Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Surprising causes of high blood pressure, simple strategies to manage hypertension By: Bel Marra

How healthy is your blood pressure? And exactly what causes high blood pressure, anyway? It rises with each and every heartbeat and then falls as your heart relaxes between beats. It can change from minute to minute with exercise, stress, sleep, even your posture.
The important thing is you want to keep it in the healthy range: Less than 120/80 mm Hg – less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic – for adults age 20 and over. Most Americans, though, are reading closer to 140/90 or higher, which puts them in the high blood pressure range.
That news is grim. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the proportion of Americans reporting they have high blood pressure rose nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2009. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects nearly one-third of Americans. And nearly half of those cases are out of control, health officials say.
Furthermore, nearly one in three Americans has prehypertension – a condition which shows elevated blood pressure numbers which can progress into hypertension.

Risks of high blood pressure

Why is it dangerous? Like the pipes running through your house, your arteries can fail when they’re under too much pressure. Then boom – high blood pressure can take you to an early grave. It’s a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. And it also puts you at risk for the following conditions that won’t make your life better, that’s for certain:
Both men and women are about equal when it comes to the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, but their risks vary at different ages. More men are affected than women before age 64. At 65 and over, more women than men have high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Chart

Causes of high blood pressure

Given the sheer numbers of people who have high blood pressure, it’s important to understand the causes of blood pressure issues, reduce your risk and start checking your blood pressure regularly. Most people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it because it’s considered a “silent killer” – there are no signs or symptoms. A few people early on may have dull headaches, minor dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than usual; but these symptoms don’t often come up until the disease reaches the later, life-threatening stage.
Here’s what’s putting you at risk. Consider this a call-to-action to turn your habits around:
  • You eat too much salt or sugar
  • You don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • You are not active enough
  • You are overweight
  • You are a smoker
  • You drink too much alcohol
  • You are under a lot of stress and feel anxious
This is where age comes in. The cumulative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, with many of the factors noted above, can build up and put you in the high blood pressure range. High blood pressure due to stress alone can send it soaring. So imagine what that’s like day-in and day-out for your poor arteries over the years…
Also note that statistics show family history plays a role. You are at higher risk of being in the high blood pressure range if other members of your family have or have had high blood pressure.
Some people, too, may have high blood pressure that is linked to another medical condition, such as diabetes or kidney problems. Often treatment for these other conditions will bring their blood pressure back down from the high blood pressure range to healthy control.
Simple strategies to manage and control blood pressure
There are natural, healthy ways to controlling blood pressure before turning to prescription medication. The three-pronged approach of a healthy diet, weight management and exercise is where you want to start. In fact, if you do require medication after you’ve developed a heart-healthy lifestyle, exercise makes blood pressure medication more effective. Good to know!
Here are good strategies to get you on your way to controlling blood pressure:
Strategy 1. Get active
30 min exercises: You can reap the benefits of exercise with just 30 minutes a day. Grab a friend or your dog for a good walk and get your arms (and heart) pumping. Ride bikes with your kids or grandkids. Housework, climbing stairs, standing while preparing meals – all those activities count. The important thing is to find activities you enjoy, like gardening, tai chi or swimming in a salt water pool (easy on those joints).
Mini-workouts: If you can’t manage 30 minutes straight, try three mini-workouts. Go up and down the stairs for 10 minutes or park your car at the back of the parking lot so you can walk a little further to the grocery store.
Other Exercises: And strengthen that heart muscle with resistance training, like yoga poses that use your body weight to build strength. Or exercise bands that you can tote anywhere and do some simple bicep curls and leg lifts. Getting active doesn’t have to be jogging for miles on end. It’s easier than you think, once you fit it into your lifestyle in ways that are fun and convenient.
Strategy 2. Healthy Eating
We hear a lot about avoiding salt or sodium, but it’s hidden in so many foods. When it comes to eating well for controlling blood pressure, you want to reduce your packaged and processed foods, and eat more nutrient-rich whole foods. Yes, spend more time in the kitchen with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy grains and healthy fats.
To balance your salt, make sure to get a lot more potassium, from foods like apricots, avocado, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwis, lima beans, oranges, potatoes, prunes and squash. Tasty, right?
Watch your sugar intake, too. Sugar messes with your blood sugar levels; elevated insulin puts you at risk for diabetes, but it’s also linked with increased triglycerides, bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. Sugar also has a hand in atherosclerosis, where sticky material collects along the walls of the arteries. That narrows the arteries and increases the pressure.
Strategy 3. Healthy Weight
If you’re exercising regularly and eating well, your weight will fall into place. And that’s essential for controlling blood pressure. Added pounds make your heart work that much harder. Carrying extra weight around your waist puts you at greater risk of high blood pressure. In nearly every case, when the unwanted weight comes off, high blood pressure is reduced or eliminated altogether. So it’s worth the effort to get active and eat well – and turn these into habits for life.
Strategy 4. Manage Stress
You do want to keep your cool to help with controlling your blood pressure (and avoid getting red in the face). It makes a huge difference. Simple deep breathing, right from the belly, can help calm the nervous system. Yoga and meditation can help, of course, but even taking a break to clear you mind and move around for a few minutes will help.
Strategy 5. Alcohol and Smoking
If you’re not a drinker, don’t start! But a little alcohol can be good for you, no more than two drinks a day for men or one for women. Tobacco, on the other hand, is just plain nasty for your heart. It hardens your arteries and the walls of your blood vessels. It also reduces the space in your arteries so the pressure increases. Not good! Nix the habit altogether.
With these good habits well in hand, your heart will be in good care. Controlling blood pressure, and keeping yourself well out of the high blood pressure range, will significantly reduce your risk of the big ones: Heart attack and stroke. The side benefit to all this? Your overall health and energy will flourish. It’s worth putting in the work.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Home remedies for low blood pressure (hypotension) By: Emily Lunardo |

