We have all seen her. The stooped old woman whose gaze is fixed on a spot just in front of her feet. The one who has to sit down and lean back to look you in the eye. This is the result of years of compression fractures that have left her spine inches shorter and her body twisted.
That woman has an extreme case of osteoporosis, the most common bone disease in most countries, and one that affects an estimated 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men over age 50. Once thought to be an inevitable consequence of aging, today we know that osteoporosis is a preventable disease, one that, even if it does occur, can be arrested in its development and even reversed.
The best way to understand what goes on with your bones as you age is to think about your retirement fund. You’ve likely been socking away money for years, watching it grow, counting the interest, anticipating the day when you’ll finally start making withdrawals. The goal, of course, is to ensure you don’t outlive your money. The same is true of your bones.
Throughout your life, cells called osteoblasts busily build bone, using hormones, vitamins, and minerals in a complex metabolic process to create the densest bone possible. At the same time, however, other cells called osteoclasts break down bone to supply calcium for other parts of your body, particularly your brain, muscles, and nervous system. That’s why calcium intake is so important throughout your life; not so much to build strong bone, as the dairy industry would have you believe, but to provide the valuable mineral for the rest of your body so osteoclasts don’t have to dissolve bone to get it.
Throughout your first 50 years, the osteoblasts have it over the osteoclasts and you build more bone than you lose. But as you age, the osteoclasts begin gaining until you start losing more bone than you build. This isn’t so much of a problem if you have dense bone to begin with, just as retirement-fund withdrawals are fine as long as the principal remains relatively intact.
But if you never laid down enough bone to begin with, or if you’re following a lifestyle that makes it easier to break down bone and harder to build up bone, then at some point, you find yourself with a deficit. When this happens, your bones become lacelike, with holes and paper-thin spots, and you can fracture your wrist simply by pushing on a heavy door. That is osteoporosis.
Obviously the key here is to protect your bones so that you never experience the effects of Osteoporosis. If you were reading this 15 years ago, you’d have been lucky to be evaluated for osteoporosis, let along diagnosed. That’s because there was nothing doctors could do if you had the disease.
Today, however, a plethora of medications and great understanding of the impact of lifestyle and diet on bone health have made osteoporosis not only treatable but eminently preventable.
Come back on Friday when I reveal what you can do now to prevent Osteoporosis.
As I wrap up my blog series on the prevention of cancer I would like to leave you with the top 7 ways to prevent cancer.
You’ve heard it a million times before. But consider this: If you smoke, you are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than someone who doesn’t smoke. Compare that to a women who had a first degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer; her overall risk is only twice that of a woman with no first-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet what do women tend to worry most about? Breast cancer.
Cut back on the Alcohol
Drinking beyond healthy levels (generally, one serving a day) is a major cause of breast, bladder, stomach, esophageal, liver, and colon cancers, among others. Scientists suspect the link may be due to the effects of acetaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen that forms as the body metabolizes alcohol. This compound reacts with natural compounds that are required for cell growth. This reaction can cause DNA damage to cells, which can, in turn, lead to a malfunctioning cell division.
About one in three cancers are the result of poor diet and being overweight, particularly breast, colon, rectal, stomach, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. When you’re overweight, your body produces more estrogen – linked to breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers; and more insulin, which can increase inflammation and free-radical damage.
In addition to getting seven to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables, studies find that diets low in red meat and high in whole grains also result in lower levels of various cancers.
Physical activity not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but also it reduces the percentage of body fat and helps your muscles better use insulin, reducing insulin blood levels and free-radical production. Specific studies find that regular physical activity can slash the risk of bowel cancer by half, the risk of uterine cancer by a third, as well as significantly reduce the risk of ovarian, breast, and colon cancers.
Spoon on some tomato sauce
Lycopene, an important antioxidant in tomatoes, pack a big punch again cancer. Just 10 tomatoes a week reduces the risk of prostate cancer by a third and the risk of breast cancer up to 50 percent. The thing is, you get way more lycopene if the tomatoes are cooked, which releases more of the chemical. Even just gently heating a chopped tomato will up the content. Not big on tomatoes? The great news is that Watermelon also packs a powerful lycopene punch! And who doesn’t like Watermelon? Research even indicates that more Lycopene is available in Watermelon because with Tomatoes they need to be heat treated for maximum Lycopene benefits.
