Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

 hbp

In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 3 has high blood pressure (hypertension); another 1 in 3 has prehypertension.1 A blood pressure reading of 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) is considered healthy.

High blood pressure is typically considered anything over 140/90 mmHg, although updated guidelines2 from the American Heart Association now have 130/80 mmHg as the cutoff for a diagnosis of hypertension. Elevated systolic pressure (the top or high number) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia.3

While drugs are typically the first-line treatment for hypertension, they’re associated with a number of problematic side effects. For example, research4 published in 2017 found hydrochlorothiazide — one of the most popular drugs used worldwide to treat high blood pressure — raises the risk of skin cancer sevenfold.

Diuretics, also commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, have the side effect of leaching both sodium and potassium out of your body, and maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio is really important for the normalization of your blood pressure.5

Potassium is also needed for proper muscle movement, including the contractions of your heart, and if your level gets depleted it can trigger muscle cramps and heart problems. So, what can you do beside popping a daily pill? The good news is exercise can go a long way toward normalizing your blood pressure.6,7,8

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity Is the First Line of Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Over 80 percent of the U.S. population are insulin resistant and this metabolic dysfunction causes a boatload of problems, such as an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. There are many well-reported links between obesity and high blood pressure.9 Most, but certainly not all, those with hypertension are overweight, and in those circumstances losing weight is associated with lowering of their blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure your first strategy is to regain your metabolic flexibility and be able to burn fat as a primary fuel once again. This will not only decrease your insulin resistance and help optimize your weight, but also radically decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.10

Exercise Is Another Potent Therapy for High Blood Pressure

Inactivity and blood pressure are also closely related — so closely that exercise is actually considered a first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, just to name a few.11

Research shows inactive individuals have a 30 to 50 percent greater risk for high blood pressure than their active counterparts.12 As noted in a literature review13 on exercise and hypertension, published in Australian Family Physician:

“An evidence based literature analysis by the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that an isolated exercise session (acute effect) lowers BP [blood pressure] an average of 5 to 7 mmHg … [T]he average BP reduction with regular endurance exercise for hypertensives not normalized by drug therapy in the literature review is 7.4/5.8mmHg …

Depending upon the degree the patient’s BP has been normalized by drug therapy, regular aerobic exercise significantly reduces BP the equivalent of 1 class of antihypertensive medication (chronic effect) … Overall, resistance training has a favorable chronic effect on resting BP, but the magnitude of the BP reductions are less than those reported for an aerobic based exercise program …

For most hypertensive patients, exercise is quite safe. Caution is required for those over 50 years of age, and those with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) (or at high CVD risk) and in these patients, the advice of a clinical exercise physiologist is recommended.”

Try These Exercises to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The key to affect your blood pressure is to do physical activity that raises your heart rate, making your heart beat faster and increase blood flow. This is also known as cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.

As you might guess, just about any physical movement can achieve this, depending on your current state of fitness. Even yard work can be a cardiovascular exercise. Raking and mulching, for example, takes some effort and will get your heart pumping. Other aerobic exercises include:

Brisk walking and/or running — Research14 published in 2013 found moderate-intensity brisk walking produced similar reductions in blood pressure as vigorous-intensity running.
Swimming and/or water aerobics — In one study,15 adults aged 50 and over who swam three to four times a week for 12 weeks improved their vascular function and reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of nine points.
Bicycling — A 2016 study16 showed that people in their 40s through 60s who bicycled to and from work were less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or prediabetes. After 10 years of follow-up, bicycle commuters had an 11 percent lower risk for hypertension than nonbikers.
Weightlifting and/or body weight exercises — A small 2012 study,17 which included middle-aged men diagnosed with high blood pressure who had previously exercised less than two hours a week and were not using antihypertensive medication, showed that after weight training for 45 to 60 minutes (three sets of 12 repetitions for each of seven exercises), systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 22 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 8 mmHg.
Skiing
Skating
Rowing
Dancing
Sports such as tennis, soccer and ultimate Frisbee

Isometric Handgrip Training Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Isometric handgrip exercises have also been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure in older adults.

