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3 Reasons Why Knowing Your Blood Pressure Numbers Matters

blood pressure
  • The diagnostic guidelines for hypertension and blood pressure regulation are not the same anymore as they were for the past 14 years.

  • High blood pressures and hypertension can cause a series of serious medical complications which include heart failure, strokes, brain, and kidney damage.

  • The best way to prevent these complications is by regularly monitoring your blood pressure yourself and treating lower pressures adequately with lifestyle modifications so that they do not get escalated to complexities.

Blood pressure check-up is a must-do activity for every visit you make to your doctor. But the diagnosis for high blood pressure is not the same as it was for the last 14 years! Which means that even though the readings are still the same, it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.

The new guidelines for diagnostic criteria have been released this week. And they were created with experts of the field all agreeing to the put forth the recommendations. These were published in Hypertension and also the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

First things first, the normal blood pressure level still remains at 120/80. The numbers represent systolic and diastolic pressures respectively.

Prior to these new guidelines, the norm was that the systolic range of 140 was to be considered as hypertensive, as per Dr. Whelton’s explanation. The pre-hypertension category consisted of the range 120 to 139. But according to the new guidelines, 120 to 129 systolic and 80 diastolic is now a new “elevated” category. Moreover, systolic range of 130 to 139 or instead the diastolic range of 80 to 89 is now labeled as stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is now systolic 140 and above or instead diastolic 90. The third label “hypertensive crisis” starts from systolic 180 or instead 120 diastolic.

The most dangerous “Silent Killer”

Usually, hypertension does not cause any visible, drastic symptoms. However, in some rare occurrences, it might cause some symptoms such as breathlessness, headaches or nosebleeds. It’s the notorious “silent killer” that can’t be easily detected but is dangerous enough to cause casualties.

It should also be kept in mind that this does not pertain to only a one-time reading of BP after a long interval of time. According to Dr. Whelton, it’s important to keep taking multiple readings in different settings and at different times of the day. And then use these readings for further diagnostics.

Save your organs from hypertension

High blood pressure becomes a factor in many things and serious diseases. These complex conditions include heart attack, strokes, heart failure and organ damage such as brain and kidney damage.

How can something so small cause such a huge malfunction, you might ask? The truth of the matter is that the heart pumps blood at every beat and when there’s higher blood pressure, the heart is forced to work even more and this creates additional stress on the body. The result is that the muscles of the heart become thick which makes it even more difficult for the heart to be efficient at pumping blood.

The best possible lifestyle treatment is to catch it early on

Once a person gets into the elevated zone, it’s important to focus on that patient differently. It isn’t necessary to just dive right into extensive treatments, simpler lifestyle modifications and regulations might just suffice as long as there’s nothing else that’s serious. If your readings increase, even more, these lifestyle regulations become an absolute necessity. And if the numbers still keep increasing, you would probably fare better with the addition of prescribed medication from your doctor as well.

The main purpose of these guidelines is to help prevent server cases of complications by providing adequate treatment at lower levels of pressure so that it doesn’t escalate. And doctors say that the patient has more control over the pressure levels with all the food and exercise choices they can make for themselves. And more people need to realize that!

Furthermore, you can also form healthy habits such as monitoring your own blood pressure even at home and outside the doctor’s office, and check up with your doctor in case you need some guidance. You are the first person who can help the most with keeping yourself healthy and you need to know that.

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Health

Ramen noodles for lunch or not? You decide…

ramen noodles
  • Instant ramen noodles lack key nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals even though they contribute with iron, B vitamins and also manganese

  • Moreover, the MSG, TBHQ and high sodium content can adversely affect your health such as causing heart problems, stomach cancer and metabolic syndrome.

  • Its always safest to restrict the intake of processed foods including ramen noodles and going for healthier, unprocessed food options instead.

Who doesn’t like instant, cheap and delicious ramen noodles when they’re on a budget or short on time?

The whole point of this article is to give you an educated perspective as to whether these instant ramen noodles are eligible to be part of your regular, healthy diet or nah.

Lack of Essential Nutrients

Ramen noodles are the type of packaged food that is pre-cooked (fried or air-dried) so that you can prepare your meal almost instantly. They’re made up of mainly wheat flour, vegetable oils and different seasonings for flavor.

