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HBP And Your Future

About Us


FIGHT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.COM

Originated in 2017

Our mission is to introduce lifestyle changes

that manage high blood pressure and reduce risk

and promote an overall HEALTHY HEART

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Candi Green

Occupational Therapist
CEO & Founder

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Local News media are always looking for a story with a compelling angle. Your participation in the FIghtHBP Pledge will show a commitment to spreading awareness about High Blood Pressure, particularly during May, which is High Blood Pressure Education Month. The press release can be customized to your particular organization. For questions, please email Candi Green: candi@fighthighbloodpressure.com

Know Your BP


Too Young to Have a Stroke? Think Again, and Know Your BP

April 23, 2018 | Candi Green

High blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for both heart attack and stroke. While most strokes occur in people over 40 years old, 10-15 percent are in young adults—and the stroke rate in young adults has significantly increased over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, one in three adults in the US has high blood pressure (BP). However, only 54 percent have it under control (per the Centers for Disease Control). You can actually have a stroke and not even know it.

Why Understanding the Link Between Blood Pressure (BP) and Stroke Matters

As the fifth leading cause of mortality in the US, strokes are responsible for nearly 133,000 deaths annually. This is also the leading cause of long-term disability. Since most people who experience a first stroke also have high BP (termed hypertension), controlling BP is essential to lowering your risk for stroke. Mini-strokes—termed Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)—are temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain that often precede a stroke by months or years. In this way, TIAs (which are strongly linked to hypertension) can serve as a warning that something potentially health-damaging is occurring. In fact, the National Stroke Association reports that 40 percent of adults who experience TIAs go on to have a stroke in the future.

How Hypertension Physiologically Leads to TIAs and Stroke

Stress is placed on the arteries when you have hypertension, in that pressure is exerted during the circulatory flow of blood to and from the heart muscle. (Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart, and veins return it to the heart for replenishment; BP refers to arterial pressure, with the systolic reading corresponding to the heart-beating pressure measurement and diastolic corresponding to the pressure measured during heart muscle relaxation.) Since a normal reading is around 120/80 mmHg, systolic readings over 140 (or diastolic readings over 50) are indicative of hypertension.

Symptoms of a Stroke and TIA – What is the Difference?

The following are three common symptoms of a stroke (but these do not occur in all people experiencing a stroke):

  • Sudden-onset numbness or weakness (especially in one side of the body or the other).
  • Sudden-onset confusion (i.e., inability to speak or understand the speech of others).
  • Sudden-onset dizziness, lack of balance, or lack of coordination (or a severe headache).

Symptoms of a TIA are similar, but only momentary in nature. (For this reason, the symptoms may be overlooked.) It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you experience either, as permanent damage to the brain occurs if blood flow remains impeded for several minutes. Obesity and smoking are two of the foremost risk factors for hypertension AND stroke. If you are significantly overweight or smoke, it is imperative that you take action now to protect your health in later life. Meanwhile, Type 2 diabetes (which is linked to obesity and a high-cholesterol diet) is also a risk factor for both hypertension and stroke—as well as cardiac problems associated with atherosclerosis.

At what age should we begin teaching the dangers of Hypertension? Post your answers in the comments. Candi Green
candi@fighthighbloodpressure.com
www.fighthighbloodpressure.com

References:
  1. Smajlović D. (2015). Strokes in young adults: epidemiology and prevention. Vascular Health and Risk Management 11: 157-164.
  2. Swerdel JN, Rhoads GG, Cheng JQ, et al. (2016). Ischemic Stroke Rate Increases in Young Adults: Evidence for a Generational Effect? Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) 5: e004245.
  3. Sifferlin, Alexandra. (September 4, 2012). Heart Disease – Too Many Americans Have Out-Of-Control High Blood Pressure. Time Magazine
  4. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). High Blood Pressure.
  5. American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2017 – At a Glance.
  6. Farrell, Steve. (February 11, 2016). Stroke: A Frequently Preventable Cause of Disability and Death? The Cooper Institute
  7. American Heart Association. How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to Stroke.
  8. Zhang WW, Cadilhac DA, Donnan GA, et al. (2009). Hypertension and TIA. International Journal of Stroke 4(3): 206-214.
  9. National Stroke Association. Transient Ischemic Attack.
  10. Hornby, Sydney. (October 14, 2017). What Happens When Diastolic Blood Pressure Is High? Livestrong.com

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Good News or Not


Changed Blood Pressure Guidelines: Good News or Not?

April 20, 2018 | Candi Green

Making lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure (BP) within normal range needs to begin in young adulthood. The problem with having high BP (or hypertension) is that its negative health impact can take years to become apparent. Then, wham. You can experience heart problems, kidney failure, and even a stroke. Diagnostic guidelines for high BP were changed in 2017 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology in an effort to bring hypertensive adults into treatment at an earlier stage. The following describes the changed guidelines, and how hypertension can begin destroying your health just as you are graduating from college and entering the workforce. Also discussed are ways hypertension is determined by doctors and treated.