Interestingly, a 2013 systematic review18 concluded improving your handgrip strength was even more effective for lowering systolic blood pressure than conventional endurance and strength training programs.

Other studies19,20 have also confirmed the benefit of both handgrip and leg extension exercises on blood pressure. As noted in one of them:21

“Isometric resistance training lowers [systolic blood pressure], [diastolic blood pressure], and mean arterial pressure. The magnitude of effect is larger than that previously reported in dynamic aerobic or resistance training. Our data suggest that this form of training has the potential to produce significant and clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions and could serve as an adjunctive exercise modality.”

Boosting Your Nitric Oxide Level Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Another excellent exercise is the Nitric Oxide Dump. This and other high-intensity exercises help normalize your blood pressure by triggering production of nitric oxide in your body. It involves just four movements — squats, alternating arm raises, nonjumping jacks and shoulder presses — which are done in repetitions of 10, with four sets each. In total, it takes just three to four minutes. Ideally, you’d do these exercises three times a day, a few hours apart.

Nitric oxide is a soluble gas stored in your endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) and acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body. Along with promoting healthy endothelial function, nitric oxide also supports heart health by helping your veins and arteries dilate, which promotes healthy blood flow.

Nitric oxide also plays a protective role in your mitochondrial health, the energy storehouse of your cells, responsible for the utilization of energy for all metabolic functions. Even your skeletal muscle, which is made up of only about 1 percent to 2 percent mitochondria, depend on these energy powerhouses to fuel your daily movements.

When you exercise and your muscles ache, it’s because you’ve run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing nitric oxide. But here’s the secret that’s not widely known: When you exercise, it takes only about 90 seconds for your blood vessels to run out of stored nitric oxide and begin the process of making more.

This is why working major muscle groups for as little as 90 seconds can be so effective.22 You can also take advantage of the nitric oxide-boosting power of vegetable nitrates, which serve as precursors for nitric oxide. Arugula is the highest source but fermented beet powder can have up to 500 percent greater concentration of nitrates.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Help Normalize Your Blood Pressure?

As a general recommendation, aim for moderate-intensity activity 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.23 The higher the intensity of your exercise, the lower the frequency needs to be, so if you’re doing more vigorous aerobic activity, you can get away with doing just three days a week. In addition to that, it’s recommended to perform some sort of muscle strengthening exercise two days a week.

If you have high blood pressure, chances are you’re not exercising enough at present. If that’s the case, start slow and build your way up. For example, start taking a walk a few times a week, and increase the frequency as you start feeling more able. Over time, also step up the intensity, and be sure to add some form of strength training — especially if you’re insulin resistant — as well as isometric handgrip exercises, which can easily be done while watching TV or otherwise relaxing.

I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness.

Source: American Heart Association

Other Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

Aside from exercise, here are several additional suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.

Optimize your vitamin D level — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension.24 For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter year-round.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio — According to Dr. Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.

He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel,25 “Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can’t reduce or won’t reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better.”

Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you’ll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.

Intermittent and partial fasting — Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of hypertension. My new book, Keto Fasting which goes into great detail about partial fasting comes out next spring.
Walk barefoot — Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure. So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.

Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you’re improving your entire body and all of its functions.

Address your stress — The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart dis­ease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.

Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.

The good news is strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions. EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.

Essential oils — A number of essential oils can also be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage. In one study,26scientists found exposure to essential oil for one hour effectively reduced stress as measured by a reduction in the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure.

The effect was only temporary, however. In another, similar study,27 inhalation of a blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, neroli and marjoram essential oils was associated with a reduction in blood pressure and cortisol secretion, which is often elevated during stress.

 

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

 

Why using a Sphygmomanometers with a stethoscope is the only correct way

 

 

Bill Murray’s rumored to have said: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 350,000 times — you’re a weatherman.”

 

That’s a lack of accuracy we often joke about, but for some things, being that far off the mark is more disturbing.

 

According to a recent Canadian study from the University of Alberta, home blood pressure monitors are 100 percent accurate only about 30 percent of the time.

 

That’s not good, the researchers point out, because high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world.

 

In the small but revealing study of 85 people with high blood pressure, researchers identified what causes the problems with the readings.

