"Oh, no. I don't have high blood pressure," declared Ron after I informed him that his pressure of 138/78 was on the high side. "Lots of times I take it and it's lower than that, like 120 or 130." Ron admitted that his primary care physician had told him for years that his blood pressure had been "borderline," occasionally as high as the 145/85 range. But other times it was lower, and Ron's reluctance to accept it led to a stalemate. Unconvinced, I had Ron undergo some simple testing. A heart ultrasound revealed several concerning findings: an overly muscular heart muscle ( left ventricular hypertrophy ), an enlarged left atrium (a risk for rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation ), and an enlarged aorta, the main artery of the body emerging from the heart (a risk factor for stroke and eventual aneurysm). Ron's blood sugar was modestly elevated, 112 mg/dl (pre-diabetes is 110 mg/dl or greater), and his creatinine (a measure of kidney function...
to separate diet myths from the truth can get rather confusing to say the
least. Indeed many of the diets out there completely contradict what health
what really works? Well, that’s a difficult question, but I feel it’s important
to focus on what reputable scientific evidence is telling us. Otherwise we
could end up changing our eating habits as often as the wind changes!
recent study has provided the strongest evidence yet that government recommendations for
lowering blood pressure can help prevent heart attack and stroke.
followed more than 88,000 healthy women for nearly 25 years (aged mid-30s –
late 50s). They examined their food choices, finding that those who focused on
healthy eating habits similar to those recommended by the government’s DASH plan were the healthiest.
women ate twice as many fruits, vegetables and grains as the more typical A...
Blood is carried from the heart to all the body's tissues and organs in pipes, called arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those pipes. The unit for measuring blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). In most people, hypertension , or high blood pressure , is defined as either: a systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher. In some groups, such as those with diabetes or kidney disease , a high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 80 or higher. Each time the heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute at rest) it pumps blood out into the blood vessels. When the heart is pumping the blood, it is called systolic pressure. When the heart is relaxing in between beats, your blood pressure falls; this is the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic). If the...
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