Drink Water like a thirsty camel
The more water you drink, the more you dilute toxins in food and other liquids, reducing their damaging effects on your colon and bladder. One major study found that just six 8 ounce glasses of water every day slashed the risk of bladder cancer in half in men; while another found 45 percent reduce risk of colon cancer in woman who drank a lot of water throughout the day. Try and use reusable bottles, like Cool Elephant Stainless Steel Water bottles to avoid a huge pile up of plastic bottles. I’ve purchased one of these for a bunch of my friends this year. They are great! Check out the link below.
Come back on Wednesday where my blog focus switches to Osteoporosis. Are you destined to be the hunched over old man or woman in your later years?
When we talk about prevention of cancer there is nothing more powerful than what you eat. Here are some of the ways to cut your cancer risk, based on recent studies.
Say “yes” to onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli.
Eating lots of antioxidants called flavonols – found in these foods – cut pancreatic cancer risk by 23 percent. Among smokers, a flavonol-rich diet lowered risk by 59 percent, report researchers from the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii who studied 183,518 women and men.
Apples are packed with another antioxidant called quercetin, which is shown to reduce the risk of numerous cancers, particularly lung cancer. One study of more than 77,000 women found just one apple a day reduced risk of lung cancer by 21 percent, regardless of smoking status. Meanwhile, experiments in the laboratory showed that quercetin prevents lung cancer cells from multiplying.
Black raspberries, seeds and all, have 40 percent more antioxidants than blueberries and strawberries so reach for these when you can!
Cruciferous vegetables, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and even cabbage-based dishes like sauerkraut and coleslaw. Men who ate three of more ½ cup servings of these vegetables a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 41 percent, compared to men who ate less in one major study. Steam the vegetables slightly and drizzle on a little olive oil to get the most benefits.
Garlic and onions, two flavoring vegetables, are jammed with cancer-destroying chemicals. Get 16 servings a week of onions (1/2 cup raw, chopped onion equals one serving) and 22 servings a week of garlic (one clove equals one serving) and your risk of oral, esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers drops dramatically. The protective effect from both vegetables stem from the same compounds that give each their distinctive odors which is called organosulfur compounds. These compounds do many things; they influence enzymes that activate and detoxify carcinogens; they prevent DNA from bonding to cancer-causing substances; they are great at scavenging up free radicals in your bloodstream; and they support the immune system, among other benefits. One hint: Either use garlic raw or let it sit for 10 minutes after chopping; otherwise, heat destroys the cancer-protecting enzymes.
Go to the limit with fruits and vegetables
Study participants who got 12 produce servings per day lowered their risk of various cancers by 29 percent as compared to women and men who ate only 3 servings, a recent study of 500,000 women and men age 50 and older has found. Merely adding 1 to 2 produce servings a day could lower your risk by 6 percent.
Choose red wine.
Red-wine drinker cut their risk of colorectal cancer by 68 percent in a recent study from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In contrast, white-wine aficionados did not. Researchers suspect that an antioxidant in red wines called resveratrol may offer powerful protection against colon cancer.
Have fish more often.
Men who ate fish five times a week or more had a 40 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to those who ate fish less than once a week, say Harvard Medical School researchers who have tracked the health of 22,071 men.
The next time you go to the grocery store make sure you spend most of your time in the produce department and pick up as many of these cancer fighting foods as you can eat!
Unfortunately when dealing with cancer prevention there isn’t just one pill you can take, neither is their just one thing you can do to effectively prevent all cancer forms.
Try many of the following preventive measures, which in recent studies have shown significant benefits in the prevention of cancer. In each case, the type of cancers for which the action is best suited is revealed.
Sip some Tea
Real tea- not herbal tea- contains powerful antioxidants called catechins that help protect proteins and cellular DNA from oxidative damage that can lead to cells becoming cancerous. In laboratory studies, catechins stop tumors from growing and protect healthy cells from damage. And in population studies researchers find that people who are regular tea-drinkers have half the risk of developing some cancers as those who don’t drink the liquid at all, or who drink it less frequently. This preventative step is best for the prevention of Stomach and Esophageal Cancers.