We often talk about high blood pressure (hypertension) as it is a common ailment as we get older. Of course, rising blood pressure is a real health concern as it can contribute to many health complications. But low blood pressure, while discussed far less often, is also an important health issue that can have an impact on your well-being.
Symptoms of low blood pressure include fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, loss of consciousness, and blurry vision. With low blood pressure (hypotension), not enough blood is reaching the heart, brain, and other important organs.
Many of us may feel a sudden drop in blood pressure as we move from lying or sitting to an upright position—known as postural hypotension—but if you experience symptoms of low blood pressure without changing positions, then your doctor may diagnose you with hypotension. The good news is, home remedies for low blood pressure can help you manage the condition.

Home remedies for low blood pressure

Eat smaller food portions more frequently: Consuming smaller meals more frequently during the day can help support healthy blood pressure by preventing it from falling lower.
Consume an adequate amount of salt: People with high blood pressure are advised to steer clear of salt; however, salt consumption is actually advised for those with hypotension—but still in moderate amounts, of course. If you are hypotensive, it may also be a good idea to have a pinch of salt with your lime water as a quick pick-me-up when your blood pressure begins to fall.
Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of water and coconut water can provide your body with the necessary electrolytes to maintain a proper fluid balance, which ensures healthy blood pressure. Dehydration has been known to lead to low blood pressure, so staying hydrated can combat it. Pomegranate juice is also a good beverage to consume as it has antioxidants to help manage blood pressure.
Caffeine: Caffeinated beverages like coffee are also beneficial for low blood pressure. This remedy should only be utilized as a quick pick-me-up. It can only temporarily boost blood pressure, so it can buy you enough time to grab a healthy snack.
Almond milk: Drinking almond milk can help you maintain healthy blood pressure. Better yet, it’s quite healthy for you as it contains no saturated fat or cholesterol and is packed with healthy omega fatty acids.
Soaked raisins: Containing an abundance of nutrients, soaked raisins can help restore your blood pressure to normal levels. Soak six to 10 raisins in water and leave them overnight. Eat them on an empty stomach and wash them down with a cool glass of water.
Holy basil: Rich in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and pantothenic acid, this herb contains essential nutrients to help regulate your blood pressure. It also helps balance the mind and reduce stress. To best use holy basil, extract the juice from 10 to 15 leaves, add a teaspoon of honey to the juice, and drink it daily on an empty stomach.
Licorice root: The licorice root is a popular home remedy for normalizing low blood pressure caused by low levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. It works by enhancing cortisol production and supporting healthy adrenaline function. Licorice can be found in tea form for easy consumption.
Beetroot juice: A great choice for dealing with both high and low blood pressure. To treat hypotension, drink a cup of beetroot juice twice daily for about one week.
Rosemary: This herb is believed to be useful for normalizing low blood pressure by stimulating the central nervous system and improving circulation. To use rosemary, take up to 10 ml of a rosemary tincture per day. You can add the herb to your food as well. It can also be used in a diffuser for aromatherapy.
Carrot juice: Drinking fresh carrot juice mixed with a little honey is an easy way to treat low blood pressure. Start with a glass of carrot juice, mix in two tablespoons of honey, and drink this twice daily on an empty stomach in the morning and evening.
Lemon juice: Considered very effective for treating both high and low blood pressure, especially in cases due to dehydration. When dehydrated, it is best to add a little salt and sugar to your lemon juice to replenish your electrolyte stores. Lemon juice can help energize the body by stimulating liver function and helping with digestion.
If you suffer from low blood pressure, these natural home remedies can help you better manage your condition and keep your symptoms at bay.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