Systolic versus Diastolic Blood Pressure (BP) – The Difference

Healthcare providers measure BP as the amount of pressure exerted in arteries during the contraction of the heart muscle, and this is the systolic reading. Healthcare providers then measure the diastolic pressure, which is defined as the pressure exerted between heartbeats when the heart muscle relaxes.

While healthy systolic and diastolic readings—at rest—are usually recorded as 120/80 mmHg, it is not uncommon for the systolic and/or diastolic reading to be higher (or lower) for either the systolic (first number) or diastolic (second number) pressure. Both readings are recorded to represent the complete BP reading, which is acquired via a gauge called a sphygmomanometer.

Three Categories of Hypertension

The following are the three categories of hypertension presented on the Federal Occupational Health website:1

  • Prehypertension: Systolic reading: 120-139; Diastolic: 80-89 mmHg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension: Systolic reading: 140-159; Diastolic: 90-99 mmHg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: At or above 160/100 mmHg.

Systolic Pressure and Changed Hypertension Guidelines

Instead of a diagnosis of hypertension at 140/90, the changed guidelines in 2017 lowered it to a reading of 130/90. One impact of this changed diagnosis guideline is that insurers are more likely to approve payment for treatment of early-stage hypertension (as opposed to denying payment). This benefits healthcare providers, as well as their patients.Meanwhile, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) did not endorse the changed guidelines.2 Consequently, some controversy still remains in terms of the necessity for the BP guideline change.

Risk for Hypertension and Drug Treatments

Genetics and specific disorders (e.g., diabetes) increase the risk for hypertension—even among Millennial-aged adults—but lifestyle factors are equally important. Three lifestyle habits that particularly place you at higher risk for developing hypertension are:3

  • Tobacco use (e.g., cigarette-smoking);
  • Consuming a diet high in sodium;
  • Lack of regular physical activity Two types of medications utilized in treating hypertension are diuretics and beta blockers.

Consequences of Uncontrolled Hypertension

Hypertension is closely linked to the development of atherosclerosis. In turn, atherosclerotic plaques can travel in the blood and cause a heart attack or stroke. For pregnant women, hypertension is linked to the development of eclampsia—which can be life-threatening (and often leads to miscarriage). The insidious issue with hypertension is that there are usually no symptoms until a major health complication has occurred.Performing an intensive work-out—such as jogging a 5K race—can increase BP to a dangerous level in hypertensive individuals. Therefore, managing hypertension (either through lifestyle changes or medication) is crucial to preserving your health as you head toward middle-age.

What are thoughts on the new lowered Hypertension BP reading? Share your concerns with us. Candi Green
candi@fighthighbloodpressure.com
www.fighthighbloodpressure.com

References:
  1. US Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHSS), Federal Occupational Health. Hypertension and Pre-Hypertension. Webpage
  2. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). AAFP Decides to Not Endorse AHA/ACC Hypertension Guideline. Webpage
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behaviors that Increase Risk for High Blood Pressure. Webpage

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High Blood Pressure


For the first time in 14 years, there has been an update of the "Seventh Report of the National Committee on Preventionnew High Pressure Guidelines have been implemented by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) /American Heart Association (AHA).

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension in the scientific term, was coined as the leading cause of death and disability-adjusted life years worldwide in 2010. Since then, the prevalence rate and lifetime risk of high blood pressure have steadily increased. Further extension of researches and studies into this domain suggest the varying lifetime risk of the disease. A study named multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA) presents that the percentage of African Americans and Hispanics developing hypertension throughout the life was higher than that for the Asians and white people. A lot of data has been collected on high blood pressure by the medical practitioners and researchers. But, still, there is a dire need to build a bridge between the patient’s lack of understanding and what the disease of high blood pressure actually is.To a lot of hypertensive patients, popping up a pill every morning and evening might have become a routine but the real compliance lies in the true understanding of how this ill health condition works.

Why is it necessary to manage? How deteriorating it can be?

Hypertension and its association with cardiovascular diseases.The proportional risk relation between the increased blood pressure and cardiovascular insults depicts the importance of controlling the blood pressure. It is one of the main reasons why you need to comply with the management of this disease. Hypertension can result in left ventricular hypertrophy, left atrial size increase, diastolic dysfunction, changes in the cardiac structure and ultimately, heart failure.The Cardiovascular Health Study and the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study shows that 11.2% of 4408 persons (not receiving antihypertensive drugs at baseline) developed HB over 10 years. While on the other hand, another study showed that lowering of SBP to <130/80 mm Hg reduced CVD complications by 25% and overall mortality rate by 27% in patients with CVD risk.