All you have to do is microwave them with the seasoning and voila!

With their taste and convenience, are they really nutritionally fulfilling? Let’s find out…

Sodium, sodium and some more sodium

The mineral sodium is no doubt necessary for a healthy body but its excess can be just as bad. Not to mention its mostly a component of packaged, processed foods including ramen noodles.

Excess sodium can cause stomach cancer, heart and kidney problems etc.

It can be debated as to whether the recommended intake of 2 grams/day by WHO is valid or not, but staying away from high-salt foods is no doubt for the best.

Instant ramen noodles are loaded with sodium and even one packet a day can make it difficult to regulate your body’s sodium levels as recommended.

It gets even worse for people who have hectic lifestyles and no adequate time for meal prepping. They are likely to eat ramen noodle meals more than once in a day and this will cause substantial amounts of sodium accumulating in their body.

MSG and TBHQ in the mix

As is not unusual in the case of packaged, processed foods, ramen noodles consist of flavor garnishes and preservatives which are unhealthy. Two of these common ingredients are Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

TBHQ is used to prolong the shelf life of processed food items and although its safe in limited quantities, its excess can mess with your DNA and give rise to complications including neurological damage, risk of lymphoma, liver enlargement and issues with your vision.

MSG is a preservative used to improve the experience of your taste buds. Different people have different tolerance levels to MSG. And its excess can cause multiple issues including headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, weakness, muscle tightness and flushing of the skin.

Apart from the very alarming facts about the dangers of these ingredients in high doses, it should be kept in mind that a moderate intake of the very same ingredients is probably fine.

However, people with lower tolerance levels of TBHQ and MSG should probably stay away from ramen noodles and similar processed foods just to be safe.

Make your Ramen Noodles Healthier and Tastier

Fortunately, its quite possible to turn unhealthy ramen noodles into a healthy dish with significant nutritional value using instant ramen hacks. Thankfully, the steps are quite simple too.

The first possibility is to just add a mix of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, onions or mushrooms.

Since ramen do not provide you with protein at all, you can just throw in eggs, tofu, chicken, fish or any other protein into the mix!

Another option is to go for explicitly low-sodium varieties and still enjoy the taste of your favorite ramen noodles.

You can also just cut out on the flavor packet that comes with the package and create your own broth with your own healthy seasonings.

ramen noodles

Epicurious

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Health

Do’s and Don’ts to Prevent Acne

acne
  1. Cleanliness. Prevention is better than cure, so you have any skin problem or not, don’t forget about the hygiene. To get rid of the dust, dead skin cells and get the excessive oil off your skin, it is necessary to wash the face daily more than once. But excessive washing can be harmful, so washing twice daily with luke-warm water and a mild face wash is recommended. Gently rub the face with hands or a soft sponge for washing and then pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Moisturizing. Skin products to prevent acne also cause the skin to become over dry at times. To overcome this dryness it is important to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized to avoid cracking and itching. Choose a moisturizer according to your skin type i.e., Dry, Oily or Combination skin. Always go for the non-comodogenic products which means not causing acne.

    acne

    VideoBlocks

  3. Medicated OTC Products. OTC products do not need a prescription for dispensing. These acne products have antibacterial agents as benzoyl peroxidesalicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid, which kill bacteria and purify your skin.
  4. Little or no Makeup. It’s better to avoid putting on makeup if you are prone to forming acne. So avoid the products which cause the skin to become oily and clog the pores especially foundation, base or blush. Instead choose quality products with the label ‘non-comedogenic’ and no added chemicals harmful for skin.
  5. Hair Care leading to skin care. Hair products which may aggravate your acne must be avoided. Avoid using oils or fragrances or any masks for your hair which may clog the skin pores and hinder in skin respiration causing skin problems. Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo and keep your hair off your face to avoid contamination and wash.

