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3 Ways That Can Increase Your Risk of Hypertension

3 Ways That Can Increase Your Risk of Hypertension

Hypertension which can also be called high blood pressure is a medical condition that is affecting more and more people. Often referred to as the silent killer, nearly 30 percent of people in the United States have hypertension and more than 30 percent of them do not even know that they have it.

Many people who do know they have high blood pressure are not taking the proper care to control it. This condition can be very dangerous as it can lead to host of health complications and problems later on in life if it is not properly treated.

Hypertension means that your blood pressure is above the normal levels on a regular and consistent basis. This does not mean that you are hyper or tense all the time as even the most relaxed people can have high blood pressure.

The condition can be caused by factors that are outside of your control such as genetics. If your parents or grandparents had this condition then, this can increase your risk of having it as well. High blood pressure can also be caused by underlying factors such as the narrowing of the arteries, kidney disease or pregnancy.

However, there are factors that you can control to help reduce your risk of hypertension and here are 3 of these factors:

Overweight: If you are overweight or obese then you will increase your risk. Obesity can be defined as your body weighing 20 % or more above your normal natural weight. Not everybody who is overweight will have hypertension however, nearly half of those who do have high blood pressure are overweight.

Alcohol: Many people today drink well over the recommended daily intake of alcohol. Although the limits differ between men and women on average you should not drink more than 2 bottles of beer or 2 small glasses of wine a day. Anything over that and you are increasing your risk. Drinking too much alcohol not only increases your blood pressure it also increases your risk of liver and heart disease.

Smoking: Unless you have been living in a cave and been devoid of any human contact you should be well aware that smoking is dangerous to your health. It is linked to a host of diseases that can kill you including cancer and heart disease. The nicotine in cigarette tobacco and in kind of tobacco has the effect of constricting the arteries. This narrowing builds up pressure in the arteries which raises your blood pressure. Over time this will eventually lead to hypertension and other serious conditions as just mentioned.…

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The Dangers Of Fructose Consumption

The Dangers Of Fructose Consumption

Fructose and its other version, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have been widely used as cheaper alternatives for sugar. This sweetener has applications as a sweetener in the preparation of a variety of foods. Fructose has been widely implicated in a large number of disorders like metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Glucose and fructose are similar in a number of ways. Both of them share the same molecular formula. Yet, the brain looks at glucose and fructose differently. Glucose is essential for the brain while fructose is not.

The MRI scans of people infused with glucose and fructose separately, showed some interesting results. Fructose inhibited the activity in the cortical region of the brain. At the same time, glucose increased the activity in this region. When the cortical region undergoes activation, it decides how people react to the taste and the smell of the food. When glucose is consumed, it produces a satiety response in the brain and therefore, also elicits a ‘stop eating’ response. In contrast, this feedback is absent when fructose is consumed. Therefore, there is no ‘stop eating’ signal produced in the brain. This leads to overeating. Thus, the consumption of fructose-containing foods can lead to obesity.

Decades back, fructose consumption was very low in the US, but right now, fructose is the major supplier of calories. It is an alarming situation. While obesity may be the major outcome arising out of fructose consumption, there are other concerns as well. The greatest threat is the rising level of uric acid. For example, in the early half of the twentieth century, the average uric aid levels in the US were around 3.5mgs/100 ml. In 1980, this rose to around 6.5mgs/100 ml, an almost doubling of the uric acid levels. When uric acid levels rise, there is increased risk for kidney disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, fatty liver, obesity, diabetes and a number of other conditions.

Uric acid is having low solubility and thus, when its blood levels rise, it tends to precipitate, particularly at the joints. This leads to the erosion of the joint structures and can lead to painful arthritis. Fructose also elevates the angiotensin levels and lowers the nitric oxide levels. This combination is deadly. Elevated angiotensin causes the blood pressure to rise and this in turn can produce stroke and heart disease. Nitric oxide has the ability to relax the blood vessels and this keeps them flexible, allowing for the smooth flow of the blood. When nitric oxide is lowered, the arteries become hardened and lose their elasticity. This also can promote heart disease. Another danger also lurks nearby and this is the link between fructose consumption and cancer. Insulin resistance has been implicated in several forms of cancer and one of the consequences of excessive fructose consumption is insulin resistance.

It should be understood that only fructose from the processed foods is dangerous. Fructose obtained from fruits is not having these deleterious consequences because this fructose is always accompanied by fiber and antioxidants.…

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Anxiety and Blood Pressure – Hypertension

Anxiety and Blood Pressure – Hypertension

Today I heard an interesting story that had to do with a patient claiming her severe anxiety about doctor visits was responsible for her abnormally high blood pressure readings. This doesn’t sound all that unrealistic right? The interesting part of the story had to do with research studies that suggest escalating blood pressure that occurs consistently is a precursor to problematic blood pressure issues in the future. In this informational article titled “Anxiety and Blood Pressure” we will briefly discuss blood pressure and anxiety along with some helpful ideas to help you reduce your chances of serious problems in the future.

 

Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer because in its early stages it produces very few if any symptoms. It is contributes to the deaths of a quarter of a million individuals in the United States annually and is the primary cause of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.

 

Anxiety is common, normal, and sometimes useful when struggling to overcome daily challenges and dangers. It is in fact on of the most important survival mechanisms that the body can produce. On the other hand sometimes anxiety reels out of control. This leads to anxiety disorders that are persistent and/or recurrent and impedes ones ability to function in a normal healthy way.