Switch to Olive Oil
You probably already know about this fat’s famous potential for reducing heart disease; but it’s also a great way to elude cancer. Researchers identified oleic acid (the main component of olive oil) as having the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene (a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell). Not all olive oils are equal. Extra Virgin Olive oil contains the greatest concentration of naturally-occurring antioxidants, while “virgin” olive oil or products just labeled “olive oil” have undergone filtration and purification. These processes yield oil milder in color, aroma and flavor, appreciably lower in beneficial antioxidants. This preventative step is best for the prevention of Colon, Breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.
Supplement with Vitamin D and catch some rays
Several studies find that the sunshine vitamin reduces the risk of numerous cancers. But while you can get vitamin D from supplements and food sources, it takes sunlight to activate the vitamin, which collects in your skin.
In studies researchers found that women with vitamin D levels of more than 800 IU a day from diet or supplements had a 19 percent lower breast cancer risk than those getting less than 400 IU. Studies also find that people in sunny climates are far less likely to develop solid tumors like stomach, colorectal, liver, gallbladder, pancreatic, lung, and prostate cancers than those from northern climates.
But Sunlight exposure = skin cancer, so the key is to increase your vitamin D levels while still keeping sun exposure to a minimum. Here is how you can do it.
Avoid Direct Sunlight between 10am and 4pm. The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between these hours, so It’s best to spend time outdoors outside of these hours on warmer days. If you’re spending an afternoon at the beach, you’ll want to pull out your beach umbrella and seek shade during this time frame. It is still possible to produce vitamin D from sunlight while in shaded areas.
Wear a Wide Brimmed hat. Your ears, face and neck are most sensitive, and susceptible to sun burns, which is why wearing a wide brimmed hat in the sunshine is no so much a summer fashion accessory, but a safety precaution against UV Rays.
Wear light layers of clothing. If you’re spending the entire day in the sun and you can tolerate wearing light layers of clothing, such as loose fitting, light, woven shirts, you can block most of the sun’s UV rays, while still absorbing helpful amounts of vitamin D. However, think layers such as sweaters and tight fitting tops are more likely to block UV rays completely, which you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking to increase your vitamin D intake.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection – but not just any sunscreen. It’s heavily debated whether sunscreen is actually good for your skin, or does more harm than sun exposure itself based on the chemicals some types of sunscreen contain. The truth is, applying broad spectrum sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection before and during sun exposure is crucial for preventing cancer (caused by UVB rays) and premature aging of the skin (caused by UVA rays).
Follow a Cancer-preventing Diet
The link between cancer and nutrition is so powerful, there is even a medical journal devoted to just that topic.
Come back on Friday when I release the Cancer Prevention diet in my blog. You don't want to miss it!
When people are afraid of something, incorrect information can spread like wildfire. When you have fear it is much easier to believe more bad things about what you fear than actually questioning the information you are hearing. Here are 5 big myths about cancer that you need to know today.
The risk of dying from cancer is increasing
This is completely not true in modern countries. In fact, the risk of dying is decreasing as we get better at diagnosing and treating cancer. The likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 19902. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. Not only that, but the risk of developing certain cancers is also declining as people quit smoking and take other lifestyle steps to reduce their cancer risk.
Pollution is a greater risk factor for lung cancer than smoking
This is untrue. While high levels of pollution can increase the risk of lunch cancer, the increase is minuscule compared to smoking.
Physical injuries later in life cause cancer
It is genetic changes, no physical injuries, that cause most cancers.
Electronic devices like cell phones and microwaves cause cancer
Numerous studies have debunked the link between cell phones and brain cancer, and between microwaves and cancer. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes.
How you live when you’re young has little effect on your risk of cancer later.
In the case of sunburn, this is untrue. A single serious sunburn in your teens can set you up for melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, 30 years later. Smoking for even a year creates genetic damages in lung tissue cells that can trigger cancerous cells decades later. In fact, some studies are now finding that the seeds of cancer could be sown in the womb – based on what your mother did when she was pregnant with you.
Artificial sweetener cause cancer
This is untrue. Researchers have conducted many studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners like Saccharin, aspartame and sucralose and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. This is why these sweeteners are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States.
Cancer is contagious
Cancer is not a contagious disease that easily spreads from person to person. The only situation in which cancer can spread from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation.
