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Hypertension During Pregnancy

Hypertension During Pregnancy

The Threat of High Blood Pressure

Definition

It is a potentially life-threatening disorder that usually develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is most common in nulliparous (have not been pregnant) women. There are two categories of gestational hypertension. These are:

Preeclampsia

Non-convulsive form of the disorder. It develops in about 7% of pregnancies and may be mild or severe. Marked by the onset of hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation.

The incidence is significantly higher in low socioeconomic groups.

Eclampsia

Convulsive form of the disorder. Occurs between 24 weeks of gestation and the end of the first postpartum (after delivery) week. Incidence increases among women who are pregnant for the first time, have multiple fetuses, and have a history of vascular disease

Currently gestational hypertension and its complications are the most common cause of maternal death in the developed countries.

The Story Behind Gestational Hypertension

There is no exact cause for this condition. The systemic peripheral spasm of the vessels can occur. It affects every organ system. There are researches that support with geographic, ethnic, racial, nutritional, immunologic, and familiar factors may contribute to preexisting vascular disease, which in turn may contribute to its occurrence. The age is considered as a factor. Adolescents younger than age 19 and primiparas (first time being pregnant) older than age 35 are at higher risk.

What to look for?

The following are the common clinical manifestations of a woman who have gestational hypertension:

Blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg or an increase of 300mmHg systolic and 15mmHg diastolic over baseline obtained in two occasions at least 4 to 6 hours apart;

Increase in generalized edema associated with a sudden weight gain of more than 5 lb (2.3kg) per week;

Usually appears between the 20th week and 24th weeks of gestation and disappears within 42 days after the delivery;

A final diagnosis usually deferred until blood pressure returns to normal after delivery; if blood pressure remains elevated, chronic hypertension, either alone or superimposed on gestational hypertension, may be the cause;

Additional signs and symptoms with severe preeclampsia include increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and uric acid levels; frontal headaches (forehead), blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, irritability, and epigastric pain.

What test is being done?

Laboratory tests is use to determine the protein level in the urine. Proteinuria (protein in the urine) is of gestational hypertension. In preeclampsia, there is protein level in the urine that exceeds 300mg/24 hours (1+) and in eclampsia, 5g/24 hours (5+) or more.

How is it managed medically?

High protein diet with adequate fluid intake with restriction of excessively salty foods;

Bed rest in side-lying position;

Close observance of blood pressure, fetal heart rate, edema, proteinuria, and signs of pending eclampsia;

Administration of antihypertensive drugs

How it is managed at home?

When you know someone who happens to have this condition, it is best for you to advise then to monitor their vital signs especially the blood pressure regularly. The fetal heart rate must be closely monitored as well. Monitor the extent and location of the edema. Make sure to provide a quiet, darkened room until the pregnant mother’s condition stabilizes and enforce absolute bed rest. Provide emotional support to the pregnant mother and her family by:

Encourage them to verbalize their feelings

If the mother’s condition necessitates premature deliver, point out that infants of the mother with gestational hypertension are usually small for gestational age but sometimes far better than other preterm infants of the same weight, possibly because they have developed adaptive response to stress in utero; and

Help the mother and her family to develop effective coping strategies.It appears that your web host has disabled all functions for handling remote pages and as a result the BackLinks software will not function on your web page. Please contact your web host for more information.…

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What the Research Is Saying About KMC and Post Natal Depression

What the Research Is Saying About KMC and Post Natal Depression

Kangaroo mother care (KMC) has been studied now for over thirty years. KMC involves skin to skin contact between the mother and the newborn, specifically having the baby positioned on mom’s chest in an upright position. The concept originates from the Australian marsupial (kangaroo) which carries its baby (Joey) in a pouch for approximately four months after birth. The interaction between mom and baby means that baby relies on mom’s warmth, love and nutrition.

Many studies have shown that KMC is an invaluable therapy for both newborn baby and the new mom. So what is the research saying about KMC and Postnatal Depression (PND)?

