Is Your Blood Pressure Under Control?

Too many people suffer from prehypertension and hypertension. Undetected hypertension will damage your heart. Education and prevention will improve your quality of life. Overweight, inactivity, smoking, especially men, age-over 50, and genetics all play a strong role in hypertension. Be proactive in avoiding or reducing high blood pressure. By all means, check your blood pressure so that you can take the necessary steps to improve your health and stay alive for your family and friends.

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A New Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Cordyceps, a rare mushroom found only in parts of Eastern Asia, is a growing name in the medical community as its legendary benefits are being confirmed by research. Although awareness surrounding high blood pressure (HBP) and its health risks are growing, it remains the second most frequent cause for doctor visits in the US. Moreover, as problems with weight and obesity increase, it is becoming an escalating health threat among children and children as well. In fact, HBP is thought to affect approximately two million American children and teens. Today, The American Heart Association estimates that around 73 million people suffer from HBP.

High blood pressure is classified as:

• Normal blood pressure: less than 120/80 mmHg
• Prehypertension: 120-139 / 80-89 mmHg
• Hypertension: greater than 140/90 mmHg
• Stage 1 Hypertension: 140-159 / 90-99 mmHg
• Stage 2 Hypertension: 160 or greater / 100 or greater mmHg

If blood pressure (BP) becomes too high, it means the heart is working too hard to get oxygen to your body. Along with the growing frequency of HBP, its victims are at an increased risk for other serious health issues.

It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is essentially symptom free until it becomes severe, in which case it has allegedly caused damage to the body already. Although HBP is a disorder and not an actual disease, it increases the risk for diseases like kidney failure, coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. In some cases, it can lead to eye damage and even gradual vision loss.

While doctors continue to look for a cure for HBP, many are now discovering that Cordyceps benefits may be the answer. A number of studies conducted with Cordyceps extracts show that is relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow to the heart and regulates blood pressure. Regular use reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, blood clots and stroke. Ultimately, the herb helps blood flow more freely so that the heart does not have to work as hard, which means that more blood is getting to the body.

The exact cause for HBP in each individual is nearly impossible to identify. There is a range of potential causes for high blood pressure. Among them are stress, obesity, age, heredity, gender, lack of exercise and sensitivity to sodium and certain medicines. Furthermore, some of these factors in this list, like diet and exercise, can be changed. However, o factors like age, gender or genetic predisposition can not be controlled.

Therefore, using Cordyceps if you believe you are at risk due for any reason can also be preventative. Although, Cordyceps can only be found in Western China, Cordyceps is rare and difficult to obtain, which also makes Cordyceps plants very expensive. The good news is that new technology is helping to perfect laboratory production of Cordyceps, making this extra herb more accessible to the average consumer.

However, a critical step in preventing and treating HBP is a healthy lifestyle.

The following lifestyle changes are necessary to maintain a healthy blood pressure level:

• Losing weight if you are overweight or obese.
• Quitting smoking.
• Eating a healthy diet, including the DASH diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat).
• Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day.
• Getting regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week).
• Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one drink a day for women.

In addition to lowering blood pressure, these measures enhance the effectiveness of HBP drugs.

After the blood pressure goal is reached, you should continue to see your doctor every three to six months, depending on whether other diseases such as heart failure are present.

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Using Blood Pressure Monitors

Having the capability of monitoring your blood pressure is very important for a large number of people. Especially those who are at risk for developing heart disease or stroke.

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High Blood Pressure – The Silent Killer

Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins, on the other hand, carry the de-oxygenated blood from the rest of the body to the heart. The arteries themselves when healthy are smooth and flexible; this insures blood flow is unobstructed. This flow puts pressure on the elastic arterial wall. The measurement of this force is what is known as blood pressure.

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Hypertension – Undetected and Deadly

Hypertension is present in at least 25% of the population, with no symptoms until serious damage has occurred this disorder can be fatal. This article lists some of the causes, treatments and the prognosis for sufferers.

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Hypertension: 6 Effective Home Remedies For Hypertension

Hypertension is, for many of us, the result of our lifestyle choices. Although there is no magic pill or cure for our condition, that does not mean we can not take effective action to lower our high pressure pressure by managing our condition. Here are six safe home remedies that are very effective if used in combination.