 

Occasionally, it’s a person’s inability to run the device properly. It also can be the one-size-fits-all design; the same cuff is used for both men and women, but in the study men’s readings were more accurate. Arm shape and size can make the difference. You have just learned that men should use a different at home machine than women.  People with larger arms, and people with smaller arms will not get accurate readings.   What about the machine that fits around your wrist.  This is the most inaccurate of all of them. ( Dr. Michael Rosen )

bpmachine

You will get a higher reading if you are reclined, one must be sitting up in a straight back chair.   Are your ankles or legs crossed?   Are you wearing steel toe boots?  The weight of the boot will cause for an inaccurate reading.

People with high blood pressure can NEVER take cold and cough medication, unless it states it is good for HBP.

 

Nonetheless, if you have high blood pressure, it’s important to keep track of how it’s doing.

 

So how can you check the accuracy of your device?

 

First, bring your at-home monitor with you to your next doctor’s visit and check it against the doc’s machine. If the person that is taking your blood pressure is not wearing a stethoscope to listen to your blood pressure, it will be inaccurate, I don’t care what they tell you!

bpmachinestethOnly a stethoscope can give an accurate reading.

Insist they use a manual blood pressure machine, and then they can tell what your pulse path is, whether you have an arrythmia and even A-fib.  There are many things they can detect using a stethoscope.  Insist that your doctor takes your blood pressure if need be.

 

Second, have your pharmacist instruct you in proper usage, and then try it out right there. Almost all pharmacies now have stations, or technicians, where you can check your blood pressure also, but remember they are not accurate either.  But if you use the same machine each time, you will be able to tell if YOUR blood pressure is going up or down.

Your blood pressure machine needs to be re-calibrated yearly also.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Blood Pressure is Rising! What Should Your do?

heartfruits

You’re not alone if you have questions about your blood pressure.

 

Nearly 1 out of every 3 American adults need to be concerned… And, according to the American Heart Association, 28 percent don’t know it.

 

Many people go about their lives unaware that their blood pressure levels may be creeping higher, even as it is maintained within the normal range, as they age or add on extra pounds.

 

Things you take for granted – like remembering names or your ability to think or learn – can be affected.

 

I strongly advise you to know your numbers. Get your blood pressure tested right away if you haven’t in the last two years. The risk of not knowing – and not acting – is simply too great. You have many options available to take control.

A healthy blood pressure is one of the key measures of a healthy heart, so your blood pressure is vitally important!

 

What exactly is blood pressure?

 

Blood pressure is a measure of the force against the walls of your arteries in response to the pumping of your heart.

 

The amount of blood being pumped and the flexibility of your arteries both influence that force. Your blood pressure can rise when either or both of these things happen:

 

Your arteries contain a large amount of blood

Your arteries lose some of their flexibility

If your arteries become less flexible and can’t expand easily to handle the extra amount of blood flow, your blood pressure rises.

 

When your blood pressure rises, your heart has to work harder to keep blood flowing. Certain situations could cause this increased demand for a short time – like high-intensity training – but that’s not an issue if you’re healthy.

 

The problem is when it’s continuous. Forcing your heart to pump hard without a break can place it under a great deal of stress.

 

And here’s a fact you may not know about blood pressure… When your blood pressure is high within the normal range, your arteries can become stiffer, which makes your heart work harder – and your blood pressure go even higher within the normal range.

 

Should You Be Thinking More About Your Blood Pressure?

Two numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The systolic, or top number, measures the force when your heart contracts. The bottom number, or the diastolic, measures the force when your heart rests.

 

blood pressure detection

Blood pressure issues can go undetected for years. Do you know your numbers?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a “normal” reading is 120/80.

 

You are considered “at risk” if you’re:

 

Systolic is 117 to 139 mmHg

Diastolic is 80 to 89 mmHg

And once your levels reach these numbers, they’re considered “high”:

 

Systolic is 140 mmHg or higher

Diastolic is 90 mmHg or higher

If you are under 60 and have no other risk factors, your diastolic pressure may be most important. If you’re over 60, your systolic pressure is your most important cardiovascular risk factor.