In some people, cancers may be caused by certain viruses (some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, for example) and bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori). While a virus or bacterium can spread from person to person, the cancers they sometimes cause cannot spread from person to person.
Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer
Not true. The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue.
Hair Dye increases your risk for developing cancer
There is no evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.
If you are afraid of something the best way to combat your fear is to know the facts. I hope exposing these myths helps to ease you mind.
Come back on Wednesday when I start to focus on what you can start doing today to prevent cancer now and in the future.
Cancer, for all the fear it invokes, is not some foreign thing that invades your body, like a virus or bacteria. Cancer is simply your own cells run amok. It develops when the built-in mechanisms designed to destroy damaged cells fails or becomes overwhelmed by the extent of the damaged cells.
When this happens those damaged or cancerous cells keep doing what cells do – multiplying. Unlike normal cells, however, they don’t have an “off” switch. So they divided and divide and divide. In the process, they use up valuable blood, oxygen, and nutrients that healthy cells need. Eventually, the proliferation of cancer cells makes it impossible for healthy cells to survive.
These cancer cells are pretty smart. They are able, in many instances, to disguise themselves to evade detection by the immune system. They also mutate to resist the poisons designed to root them out. And sometimes, they lay dormant for years until something – biochemical stress, its own genetic siren song – triggers them into action again.
The older you get the more likely you are to get cancer just because you have been alive long enough for your cells to be dividing over and over again for a long period of time. The greater number of divisions, the greater the likelihood that some mistakes will occur. The more mistakes that occur, the greater the likelihood that one of those “Mistake” cells will survive and become a cancer.
The good news is that two-thirds of all cancers could be prevented – if people stopped smoking, ate better, and exercised. Simple right?
Your job, then, is to arm yourself with all known (and suspected) weapons to reduce the probability that cellular mistakes will occur in your body and increase the likelihood that if they do occur, the systems designed to correct or destroy them work. That means reducing the production of free radicals, increasing the availability of antioxidants to fight off free radicals, and stopping inflammation.
At a cellular level, all cancers are similar. But what makes cancer so challenging is that it can develop in many places within your body, each based on different triggers or causes.
What does this mean? Excessive sun is the top cause of the cellular damage that leads to skin cancer, but has less effect on the inside of your body. Your digestive system directly encounters many toxins and chemicals in your food that ultimately can cause cancer to develop in your stomach, esophagus, or intestines, but might have less impact elsewhere in your body.
That is to say that one set of preventative measures cannot effectively battle all cancer forms. In my next few blogs I will explore the myths of cancer and the ways you can start preventing cancer today, including an anti-cancer diet.
The focus you should have is prevention. Everything you hear about in the news is all about finding a cure. Yes a cure would be fantastic, but why not work more on preventing the cancer from taking place in the first place? The pharmaceutical companies might lose some money as well as the doctors and hospitals, but don’t you think our lives would be so much better if we never even had to deal with trying to cure cancer at all?
Come back on Monday to learn more about how you can prevent cancer!
Here is a third heart risk your doctor probably isn’t telling you about, and you probably have no idea what it is.
Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in blood plasma. High levels of homocysteine in the blood are believed to increase the change of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.
A Norwegian study of 587 women and men found that heart-related death risk was eight times greater when homocysteine was elevated. A 10 percent increase in blood homocysteine levels increases the risk of heart disease by 10 to 15 percent.
So what elevates your Homocysteine levels?
Besides a blood test, how can I tell my Homocysteine levels are high? Here are some symptoms to look for:
So what can you do to help keep your levels down?
Make some Dietary and Lifestyle changes
Avoid methionine-rich foods like red meat and dairy products. Although Methionine is an essential amino acid, it is also suspected to indirectly promote atherosclerotic plaque growth by increasing homocysteine levels. Also, Exercise is important. Patients in a cardiac rehabilitation program showed a reduction in homocysteine from exercise alone. Also decrease or eliminate alcohol and smoking.
Take your Multivitamin
A poor diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can deplete the key B vitamins and magnesium that we need to keep homocysteine levels down. A multi Vitamin supplying 100 percent of the Daily Value for folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 can cut homocysteine levels by 32 percent, says Harvard researchers
Have an Orange at breakfast, and a spinach-and-cherry tomato salad with lunch
Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spinach are all great sources of folic acid, which breaks down homocysteine in the body.
