Health and Disease

HWA – RISK FACTORS FOR HEART DISEASE

Before getting into the risk factors that you can work to reduce, let’s cover the few that you can’t do anything about.

  • AgeThis one’s pretty simple. The older you get, the likelier you are to develop heart disease. In fact, more than 80% people who die from heart disease are older than 65, because the heart tends to grow weaker as you move into your golden years.
  • GenderWhile heart disease may be the number cause of death for both men and women, it tends to develop later in women. Why? Experts believe that hormones such as estrogen, which women have in much greater abundance than men, may provide some protection against heart disease. However, those hormones decline during menopause. By age 65, a woman’s odds of heart disease match those of a man of similar age.
  • Genetics and Family HistoryIt’s true: Heart disease tends to run in the family. Did your dad develop heart disease before the age of 55 or your mom before she turned 65? If so, your own risk is higher than normal because one or both of your parents may have passed along a genetic ingredient in the recipe for heart disease.
  • Early MenopauseAccording to a 2019 study in The Lancet Public Health, going through “The Change” before age 40 increases risk of heart diseases like CAD, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve disease among the approximately 10% of women who experience early menopause. It remains unclear why, though a decline in estrogen may be a factor.

 

These four factors make up only part of the complex swirl of possible causes of heart disease. You can’t change your genes or age, but don’t despair. Instead, use that knowledge as motivation to address the risks you can change. These include:

  • High Blood Pressure (HBP)Having hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure, is a red flag for other forms of heart disease, increasing your risk for CAD, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. HBP results from plaque buildups in your arteries, thickening them and reducing blood flow.
  • High Cholesterol Unhealthy cholesterol levels contribute to blockages in your blood vessels that can eventually lead to heart attack. Your body produces cholesterol naturally—we all need it to make important hormones and absorb Vitamin D—but it’s easy to get more than you need by eating foods that are high in saturated and trans fats (like red meat, eggs, and dairy). There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). LDL contributes to plaque buildups in your arteries. HDL protects against heart disease by transporting excess LDL to the liver to be processed as waste.
  • Obesity Being obese forces your heart to work harder because your body requires more of the oxygen and nutrients that your blood supplies. This leads to high blood pressure. Excess weight also increases risk for heart disease, or makes them worse if you already have them, including high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Obesity has been linked to heart failure and CAD.
  • Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, both limit your body’s ability to maintain a healthy level of glucose, a form of sugar that your body produces and uses for energy. Uncontrolled blood glucose damages your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart, eventually leading to heart disease. In fact, as many as three out of four people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease.
  • Physical Inactivity The couch potato life not only directly puts you at higher risk of heart disease, it opens the door to other risk factors like HBP, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Smoking or Vaping Lighting up does more than damage your lungs. It accelerates your heartbeat while narrowing your blood vessels and contributes to the formation of blood clots that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Less is known about the risks of vaping, but many of the chemicals involved have been linked to heart disease.
  • Stress Pressure and tension can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure—and too much eventually damages your blood vessels. Stress also can lead some people to abuse alcohol and eat too much, as well as smoke. (And, remember, any amount of smoking or vaping is too much.)
  • Drinking Alcohol Too much alcohol also can harm your heart. Excessive drinking ups your blood pressure and heart rate as well as your triglycerides, a type of fat linked to heart disease, because they may contribute to hardening and thickening of your arteries.
  • Sleep Apnea This sleep disorder causes breathing trouble as you sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen to your blood and raising your blood pressure. Together, these can weaken your heart and put you at heightened risk chronic HBP, atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, and heart failure.

Lifestyle Changes for Heart Disease

You know the drill: Eat better, exercise, lose weight, and quit smoking. We know—easier said than done, but so worth it. That’s because the everyday choices you make today can halt the progression of heart disease tomorrow—leading to a healthier and likely longer life.