 

Be aware that, depending on your overall health, your doctor may want to treat you with medication even if your pressure is as low as 130/80.

 

In addition to testing your blood pressure levels, be sure to check your fasting insulin level. As you’ll soon see, insulin resistance is very closely linked to blood pressure.

 

What You Can Do Right NOW to Help Maintain Your Healthy Blood Pressure

The U.S. Joint National Committee (JNC) on blood pressure recently stated:

 

“The potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control, and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve blood pressure control and even reduce medication needs.”

If you have questions about your blood pressure – and for that matter, rising blood sugar or insulin levels or an expanding waistline – know there’s much you can do to help maintain normal healthy levels. Here are 6 of my top tips:

 

ideal outdoor exercise

Get plenty of exercise, ideally barefoot and outdoors in the sun

Get active and walk more steps.

Exercise is one of your most powerful strategies for managing your blood pressure and your insulin level.

 

Try tracking your steps with a fitness tracker or your smart phone and shoot for 7,000-10,000 steps a day. And if you work at a desk all day, make sure you stand up, or better yet, switch to a stand up desk like I did.

 

Ideally, exercise outdoors with bare feet. Studies show that walking barefoot outside – called Earthing or grounding – improves both your blood viscosity and flow, which regulate blood pressure.

 

 

Breathe deeply and slowly and let go of stress.

The way you breathe can affect your blood pressure. One method of breathing, the Buteyko Method, was discovered by a 26-year old Russian physician while trying to manage his own blood pressure.

 

Slow, deep breathing and practices such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong help decrease stress hormones, and in turn, lower an enzyme that raises blood pressure. Also, inhale slowly and exhale deeply for 5 minutes twice a day.

 

There’s a strong link between stress and blood pressure. If you have unaddressed negative emotions like fear, anger, and sadness, you’re less able to cope with normal, everyday stressors.

 

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are outstanding ways to transform your suppressed, negative emotions and relieve the stress in your life.

 

Many grocery store food choices today don’t even resemble real food

Get the processed foods out of your cart – and out of your home.

Many processed foods contain high levels of sugar and fructose, processed salt, unhealthy trans fats, and damaged omega-6 vegetable oils – all things that can affect your blood pressure and health.

 

In fact, I believe one of the primary causes of blood pressure issues is related to your tissues becoming insulin- and leptin-resistant in response to a high-carbohydrate and processed food diet!

 

As your tissues become more resistant to their actions and your insulin and leptin levels rise, so does your blood pressure. In a group of study subjects who were insulin-resistant, nearly two-thirds also had blood pressure above optimal levels.

 

A good rule to remember: buy food that still looks like the original food. In other words, brilliantly colored, sweetened fruit rollups are NOT the same as fresh, organic berries or apples!

 

Shop the outer isles of your grocery store. This is where you’ll find the fresher, unprocessed foods like produce, meat, and eggs. Even better, visit your local farmer’s market. Look for grass fed and pasture-finished meats.

 

 

probiotics on blood pressure management

Balance your gut flora with probiotics for blood pressure management

Eat more fermented foods and consider a probiotic supplement.

While many doctors still cling to the idea that limiting sodium is the “cure-all” for blood pressure issues, I’m not convinced.

 

Sure, it’s wise to cut out processed salt (the kind found in processed foods and most salt shakers).

 

But here’s something I think might help your blood pressure equally as much: balance your gut flora.

 

Rather than relying on commercial yogurt and milk products for your probiotics, I recommend eating fermented foods each day. The Dairy products in the USA are highly dangerous to everyone.  In 1980 the American Pediatric Association said that the milk in the USA was harmful to new borns and children.  Yet, I don’t see a lot of doctors telling their patients this, unless they are at a teaching hospital.

 

 

Optimize your vitamin D levels.

I talked earlier about how a lack of flexibility of your arteries can affect your blood pressure.

 

Researchers have discovered that both trans fats and a lack of vitamin D can contribute to stiff arteries. And too little vitamin D is related to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, too.

 

Sunlight exposure – my preferred way for you to get vitamin D – increases the level of nitric oxide in your skin, which helps dilate your blood vessels.

