Q: How do most patients get referred to a rheumatologist in the first place? Kremer: Usually, it’s the pain that’s perceived to be arthritis pain. Sometimes it’s muscle pain. Other times it can just be a nagging pain from anywhere that the primary care provider cannot diagnose. It’s more helpful to be referred to a rheumatologist when there are other symptoms along with the pain, such as early joint swelling. Q: What does the rheumatologist do when they see a referred patient? Kremer: We’ll take a history. Do you have morning stiffness? Fatigue? How long has this been going on? Do you have any family history of these same symptoms? After history, you do a physical exam looking for impaired joint movement, which joints are swollen, warm to the touch, difficult to move. Q: When do you take lab tests? And which tests do you start with first? Kremer: It depends on where the initial history and exams lead you. You many test for Rheumatoid factor (...
Being that February is National Heart Month I’d like to use this blog to address the relationship between high blood pressure and heart disease . It has been well documented that high blood pressure contributes to heart disease. This includes coronary artery disease and the resulting angina and heart attacks. Additionally, changes in heart muscle due to high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. The changes in heart muscle due to high blood pressure are similar to those in a body builder. We have all seen the “pumped up” body builder stiffly walking down the street. Thickening, or hypertrophy, of the muscles in arms and legs results from lifting heavy weights. In essence, muscles get thicker and stronger so that lifting heavy weights becomes easier. The desired effect of bigger muscles is achieved but at a cost. The muscles contract just fine, but have trouble relaxing. Hence the stiff walk. This is e...
Research has shown an inverse relationship between magnesium and blood pressure. In other words, individuals with a high magnesium intake, typically have a low blood pressure.
Good sources of magnesium include:
Peas, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lima beans, squash, broccoli, spinach, and seafood
Supplemental magnesium of ~500 mg can effectively lower blood pressure. Some studies have found magnesium supplements to reduce systolic blood pressure 2.7 mm Hg and diastolic 3.4 mm Hg. Discuss all supplements with your MD!
Missed a few days? Check out out our previous tips:
February 1: Start Slimming Down Your Recipes
February 2: Switch from Canned Veggies to Frozen
February 3: Wear a Pedometer
February 4: Eat Plant Sterols
February 5: Start a Food Journal
February 6: Select Darker Lettuce for Salads
February 7: Make a Date With Your Family
February 8: Slow Down and Taste Your Food
February 9: Drink Water. . . Water. . . and More Water...
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