6 Effective home remedies

# 1.Healthy diet

Adopting a healthy balanced diet is the foundation of managing our hypertension. A major contributor to our condition is our poor diet choices and habits. We may have had these bad habits for decades, but we need to break them. A simple way of doing that is to change our diet from poor food choices to healthy eating over a period of 30 days during which period we can use up the food we have in stock and replace it with fresh fruit and vegetables of all colors, lean white meat, oily and white fish.

# 2.Lose weight

The link between high blood pressure and obesity is well established. Shedding the extra pounds will have a direct positive effect not only on our BP readings, but also on our general health. The aim is to achieve our ideal body weight over a period of time by a combination of healthy eating and exercise.

# 3.become more active

Exercise has multiple benefits for our health. Through the release of endorphins we feel happier. Physical activity also has an almost immediate beneficial effect on our hypertension. Within half an hour of completing some moderate exercise, our BP readings are lowered and they stay down for almost 24 hours.

The benefits of exercise are cumulative – every bit helps. No special equipment is needed. Walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, house work, gardening and cleaning the car are all forms of exercise that can help reduce our blood pressure. Coupled with a healthy diet, exercise can help us lose weight – a virtuous circle.

# 4.Quit smoking

There are serious health risks associated with smoking tobacco products that indirectly cause hypertension, which in turn makes those conditions more serious. It is a vicious circle.

# 5. Cut down on alcohol consumption

Consuming alcohol is a double-edged sword. Drink in moderation and there are undated health benefits, which can lead to reduced hypertension because we are relaxed. The level of consumption at which the benefits cease is very low. It is just one unit a day for women and two units a day for men. Consuming greater amounts than this can lead to weight gain and other health problems that adversely affect our BP readings.

Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day has been shown to help improve our condition.

# 6.Lax

Relaxing for as little as 20 minutes each day has an immediate beneficial effect on our condition. The benefits of relaxation may be short-lived, but by reducing our stress and anxiety levels it is a valuable contribution towards managing our condition.

No special equipment or training is necessary for these simple and safe home remedies. Used in combination they can be very effective in decreasing hypertension.

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Cholesterol and Diseases

CHOLESTEROL

There are four types of lipids: neutral fats, free fatty acids, steroids and phospholipids. Cholesterol is a steroid produced within the liver cells and has vital roles in the normal functioning of the human body. Cholesterol is transported in blood via compounds made up of proteins and fats, lipoproteins. Basically, lipoproteins are categorized into three main groups based on density:

– HDL – These are lipoproteins of high density. They transmit cholesterol from blood into the liver. Consequently, they are also termed as good cholesterol.
– LDL – These lipoproteins are of lower density compared to the HDL. They carry cholesterol into the blood from the liver hence called bad cholesterol.
– VLDL – They have the lowest density of all the lipoproteins. They carry triglycerides into adipose tissue through blood from the liver. They are also called blood lipids.

Functions of cholesterol

There are multiple functions related to cholesterol:

• It is an essential element of cell membranes
• It is a precursor substance of estrogen and androgen, sex hormones
• Helps in the synthesis of bile, a substance responsible for digestion of fats
• It's a nerve fiber insulator
• Synthesize vitamin D from sunshine
• Metabolize vitamins soluble in fats, that is, vitamins E, A, D and K

Neverheless, cholesterol is harmful when synthesized in excess in the body. It is the causative agent of a number of diseases including hypertension, arteriosclerosis, impaired sight and cardiovascular diseases.

How diseases develop out of cholesterol

People with elevated levels of LDL such as the diabetics and the alcoholics are vulnerable to these diseases. As stated earlier, these lipoproteins release cholesterol into blood. Cholesterol in blood builds onto blood vessels. This reduces the lumen of the vessels. The blood volume however remains the same, and has to be pumped at a much higher force therefore causing high blood pressure.

Cholesterol may combine with calcium in blood and build up onto arteries. This causes the artery to become rigid a condition known as arteriosclerosis. Such an artery looses its ability to pump blood and easily tears off.

Additionally, cholesterol in blood may accumulate in sensitive organs such as in the eyes. Here, they combine with rhodopsin, a pigment for sight. This pigment becomes impaired and can not allow light to pass through it. Another vital organ where cholesterol may accumulate is on nerve tissues. The tissue becomes damaged in such a way that they can not effectively transmit impulse. This disease is called neuropathies.

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High Blood Pressure Diet – Including Important Tips to Help Lower Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Following a high blood pressure diet is important for anyone that is concerned about his or her health, especially heart health. As the heart pumps blood through the body the pressure that is required to do so is blood pressure. There are two readings when blood pressure is measured. Diastolic pressure is measured when the heart is between beats, and systolic pressure is when the heart pumps blood through the body. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called the silent killer because symptoms are usually not noticeable except for a dizzy feeling or slight headache. There are steps that you can take to control your blood pressure, most notably through diet and exercise.