Vegetables and fruits benefit your heart and arteries

There are several types of Vitamin D out there.  Do you know which one is the best for you?  Do you know that you MUST take another supplement with that in order for it to work?

Call us, or ask your healthcare provider, and if they say “anyone will work” , then you know they do not know what they are talking about.

 

Eat more Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral, but also an electrolyte, and plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

 

Many people believe salt to be one culprit behind high blood pressure. Studies now reveal it is an imbalance between the intake of sodium and potassium that may be causing the problem.

 

Eating food rich in potassium such as avocado, cremini mushrooms and green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and Brussel sprouts can help to correct this imbalance.

 

 

Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.

The latest research suggests that the biggest benefit of eating lots of vegetables and fruits may be for your heart and blood pressure.

 

Certain fruits and vegetables contain a type of phytonutrient called polyphenols that have been shown to support healthy normal blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

 

Many Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables – the CDC reported in 2013 that the average adult eats less than 3 servings a day.

 

Do your heart and blood pressure a favor and eat plenty of fresh, organic produce each day!

Especially grapes, with the seeds!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Seven Most Dangerous Prescriptons

spoonful

The Seven Most Dangerous Prescriptions You Can Take

 

A damning Harvard University report has advised that according to the European Commission, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year – making prescription drugs the 4th highest cause of death, on a par with stroke.

We could get into legal trouble if we advised you to go against the recommendations of your doctor; however, we can advise you to be as informed as possible about the risks involved in taking prescription meds.

According to the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical industry is worth 300 billion dollars annually – with an additional hundred million expected to add to the value in the next three years. A third of this entire multi-billion-dollar market is controlled by ten of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. According to CMR International, a partner of Thomas Reuters, global pharmaceutical sales reached one trillion dollars in 2014 and will be booming to 1.3 trillion by 2018.

It goes without saying that this is big business – but like every big business, there is a dark side as well. Can we really trust the research – seeing as the same companies selling the pills are funding many of the medical journals and medical schools? And then we have the issue of doctors receiving kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs, after being “educated” on the benefits of the drugs by pharma salesmen.

Remember that doctors do not get paid from your insurance company unless they write a prescription or a procedure, or a follow up with another doctor.

Take a look at this list of seven of the most dangerous prescription drug types and see how they can hurt you.

 

#1: Sleeping Pills (OTC and prescribed)

 

The use of sleeping pills has been associated with an increased risk factor for stroke. A study published by Petrov, et. al. in 2014 revealed that over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills increased a person’s risk for stroke, independently and beyond any of the other known risk factors like blood pressure, personal history of heart disease, and vices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Isn’t it worrying that compared to all other factors that place a person at risk for stroke, sleeping pills top that list?

This includes any medications that make you drowsy i.e. Benadryl, Night time Nyquil, Tylenol Pm, Valerian,  and such.

 

#2: Cholesterol Drugs (Statins)

Did you know that deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997, while statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987? This is an alarming “coincidence” – to say the least. Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs has been proposed as the most likely explanation.

 

Drugs that are meant to control your cholesterol levels may also be damaging your liver. Hepatotoxicity is not completely absent among people who undergo statin therapy, but it is uncommon. However, several studies have discovered that statins cause severe liver damage, especially in in dosages higher than 50 milligrams per day – a scary thing to realize when statin dosages can climb up to 80 milligrams per day when a person has high or uncontrollable cholesterol levels. Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, and Pravastatin have all been linked to liver injury.

 

#3: Blood Pressure Drugs (Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers)

 

Among the different drugs prescribed to manage hypertension, calcium channel blockers have been found to be the most common ones linked to adverse drugs reactions (ADRs). The most common ones linked to CCBs are bipedal edema, chest pain, hypersensitivity, and difficulty of breathing. A recent study published in 2014 discovered that immediate-release CCB use was positively associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. On the other hand, beta-blockers have been associated with several adverse side effects, such as increased incidence of post-operative dysrhythmia, troponin elevation, and heart failure, risk for hepatic failure, and small-for-gestational age births.