Studies, Scope, and Implementation of the hypertension guidelines

The work in this field started in the early 1920s and the imminent danger to life due to increasing level of BP was declared in the 1959 Build and Blood Pressure Study. Since then, plan of care for hypertensive patients are devised keeping in view the modifiable and non-modifiable determinants of health and social behavior.Fight High Blood Pressure.com abides by the latest guidelines recently issued in the year 2017. We aim to deliver the updated care plan for our audience. This updated version of the NHLBI publication, “The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure” (JNC 7) will be posted on our site in days to come. Moving ahead with this data requires a prior understanding of the basics of hypertension which are as follows:Understanding hypertension!

Causes of hypertension:

If there is one question that every hypertensive patient wants an answer to, it is the universal ‘why me’ question. The answer is unsatisfactory as the reason for primary hypertension leads back to genetic predisposition or environmental factors like obesity, physical fitness, alcohol intake, and sodium consumption. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is the result of renal artery stenosis or some metabolic disturbance in the body.Either way, you are required to take care of your being and this is why managing your conditon matters most. The management is effective only of it the clinical implementation guidelines are followed by both the practitioner and the patient. Thus, know your disease and work accordingly!.How to evaluate, manage and treat hypertension?.Every practitioner starts by carrying out some basic tests. You might, in the heat of the moment, consider your doctor’s approach as unnecessary but the studies carried out worldwide prove their importance in one way or the other. Hence, some of the optimal tests include:

  • Fasting blood glucose
  • Complete blood count
  • Lipid profile
  • Serum creatinine with eGFR
  • Urinalysis
  • Serum sodium, potassium, calcium
  • TSH
  • Electrocardiogram

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Fight High Blood Pressure And Your Future


High Blood Pressure and Your Future

Your blood pressure may not concern you at present, but it may result in disabling health complications in future. High blood pressure (hypertension) is linked to a heightened risk for kidney damage, heart attack, stroke, dementia, and many other disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure.1 However, most afflicted people do not know it, because this condition is usually asymptomatic. Below is a description of some chronic conditions and lifestyle choices that can increase your blood pressure (BP), and also ways to lower your BP.

Relationship of Obesity to Hypertension

The circulatory system needs to work harder in people whose weight is higher than appropriate for height. An article in the Annals of Translational Medicine in 2017 revealed that people classified as obese averaged a 16 mmHg higher systolic BP (corresponding to the maximum pressure exerted by the heart while beating) than normal-weight adults. Additionally, people classified as obese averaged a 9 mmHg higher diastolic BP (representing the amount of pressure in the arteries between heartbeats) than normal-weight adults.2

Since obesity also predisposes to the development of Type 2 diabetes—and diabetes is linked to hypertension—doctors in outpatient practices generally recommend lowering weight to within normal range for your height.

Sedentary Living – A Cardiac Hazard

The World Health Organization reports that 60-85 percent of all people worldwide lead sedentary lifestyles,3 and physical inactivity increases the risk for both high BP and heart dysfunction. Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends the following activities to manage high BP:4

  • Brisk walking, stair-climbing, jogging, or bicycling;
  • Attendance in a fitness class geared to your fitness level;
  • Participation in team sports, fitness games, or swimming

Sedentary Living – A Cardiac Hazard

Plaque build-up in the arteries is one of the consequences of a diet high in LDL cholesterol. In turn, narrowing of the arteries (resulting from plaque build-up) contributes over time to hypertension. Overall, doctors believe that lowering high LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood is imperative to reducing the risk of developing hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Smoking as a Risk for Hypertension

Smokers are more likely to develop hypertension than non-smokers,4 so doctors recommend that patients diagnosed with hypertension refrain from smoking. Insurance companies and Medicare generally provide coverage for a specified number of smoking cessation sessions.

What You Can Do to Control Your High Blood Pressure

Since anxiety and stress contribute to increasing blood pressure (BP), practicing yoga and/or meditation may help you to lower it. Increasing weekly exercise and changing dietary intake may also help to lower your BP. However, if your systolic pressure is 180 mmHg or higher, you are at high risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Doctors often prescribe—for patients known to have hypertension—a diuretic to aid the kidneys in eliminating the consequent excess water and sodium. An angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor is also commonly prescribed.

Whatever methods you utilize to keep your blood pressure within normal range, it is vital to take action as early as possible to preserve your health.

