Address The Hidden Causes Of High Blood Pressure

Before I address the high blood pressure risk factors that you may have and not know about and tell you what you can do about them, let’s go over a few basics.

Blood Pressure Basics

Your arteries are responsible for carrying blood from your heart to the rest of your body. With each heartbeat, your heart pumps blood into your arteries. The force that your blood exerts on your artery walls is called blood pressure.

When your doctor gives you a blood pressure reading, it’s always represented as a fraction, such as 120/80. The top number represents your systolic pressure, which is your blood pressure when your heart beats. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure—the pressure in between beats, when your heart is at rest.

A blood pressure reading of 120/80 or less is healthy, and a reading of 140/90 or higher is hypertensive. A systolic reading between 121 to 139, or a diastolic reading between 81 to 89, is considered prehypertension. While this may not sound serious, even slightly elevated blood pressure is dangerous and must be treated.

Monitor Your Own Blood Pressure

The best way to proactively maintain healthy blood pressure is to monitor it on your own. Your blood pressure varies naturally according to what’s going on in your body and mind at the time. So, no single reading can accurately represent what your blood pressure is overall. For this reason, I believe that every household should have a digital blood pressure machine (which can easily be found at most pharmacies).

To monitor your blood pressure, I suggest checking it about every four hours for three days straight. Keep a log of each reading, noting the time, what you were doing, and your emotional state. Then, average the systolic and diastolic figures to create a daily average.

If your blood pressure is 120/80 or lower, you are in good shape (although I still recommend that you follow a daily heart health routine that includes the steps below). If you find that your blood pressure is higher than 120/80 (even slightly), you need to start lowering those numbers immediately.

In a nutshell, a heart health routine should include:

• No saturated fats and a mostly vegetarian diet, with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as ground flaxseed and salmon.

• Daily exercise for 30 minutes, preferably more.

• Heart-healthy supplements taken every day, such as 60–120 mg of CoQ10, 600–1,000 mg of L-carnitine, and 800–1,000 mcg of folic acid.

• Avoid cigarettes and secondhand smoke.

Fight the Other Risk Factors

While healthy lifestyle habits are crucial in helping to maintain normal blood pressure, there are factors that may contribute to high blood pressure that you don’t even know about. I’ll describe each factor and then tell you what else you can do to reduce your risk.

Amazing Arginine

A gas called nitric oxide is produced by the cells that line your arteries. It diffuses into the arterial walls and relaxes them, naturally lowering blood pressure. Without adequate nitric oxide, arteries stay too tense and blood pressure goes up. Taking a moderate dose of supplemental L-arginine significantly lowers blood pressure in patients whose values are elevated and, just as importantly, doesn’t significantly lower blood pressure in people whose values are normal to begin with (October 2004, Journal of Nutrition).

In one study, 29 volunteers (10 of whom had elevated blood pressure) took 1 gram of L-arginine twice daily. At the end of just one week, the systolic pressure in those who started with elevated blood pressure was 11 points lower (March 2006, Alternative Medicine Reviews).

I recommend taking 1–2 grams of L-arginine twice daily with food—though not a high-protein meal, since protein can interfere with absorption.

Calming GABA

GABA is a calming neurotransmitter made from the amino acid glutamic acid. GABA is known to control blood pressure by inhibiting the release of the stimulant neurotransmitter noradrenaline. Studies have shown that a variety of prescription blood pressure medications work, at least in part, by increasing GABA levels. Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to achieve the same effect.

In a 12-week study, the systolic and diastolic values in 39 hypertensive patients decreased by 17 and 7 points, respectively, within just two weeks of taking supplemental GABA (March 2003, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition). In another 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 50 men and women with mild hypertension, daily supplementation with GABA safely reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 and 5 points, respectively (2006, Yakuri To Chiryo).

To help lower elevated blood pressure that’s exacerbated by stress and an insufficient amount of calming neurotransmitters, I recommend 1,000 mg of GABA twice a day.