Stir-fry peppers and broccoli for dinner tonight
In a study of 6,000 people, those who ate the most peppers (red, yellow, green, or hot peppers) and the most cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower had homocysteine levels 16.5 percent lower than people who didn’t eat these healthy vegetables on a regular basis.
Do you experience frequent migraines?
There are also recent studies that show that by reducing Homocysteine levels can aid in Migraine relief. Studies were done where Homocysteine levels were lowered with B-Complex Vitamins regimen.
So I hope this blog post has given some value to you today!
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Another Heart Risk your doctor may not be telling you about is Metabolic Syndrome.
For at least one in four adults, inactivity and overeating lead to high insulin levels – your body’s attempt to force muscle cells to absorb blood sugar. The Danger is that high insulin levels in your blood stream can double to quadruple heart attack and stroke risk. New research links metabolic syndrome – the phrase doctors use for when insulin and related body chemicals are out of balance – with a 2.5 times higher risk for clogged arteries. Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
Do you have metabolic syndrome?
There’s no blood check for this dangerous condition, but a series of tiny warning signs reveals your risk. The big danger is that each of these warning signs is small enough to shrug off. But together, they predict big trouble. These are the 4 warning signs:
If you have signs of metabolic syndrome, be sure to ask your doctor for a fasting blood sugar check for diabetes; people with metabolic syndrome have about a 30 percent chance for developing major blood sugar problems, which also raise your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Here are three steps that can guarantee to help make a difference if you do have or are on the verge of Metabolic Syndrome:
Get 30 minutes of exercise per day
Exercise forces muscle cells to take up extra blood sugar and also makes them more sensitive to insulin.
Trim belly fat
Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and exercise – these strategies can shrink dangerous abdominal fat, the kind that wraps itself around your internal organs and raises your odds for metabolic syndrome.
Eat snack food from farms, not factories
For example, choose a piece of fruit over cookies. High-sugar, low-fiber processed sweets send your blood sugar levels soaring and trigger the release of loads of insulin in order to bring levels down. Over time, a high-sugar diet taxes your body’s ability to control blood sugar, especially if you’re overweight or inactive.
Stay away from the 4 Metabolism Death Foods
Contrary to popular belief, fat in your diet likely isn’t the primary thing making your waist bigger – it’s probably consuming too much hidden sugar! Stay away from commercial juices which have way too much sugar in them and do not provide you with substantial amounts of vitamins or minerals.
“Healthy” Chips, Pretzels and crackers
So-called “healthy” chips usually contain lots of mostly-empty starches or carbs and are very high in sodium. And depending on the kind, these ultra-processed foods might also contain trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, which are linked with numerous health problems.
This so called health food is usually sky-high in sugar, calories and processed grains. A measly ½ cup can set you back more than 250 calories, and it’s very unlikely to leave you feeling full or satisfied for long. The honey commonly used in granola also is highly processed and might be a major cause in weight gain.
These are probably the most deceiving. They lead you to believe that you can satisfy your sweet tooth with no calories, no guilt and a thinner waist line. However studies have shown some can actually stimulate your appetite and increase your cravings for carbohydrates, which means in the end you land up eating more calories than what you are saving with your increase in appetite.
Check back on Wednesday when I reveal the third and final Heart Risk that you doctor may not be telling you about!
Keeping tabs on blood pressure and cholesterol is a lot like shampooing your hair but skipping the conditioner. The job’s only half done. Your numbers look okay, so you assume your heart is safe. But is it really?
New evidence reveals that little-known threats could still be setting you up for big trouble. Yet your doctor may never mention these hidden risks.
The reassuring news is that taking control can be as easy as snacking on walnuts (instead of processed snack foods) or taking your multivitamin every day. Here’s what you need to know about one of these important risk factors.
This chemical is produced in the liver when some part of your body is inflamed. Consistently high levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, can raise your risk of heart disease even if your cholesterol readings are healthy, report researchers at the Center for cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston. High CRP is a warning signal that plaque is building up in artery walls.
So what causes high levels of CRP? Mostly, low-grade infections in your body, such as gum disease, and other ongoing irritants that keep your immune system constantly doing battle. This is the “chronic inflammation” problem that is increasingly being talked about in health circles.
