FROM OUR EXPERTS
A few weeks ago in a telephone conversation with my mom, she mentioned that one of my sisters had been having some problems with her stomach for the last month or so. Being concerned, I called my sister directly to talk to her about what was going on.
"I don't know," she said. I'm eating a healthy diet, but for the last month or so I've had a lot of diarrhea and even some vomiting. And my stomach hurts so much after I eat that I just don't want to eat anymore."
"What are you eating?" I asked.
"You know, healthy stuff. Fruits and vegetables and high fiber bread."
I explained to her that a healthy diet isn't healthy if it's making you sick. And if it's making you sick then you have to do something to figure out what is causing the symptoms. First, change what you're eating so that you can eat and get some nourishment into your body. And second, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss the problems.
"It's especially important to see a GI...
Sometimes we need to rely on our doctors. But checking our blood pressure isn’t one of those times.
If you are lucky, every time you see your primary care physician or endocrinologist, somebody in the office will check your blood pressure. If you are especially lucky, somebody will tell you what the numbers are and they will be pretty accurate. You will need that good luck. For several reasons you aren’t likely to get it. Many people have “ white-coat hypertension .” They become nervous at the doctor’s office and have higher readings that they normally would at home. The other problem is that medical people are a bit busy these days, and they often rush when they need to pause. I ran into that at my most recent visit to a doctor’s office. The nurse checked my blood pressure as soon as she came in the room. I’m sure that she knew as well as I did that patients are supposed to sit still for five minutes before the test. But she was too rushed, and my numbers were predictably too high.
It's well known high blood pressure increases your risk for stroke . A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is blocked and brain cells become deprived of oxygen and die. Individuals with high blood pressure are 4-6 times more likely to have a stroke. An individual's risk of having a stroke is directly related to how elevated their blood pressure is.
A link between high blood pressure and dementia
Now there is evidence linking high blood pressure with dementia and the risk is also directly related to how high your blood pressure is.
A subset of participants enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, comprised of 1403 women over the age of 65, were followed for eight years. MRI scans revealed increased white matter lesions in women with high blood pressure . White matter lesions indicate a weak insulation around nerve cells necessary for brain communication.
A second study led by Johns Hopkins University followed 983 middle age or older men and women for ove...
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