 

But the question is how does anxiety contribute to blood pressure?

 

At first blush it might seem like that anxiety and hypertension are as different as night and day but upon closer examination we might find this is not necessarily the case. The truth is anxiety, stress, or anger can raise hypertension by triggering the hormones the constrict blood vessels. Three hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and aldosterol) all raise a person’s blood pressure. Ironically norepinephrine is one of the hormones thought to be linked to anxiety disorders and depression. The other two being dopamine and serotonin. So there definitely is a common link between the two and when you throw in the fact that no specific cause can be identified in over 95% of patients with high blood pressure one could easily conclude that there could be a biological link between anxiety and hypertension.

 

In summary, if you are being terrorized by one or both of these conditions you should seek professional help and find the appropriate form of treatment for your unique situation. 

 

Additionally, many natural health minded people are choosing to address their anxiety with the help of natural alternative therapies such as yoga, behavior therapy and/or herbal remedies. Certain herbs such as Saw Palmetto and Passion Flower have proven to be a helpful tool in the difficult battle against overcoming anxiety and/or depression and are a safe and effective anxiety treatment option worth considering.…

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Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Using Herbs

Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Using Herbs

In order to lower your blood pressure naturally the best option is to check with your doctor first to see if you can start taking herbs instead of chemical medication. The herbs to lower pressure naturally are a very safe and effective way to return your body to a state of balance. If you need to take medication all you will be doing is controlling the blood pressure instead of actually lowering it.

Garlic has been highly ranked for some time as being the best herb for lowering high blood pressure. The best garlic to use is organic garlic with a strong white color that contains eight to twelve cloves. The lesser or inferior garlic is of a yellow color and can contain up to fifty cloves. A good beginning dosage would be 3-5 cloves every day. Garlic can also be excellent for cardiovascular health.

The hawthorn berry is similar that of garlic in that it has been used for centuries for high blood pressure treatment. Hawthorn is excellent for opening the coronary arteries, reducing hardening of the arteries, improves the flow of blood and strengthens the heart muscle.

Another herb for lowering hypertension is lime blossom. This herb calms the nervous system along with the circulatory system which helps in lowering tension and stress. You can also steep the blossoms into a tea and enjoy a cup each day.

Cayenne is good for your circulation and lowering pressure. In order for cayenne to work properly it needs to be hot as in hot Mexican peppers and Thai peppers.

Turmeric is an herb that contains curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots. It is an herb from East India that is used in curry dishes. The antioxidants that are contained in this herb build up blood vessels and improve blood flow.

Ginkgo Biloba improves blood circulation and dilates the arteries in reducing pressure. This herb improves the memory and mental alertness because the blood flow to the brain has been increased.

In order to maintain good quality blood and circulation your body needs to have at least eight cups of water every day. Having the proper amount of water flowing through your body will flush out any excessive minerals and inorganic salts from the body. Too much salt will have bad effect on the blood pressure. Natural sea salt helps to flush away any of the bad salts that are left in the body.

You not only need to start using some of these herbs for hypertension but you will need to make lifestyle changes in order to stick to a low blood pressure diet. If you are unable to do that, you doctor is will need to help by prescribing medications that you may need to take the rest of your life.

I personally would rather try to lower blood pressure naturally and make a few changes in my life instead of taking pills every day.…

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Dark Chocolate Shown to Benefit a Variety of Health Conditions

Dark Chocolate Shown to Benefit a Variety of Health Conditions

Raw, dark chocolate has been known to have significant health benefits.  Research studies continue to reveal that chocolate may hold clues to fighting more and more types of diseases.  It is great news that the enjoyment and satisfaction of chocolate can be linked to healthiness and well-being.   Here’s how research involving chocolate consumption has been shown to benefit conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression and more.

Cancer and Heart Disease

Raw cacao and dark chocolate contain even greater amounts of the antioxidant compounds found in red wine or green tea.  In protecting cells from toxins, as well as damaging and slowing the growth of cancer cells, antioxidants help reduce cancer risks and heart disease.   The more cacao contained in chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains.  Keep in mind that white chocolate does not contain antioxidants. 

High Cholesterol

Despite being high in fats, studies have shown that chocolate consumption does not raise cholesterol, due to the type of saturated fat it contains.   Less harmful saturated fats mean less harmful cholesterol and artery-clogging plaque.  In fact, dark chocolate may help boost good cholesterol. 

Mood

Consuming chocolate is thought to have an opiate effect on the body, possibly helping ease mood disorders. In addition, the fat contained in chocolate helps provide a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure, releasing endorphins that positively affect mood.  Chocolate also may help cases of depression and soothe anxiety.  Certain research study participants diagnosed with depression found relief from their depression when given dark chocolate.

High Blood Pressure and Circulation

Dark chocolate has been shown to help prevent blood platelets from aggregating, thus minimizing blood clots.  In fact, one research study showed that consuming a small amount of dark chocolate each day slightly lowered blood pressure.   This effect is due to the level of flavonoids in cacao that improve the level of protection against heart disease and encourage good circulation.  Flavonoids tend to be lower in milk chocolate so stick with the dark.  In addition, the Dutching process used in making cocoa powder also reduces flavanols, so look for naturally processed cocoa.

How Much Chocolate To Consume 

To reap the possible health benefits, try adding 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day to your diet.  Make sure there are no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils used in making the chocolate.  There should also be a high cocoa percentage (70% or above) in the chocolate bar.  Keep in mind that chocolate will add calories, so make dietary adjustments accordingly.…