Archive for July, 2013

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

July 20th, 2013

8445322738_64d7775edf_nSeveral risk factors can result in high blood pressure. These factors are classified as uncontrollable or unmanageable risk factors and controllable or manageable risk factors.

Uncontrollable or Unmanageable Risk Factors

Age – When you age especially when you reach 50 years old and above, your arteries start to lose their flexibility narrowing the blood passageways making it more difficult for blood to pass through causing then the heart to pump harder. Men start to become hypertensive during early middle-age while older women begin to become hypertensive after menopause.

Race – In terms of race, African Americans are the highest risk group for high blood pressure in terms of ethnicity in the United States. They are also the most prone to develop high blood complications like heart attack or stroke. Interestingly, while African Americans have this high propensity for developing high blood pressure and its corresponding complications, native Africans living in Africa do not suffer these kinds of problems.

Heredity – Heredity plays a very huge role in causing high blood pressure in individuals. If you have one or both parents, uncles, nieces or grandparents who have high blood pressure, you are at a high risk in acquiring it as well.

Manageable or Controllable Risk Factors

Kidney disease – The kidney is where glands that regulate blood pressure reside and so when you develop kidney problems these affects those glands making you end up with high blood pressure in the end.

Stress – Stress can be responsible for dozens of health conditions and high blood pressure is one of them. Finding ways to calm and relax yourself is important in living with a healthy heart.

Smoking – Smoking raises a person’s BP level and it can cause complications like atherosclerosis as well.

Low amounts of minerals and vitamins in the body – Having low contents of vitamin D, calcium and potassium will raise your blood pressure. Adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals while normalizing blood pressure also help lower bad cholesterol in the body.

Excess weight or obesity – To be classified as obese, you must have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30. When your BMI is over 30, your blood pressure is likely to be quite high. When you are heavy in weight, your body needs to have more nutrients and oxygen and this tends to put extra pressure on the arterial walls causing your BP to increase.

Sedentary lifestyle – When you live an inactive life, you tend to have excess weight or become obese and start to develop high BP. Excessive intake of salt – Salt is likely to make your body retain fluids that can heighten your BP.

Lowering your intake of salt will lessen fluid retention in your body and lower your blood pressure in the process.

High cholesterol – Having high cholesterol can lead to arterial blockage or make the arteries less flexible and narrower. This is a condition that can lead to a potentially fatal heart attack.

Diabetes – When you develop diabetes, this condition is chronic and will never go away. It can be controlled though by eating the proper foods. Diabetes almost often leads to high blood pressure.

Alcohol drinking – Drinking at least one to two drinks will cause his blood pressure to temporarily increase. Regular consumption of alcohol even if taken moderately will lead to high blood pressure that will be long-term and will require treatment.

Photo credits to Army Medicine

Stress Prevention

July 10th, 2013

StressThere are several ways to prevent stress. Some activities can entail passive and active methods that are for the soothing of the nerves. Some of the activities you can do for the prevention of stress include:

  • Listening To Music
  • Writing/painting/drawing
  • Dancing
  • Raising your pet
  • Gardening
  • Exercise

Exercise is highly recommended for stress and for the management of stress. It is one way of helping the body’s own “feel-good” chemicals help the person stay happy, light and relaxed. Exercise greatly increases self-confidence and can turn a bad mood into a good one. It also makes you sleep better and helps improve circulation.

Deep Breathing

Stress makes your heart beat faster and work harder than it should. To calm down your heart rate, you can do some deep breathing to lower your stress level and make you relax. Deep breathing also allows you to breathe in more oxygen in the bloodstream improving the function of your body systems. Breathe in slowly but deeply through your nose and after 10 seconds slowly breathe out using your mouth.

You can prevent stress using complementary and alternative medicine or CAM.

A number of holistic therapies can be utilized for your stress among which include Reiki therapy, Ayurveda, Acupuncture and Tai Chi.

