- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE:
High blood pressure is, in fact, more damaging to your arteries than high cholesterol. Two out of three people in the USA
die of vascular disease - strokes, heart attacks, etc. Vascular disease occurs when the inner lining of our blood vessels
is injured by cholesterol or by the constant battering of high blood pressure. Even if we have very low cholesterol, high
blood pressure can "harden" our arteries and make us old before our time. The width of the walls of the small arteries
in our brains is equal to a pencil line, which make these arteries more susceptible to even small increases in blood pressure.
- High blood pressure can often be cured with low salt diets or weight loss. Exercise, increased calcium intake from
dairy products or calcium supplements, increased potassium intake from fruits, and magnesium can also help lower blood pressure
naturally. Eighty percent of our salt intake is already in the food and not from the saltshaker, so we must read all labels
and try to eat less than 2000, or at least 2400 milligrams, of salt (sodium) a day. Stop smoking. Be aware that multiple studies
showed aggressive Biofeedback tecniques do not control blood pressure, so trying to "stay calm" will not help chronic
high blood pressure.
- The most important thing to know about high blood pressure is that it is a silent killer and
disabler. A person can feel great and then have a devastating stroke a moment later if their blood pressure is not in control.
Frequent and regular blood pressure checks should be done. I can take your blood pressure in my office, but I cannot follow
your blood pressure as frequently as you can at home. Also, twenty-three percent of high blood pressure patients have "white
coat hypertension." They only have high blood pressure in the doctor's office. So learn to take your own blood pressure
with the Omron arm-cuff monitor of the Reli-On or Walgren's brand wrist blood pressure monitors. I have found these brands
to be especially reliable. Bring the machine to my office during your regular office visit, so we can check out the machine
and your technique. At home, take your blood pressure 2 or 3 hours after waking up in the morning as this is the time it is
likely to be the highest.
- Be aware that blood pressure medication is a thousand times safer than having high blood
pressure. Too often the patient that is afraid of taking medication suffers dire consequences. Never raise, lower or stop
your medication without calling me soon and discussing why. Take your medication as prescribed. Report any troublesome side
effects. Sometimes a patient does not feel quite right when blood pressure meds are first taken. If my normal blood pressure
was lowered a bit, I'd feel the same way until my body accomodated. Always call and tell me of any adverse reactions soon.
will always try to find out why you developed high blood pressure. Ninety-five percent of high blood pressure patients have
"Essential Hypertension" and a cause is not found. These patients mostly have kidneys that no longer excrete salt
well or vessel-constricting chemicals that are overproduced or not broken down well by their bodies. Often, we find that the
high blood pressure is occuring because of a narrowing of the artery that supplies a kidney. This is called Renal Artery Stenosis.
The stenosis occurs from thickening of the muscle-like fibers in the artery wall (fibromuscular hyperplasia) or from cholesterol
plaques in the artery wall. You may be put through some tests to find the cause of the high blood pressure. This may involve
24 urine collection. kidney scans and blood work. The adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys can cause high blood pressure
by secreting excess quantities of cortisone as in Cushing's Syndrome, or adrenalin-like hormones as in Pheochromocytomas,
or mineralo-corticoids that retain salt and lose potassium as in Conn's Syndrome. Hyperparathyroidism, coming from the glands
that sit behind the thyroid gland in the neck and regulate calcium, also can cause high blood pressure.
quantities of salt, alcohol, or caffeine, and even small amounts of nicotine, can raise blood pressure. Obesity is the most
common reason for high blood pressure.
- The latest guidelines from JNC-7 (Joint National Commitee on High Blood Pressure
- in it's 7th year of work) now say that any blood pressure over 115/75 increases the risk of death from heart disease and
stroke. This risk DOUBLES for 20 points of systolic (the top number) blood pressure over 115.
- Blood pressure meds
include diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB's), Calcium channel blockers (CCB's), Alpha blockers
and agonists, Beta blockers. Each has special effects that can be helpful in treating other medical conditions a patient might
have in addition to the high blood pressure.
CLICK HERE TO SEE DR GABER'S VIDEO ON HYPERTENSION.