Let’s walk through the basic lifestyle choices you can implement to help make happen:

  • Lower your cholesterol. Cut back and avoid plaque buildup by swapping red meats for lean poultry and fish, consuming fibrous veggies and whole grains, and limiting (or even avoiding altogether) the saturated and trans fats found in fried and processed foods. Additional ways to get your cholesterol in check? Lose a few pounds, exercise more, and if that still isn’t enough, talk to your doctor about medication.

  • Lower your blood pressure. The same lifestyle changes that help bring down unhealthy cholesterol levels can also help manage your blood pressure, often in tandem with one of the various blood-pressure lowering medications available.

  • Do everything you can do to quit smoking. We know—it’s really hard. But we also know that smoking causes lung cancer and seriously hurts your heart. Plus, a nicotine or vaping habit damages your arteries, ups your risk of dangerous blood clots, raises your heart rate, and contributes to HBP and high cholesterol. So make quitting smoking your top priority. Going cold turkey works for some, while others have to slowly wean themselves from lighting up with the help of nicotine patches and other aids, including medications and support groups. Your doctor can walk you through your options, so have that conversation as soon as possible. Visit the American Heart Association to learn more about how to quit.

  • Get moving. Physical activity of just about any kind beats the couch potato life. That’s because exercise strengthens your heart muscle so that it can do its job more efficiently. It helps lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and, if you have diabetes, blood sugar levels, too. An added benefit? Breaking a sweat leads to a slimmer, fitter you. Exactly how much exercise you can do depends on your current state of health. Talk to your doctor, who might advise you to start slow and gradually build up endurance. If a walk around the block is your limit, that’s OK—lace up your shoes and get going. Tomorrow, you’ll likely go even further. If you’re recovering from a serious heart issue, cardiac rehabilitation programs can get you started safely.

  • Eat less, and eat better. Changing how you stock your fridge and pantry is often connected to lowering your cholesterol levels—so follow the same advice: Try high-fiber foods, lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains, and skip overly processed junk food and fried fare. If you need guidance, consider enlisting a registered dietitian/nutritionist to outline a healthy eating plan for you—and provide strategies to stick with your plan to reach your goals.

  • Lose weight. It can’t be overstated: Being overweight or obese is hard on your heart. Your body mass index (BMI) measures body fat based on your weight in relation to your height. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 or higher. While use of BMI has been questioned by researchers as of late, partly because even the super-fit and muscle-bound may technically have “unhealthy” BMI numbers, some doctors still use it as a guide. More and more, however, physicians are concerned when excess body fat is concentrated around your waist, likely because a lot of belly fat can cause chronic inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease. The result? Your blood pressure and cholesterol go up and stay up—and you want neither to happen.

  •  

    If your heart health is at risk, and you find losing weight slowly and safely to be an impossible task, consider securing the services of a registered dietician, or ask your doctor if gastric bypass surgery is right for you.

  • Manage your diabetes. Diabetes and heart disease are a deadly combination. People with diabetes have as much as four times the risk of dying from heart disease than someone without this condition. This is in part due to the effect diabetes has on your blood vessels, and also because many other health conditions often accompany diabetes, including HBP, high cholesterol levels, and obesity. Controlling your diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes benefits your heart.

  • Consider medications for heart disease, if you need them. Many drugs treat coronary artery disease, or CAD. (Remember, CAD occurs when your arteries become clogged with plaque, restricting the flow of blood.) Here are the more commonly prescribed types of medication for CAD and other heart ailments:

    • Cholesterol lowering drugs, like statins, lower the amount of plaque-forming materials in your bloodstream.
    • Anti-coagulants (a.k.a. blood thinners) help prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots in your arteries, where they would block the flow of blood.
    • Anti-platelets, including aspirin, also help prevent clots from forming.
    • Beta blockers both lower your blood pressure and reduce your heart rate. That, in turn, causes your heart’s need for oxygen to drop.
    • Calcium channel blockers are often used in tandem with beta blockers. They lower blood pressure and heart rate while relaxing arteries in order to boost blood flow to the heart.
    • Nitroglycerin eases chest pain, or angina, caused by restricted blood flow to the heart. It works by allowing more oxygen-rich blood into your heart.
    • ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and ease the heart’s workload, which helps prevent further weakening of the heart.