Other Options for stress relaxation include massage therapy and biofeedback to mention just a couple.

Photo credtis to Bhernandez

Anemia – Lifestyle and Home Remedies

July 1st, 2013

Some effective home remedies for anemia entail diet modification.

Diet for anemia

  • Liver – Eating around 4 to 6 ounces of liver per day is recommended to replenish your depleted red blood cells. Liver is the most iron-rich food you can possibly eat.
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Prune juice
  • Rice bran
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Parsley – This vegetable is rich in vitamin C and iron. Try to vary your presentation like serving parsley in fritters, salads, tabbouleh and pesto.
  • Blackstrap molasses – This also referred to as pregnancy tea and is rich in minerals, B vitamins and iron. It can also be used as a natural and gentle laxative.
  • Spirulina – This is a type of algae that is used to treat macrocytic and microcytic
  • anemias. Spirulina is also a very good source of protein.
  • Brewers yeast – Eating this can supply you with adequate B vitamins and iron. Eat this together with rice crackers and with a little olive.
  • Korengo or kelp – These sea products are rich in iron content; however, if you suffer from hyperthyroidism, eating this product is not recommended.

Oxalic acid is a product that impairs iron absorption in the body and so avoiding or limiting the eating of foods and drinking of fluids having this ingredient is required for anemic patients particularly if they are eating foods rich in iron. Foods rich in oxalic acid include swiss chard, spinach, sorrel, soda, rhubarb, kale, cocoa, chocolate, cashews and almonds. If you are vegan (pure vegetarian) you need to supplement your diet with vitamin Vit B12.

Coffee and tea actually impairs the function of the body to absorb iron and so it’s best to avoid these beverages. Dairy foods likewise retard iron absorption and so stay away from dairy foods if you’re eating iron rich foods.

Supplements for anemia

To add more iron in your body if you think the foods you eat is not enough for your iron needs, you can consider the supplementations like ferrous glycinate, ferrous glycerate, ferrous succinate and ferrous fumerate. Ferrous sulfate can cause bad effects like constipation and stomach pain and is poorly absorbed by the body compared to the other aforementioned iron supplements.

Vitamin C – At the least you need to take in half a gram of vit C tablets a day

Cyanocobalamine or vit B12 – About 1,000 IU a week 2X a day for about a month is good to supply the body with adequate vit B12. Foods rich in cyanocobalamine include: • Cheese

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Organ meats

Folic acid – Grains and green leafy vegetables are perfect sources of folic acid.

Omega-6 essential and Omega-3 fatty acids – Taking about 1,000 – 1,500 IU of these prevents you from incurring problems like sickle-cell anemia and enhance the clotting function of the blood.

Herbs to Fight Anemia

Herbal therapies to address anemia can include:

  • Yellowdock
  • Burdock
  • Dandelion leaf or root
  • Alfalfa
  • Ashwaganda
  • St. Mary’s thistle
  • Barberry
  • Gentian
  • Nettle

If you suffer from mild anemia, these herbs can raise the level of your hemoglobin.

Homeopathy for anemia

Homeopathic approaches will first consider the type of constitution of the person. By constitution we mean the person’s psychological, emotional and physical makeup. After appraising, the homeopath can determine the best treatment approach for the person.

  • Calcarea phosphorica – This is especially effective for anemic children suffering from fatigue, cool extremities, poor digestion and nighttime bone aches
  • Ferrum phosphoricum – This is for addressing iron deficiency

Lifestyle Considerations

  • Shunning alcohol and drugs that can disrupt the function of your gastrointestinal system is one way you can avoid developing anemia.
  • Drink adequate amounts of water prevent dehydration and the likelihood for sickle cell problems.
  • Keep you body refreshed during extreme cold and hot temperatures since exposure to these extremes can enhance the likelihood of sickle cell problems.
  • Your body is prone to sickle cell problem when you’re subjected to too much stress so you need to reduce stress all the time.