not function normally and may be temporarily or permanently damaged.

 

Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure is defined primarily by signs and symptoms of low blood flow and not by a specific blood pressure number. Some individuals routinely may have blood pressure numbers of 90/50 with no symptoms and therefore do not have low blood pressure. However, others who normally have higher blood pressures may develop symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60.

 

In pregnancy, blood pressure tends to decrease. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy may be lower than 100/60. Blood pressure should be monitored by the obstetrician during pregnancy.

How is blood pressure generated?

 

During relaxation of the heart (diastole) the left ventricle of the heart fills with blood returning from the lungs. The left ventricle then contracts and pumps blood into the arteries (systole). The blood pressure in the arteries during contraction of the ventricle (systolic pressure) is higher because blood is being actively ejected into the arteries. It is lower during relaxation of the ventricle (diastolic pressure) when no blood is being ejected into the arteries. The pulse we feel when we place our fingers over an artery is caused by the contraction of the left ventricle and the ejection of blood.

 

Blood pressure is determined by two factors: 1) The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart into the arteries, and 2) the resistance to the flow of blood caused by the walls of the arterioles (smaller arteries).

 

Generally, blood pressure tends to be higher if more blood is pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are narrow and/or stiff. Narrow and/or stiff arterioles, by resisting the flow of blood, increase blood pressure. Arterioles may become narrower when the muscles surrounding them contract. Arterioles may become stiff and narrow when older patients develop atherosclerosis.

 

Blood pressure tends to be lower if less blood is being pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are larger and more flexible and, therefore, have less resistance to the flow of blood. How does the body maintain normal blood pressure?

 

The body has mechanisms to alter or maintain blood pressure and blood flow. There are sensors that sense blood pressure in the walls of the arteries and send signals to the heart, the arterioles, the veins, and the kidneys that cause them to make changes that lower or increase blood pressure.

 

There are several ways in which blood pressure can be adjusted; by adjusting the amount of blood pumped by the heart into the arteries (cardiac output), the amount of blood contained in the veins, the arteriolar resistance, and the volume of blood.

 

The heart can speed up and contract more frequently and it can eject more blood with each contraction (more forcefully). Both of these responses increase the flow of blood into the arteries and increase blood pressure.

The veins can expand and narrow. When veins expand, more blood can be stored in the veins and less blood returns to the heart for pumping into the arteries. As a result, the heart pumps less blood, and blood pressure is lower. On the other hand, when veins narrow, less blood is stored in the veins, more blood returns to the heart for pumping into the arteries, and blood pressure is higher.

The arterioles can expand and narrow. Expanded arterioles create less resistance to the flow of blood and decrease blood pressure, while narrowed arterioles create more resistance and raise blood pressure.

The kidney can respond to changes in blood pressure by increasing or decreasing the amount of urine that is produced. Urine is primarily water that is removed from the blood. When the kidney makes more urine, the amount (volume) of blood that fills the arteries and veins decreases, and this lowers blood pressure. If the kidneys make less urine, the amount of blood that fills the arteries and veins increases and this increases blood pressure. Compared with the other mechanisms for adjusting blood pressure, changes in the production of urine affect blood pressure slowly over hours and days. (The other mechanisms are effective in seconds.)

For example, low blood volume due to bleeding (such as a bleeding ulcer in the stomach or from a severe laceration from an injury) can cause low blood pressure. The body quickly responds to the low blood volume and pressure by the following adjustments which all increase blood pressure:

 

The heart rate increases and the forcefulness of the heart’s contractions increase, pumping more blood through the heart.

Veins narrow to return more blood to the heart for pumping.

Blood flow to the kidneys decreases to reduce the formation of urine and thereby increases the volume of blood in the arteries and veins.

Arterioles narrow to increase resistance to blood flow.

These adaptive responses will keep the blood pressure in the normal range unless blood loss becomes so severe that the responses are overwhelmed.

 

Is low blood pressure bad for your health?

 

People who have lower blood pressures have a lower risk of stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease.

 

Athletes, people who exercise regularly, people who maintain ideal body weight, and nonsmokers tend to have lower blood pressures. Low blood pressure is desirable as long as it is not low enough to cause symptoms and damage to the organs in the body

What are low blood pressure symptoms and signs?