There are factors that put people at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. These include inactivity, excess weight, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, and an unhealthy diet. High blood pressure can be controlled with medication, but choosing a healthy lifestyle should be the first step. Those that want to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure should follow an exercise routine and a healthy eating plan.

One of the most important foods that should be regulated is sodium intake. Sodium naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables and is required for our bodies to function. The problem with sodium is that most people simply consume too much of it. It is scientifically proven that a reduction of sodium intake can indeed lower blood pressure. It is recommended that sodium be limited to no more that 2,400 mg per day for a healthy person. That works out to be only one teaspoon of salt per day. Those following a low sodium diet should limit their sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day. In 2010, the American Dietetic Association is recommending a much lower number of only 1500 mg of sodium per day, to anyone over the age of 51, or you are black, or have high blood pressure, or have diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. This figure includes all salt and sodium that is eaten or consumed (including liquids), either in processed foods or if added at the table or when cooking. It is important to read the labels on the food you are purchasing and make an effort to only buy foods that contain less than 500 mg of sodium per serving (per meal).

Typical foods that are high in sodium include:

  • Baked items: pastries, biscuits and bread
  • Canned foods
  • Pre-made foods: pizzas, frozen dinners, and packaged food
  • Most cheeses
  • Bacon, mayonnaise based salads, lunch meats, smoked meats, and canned meats like tuna or chicken
  • Snack foods – French fries, chips, crackers, pretzels
  • Condiments – Pickles, olives, relish, mayonnaise, catsup, mustard, salad dressings, bbq sauce, steak sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
  • Fast food

Following a blood pressure diet will help maintain a healthy blood pressure level. It is also important to stay active and maintain proper fluid levels. If you are dehydrated the sodium level of your body will increase because your body is trying to hold all the water it has. The body retains the sodium because sodium has the ability to help cells hold water. This increase in sodium causes blood pressure to increase. For proper blood pressure control it is recommended to drink at least two liters (about 9 cups) of water per day (not softened water). Unfortunately, most of us (it is estimated over 75%) are chronically dehydrated.

Remember that one of the most vital points of the high blood pressure diet is the reduction of your daily sodium intake. This can be accomplished by making the right choices in the foods you eat and drink. Today, with the increasing number of salt substitutes, salt free seasonings and heart healthy recipes available, eating healthy and choosing to follow a low sodium diet has never been easier.

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3 High Blood Pressure Myths That Cause Mental Anguish

High blood pressure is an epidemic in America. The condition affects one out of every three adult Americans. If you have hypertension, it helps to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the condition. Read this article to learn about three myths that can cause you harm.

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Healthy Cooking Includes Reducing Salt To Stay Below The Recommended Daily Sodium Intake Levels

Healthy cooking at home is one of the best steps you can take towards a healthier lifestyle. By doing your own cooking you have total control over what ingredients are used and what exactly goes into your body. Healthy cooking means eating a diet that is richer in nutrients, lower in fats and does not go over the recommended daily sodium intake.

When cutting back on the amount of sodium in your diet you will be more successful if you reduce it slowly (unless it's doctor's orders). People get used to the flavor of salt and may find foods less desirable at first. This will change over time and will allow you to really begin to taste the foods you are eating instead of just the salt. Start by making changes that you and your family will notice the least. Using less salt in baked goods and only buying low or no sodium canned goods and frozen foods are a good place to start. Canned soups that are low in sodium can have a pretty bland flavor but can easily be doctored up with some salt seasoning. Use a variety of salt-free seasonings to increase flavor, and include a salt substitute. This can really make a difference. After you put a low sodium diet into practice for a while your taste buds will adjust and you will find many foods will actually taste better.

With healthy cooking, it is important to remember that reducing your salt intake to zero is not the goal. Natural vegetables and leafy greens contain sodium as part of their natural ingredients and our bodies require some sodium to function. What is important is that you remain at or a little below the recommended daily sodium intake levels. The amount of sodium that experts recommend is less than 2,300 mg per day, if you are 51 years of age or older, that amount drops to 1,500 mg per day. If you have health issues the amount could be 1,000 mg or less.