Heart failure as well as heart valve disease are both treated with some of the same medications, such as diuretics, which help rid your body of excess fluids. In heart failure, for example, fluid can build up in your lungs and make it difficult to breathe. You may also be prescribed digitalis, a type of drug that strengthens the contractions of your heart and lowers your heart rate. Beta blockers and anti-clotting medications are also among the drugs that may be used to treat both conditions.

  • We are in this Together!-

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

    EHS Telehealth

    REVIEWED BY DR JEROME WAGNER

    hwalogo

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA – FOUR REASONS CELERY IS HEALTH AND A TASTY RECIPE

FOUR REASONS CELERY IS HEALTH AND A TASTY RECIPE

This tip is courtesy of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging. Get more ...

 

Celery is a vegetable that people seem to either love or hate – but if you are in the latter group, you are missing out! A biennial plant, celery is in the same family as carrots, dill and fennel. Why should you add it to your meals? Celery:

  1. Is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and its active compounds, phthalides, may help lower blood pressure.
  2. Has long been associated with dieting due to its fiber content and low-calorie count.
  3. Is rich in potassium and sodium – important in regulating fluid balance and stimulating urine production.
  4. Lends itself to soups, stews and stir-fries as well as salads, or spread with natural nut or seed butters as a snack.

When choosing, always seek out organically grown celery, as pesticides are commonly used on conventionally grown varieties.

I am seeing the popular trend of drinking celery juice, where users throw away all of the fibrous components that also make celery a healthful option. I do not think there is any evidence behind the celery juice hype, but if you do enjoy it, just don’t forget to eat the whole vegetable on occasion.

 

Red Potato Salad

 

Potato Salad
Closeup of a red potato salad. Selective focus; shallow depth of field.

Potato salad isn’t just for summer picnics. Our take on this classic side dish is a healthy, sophisticated version can you can confidently serve at a picnic, family barbeque, or even at the fanciest of meals.

This sophisticated version of a classic potato salad can be used as a side dish for even the fanciest meal. Instead of mayonnaise, we use mustard and wine combined with vinegar and a moderate amount of olive oil. The result is a sharply flavored mix for the potatoes. Small red potatoes – also called new potatoes – are better suited for this dish because they have a firmer texture after boiling than the commonly used russets or baking potatoes. Remember to remove any sprouts before cooking. If you find very small red potatoes, you can leave the skin on and cut them in half.

Food as Medicine

An analysis by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that the levels of phenolic compounds (which provide antioxidant protection and other health benefits) in red potatoes (and this red potato salad) rivals the levels found in some vegetables that are traditionally regarded as nutrition powerhouses, including broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, organic if possible
1/4 cup Dijon or Dusseldorf mustard
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
2 tsp capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Chopped fresh dill to taste
1/2 lb steamed green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces (optional)

Instructions

1. Boil potatoes in their skins, covered, just until they can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.

2. Meanwhile, prepare dressing in a jar, combining mustard, vermouth, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; shake well.

3. Drain potatoes, let cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into thick slices. Place in a large bowl.

4. Pour dressing over the potatoes while they are warm, tossing well.

5. Add chopped onion, sliced celery, capers, finely chopped parsley, dill and, if you like, other chopped vegetables (red bell pepper, radish).

6. Correct seasoning. Chill until served.

7. If desired, you can toss in lightly cooked fresh green beans as a good last-minute addition.

 

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

REVIEWED BY DR “J” JARANSON

hwalogo

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

Archived

Dr. A Sulllivan D.O. FACO

312-972-9355 (WELL)

Healthaellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

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

Archived

  1. Mercola

Dr. J Jaranaon

312-972-9355 (WELL)

 

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

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.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

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.