 

When blood pressure is not sufficient to deliver enough blood to the organs of the body, the organs do not work properly and can be temporarily or permanently damaged. Symptoms of low blood pressure caused by conditions or diseases depend upon the specific cause of the low blood pressure. For example, if insufficient blood flows to the brain, brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, and a person can feel lightheaded, dizzy, or even faint.

 

The most common symptoms of low blood pressure include:

 

Lightheadedness

Dizziness

Fainting (syncope)

Symptoms of low blood pressure due to conditions or diseases include:

 

Orthostatic hypotension: Going from a sitting or lying position to a standing position often brings out symptoms of low blood pressure. This occurs because standing causes blood to “settle” in the veins of the lower body, and this can lower the blood pressure. If the blood pressure is already low, standing can make the low pressure worse, to the point of causing symptoms. The development of lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting upon standing caused by low blood pressure is called orthostatic hypotension. Normal individuals are able to compensate rapidly for the low pressure created by standing with the responses discussed previously and do not develop orthostatic hypotension.

Heart disease:Chest pain (a symptom of angina) or even a heart attack due to is insufficient blood pressure to deliver blood to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart’s muscle), a person may develop.

Kidney disease: When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, the kidneys fail to eliminate wastes from the body, for example, urea (BUN) and creatinine, and increases in their levels in the blood occur.

Shock is a life-threatening condition where persistently low blood pressure causes organs such as kidney, liver, heart, lung, and brain to fail rapidly.

 

Causes of low blood pressure: Dehydration, bleeding, and inflammation

Conditions that reduce the volume of blood, reduce cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart), and medications are frequent reasons for low blood pressure.

 

Dehydration is common among patients with prolonged nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive exercise which shunts blood away from the organs to the muscles. Large amounts of water are lost when vomiting and with diarrhea, especially if the person does not drink adequate amounts of fluid to replace the depleted water.

 

Other causes of dehydration include exercise, sweating, fever, and heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Individuals with mild dehydration may experience only thirst and dry mouth. Moderate to severe dehydration may cause orthostatic hypotension (manifested by lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting upon standing). Prolonged and severe dehydration can lead to shock, kidney failure, confusion, acidosis (too much acid in the blood), coma, and even death.

Moderate or severe bleeding can quickly deplete an individual’s body of blood, leading to low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension. Bleeding can result from trauma, surgical complications, or from gastrointestinal abnormalities such as ulcers, tumors, or diverticulosis. Occasionally, the bleeding may be so severe and rapid (for example, bleeding from a ruptured aortic aneurysm) that it causes shock and death rapidly.

Severe inflammation of organs inside the body such as acute pancreatitis can cause low blood pressure. In acute pancreatitis, fluid leaves the blood vessels to enter the inflamed tissues around the pancreas as well as the abdominal cavity, concentrating blood and reducing its volume.

 

Causes of low blood pressure: Heart disease

 

Weakened heart muscle can cause the heart to fail and reduce the amount of blood it pumps. One common cause of weakened heart muscle is the death of a large portion of the heart’s muscle due to a single, large heart attack or repeated smaller heart attacks. Other examples of conditions that can weaken the ability of the heart to pump blood include medications that are toxic to the heart, infections of the muscle of the heart by viruses (myocarditis), and diseases of the heart’s valves such as aortic stenosis that reduce the flow of blood from the heart and into the arteries.

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart). Pericarditis can cause fluid to accumulate within the pericardium and compress the heart, restricting the ability of the heart to expand, fill, and pump blood.

Pulmonary embolism is a condition in which a blood clot in a vein (deep vein thrombosis) breaks off and travels to the heart and eventually the lung. A large blood clot can block the flow of blood into the left ventricle from the lungs and severely diminish the blood returning to the heart for pumping. Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening emergency.

A slow heart rate (bradycardia) can decrease the amount of blood pumped by the heart. The resting heart rate for a healthy adult is between 60 and 100 beats/minute. Bradycardia (resting heart rates slower than 60 beats/minute) does not always cause low blood pressure. In fact, some highly trained athletes can have resting heart rates in the 40s and 50s (beats per minute) without any symptoms. The slow heart rates are offset by more forceful contractions of the heart that pump more blood than in non-athletes. But in many patients bradycardia can lead to low blood pressure, lightheadedness, dizziness, and even fainting.