    acne

    John Gatsi Educational Foundation

  6. Unnecessary touching. Unnecessarily touching the face may cause spread of bacteria and aggravate the acne inflammation. Do not pick on the pimples or brace the cheek or chin on hand to avoid infection.
  7. UV protection. UV rays from direct sunlight are very dangerous for skin and UV protection is a must when it comes to skin care. These rays can cause hyper-pigmentation and worsen the inflammation. Some medicated anti acne products make the skin more prone to UV rays so it is recommended to avoid sun exposure after application and apply a sunscreen with higher SPF, 20 minutes before going out in sunlight especially between 10 am to 4 pm when the UV rays are most intense.
  8. Healthy Diet. A healthy and balanced diet is most important factor when talking about skin care. It is recommended to avoid food rich in fats and food processed with additives and chemicals. Fresh vegetables and fruits must be included in daily meals.
  9. Work-out routine. An exercise routine is a very healthy habit to keep yourself in good shape and it is also good for keeping the skin healthy as it keeps the skin circulated with blood and rejuvenates it.
  10. Stress. Healthy mind for a healthy body they say. Stress hormones may trigger acne. Keep yourself stress free if you want healthy skin.

Consult a dermatologist if you think situation is not in control and expert opinion is needed.

 

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Health

How Not To Let Diabetes Hold You Back From That Vacation…

diabetes
  • Trips with diabetes can be made quite feasible and hassle-free with the proper preparations.

  • Be sure to pack extra medical supplies and always keep them at an arms reach. And get signed and translated notes from your doctor to avoid any security suspicion at airports.

  • Don’t rely solely on tourist food, just purchase and pack some healthy snacks for long flights or travels.

  • Travel insurance during a medical emergency never hurt anybody. Be sure to check out a plan suiting your needs to avoid any major mishaps during vacation.

So what if you have diabetes, don’t let it stop you from all those amazing life experiences! It’s true that you would have to take some extra preparatory steps, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your travels! Just follow these simple steps and embark on the journey of a lifetime.

A signed and translated note from your doctor

One of the most difficult parts of travelling with diabetes is getting through security at the airport. Your diabetes necessities including syringes and test strips etc. may get questioned unnecessarily at airports. So the best way to avoid this hassle is just to visit your doctor prior to the trip and ask him (or her) to hand you a signed note which explains your condition to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). And if you’re travelling to exotic foreign lands, you would probably want a translation of the signed note as well in your hand. So easy to avoid all the hassle, right?

Buy lots of medical supplies, and some more

Who wants to visit a doctor on their vacation? No one! Not even a single person! So you should definitely pack up extra supplies for treating your diabetes on the road. This is an even more important point if you plan to travel to other countries. You should not just assume you’ll be able to get your supplies as easily as in your hometown’s local pharmacy, so just be careful to pack extra insulin, test strips, syringes, infusion sets and a blood glucose meter to monitor your sugar levels.  

Monitor your blood sugar level regularly

Travelling and going on a vacation can definitely disrupt your routine schedule and disturb your usual sugar levels too, as there’s a change in the daily activities on your end. Just be sure to check your current sugar level regularly throughout the days in order to monitor and administer treatment as required. 

Use a handbag for your medical supplies

As troublesome as it may seem at first, you have to ensure that all your medical supplies are packed in a handbag which can be reached at all times! It’s not enough to just pack extra supplies if you are unable to reach them at the time of need. There’s a hundred things that can go wrong with checked in luggage bags, from baggage loss to damaging temperatures for insulin. So just keep your supplies in a carry-on with you at ALL times!

Be in charge of your own meals

Just don’t trust your usual in-flight highly unhealthy meals to keep you satiated during your travels! Although some airlines do offer customized foods for their customers, it isn’t the norm yet and you should still consider packing healthy snacks according to your body’s requirements with you. Some healthy options include nuts, fruit, vegetables with dips, salad, yoghurt or lean meat products. You could also pack juice or candy as a quick emergency alternative to glucose tablets. 

Check out suitable travel insurance plans 

This is something that should be done to avoid any serious mishaps on your vacation, should you encounter any life-threatening emergencies. Doctor trips during vacation may end up being even more expensive than the trip itself! So the best way around all this is to simply purchase travel insurance to facilitate your emergency medical requirements. Some of the better options include WorldClinic, Travelex and Allianz. Do check them out. 

Safe travels, everyone!

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