 

#4: Alzheimer’s Drugs

 

While the positive effects of psychotropic drugs have been well-documented, there have also been studies revealed their adverse effects. A study conducted on the pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease found that antipsychotics increased a person’s risk for developing diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and stroke, and even overall mortality. The most popular drug prescribed for Alzheimer’s is Aricept or Donezepil and has been linked to nausea, diarrhea, malaise, dizziness, and insomnia.

 

#5: Arthritis Drugs (NSAIDs)

 

It is so easy to be prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain, and even easier to purchase one from the pharmacy. What most people fail to realize is that NSAIDs are one of the leading causes of drug-related morbidity, especially in elderly and immunocompromised people. They have been directly linked to gastrointestinal problems, destroying the inner lining of the stomach and increasing the risk for ulceration and internal bleeding. Renal effects have also been linked to NSAID use, causing fluid and sodium retention and hypertension (and eventual cardiovascular problems). In worse case scenarios, people with severe kidney problems might even require dialysis. This seemingly innocuous drug is one of if not the most dangerous ones on this list.

 

#6: Diabetes Drugs (Actos, Avanida, Byetta, Metformin)

 

Another class of drugs to watch out for are those prescribed to manage high blood sugar, a characteristic symptom of diabetes. Liver damage has been linked to metformin use. In a study focusing on different ADRs, metformin-induced hepatitis was seen in a case of a person taking 500 milligrams of Metformin three times a day and insulin glargine. Liver damage can manifest as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and discoloration of the urine and stool. Further liver damage can cause uncontrollable bleeding and insufficient clearing of toxins from the blood.

 

#7: Chemotherapy (Tamoxifen)

 

The one category of drug on the list that is universally regarded as harmful to a person’s health is chemotherapeutic drugs. When people diagnosed with cancer are advised to undergo chemotherapy, they are prepped for the side effects they will undoubtedly experience along with it. Chemotherapeutic drugs are strong enough to kill rapidly proliferating cancer cells – however there is collateral damage: Healthy cells are also killed and it’s the oft-repeated hope with chemotherapy that it “kills the cancer and doesn’t kill you”. Weakness, hair loss, and appetite loss, are the mildest of these side effects, with more serious ones involving blood in the urine or stool, high-grade fever, severe pain over the chemotherapy infusion site, vomiting and diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.  Chemotherapy is known to kill a significant number of cancer patients.

 

Try to do everything you can not to start any of these medications.  Once you have taken them for a while, your body gets lazy and does not want to work, and lets the pill do all the work.  Then you are on them for life.

 

Call us if you need help getting off medications, or hopefully never getting on any medications.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Herbs: A Natural Treatment for HBP

yarrow

Herbs: The Natural Alternative to Treat High Blood Pressure

 

Hawthorn

Hawthorn has been a heart disease remedy since the first century. It is a common thorny shrub that grows up to 5 feet tall and grows in small, red, white, and pink clusters. Little berries called haws sprout after the flowers. Hawthorn contains antioxidant flavonoids which help dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and protect the vessels from damage. The leaves and buds were found to have more flavonoids than the berries. One study has found that participants who took hawthorn extract for 16 weeks had lower blood pressure than the placebo. (4)

 

Lime Blossom

 

Linden is a herb from lime trees. These flowers were brewed into tea throughout history to heal issues pertaining to anxiety. The Linden flowers contain flavonoids, volatile oil, and mucilage component, which soothe and reduce inflammation. It also has tannins which act as an astringent. It also has antispasmodic, diuretic, and sedative properties. (5)

 

Yarrow

 

Yarrow was a popular European folk medicine. It contains flavonoids, plant-based chemicals that increase stomach acid and saliva to improve digestion. It can also relax smooth muscles in the intestine and uterus. Yarrow is a member of the Astor family which is related to chrysanthemums and chamomile. The flowers, leaves, and stems are used in medicine. It has been found to lower blood pressure and can strengthen the effects of pharmaceutical drugs for this condition. (6)

 

Mistletoe

 

Mistletoe has been found to neutralize blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, in addition to treating cardiovascular disease. It also can soothe arthritic and rheumatic pain. The actual berries of this plant are poisonous. The leaves, however, are rich with healing effects. (7)