Several common reasons for bradycardia include: 1) sick sinus syndrome, 2) heart block, and 3) drug toxicity. Many of these conditions occur in the elderly.

 

Sick sinus syndrome: Sick sinus syndrome occurs when the diseased electrical system of the heart cannot generate electrical signals fast enough to maintain a normal heart rate.

Heart block: Heart block occurs when the specialized tissues that transmit electrical current in the heart are damaged by heart attacks, degeneration from atherosclerosis, and medications. Heart block prevents some or all of the electrical signals from reaching parts of the heart, and this prevents the heart from contracting as well as it otherwise would.

Drug toxicity: Drugs such as digoxin (Lanoxin) or beta blockers for high blood pressure can slow the transmission of electricity in the heart chemically and can cause bradycardia and hypotension (see section “Medications that cause low blood pressure”).

An abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia) also can cause low blood pressure. The most common example of tachycardia causing low blood pressure is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a disorder of the heart characterized by rapid and irregular electrical discharges from the muscle of the heart causing the ventricles to contract irregularly and (usually) rapidly. The rapidly contracting ventricles do not have enough time to fill maximally with blood before each contraction, and the amount of blood that is pumped decreases in spite of the faster heart rate. Other abnormally rapid heart rhythms such as ventricular tachycardia also can produce low blood pressure, sometimes even life-threatening shock.

Low blood pressure causes: Medications

 

Medications that cause low blood pressure

 

Medications such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, and digoxin (Lanoxin) can slow the rate at which the heart contracts. Some elderly people are extremely sensitive to these medications since they are more likely to have diseased hearts and electrical conduction tissues. In some individuals, the heart rate can become dangerously slow even with small doses of these medications.

Medications used in treating high blood pressure (such as angiotensin converting enzyme or ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and alpha blockers) can excessively lower blood pressure and result in symptomatic low blood pressure especially among the elderly.

Water pills (diuretics) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL) and furosemide (Lasix) can decrease blood volume by causing excessive urination.

Medications used for treating depression, such as amitriptyline (Elavil); Parkinson’s disease, such as levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet); and erectile dysfunction (impotence), such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) when used in combination with nitroglycerin, can cause low blood pressure.

Alcohol and narcotics also can cause low blood pressure.

 

Other conditions that cause low blood pressure

 

Vasovagal reaction is a common condition in which a healthy person temporarily develops low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and sometimes fainting. A vasovagal reaction typically is brought on by emotions of fear or pain such as having blood drawn, starting an intravenous infusion, or by gastrointestinal upset. Vasovagal reactions are caused by activity of the involuntary (autonomic) nervous system, especially the vagus nerve, which releases hormones that slow the heart and widen the blood vessels. The vagus nerve also controls digestive tract function and senses activity in the digestive system. Thus, some people can have a vasovagal reaction from straining at a bowel movement or vomiting.

Postural (orthostatic) hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure when an individual stands up from a sitting, squatting, or supine (lying) position. When a person stands up, gravity causes blood to settle in the veins in the legs so that less blood returns to the heart for pumping, and, as a result, the blood pressure drops. The body normally responds automatically to the drop in blood pressure by increasing the rate and narrowing the veins to return more blood to the heart. In patients with postural hypotension, this compensating reflex fails to occur, resulting low blood pressure and its symptoms. Postural hypotension can occur in persons of all ages but is much more common among the elderly, especially in those on medications for high blood pressure and/or diuretics. Other causes of postural hypotension include dehydration, adrenal insufficiency (discussed later), prolonged bed rest, diabetes, and certain rare neurological syndromes (for example, Shy-Drager syndrome) that damage the autonomic nerves.

Another form of postural hypotension occurs typically in young healthy individuals. After prolonged standing, the individual’s heart rate and blood pressure drop, causing dizziness, nausea, and often fainting. In these individuals, the autonomic nervous system wrongly responds to prolonged standing by directing the heart to slow down and the veins to dilate thereby removing blood from circulating in the arteries.

Micturition syncope is a temporary drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness brought about by urinating. This condition typically occurs in elderly patients and may be due to the release of hormones that lower blood pressure.

