Tag Archive | "high blood pressure"

How Fatal is Heart Disease?

Heart disease remains as one the leading causes of death in the world. Heart conditions and diseases of the blood circulation are too common that sometimes the signs and symptoms are hardly recognizable and often missed, when discovered may be too late.

How deadly is it?

American Heart Association (AHA) says that 34.3 percent of all deaths worldwide are caused by heart disease. What is more astonishing is that almost half of these deaths occur in adults that are under 65 years of age. On the lighter note, if heart disease is diagnosed early, it can be treated appropriately.

What are the risk factors?

AHA says the risk factors for heart disease are:

  1. Family history
  2. Old age
  3. Smoking and alcohol drinking
  4. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  5. Sedentary lifestyle
  6. Obesity
  7. Diabetes

What causes heart disease?

  • The most common cause is high blood pressure.
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels or ischemia
  • Infections
  • Presence of congenital heart defects

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms results from the narrowing of the vessels, disturbance in the contraction of the heart, obstruction to blood flow, or an abnormal cardiac rhythm. A person with heart disease may experience discomfort or weakness. He is fatigued or he tires easily. Low oxygenation can cause cyanosis or the bluish discoloration of skin.  Other symptoms are loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, difficulty of breathing, pulmonary edema, palpitation and chest pain.

How is it treated?

If heart disease is caused by hypertension, a person is prescribed medications that can improve his blood circulation such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. If it results from the narrowing of the blood vessels, an angioplasty may be done or  a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is performed. CABG is done to create another pathway to avoid the narrowed blood vessels. Surgical procedures are also recommended for congenital heart defects.

For those caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and or high cholesterol, the treatment is concentrated on these conditions to prevent complications of heart disease.

How is heart disease prevented?

  • Diet and lifestyle should be modified. This includes engaging in exercises or increasing your physical activity, quitting smoking and alcohol, and eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid obesity which is a risk factor.
  • Manage stress.
  • Regular monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Know the warning signs and consult your physician when needed.

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The Good and Bad Side of Caffeine

Almost all of us if not all cannot live each day without having caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee. As a matter of fact, drinking a cup of coffee is one of the first things that most of us do upon waking up. With all these routines, our everyday lives would not be complete without having to drink our favorite carbonated drink.

But even if coffee and other caffeinated drinks are one of our everyday staples, most of us have split views when it comes to drinking coffee. There are those who think that coffee gives them a lot of benefits, while there are also a number that think that it is bad for their health. So before you drink your cup of caffeinated drink such as coffee, here are some of the good and bad sides of caffeine.

Good side of caffeine:

We can get the health benefits of caffeinated beverages when we drink into moderation.

  • Caffeine helps boost mental function. There have been studies that suggest that caffeine lovers, specifically coffee drinkers are at lesser risk of acquiring conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory loss.
  • Caffeine helps people lose weight as it has components that aids in breaking down fats and cholesterol deposits.
  • Researches also claim that drinking coffee makes a person at lesser risk to have non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
  • Caffeine is like an energy booster as it helps awaken the body.
  • Caffeine has antioxidants much needed by the body to get rid of toxins.

Bad side of caffeine:

The harmful side effects of caffeine affect us when we drink more than we should:

  • Caffeine can cause restlessness and trembling when taken in high quantity.
  • It can lead a person to have trouble sleeping when coffee and other caffeinated drinks are taken to more than what the body can tolerate.
  • Too much caffeine can also irritate the gastric mucosa causing stomach upset and irritations.
  • Caffeine is a diuretic which makes one urinate frequently than the usual. This makes a person prone to have dehydration is severe cases.
  • Too much caffeine intake is also linked to make one prone to have high blood pressure and hypertension.
  • Caffeine can also increase a person’s heart rate. This makes one prone for heart conditions.

Caffeine has its own pros and cons. But in general it is not bad for the health just as long as you would not go beyond what you are expected to have. Two cups to a maximum of three a day is considered to be healthy.

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More Info on Appetite Suppressants

In the world that we live in today, we want things to be instant. From the food that we eat to the beverages that we drink, those things should be served to us fast so that we can keep up with our busy schedules. This applies to when it comes to losing weight.

We are so used to things that give us instant results we even apply this notion even in weight loss. Because of our business and most of the time our laziness, we refuse to exercise and use appetite suppressants to help us lose weight and be in the kind of body that we want. Before deciding on having appetite suppressants to give you to help you diet, know all the necessary information first. You only have one body, and your health can be compromised just by taking these appetite suppressants:

Appetite suppressants help lose weight by signaling your senses to hold back appetite for food or lessen food consumption.  Medically these medications are known as Anorectics. There are so many appetite suppressants that are available on the market for usage. They come in many forms like the traditional pills. It can also be incorporated on different beverages like coffee and tea. A lot of people are hooked on using appetite suppressants that its business is very big catching attention to teens and younger adults who are very conscious on the way they look.

Here are some of the benefits of taking appetite suppressants:

  • Appetite suppressants make a person lose weight in a matter of two weeks. Even with two tablespoons of food, a person can feel full. Weight loss is really fast when using appetite suppressants.
  • Most appetite suppressants are approved for use by the FDA.
  • When you lose weight diseases that are linked to obesity are then avoided.