 

Hibiscus

 

A study was done on male participants aged 30 to 65 years old where they consumed 250 ml of a hibiscus tea after a high fat breakfast. The placebo group drank only water. Researchers have noted the improved difference in the blood pressure and inflammation in comparison to the placebo volunteers without the tea. They hoped that this study can become the start of using this herb to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. (8)

 

Tea For Heart Health

 

These herbs are effective in aiding healthy blood pressure in varying ways. Some  dilate the peripheral blood vessels, thereby increasing the overall size of the cardiovascular structure. Some help the kidneys pass more water, thus reducing the fluid content in the system. Others normalize the activity of the heart, safely decreasing the force with which the blood is pumped through the body.

 

Here is how you can make brew your own Hawthorn, lime, mistletoe, and yarrow tea.

 

Depending on how much you want to make at one time, adjust the formula accordingly.

 

Hawthorn – 2 parts

Lime Blossom – 2 parts

Yarrow – 2 parts

Mistletoe- 1 part

Drink this tea three times daily for optimal results.

 

Using this mixture over a period of time, blood pressure will return to normal level. This drink will safely return blood pressure to a normal level without artificial depressing the system. Herbs can only normalize and will not lower blood pressure to unhealthy levels. (1)

 

If you are having trouble lowering your blood pressure, please call us.  A Personalized Health Care Plan is what you might need, to have objective medical eyes look at you with a fresh start to find the exact problem.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: Michele

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

A Tennis Ball!

tennisballs

 

What if I told you there’s a device that can lower your blood pressure, improve your hand-eye coordination, build strength, and help you relax…and you can buy it at a local store for less than $3.00?

 

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s impossible.”

 

But I’m sure you’re wondering what it is. Well get ready, because I think it’s going to surprise you. In fact, you might already have one! It is…

 

A tennis ball.

 

Amazing, right? A simple tennis ball can do all that, and I’m going to tell you how.

 

Let’s get started. This first Tennis Ball Tip is great for relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and building strength. And it came from a very unlikely place.

 

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Back in the 1970’s, a doctor named Ronald Wiley invented a device to keep F-16 jet fighter pilots from losing consciousness.

 

It was a hand-grip device. And they discovered an interesting side-effect: after prolonged use, the pilots’ resting blood pressure was lower.

 

The device is now available to people with high blood pressure, and according to the Harvard Heart Letter, “It has been shown to lower blood pressure as much as a first-line anti-hypertension drug.” However, you can get similar results just by squeezing a tennis ball.

 

STEP 1

Pick up the tennis ball, wrapping your fingers around the ball.

 

STEP 2

Squeeze the ball and hold the squeeze for at least 5 seconds. Relax your grip for 2 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

 

STEP 3

Rest 5 seconds and do 10 more repetitions with the same hand.

 

STEP 4

Repeat the sequence using your other hand.

 

That’s it. Along with lowering your blood pressure, it’s a great stress reliever AND it builds strength in your forearm and grip.

 

[ TIP: If the ball is too hard to squeeze, poke a hole in it.]

 

SOLITAIRE CATCH

This one seems simple, but it really improves your eye-hand coordination and quickens your reflexes. This exercise is used by baseball and football players, as well as other athletes.

 

STEP 1

Stand 4 to 5 feet from a wall. Toss the ball against the wall with your right hand, and catch it with your right hand.

 

STEP 2

Repeat 10 times.

 

STEP 3

Repeat the entire sequence with your left hand.

 

As you practice, change the spot you toss the ball – go lower, higher – and vary the speed. For a bigger challenge, cover one eye to throw off your depth perception.

 

[TIP: You can even do this at your desk. I’ve been doing it for years…it helps me think!]

 

MASSAGE ROLLER

This next Tennis Ball Tip will help stimulate muscle tissue, loosen knots, and help you relax.

 

STEP 1

Lie flat on your back and put the tennis ball under your low back. Close your eyes and let your body sink down on the ball.

 

 

STEP 2

Roll gently on the ball, massaging your low back. Slowly roll the ball higher up your back. Keep going until the ball is between your shoulders.