Most of the food prepared in restaurants is heavy laden with sodium, people like the taste of salt and it is the cheapest seasoning available. When eating out it is important to try to order items that contain a minimal amount of salt. To be serious about your health means that most of your meals should consist of healthy cooking at home. When learning to prepare meals, try using canned and processed foods as little as possible. Attempt to prepare meals that focus on whole foods, more fresh and natural foods that are low in sodium. Good choices are fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads. A good meal choice may be whole-wheat, quinoa or brown rice pasta topped with a low sodium tomato sauce or marinara sauce prepared with a salt-free garlic-herb seasoning and a nice green salad with a low sodium salad dressing like vinegar and oil .

Tip: If you make your own tomato-based pasta sauce, make sure to purchase salt-free or no salt added canned tomatoes, (if not using fresh tomatoes).

A large amount of sodium in an average diet is an acquired taste, so getting used to food without sodium will take some time. Cutting out salt cold turkey will leave you with bland tasting foods that may have you reaching for the salt shaker. Take your time to let you and your family start adjusting to this new healthier way of eating. Maintaining a diet that follows the recommended daily sodium intake guidelines is an important part of healthy low sodium cooking at home.

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Causes and Treatments of Hypertension

Hypertension is the medical term used to describe high blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of the arteries as blood pumps cycles from the heart through the rest of the body. Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The first number is called the systolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure is amount of pressure that blood exerts on vessels while the heart is beating. Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in blood vessels between heartbeats, or when the heart is resting. A person with hypertension with has a systolic reading of over 140 and a diastolic reading of over 90.

Hypertension can be classified as either primary or secondary. Most cases of hypertension, 90-95% are primary cases, meaning that there is no apparent medical cause for the high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension is caused by other conditions that affect the heart, blood, kidneys and endocrine system.

Essential, or primary, hypertension is the most common type of hypertension. Although there is no direct cause for hypertension, there are many lifestyle factors that increase the risks of developing hypertension, including: smoking, stress, visceral obesity, potassium deficiency, obesity, salt sensitivity, alcohol intake, and vitamin D deficiency. Risks also increase with age and family history.

Secondary hypertension is important to recognize because it is managed by treating the undering cause of the elevated blood pressure. It is commonly caused by kidney disease, obesity, pre-eclampsia, and certain drugs.

It is extremely important to treat hypertension before it escalates. Untreated, it can lead to stroke, myocardial infraction, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, and is the leading cause of chronic kidney failure. Treatment for hypertension depends on the type and severity. The easiest and most common way to treat hypertension is through lifestyle configurations. Dietary changes, physical exercise, and weight loss have all been shown to reduce the pressure of the blood within the arteries in persons suffering from hypertension. Low sodium diets that a rich in nutritious food such as nuts, whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower the blood pressure. Cutting out foods like red meats, sweets and sugar are also beneficial.

In addition to lifestyle changes, there are several types of medications that reduce hypertension. These medications, called antihypertensive drugs, reduce the pressure of blood. Doctors often prescribe multiple types of medications to manage high blood pressure including, ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers, angiotesin II receptor antagonists, betablockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, direct rennin inhibitors and glyceryl trinitrates.

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Keep HBP in Check After CKD Diagnosis – Part 2

Your last visit to the doctor proved to be worrisome after finding that you are unable to bring down your blood pressure. Compounding your anxiety was the fact your test results confirmed that you have CKD. What should you do?

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Control HBP and Protect Yourself From a Silent Killer – Part 1

Protect yourself against a “silent killer” by knowing the facts. Although millions of Americans are afflicted by high blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension, it largely remains as a silent killer because of the absence of symptoms. Thus, you may be walking around with a HBP without even knowing it.

HBP is a known leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney diseases (CKD). On one hand, chronic kidney diseases also cause HBP. The good news is HBP can be controlled! And it follows that if you are in control you minimize the risk of these complications. Recommended measures to control HBP include: losing excess weight, consuming less salt, getting more active, and quitting the cigarettes.

But before going any further let us define HBP. According to MedicineNet HBP occurs when repeated elevated blood pressure exceeded 140 over 90 mmHg (systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90). It further states that it can cause blood vessel changes in the retina, thickening of the heart muscle, kidney failure and brain damage.

In relation to kidney diseases, HBP speeds up the loss of kidney function. Tests to find out kidney damage as a result of HBP include measuring the amount of protein in the urine and by estimating the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) from a blood test. Normal functioning kidneys keep protein in the body. However, damaged kidneys result to protein leaking into urine. Persistent protein in the urine occurs when two positive tests for protein is detected in the urine over several weeks. Meanwhile, a low GFR means your kids are not capable of removing wastes from your body.