Detoxifying Sulfur Compounds

While you probably know that heavy metals are toxic, you may not know that high blood pressure is one of the effects of their toxicity. But sulfur-containing nutrients help the body eliminate these heavy metals.

Heavy metals such as mercury and lead are virtually impossible to avoid these days. Mercury is abundant in fish that live in polluted waters, as well as in dental amalgams. Astonishingly, an average of one in five women of childbearing age has mercury levels that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit. And this statistic doesn’t even include older women, who aren’t as widely studied for mercury toxicity, but who are equally affected.

Lead is even more readily found in the environment—particularly in polluted drinking water, soil, and air. Many older houses have been painted with lead-based paint, which can chip away, get into the air, and add to the risk of exposure. And even the most seemingly innocuous things like metal costume jewelry, candles (in particular, wicks), and ceramics have been shown to contain harmful levels of lead.

Sulfur binds to these heavy metals so that they can be eliminated from the body. Therefore, people who don’t have enough sulfur in their body are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury and lead. Supplementing with sulfur compounds naturally restores the body’s ability to bind to heavy metals and escort them out through the urine or stool.

I recommend using N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and SAMe. NAC enhances urinary excretion of heavy metals, and SAMe reduces the toxic effects of lead and enhances the enzymes that support liver detoxification and the binding of lead in the bile for elimination.

I advise that every person, especially those who have high blood pressure, get tested for the presence of heavy metals. If test results show that you have heavy metal toxicity, I suggest taking up to 1,200 mg of NAC daily or 400 mg of SAMe two to four times a day with meals. For prevention and general health, I recommend 600 mg of NAC daily or 200–400 mg of SAMe twice a day with meals.

It’s Also in Your Head

Your three-day log of blood pressure readings will probably demonstrate what most people already know—that your mental state plays a role in your blood pressure. But, just as your mind can be part of the problem, you can also train it to be part of the solution.

Many of my patients have reported great success in lowering their high blood pressure by using Qigong, meditation, deep breathing, and biofeedback training. Biofeedback seems tailor-made for lowering blood pressure because it can easily monitor finger temperature, which drops when blood pressure rises. When programmed to give a signal linked to finger temperature, biofeedback can teach patients to raise or lower their blood pressure on command.

In one study, 204 British industrial workers with blood pressures of 140/90 or higher were randomized to receive either eight weeks of biofeedback (the treatment) or educational materials (the control). At the end of the eight weeks, systolic and diastolic pressures dropped in the biofeedback group an average of 19 and 10 points, respectively. Eight months later, readings were not only still low, but they had actually dropped a couple more points (June 1981, British Medical Journal).

To find a certified biofeedback practitioner, visit the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America’s Web site, www.bcia.affiniscape.com. You also can try biofeedback on your own by using the ThoughtStream biofeedback device, available at www.mindplace.com.

Another useful modality is autogenic training, used alone or in conjunction with biofeedback. Autogenic training teaches mental exercises that increase warmth and heaviness in the extremities, which further lowers blood pressure. An excellent book on this subject is The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Eshelman, and Matthew McKay.

I get countless questions from women who have high blood pressure. In fact, next to menopause-related symptoms, high blood pressure is the biggest health concern that my readers have. I hope that this article helps to answer some of your questions and provides practical, effective ways to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.

Health and Fitness Level: What Is Your True Level of Health?

This article is about the completion of a key element of the proposed medical information system–the national research center.

To realize the most from this article you need to read the 3 previous articles. However, I will try and summarize some of the key points of those articles here.

The most effective means of evaluating a person’s health would of course be through some direct means of looking into the human organism to see what is truly taking place. Fortunately, as strange as it may seem, the human body does provide such a window in the form of its biochemical makeup. Furthermore, even more encouraging, there is a science already fully developed that is taking full advantage of that body phenomenon called clinical laboratory science. These are major factors in the success any advanced health care system.