Adrenal insufficiency, for example, due to Addison’s disease, can cause low blood pressure. Addison’s disease is a disorder in which the adrenal glands (small glands next to the kidneys) are destroyed. The destroyed adrenal glands can no longer produce sufficient adrenal hormones (specifically cortisol) necessary to maintain normal bodily functions. Cortisol has many functions, one of which is to maintain blood pressure and the function of the heart. Addison’s disease is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and, sometimes, darkening of the skin.

Septicemia is a severe infection in which bacteria (or other infectious organisms such as fungi) enter the blood. The infection typically originates in the lungs (as pneumonia), bladder, or in the abdomen due to diverticulitis or gallstones. The bacteria then enter the blood where they release toxins and cause life-threatening and profound low blood pressure (septic shock), often with damage to several organs.

Anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock) is a potentially fatal allergic reaction to medications such as penicillin, intravenous iodine used in some X-ray studies, foods such as peanuts, or bee stings (insect stings). In addition to a severe drop in blood pressure, individuals may also experience hives and wheezing due to constriction of the airways, and a swollen throat which cause difficulty breathing. The shock is caused by enlargement of blood-containing blood vessels and escape of water from the blood into the tissues.

 

What is the treatment for low blood pressure?

 

Low blood pressure readings in healthy subjects without symptoms or organ damage need no treatment. All patients with symptoms possibly due to low blood pressure should be evaluated by a doctor. Patients who have had a major drop in blood pressure from their usual levels even without the development of symptoms also should be evaluated. The doctor needs to identify the cause of the low blood pressure; remedies will depend on the cause. For example, if a medication is causing the low blood pressure, the dose of medication may have to be reduced or the medication stopped. Do not adjust medication dose on your own, and do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.

 

Dehydration is treated with fluids and minerals (electrolytes). Mild dehydration without nausea and vomiting can be treated with oral fluids and electrolytes. Moderate to severe dehydration usually is treated in a hospital or emergency room with intravenous fluids and electrolytes.

Blood loss can be treated by treating the cause of the bleeding, and with intravenous fluids and blood transfusions. Continuous and severe bleeding needs to be treated immediately.

Septic shock is a medical emergency and is treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Blood pressure medications or diuretics are adjusted, changed, or stopped by the doctor if they are causing low blood pressure symptoms.

Bradycardia may be due to a medication. The doctor may reduce, change, or stop the medication. Bradycardia due to sick sinus syndrome or heart block is treated with an implantable pacemaker.

Tachycardia is treated depending on the nature of the tachycardia. Atrial fibrillation can be treated with oral medications, electrical cardioversion, or a catheterization procedure called pulmonary vein isolation. Ventricular tachycardia can be controlled with medications or with an implantable defibrillator.

Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis is treated with blood thinners, initially with types of heparin. Later, oral warfarin (Coumadin) or other oral medications are substituted for heparin.

Pericardial fluid from pericarditis can be removed by a procedure called pericardiocentesis.

Postural hypotension can be treated with changes in diet such as increasing water and salt intake,* increasing intake of caffeinated beverages (because caffeine constricts blood vessels), using compression stockings to compress the leg veins and reduce the pooling of blood in the leg veins, and in some patients, the use of a medication called midodrine (ProAmatine). The problem with midodrine is that while it increases blood pressure in the upright position, the supine blood pressure may become too high, thus increasing the risk of strokes. Mayo Clinic researchers found that a medication used to treat muscle weakness in myasthenia gravis called pyridostigmine (Mestinon) increases upright blood pressure but not supine blood pressure. Pyridostigmine, an anticholinesterase medication, works on the autonomic nervous system, especially when a person is standing up. Side effects include minor abdominal cramping or increased frequency of bowel movements.

Postprandial hypotension refers to low blood pressure occurring after meals. Ibuprofen (Motrin) or indomethacin (Indocin) may be beneficial.

Vasovagal syncope can be treated with several types of drugs such as beta blockers, for example, propanolol (Inderal, Inderal LA) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), and fluvoxamine (Luvox). Fludrocortisone (Florinef) (a drug that prevents dehydration by causing the kidney(s) to retain water) also may be used. A pacemaker can also be helpful when a patient fails drug therapy.

Natural remedies have not been proven. Some herbs reported to raise blood pressure include ginger, rosemary, aniseed, cinnamon, and pepper. Do not take any herbs without first consulting your doctor.

*Note: Increasing salt intake can lead to heart failure in patients with existing heart disease and should not be undertaken without consulting a doctor.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-Well