These tests are very important because most people who have HBP do not even know that they are sick because of the absence of symptoms. Sometimes, repeated headers may occur in people with HBP or they may experience changes in their vision.

The good news is despite HBP can not be cured, it can be CONTROLLED. Here are some suggested measures to help control HBP:

  • Lose excess weight and exercise more
  • Cut down on salt intake
  • Cut down on alcohol intake
  • Increase intake of calcium. Prefer low-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt
  • Quit smoking
  • Increase potassium absorb by eating more nuts, raisins and certain fruits and vegetables. Those with CKD should consult their doctors before changing their potassium intake

Follow lifestyle changes you have discussed with your doctor. However, if these changes do not help lower your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications. At times, a combination of medication is needed to reach the target blood pressure. Those with diabetes or CKD are sometimes given medication that help protect kidney functions. These are called ACE (angiotensin converting enzymes) inhibitors or ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers).

It helps if you are proactive with your health. See your doctor regularly and have your blood pressure checked. If you have HBP work with your doctor on how to control it. Discuss with him lifestyle changes you need to make in areas of getting active and eating properly. When you are being proactive, you protect yourself from this silent killer.

(The next article will discuss managing your HBP when you have been diagnosed with a CKD or a kidney problem.) *

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DASH Diet – Proven To Lower Blood Pressure, With Easy How To Start Tips For A More Healthy Heart

One of the more popular eating plans is the DASH diet. “DASH” is the catchy acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Researchers have proven that this type of eating plan can reduce the risk of getting high blood pressure, and can effectively reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.

The DASH diet started out as a scientific study to test how nutrients in food can affect blood pressure. The study found that by having a diet which focused on vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy foods, and legumes, that lower blood pressure could be achieved. This eating plan also welcomes eating fish, nuts, poultry, whole grains, and a limited amount of red meats, fats, and sweets. Also, portion control is recommended.

Another scientific study, called the “Lower Sodium DASH Diet” eating plan, analyzed how a reduction in sodium (1500 mg of sodium per day) affected blood pressure for those on the Standard DASH diet (2300 mg of sodium per day) and for those on the typical American diet (3500 mg average sodium per day). The study indicated that blood pressure did get lower with a reduced sodium intake for both groups. Those eating the normal American diet as well as those people following the Standard DASH diet. However, those who were following the Lower Sodium DASH diet which had the greatest sodium reduction showed the largest decrease in blood pressure. This study proves that whatever food plan you follow, lowering your salt and sodium intake is important.

Note: One of the best ways to lower your sodium intake is by eliminating salt. Do not use the salt shaker at the table and do not salt the food when you are cooking. Start using salt free seasonings and a salt substitute.

Below are some tips to get you started on this healthy eating plan:

  • If your current diet only consist of a couple of vegetables each day, start off my adding another serving at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add fruit to you meals or have some as a snack if you do not currently have fruit in your diet.
  • Cut back to half of the salad dressing, margarine, or butter you now use. Start using fat free salad dressings and other condiments.
  • Slowly increase your dairy intake to three servings per day. To accomplish this you could substitute milk for soda, alcohol, or tea. Choose fat free or low fat dairy products in order to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
  • Do not purchase as much meat as you have in the past. If you do not have it in the fridge then you will not eat it. Reduce meats to two servings per day (about six ounces), this is all your body needs. A deck of cards is about the same size as four ounces of meat. If large portions of meat are in your current diet, start by typically cutting back by a third. Begin making pasta dishes, stir fries, casseroles, or any recipe that has less meat and has a focus on beans, grains, and vegetables.

The DASH diet which you have learned is focused on whole grains, non fat and low fat dairy, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes / beans. It was developed in a clinical setting and is not a fad diet. Easy to follow, proven to lower blood pressure, and reduces the risks of heart disease. No other diet has the amount of supported medical data. This is a simple eating plan that can be easily adapted into anyone's lifestyle. Start today with small changes for lower blood pressure and a more healthy heart.

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Tips to Manage Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a silent assassin – it shows no symptoms before it strikes out with heart attack, leaving the victim unprepared. High blood pressure is the leading cause of death among men and women who die due to strokes and heart attacks. You need to make sure that you do not suffer the consequences of high blood pressure due to ignorance or neglect on your part.

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