Well, back in 2007 Brazilian researchers published a study in the Oxford Tropical Peadiatrics, concluding that Kangaroo Mother Care can prove helpful in warding off Postnatal Depression. The researchers studied mothers whilst they were providing Kangaroo Mother Care and the results were stunning. Not one mother developed signs of postpartum depression during this time. That’s right! Not one mother developed or suffered from any form of postnatal depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) published an article that focused on the bonding and the encouragement of breast-feeding through Kangaroo Mother Care. With the newborn baby lying in the prone position on mom’s chest, many of the typical after-birth examinations and procedures can be conducted easily, whilst maintaining that bond between newborn baby and mom. In fact in 2006 there was a new mother-To-Infant bonding (MIB) scale introduced, and compared with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale (EDPS), women that scored low on the MIB scale were scoring higher on the EPDS scale. The same was true of women who scored low on the EPDS scale, where they scored higher on the MIB scale.

Kangaroo Mother Care increases the production of Oxytocin through the skin-to-skin contact between mom and the baby. This Oxytocin is what is often called the “cuddle” or “love” hormone, and it is believed that oxytocin helps to ward off symptoms of postpartum depression.

All of this is very compelling information that hospitals and birthing settings should be taking into consideration. Mothers of newborns need to be encouraged to use KMC from the moment of birth. It is common knowledge that the first hours of life are extremely important for the mother-baby bonding process. Did you know that if a newborn baby and mom are separated, there is a risk if bonding failure and that the likelihood of successful ongoing breastfeeding is reduced.

The fact that KMC requires no drugs, chemicals or other things that can interfere with the natural mother newborn relationship, and that the research has shown KMC to be very beneficial, makes it a natural option for all new mom’s especially in reducing the potential for PND. Research will continue, but for now it is safe to say that all studies show KMC is a beneficial and positive for both mom and baby.…

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Five Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Five Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Did you know that about 65 million Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure? The good news is that some new research shows that many of these people have been able to get their hypertension under control without taking medication. Here’s how they are doing it.

Potassium relaxes your blood vessel.A� Studies show that increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods could cut your blood pressure by as much as 13 points.A� Some potassium-rich foods that you should consider are dried peaches, beet greens, spinach, white beans, dates, raisins, potatoes, refried beans and tomato sauce.A� All of these food choices contain more than 800 mg. of potassium per cup.A�

Consume sesame oil.A� If you can consume at least 1 oz. of sesame oil daily, your blood pressure could drop by as much as 32 points in two months.A� It sounds incredible, but apparently sesame oil relaxes blood vessel walls, therefore preventingA�pressure spikes.A�

Lower volume on electronic devices.A� A recent study at the Lund University Hospital in Sweden revealed that repeated daily exposure to noises above 60 decibels raises your risk of having hypertension by more than 25%.A� By listening to soothing, relaxing music, you can automatically slow your breathing and heart rate, which will, in effect, lower your blood pressure.A� So, turn down the volume on the television, PlayStation, alarm clock and radio.A� It will be to your benefit.A�

Eat more barley.A� Barley is a simple, inexpensive side dish which contains 13 g. of soluble fiber per cup.A� New research has shown that by consuming one heaping cup of barley daily you can normalize your blood pressure in just two months.A� In addition to fiber, barley is also loaded with artery-relaxing minerals which also helps lower your blood pressure.A�

Sit up straight.A� You know how your mother used to tell you to sit up straight?A� Well, apparently that was good advice.A� Surprising research has shown that sitting with your neck jutting forward and your shoulders slumped can lead to a 16% spike in your blood pressure.A� Apparently the nerves that keep your blood pressure in check come directly from your spine and slouching will hinder their function.…

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How to Reverse the Symptoms of Hypertension

How to Reverse the Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure as it can also be known is becoming a common health condition in many people. Hypertension happens when the arteries in the body get narrower. This increases the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries. Arteries become narrower due to age or due to the diet we eat. If we eat a diet that is high in saturated fats then we can increase the risk of getting hypertension. Foods high in fat are linked to the creation of plaque which are waxy deposits that attach themselves to the lining of the artery walls. Over time as these deposits build up the artery tubes become narrower. This makes it more difficult for the blood to flow through causing an increase in pressure. The hardening of the arteries can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.