  • BCandi Green
  • candi@fighthighbloodpressure.com

References:
  1. Centers for Disease Control. High blood pressure. Webpage:
  2. Aronow WS. (2017). Association of obesity with hypertension. Annals of Translational Medicine 5(17): 350. Webpage:
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Media Centre - Physical inactivity a leading cause of disease and disability, warns WHO. Webpage:
  4. American Heart Association. Getting Active to Control High Blood Pressure. Webpage:

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Kidney Disorders And High Blood Pressure


Kidney Disorders and High Blood Pressure

You only need 10 percent of one kidney working correctly to experience no symptoms of kidney failure.1 This is what makes end-stage renal disease (ESRD) such a menacing problem, and more than 661,000 people in the US are afflicted with ESRD.2 High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the underlying causes in nearly two-thirds of all kidney disease cases (per the National Kidney Foundation).3

Did you know that kidney disease can actually cause hypertension (termed secondary hypertension)? Therefore, maintaining control over blood pressure (BP) is vital to preserving your kidney function. Indeed, the CDC notes that diabetics diagnosed with kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) may be prescribed BP-lowering drugs to prevent worsening of that nephropathy.4

Other Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

WThe following are four other causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that can eventually lead to ESRD:

  • Glomerulonephritis (third-leading cause of CKD and accounts for 10 percent of all patients on dialysis5).
  • Interstitial nephritis – often precipitated by an allergic reaction or overuse of “over-the-counter” pain relievers.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE) – an autoimmune disorder that can damage the kidneys and other organs.
  • Polycystic kidney disease (hereditary disorder involving growth of noncancerous cysts in kidneys).

Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) – Why It Matters

Nephrologists (kidney specialists) understand that the GFR test result shows the ability of your kidneys to remove waste from the blood. Your GFR is determined by a lab-based test of your blood creatinine in combination with the following factors: 1) your current age; 2) gender; 3) height; and 4) weight.

A low GFR number is specifically linked to kidney dysfunction, but albumin or protein in your urine can also be interpreted as a warning sign of kidney disease. Meanwhile, ESRD symptoms often include leg cramps, fatigue, itchy skin, and swelling of arms or legs (as well as nausea and mental confusion).

Five Stages of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease stages are classified by both the kidney damage level and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). These five stages—that nephrologists use in formulating a treatment plan— are:6

  • Stage 2 – Kidney damage with mild decrease in GFR (with 60 – 89 GFR).
  • Stage 3 – Moderate decrease in GFR (30 – 59 GFR).
  • Stage 4 – Severe reduction in GFR (15 – 29 GFR).
  • Stage 5 – Kidney failure (less than 15 GFR) – signifying need for dialysis.

Avoiding Dialysis – Is it Possible?

Consuming a low-protein diet is typical in the dietary management of CKD. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine also recommends ingesting carbohydrates with a high fiber content (e.g., whole-grain breads), as opposed to carbohydrates without much fiber content.7

Moreover, the conclusion of a research article in April, 2018 in Nutrients was that daily protein intake in people living with CKD should be reduced to 0.8 - 1.0 grams per Kg of body weight.8 By eating a high fiber diet, overweight adults with CKD can also reduce their Body Mass Index (BMI) to within a normal range—thereby reducing stress on the kidneys.

Since a high sodium intake reduces the ability of the kidneys to remove excess water in the blood—which can cause hypertension—consuming fewer salty foods is advisable if you have either high BP or kidney disease. Even for people who do not have kidney disease, a maximum of one teaspoon per day is most often recommended.9

Some foods especially high in sodium chloride (salt) are:

  • Smoked or canned meat and fish;
  • Frozen pre-packaged dinners;
  • Potato chips and salted nuts;
  • Most canned soups

For people with kidney disease that is not yet considered end-stage, careful dietary management can stave off dialysis for a few years or more. An alternative to dialysis is a kidney transplant, but waiting lists can be long if no living donor—who is also a good tissue match—can be identified for you.

Your primary care physician is likely to refer you to a nephrologist if you are diagnosed with kidney disease. In turn, a nephrologist may prescribe a diuretic to aid in the elimination of excess fluids.

References:
  1. Mayo Clinic. Diseases and Conditions – End-State Renal Disease. Webpage:
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States. Webpage:
  3. National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease: The Basics. Webpage:
  4. Salifu MO, et al. (Updated February 1, 2017). Nephrology – Chronic Glomerulonephritis. Webpage:
  5. National Kidney Foundation. Nutrition and Chronic Kidney Disease (Stages 1-4): Are You Getting What You Need? Webpage:
  6. Kalantar-Zadeh K, and Fouque D. (2017). Nutritional Management of Chronic Kidney Disease. New England Journal of Medicine 377: 1765-1776. Webpage:
  7. EveryDayHealth.com. 10 High-Sodium Foods to Avoid. Website:
  8. Salifu MO, et al. (Updated February 1, 2017). Nephrology – Chronic Glomerulonephritis. Webpage:

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