 

STEP 3

Repeat until you’re completely relaxed.

 

For an even better effect, use two tennis balls side by side.

 

[ TIP: This is an exercise you can do with your spouse. Have them lie on their stomach, then use the tennis ball to give them the best back rub ever.]

 

And don’t forget, you can also play tennis! You get the benefits of great exercise, the fun of playing a game, and it gets you out with other people.

 

One last tip – and this one is my favorite – take your tennis ball, get a dog, and play “fetch.” There’s nothing better!

 

If you try any of these Tennis Ball Tips, let me know how they worked for you. And if you have any other tips, exercises or games to play with a tennis ball, let me know. My other subscribers would love to hear them!

 

Please share with family and friends, and as always, call us if you have any questions.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-Well

 

 

 

 

 

Foods, Health and Disease

Eggs and Onions

eggsandonions

Now, this might sound a bit strange, but both eggs and onions

are a must food for people who have high blood pressure or

cardiac problems trend in your families.  No, you do not need to eat them together.

 There is a peptide in eggs, especially egg whites, that reduces blood pressure

as effectively as a low dose of medication. This peptide blocks a substance

in the body that hikes blood pressure.

1/3 cup of onions daily, (any kind, raw or cooked) cut blood pressure

some 21% in a five week study. Onions are rich in quercetin,

a natural diuretic that lowers pressure by flushing out excess fluids and salts.

Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure

HBPheart

Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure

In America, almost one in three adults are living with high blood pressure, that’s why the topic of dietary recommendations for high blood pressure is becoming more and more popular these days. What causes high blood pressure? Normally not consuming enough vegetables and fruits can result in a high sodium intake and low potassium intake, which can contribute to developing high blood pressure. So with high blood pressure, you are recommended to have a diet low in sodium and fat, avoid these foods:

  • Pickles

Pickles are super low in calories and fat, and are also high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot after the injury, that’s great. But they are loaded with sodium, one medium pickle provides more than 570mg of sodium, that’s more than 1/3 of the daily recommended needs. So if you’re with high blood pressure, limit your pickle intake.

  • Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is with several health benefits, including providing vitamin C and K, iron and a good amount of fiber, and it also boosts your immune system, but you should limit the amount you eat, or choose low-sodium brands, as a half cup of it has more than 460 mg of sodium, 19% of your recommended daily intake.

  • Bacon

Bacon is not only delicious, it’s also like other pork products, contains B-vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), vitamin D as well as the minerals zinc, iron and magnesium, which are all essential for a positive health body. But why most people feel afraid to eat it? As it’s super high in sodium, three slices contain around 270 mg of sodium and 4.5 grams of fat, so it’s wise to try turkey bacon for lower sodium intake instead of the salty&fatty pork bacon.

  • Whole Milk

When you’re trying to build muscle, whole milk is your best choice, it provides more fat than you need, a one cup serving of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat. While if you are living with high blood pressure, try using 2% milk, or even better-skim milk, as the saturated fats whole milk contains are bad for you and may lead to heart disease.

  • Donuts

People like donuts, for its sweet taste, but they are not good for your health. A single donut can provide more than 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, as they’re fried, means you’re getting lots of saturated and trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

  • Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students all over the world, as they’re inexpensive and so convenient. However, it’s not a healthy choice as they’re lack of nutrients and with lots of unhealthy components. One package of ramen provides 14 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat, and 1731 grams of sodium, more than 70% of the recommended daily needs! In fact, the flavor packet contains most of the sodium, so to reduce sodium intake, it’s better to not add the flavor packet.

  • Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels, and alcohol can damage the walls of blood vessels. For people with high blood pressure, avoid alcohol totally or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:

  • One drink for men age more than 65 per day
  • Two drinks for men younger than age 65 per day
  • One drink for women of any age per day

A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

If you have high blood pressure, limit eating these above foods and focusing on low-sodium foods can help. Some good choices are: potassium-rich bananas, salt-free seasonings, potassium-packed white potatoes, fresh fish, nutrient-packed lima beans, iron-rich spinach, omega-3 fatty acids-rich flaxseed.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL (9355)

Archived Article : Jordan