However, the following are ways to reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure as well as alleviating the symptoms:

Reduce you intake of saturated fats

Foods that are high in saturated fats can eventually cause these fatty deposits to line your arteries. Therefore, review your diet and if you find you are eating a lot of red meat and fried food try to cut these out or at least reduce them.

Cut out salt

The walls of the arteries contain muscles that make sure the lining stays round and firm. A diet that has high levels of salt in them can weaken these muscles. All processed foods contain sodium to make them taste better. In some products there are unhealthy levels of salt. The salt is so well masked due to other additives that many people cannot taste it and therefore, add more salt to it. Review your diet and cut down on your intake of salt.

The benefits of eating fish

Fish contains the essential fatty acids omega 6. This is considered to help reduce heart disease. Omega 6 has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help reduce the inflammation of the arteries which can cause damage. Fish oil is also considered to help thin the blood in conjunction with vitamin E. If you do not eat fish then consider making it part of your diet. Try and eat fish 2 times a week. There are also a variety of fish oil tablets that contain a combination of the omega 6 oil and vitamin E. These are a suitable substitute if you are not able to buy fish.

If you have food allergies or a medical condition consult a doctor before you change your diet.…

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Depression And Addictions – The Connection

Depression And Addictions – The Connection

Psychologists have long established the connection between depression and addictions. The only score to settle now is, determining which causes what. Does addiction cause depression or is it the other way around?

To give an outright answer to those questions, it can actually be both. If you want to find out how and why, then read on.

First off, perhaps it would be safe to start with defining the terms that will come into play in this discussion. Addiction, in relation to substances, is defined as a person’s unusual need to consume something in huge amounts. Their initial purpose is to use these substances to help them alter their moods. Depression, on the other hand, is often characterized by doctors as a person’s unexplained sadness or melancholia that lasts anywhere from two weeks up to a full month or a year.

Now that we have a common understanding of what it is we are dealing with, let us move on to the topic at hand, the connection of depression and addictions.

Addiction as One Cause of Depression:

Mood altering substances are typically classified into 2 groups. They are what we call, uppers and downers. As implied, uppers, (like methamphetamine – commonly found in ecstasy), can bring about instant feelings of elation and lightheadedness. Downers, on the other hand, (like alcohol, tranquilizers, heroin and/or cocaine), give a calming and soothing effect. When taken in huge amounts, downers may have the tendency to bring forth a person’s melancholic mood. In fact their effects may be enough to make a person withdraw from their life, friends and family. And this prolonged melancholia and withdrawal brought about by substance abuse may become the cause of clinical depression in the long run.

Depression as One Cause of Addiction:

It is not unknown to most of us that when a person is faced with too much emotional troubles that they feel they cannot handle, there is a great tendency for him to try to resolve his problems in a different way. And most of the time, they see drugs or other similar substances as their easy way out. As they try using these “alternative” solutions, they find satisfaction to the point that they get hooked to them. They stop using the substances as a mere coping mechanism and start becoming dependent to them. That as we all know is the start of addiction.

Those are the connections of depression and addictions. Judging how both factors are closely intertwined with each other, it will be pointless to pinpoint which really causes what. What we all have to remember is how depression and addictions are closely linked to each other and avoid both of them at all costs.

Remember, people can and do make recoveries from depression and go on to lead their best lives imaginable. Seek help.…

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The Link Between Obesity and High Blood Pressure

The Link Between Obesity and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is also called hypertension. This condition is widely described by medical professionals as “the silent killer” because most people don’t even know they have it until it strikes a major organ system. Many people remain undiagnosed until hypertension is revealed by having their blood pressure taken during a medical or dental appointment. For those who do have symptoms, they include headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, a flushed face and fatigue. Hypertension that isn’t controlled by medication, diet modifications and environmental/social conditions that produce high stress such as an extremely stressful home or job situation will result in stroke, aneurysm, heart attack, heart failure and kidney damage.