How to Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes By Smriti Agarwal

When the normal fat that helps support the eyes moves into the lower eyelids, it causes the lids to appear puffy. Additionally, fluid can accumulate in the area below your eyes which can cause them to swell up. In most cases, puffy and droopy eyes could be a sign of tiredness or lack of sleep. Unless it is a medical condition, you can help yourself get rid of bags under your eyes. From eliminating certain bad habits to incorporating natural home remedies, here are few things that can help.
1. Take it easy on salt
Salt is not only linked to high blood pressure, but it can also cause fluid retention which can lead to puffiness around the eyes. If you use salt, it is better to opt for pure Himalayan pink salt or sea salt in minimum quantities. Avoid salty processed foods. You can even opt for fresh vegetables, in particular celery, which can help curb your desire for salt. 
2. Exercise
Exercising is a solution for almost all problems from weight loss to getting rid of the eye bags. It is a natural way to reduce the signs of aging and can promote youthful glow. Yoga poses such as shoulder stands and back bends can help increase circulation to the face, eliminate excess fluid and relieve swelling.
3. Use cucumbers
Cucumbers have a cooling effect on the eyes. Refrigerate two slices of cucumbers for 10-15 minutes and then apply them over your eyes. Keep them placed for about 30 minutes. The soothing effect of cucumbers will help refresh your eyes and your mind. 
4. Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin which can cause the delicate area around your eyes to appear sunken and dark. Also, alcohol can lead to bloodshot and tired eyes. Limit your alcohol intake and up your water intake. The skin around your eyes will glow when your body is well-hydrated. 
5. Essential oils
As you age, dehydration becomes common. Due to lack of collagen, moisturizing becomes necessary. Applying fennel, lavender or rosemary essential oils can help lower inflammation and regenerate the skin around the eyes. Be careful not to apply these oils on the eye lids or inside the eye, gently rub just a little bit on the eye bags and leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off. Applying aloe vera is another home remedy to get rid of eye bags. 
6. Tea bags
Using tea bags soaked in chamomile tea is also a very effective home remedy for eye bags. It helps in draining out all the excess fluid. Moisten the tea bags and then chill them in the refrigerator. Use them later to cover your eyes and relax for 15-20 minutes. 

chamomile tea

7. Milk
Milk is a great remedy for most of your skin care problems. Dip two cotton pads in milk and chill them for few minutes. Later, place these chilled milk-soaked cotton pads over your eyes and let them rest for 30 minutes. Your eyes will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. 

Try these remedies at home and feel the difference. Your eyes are beautiful assets yet very sensitive and delicate which require extra care. If you feel any product or ingredient irritates your eyes, stop using it immediately and wash with cold water. 


All articles in this blog are designed solely for educational and information purposes and is not intended to serve as a medical advice .If you have or suspect any health problem please consult your doctor/Health provider.