Just like any other drugs and supplements the use of appetite suppressants also entails risks and disadvantages. Here are some of them:

  • Appetite suppressants can cause palpitations, nervousness, lower sexual drive, and insomnia.
  • Appetite suppressants can also cause either diarrhea or constipation.
  • Appetite suppressants also make the person at risk to have heart problems because of palpitations that often leads to high blood pressure.
  • When one stops the use of appetite suppressants he or she is then is at risk to have rebound weight gain. Because the body feels deprived for the longest time, it longs to eat all the food that it craves making the person gain more weight than what was lost.

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Natural Diuretics for High Blood Pressure

Diuretics are medications that promote increase excretion of fluids and sodium in the body through increased urination. The kidneys let the sodium flow out along with the water which decreases the amount of fluids in the blood thus decreasing pressure on the arterial walls. This is why diuretics are part of the treatment for hypertension or increased blood pressure. The heart which pumps blood throughout the body to supply oxygen to the vital organs is burdened with the excess fluid in the blood. The heart eventually get exhausted which causes diseases like congestive heart failure.

But are there natural sources of diuretics? You might be surprised to learn that some of the foods we consume everyday are considered as natural diuretics that can help eliminate excessive fluids. This can help lose water weight quickly and will relieve the heart of the stress of pumping hard. Here are some of the foods that are classified as natural diuretics.

  • Melons
  • Asparagus
  • Oats
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Onion Eggplant
  • Cucumbers

Some herbal supplements can also relieve water retention.

  • Green tea
  • Hawthorn
  • Ginger
  • Juniper
  • Cranberry juice

Most beverages we love to eat are also diuretics in nature like the iced teas and coffee espressos we all so love. Notice that whenever you finish a large serving of ice tea or frappe you constantly find yourself going to the bathroom more frequently. This is because iced teas and coffee products are diuretics as well.

Regularly eating these kinds of foods everyday will help in controlling water retention and will help relieve the heart of the unnecessary strain thus lowering high blood pressure. Managing hypertension is not solely relying on diuretics for relief of high blood pressure. Managing heart problems that causes high blood pressure includes a combination of treatments and a change if lifestyle. Like many people who are very busy with their work, we are faced with the growing problem of lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. We seldom care about the nutritional value of the foods we eat and most of the time we abuse our body by giving in to vices like smoking and consuming excessive alcohol. It is no wonder that a lot of people get sick and become obese because of the way we eat and the way we live our lives. We are too stressed from work and when we get home it’s either we overeat to compensate the weariness we feel or we drink thinking that we should rewards ourselves for a hard day’s work.

Diuretics can help but it’s not the cure. A lifestyle change is needed to lower high blood pressure. Increase physical activities through hobbies like cycling, jogging, skating or dancing. Make it enjoyable to be able to stick to the routine of doing it regularly. It would help if you engage in activities that don’t feel like a work out or exercise, make it fun and if you can, encourage friends to join you.

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Top Sodium Rich Foods That You Should Avoid

Sodium or commonly known as salt is used to add flavor and taste to foods. It is normally needed by the body to maintain blood pressure, muscle and nerve function. It naturally occurs in foods that we eat perhaps the most common is the “table salt” used as condiment in restaurants and at home. Milk and celery naturally contains sodium and even our drinking water.

Some sodium is added to foods to act as preservatives. These can be found in bacon, ham, canned soups, and other processed meats. Like many of the elements found in nature too much of it can lead to harmful effects. A diet high in sodium could lead to various diseases affecting organs like the heart and kidneys. A healthy person should only take up to 2,300 mg of sodium daily. For those who already have history of heart and kidney disease the threshold for sodium should be lower than 1,500 mg a day.

As parents we need to be aware that too much sodium can produce harmful effects and that we should monitor sodium content we serve our children and families. Here is a list of the top sodium rich foods we need to limit or avoid.

  1. Fast Foods – are very rich in sodium, examples are pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, nuggets and chips.
  2. Junk foods – potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, and some crackers are heavily laden with salt and flavorings that are rich in sodium
  3. Canned foods – sodium is the main ingredient used to preserve and prolong the shelf like of these canned foods.
  4. Condiments and flavorings – table salt, soy sauce and fish sauces are just a few of the condiments easily available to add to prepared meals. Some people use these condiments because they enhance the taste and flavor of the meals.
  5. Breads and breakfast cereals – when bread is baked sodium is added and same goes with cereals and other breakfast items
  6. Butter, margarine and mayonnaise – these contains around 140 mg of sodium in one table spoon serving
  7. Dairy products – some of our favorites like cheese, and milk shakes contains sodium as well

Limiting intake of these sodium rich foods will help in maintaining a normal blood pressure. Less sodium in the diet also lessens the risk for development of kidney stones that can damage the kidneys, an important organ of the body tasked to eliminate toxins and wastes. Discipline in avoiding junk foods in children will need to established as early as possible as the potential damage to the kidneys are irreversible not like damage to any organs that can heal and repair itself. Additionally people at risk for coronary artery disease should avoid sodium as well for this will only aggravate their disease by raising the blood pressure which can cause congestive heart failure. When preparing foods try not put salt on the table as this will encourage adding more sodium to prepared foods which naturally has sodium in it already.

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