According to the Merk Manual of Medical Information, 2nd Edition, more than 50 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure – many don’t even know it! Hypertention is an equal opportunity destroyer, but it tends to affect African Americans in particular. It is twice as common among people who are obese than among those who are not. Severe, long-term hypertension that is untreated can cause swelling of the brain, chronic headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, seizures, sleeplessness, and coma.

An overweight or obese person will be advised by their doctors to lose weight. Even losing as much as ten pounds can lower blood pressure! For those who are suffering from obesity-related diabetes, a radical change of diet that greatly reduces fat content, stopping alcohol (way high in calories), stopping smoking, and increasing physical activity through yoga, pilates, walking meditation, and mild to moderate increase in aerobic exercise. Regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure and the functioning of the heart.

In addition to these changes in personal and social environmental levels, doctors will most likely recommend medication to reduce high blood pressure. These include diuretics to eliminate excess water content in the body, an alpha or beta blocker, an ACE inhibitor, an angiotensin II blocker, or a calcium channel blocker. Your health care provider will fully explain all medication options to you. These drugs do have side effects that are generally not serious when compared to the havoc that untreated hypertension unleashes in the body.

For obese people with hypertension, the first front guard action is losing weight. Physicians dislike prescribing the drug phentermine or similar prescription drugs because has so many dangerous side effects, including fatal reactions and addiction to the drug. If phentermine is given, the patient must be very closely monitored by a health care provider to make sure the patient’s use is not causing any serious medical problem.

For an increasing number of overweight and obese people, over-the-counter supplements are their answer to losing weight and keeping it off. Fortunately, illnesses caused by obesity are most often significantly reduced through weight loss and other medical protocol. It comes down to an obese person making a very serious personal choice: do I want to face chronic illness or even death, or do I want to lose weight?

Make your choice today, starting right now.…

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Natural Remedies For Hypertension – Are They Effective?

Natural Remedies For Hypertension – Are They Effective?

More and more medical researchers discovered that the majority of medications for hypertension could have negative side effects. In addition, more and more doctors realize that medication will not cure hypertension without any side effects, so they suggest avoiding drugs and going for natural ways of controlling hypertension by exercise, diet to reduce weight, and change to a healthy lifestyle. 

Natural remedies for hypertension have proven to be effective, as long as the sufferers would take the remedies patiently and in high discipline. Natural remedies mostly take time to get the result. When you know you are suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure, you would strictly avoid the type of food that will cause your blood pressure to rise. Many people who not only cannot avoid junk food, but they also cannot stop smoking. They are not going for health checkup either because they do not feel anything wrong with their body. This is really the biggest problem we are facing now.

For many people, the symptoms of hypertension are not clear. They are unaware of their own hypertension. They will continue with their unhealthy lifestyle, until they cannot ignore their hypertension any longer. At this stage, usually many of them can suffer from heart attack, stroke, or other heart problem if left untreated.

To understand natural remedies for hypertension you should educate yourself by reading health articles about hypertension and its related matters. You can read many articles about hypertension or high blood pressure on the Internet. Once you understand the danger of having hypertension, we advise you to see your doctor to have your blood pressure measured, and later to have it monitored regularly. It is good practice to have personal medical checkup as a thorough control for your general health. The American Medical Association suggests that people have medical checkup once every five years until the age of 40, then once every one to three years thereafter.

Natural remedies for hypertension are the most favorable method to normalize blood pressure without medication. There is no negative side effect, and you will gain other benefits from natural remedies. To normalize your blood pressure many health counselors or doctors will advise you to look for alternative ways than medical treatments to treat your condition. Here are some advices that usually gave to hypertension sufferers:

–    You may consider for fruit and vegetable rich diet and lower salt intake.

–    Have a moderate exercise such as walking for 30 minutes a day.

–    Lose excess weight.

–    Have practicing yoga or any kinds of meditation.

–    Quit smoking.…