I highly recommend that you take a minute here to read what the experts have to say on that matter by clicking on the link (called page 18) at the end of this article. These experts are from text books located in the University of Michigan’s Medical Library.

As described in the link reference on page 18, the advantages of the biochemical makeup of the body is very impressive indeed. Clinical laboratory science is a highly computerized and a very rapidly moving industry. Hundreds of critical tests are now available for use. That industry is an important part of the current health care system. The blood or tissue tests that your doctor orders for you when he or she is suspicious of a given medical condition that needs verification usually involves clinical laboratory science.

The key difference between the proposed national medical information system and the current health care system lies in the difference in the use of these data. The current health care system primarily uses it to evaluate a disease condition whereas the proposed system would apply it on a broader scale basis to include disease prevention and wellness–taking advantage of far more of what clinical science has to offer.

To get a good feel of some of the amazing success in clinical laboratory science click on link (45-47) at the end of this article.

The proposed medical information system would use a completely new and far different type of application of clinical laboratory data. Far larger test profiles (100 blood constituents taken from one blood test) would be used in conjunction with a very sophisticated national research system for massive correlation to human health–including disease prevention and wellness.

Following is a remaining key element of the proposed system.
Article 3 was discussed with the use of handout A. A link to handout A is provided at the end of this article and should be referred to again here. This article will discuss the underlying technical strengths of that system by showing briefly how and why the health data fed into the national research center is so effective in its correlation to human health and wellness.

Referring back to the 100 test profile pattern discussed in article 3, it was shown that the 100 individual bits of test information along with patient environmental and patient data would be fed to the national research computer center (marked case #1). The research computers would record the profile pattern results and correlate that particular combination of test results to a particular health related condition. With the size of this 100 test profile pattern, as discussed earlier, there would be literally trillions of possible combinations involved. Of those trillions of possibilities, there would conservatively end up being at least millions of what we would call significant combinations that would represent significant health related information. The National Research Center would then relate that data to the individual’s current health condition, history, family history, the individual’s environment, and also to the same data of tens of millions of other patients. This is an enormous amount of health information for the supercomputers to pull together and relate to human health conditions!

In addition, there would no doubt also be smaller sets of tests of interest within that overall 100 test profile, such as separate groups of hormones, enzymes, antibodies and other special tests that could also be read and analyzed as separate group combinations as well. Many of us realize how very important these various groups are to our well being.

Let me stop here and review this for a moment. We talk about millions of significant health data combinations. So why is it necessary for such a breadth of examination capacity? Basically, because of the extreme complexities involving our environment, our health and of course their complex inter-relationship. For example, if we (as individuals) try to determine what it is in our environment that is having an effect on our health, either positive or negative, we know it’s usually very difficult to do. We know there are literally dozens of elements (variables) in our personal environment that could affect our health. So how do we go about narrowing it down to determine what it is in a person’s environment that is likely affecting his or her health?

The system described here does it in two ways, it uses the extreme reading breadth of the profile pattern (as discussed in article 3), to read an individuals test results along with the input of the environmental and doctor’s medical examination report. It was shown that this data was then fed into the national research center system and compared to millions of other patient’s health conditions, environments and test results.

This comparison, to the millions of other patients, would soon be very effective in narrowing the unknown element, or elements, down to the common denominator (or denominators) of what it is in the environment that normally affects people’s health in certain ways. Very few patients would have the exact same environment and health conditions. Comparing millions of patient’s health to their environmental exposures would provide a very effective screening process. The results of this research would then be fed back into the state diagnostic computers to diagnose specific individuals based on their individual profile pattern results and their individual environmental and physical examination reports.

This article discusses the key to success for any highly advanced health care system, and also the sophisticated features of the proposed medical system’s research center.

Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Reward Employees and Companies

Corporate health and wellness programs must be promulgated to most companies. These health programs enhance employee’s productivity, stabilize their health conditions, and lessen their absenteeism. However, the company can also save money because of this. Both companies and employees are benefiting with these employee health and wellness programs.

These corporate health programs push the employees to visit the doctor. The complete physical checkup must have the following information: cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and general health. The employees can learn how to fight obesity, alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse in the company’s fitness program.

The companies should hire a wellness instructor to teach the employees on how to have a healthy lifestyle. They should also reward the employees for involving in the corporate wellness programs. They may give healthy rewards like private training session with the wellness instructor, free massage, or health food gift certificate.

A successful employee health and wellness programs begin with its company leaders. Company owners must be better examples, participating in this health program and work closely with the wellness instructor. The company should also recognize employee health and wellness leaders to their newsletters, on the company website a posted bulletins.

The companies instituting corporate health programs are also getting benefits. The budget of the company for about $100-$150 per employee each year to take part in the wellness program can save $300 to $450 of the company for each employee every year. The saved money can take a few years to actualize, and they are visible in the reduced health expenses.

Another thing, a $24 can return for every $1 used on the corporate health and wellness sessions of small businesses, according to America’s Wellness Councils. Moreover, those companies practicing this health programs are getting 30 percent cutback in the absenteeism and medical expenses in less than four years, reported in 2005 survey by The Art of Health Promotion.

Therefore, business owners must institute these corporate health and wellness programs to maximize employee inclusion. Take Johnson and Johnson’s approach. Johnson and Johnson is giving employees a $500 discount on medical insurance expenditure if they finished the health risk profile, taking with only 26 percent of employees participation.

With the corporate health and wellness programs, both the company leaders and their employees can work effectively for many years.

About Health Information Technologist Job and Salary

There are a variety of healthcare professionals in the medical industry. Physicians may be the most popular on the list, but there are many others like them who aid in saving lives. One of these professions includes one of a health information technician. Learn more about health information technology jobs together with the compensation received by technicians in this career.

Health information technology has to do with the management of medical information via computer systems and networks. This deals with organizing and handling the medical information and records of patients. This is because practically all files today are electronic. Health information technology plays a big role in ensuring efficiency and quality when it comes to the medical delivery system. This greatly improves healthcare quality, reduces costs, offers inexpensive healthcare, stops medical mistakes, and lessens any paper work.

Responsibilities of a health information technician include managing and recording current and accurate medical records, files, financial data, and administrative data in the medical institution’s computer systems. In addition, these technicians often work alongside healthcare professionals to make sure that all files are up to date, clear, and accurate. However, those in this career don’t really talk to patients directly. There are instances where they are tasked to handle medical transcription, billing, and coding. In addition, they must continuously work to improve the hospitals EMR (electronic medical record) so that quality is maintained.

Those who want to pursue this career will have to obtain a degree in health information technology. The program will contain both technological and medical subjects. In addition, use of software and systems will be taught, as these are required for managing medical information. In mot cases, a two-year associate’s degree must also be obtained. These are the basic requirements but for those who want to apply for a higher position and would like to advance in their career at a faster pace, then it would be best to earn a higher degree such as a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Health information technicians have a great job outlook. There are plenty of job opportunities available in hospitals and other healthcare institutions. The technology today is advancing quite quickly, which is why the need for this profession will increase as well. At the moment, the annual average income earned by technicians is approximately $30,000. The range is anywhere between $24,000-$40,000. The salary earned will be based on the level of education, experience, certification, work environment, and geographical location.

Often times, health information technicians are seen working in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical centers. This particular occupation is quite new in the healthcare industry and is a fun job for those who love working with computers and systems. If you are looking into a career in healthcare but aren’t certain if you want to face patients directly every day, then you may want to think of pursuing this job. Health information technicians are important in the operations in the medical field. Technology is fast rising and this means that the demand for individuals with the talent and skill to work with computers is rising as well.