What is your CRP level? To find out, ask your doctor for a high-sensitivity CRP test the next time you’re getting a blood sugar or cholesterol check. If numbers seem high, get retested in two weeks. A cold or flu could skew your reading because inflammation levels will be temporarily high.
Here are some ways to tame your CRP:
Make all your sandwiches on whole grain bread
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows that getting 32 grams of fiber per day could slash CRP levels by half. You’ll get there if you also choose high fiber cereals, beans and lentils, and whole-grain pasta.
Snack on a handful of walnuts instead of a candy bar
Rich in fiber and “good” omega-3 fatty acids, these nuts slash CRP levels and cut heart risk.
Bush, Floss, and rinse every day
Even tiny pockets of gum disease increase inflammation levels throughout your body, raising your odds for heart attacks and even strokes. Studies show that pampering your gums by brushing carefully, flossing well, then rinsing with a gum-protecting mouthwash are important steps that not only brighten your smile, but also protect your cardiovascular system.
Now that we can see how your heart health is connected to dental health, how do you know if you have gum disease?
Here are some things to look for:
Like any part of your body, there should be expected some tonal variations throughout the body, however, when it comes to the color of gum tissue, generally speaking, it should be some variance of pink.
Usually your gums should have a tight, flat appearance where they seem to be hugging your teeth.
Healthy Gums do not bleed. Period. While nobody wants to admit to having unhealthy gums, the fact remains that the vast majority of our gums bleed when we go to the dentist, or floss, or sometimes even just brush too hard. Aside from blunt trauma, healthy gums won’t ever bleed, just like your skin won’t suddenly spring a cut unless it is in fact, cut. Bleeding in the absence of trauma is almost a guaranteed sign of infection.
If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, it may just be time now to pick up the phone and make and appointment today. Your heart may depend on it!
Did you know that about 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure? That's 1 in every 3 American adults! Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
There is a good chance that even your blood pressure could be too high and you don’t even know it.
What should you do? First of all you should be visiting your Doctor at least twice a year for a annual exam.
But in between doctor visits here are some great ideas to keep your blood pressure in check.
Buy a Home blood pressure monitor
A study presented at a recent European Society of Hypertension conference found that people who checked their blood pressures at home had lower blood pressure readings than those whose only checks were at the doctor’s office. Relying on your doctor’s tests alone misses nine percent of high blood pressure cases, another study has found. The great news is that these home Blood pressure monitors are not all that expensive. Here is a great one you can order form Amazon right now:
Go home earlier
If you’re working at a job plan to start leaving on time more often. Working more than 41 to 50 hours per week raise hypertension risk by 17 percent, according to a University of California, Irvine, study of health records of 24,205 California residents. Putting in 51 to 60 hours upped risks by 29 percent. Being a workaholic raised your stress and prevents you from getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy meals, says study author Dr. Yang. It also makes quitting smoking even more difficult.
Turn off your cell phone – and forget about it
When 20 British students were asked to talk about their cell phones to researchers, their systolic blood pressure jumped 8 points – a sign that having a ringing phone in your pocket or purse is stressful in itself. After the students gave up their phones for three days, the same exercise increased blood pressure just 3 points. Silence, it seems, is healthy, says researcher David Sheffield, PHD, of the Staffordshire University in England.
Rediscover (Low-fat) milk
Around the world, milk consumption is dropping as we sip more sodas and other sweetened soft drinks. But milk and other dairy products are important for blood pressure control because they contain calcium, which helps regulate fluid levels in the blood stream.
Take a Supplement
In a review of 12 studies, researchers found that Coenzyme Q10 reduced blood pressure. The antioxidant, required for energy production, dilates blood vessels. Ask your doctor about taking a 60 to 100 mg supplement up to three times a day for low blood pressure.
Relax with Music
Need to bring down your blood pressure a bit more than medication or lifestyle changes can do alone? The right tunes can help you get low blood pressure, according to researchers at the University of Florence in Italy. They asked 28 adults who were already taking hypertension medication to listen to soothing classical, Celtic, or Indian music for 30 minutes daily while breathing slowly. After a week, the listeners had lowered their average systolic reading by 3.2 points; a month later, readings were down 4.4 points!
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