Tag Archive for blood pressure

Operation to Cure High Blood Pressure

A new surgical procedure is being hailed as a breakthrough in high blood pressure treatment in more than 50 years.

omron m6 blood pressure monitorBy following the advice to smoke less, take regular exercise and eat properly you are less likely to be affected by high blood pressure however there are still millions of people who take this advice but are still affected by hypertension and take a combination of drugs to treat it.  It is these people, whose blood pressure remains high even though they eat little salt and take medication that are likely to benefit from this new surgical procedure to cure high blood pressure.

Cure for High Blood Pressure

The one-hour operation called renal sympathetic-nerve ablation attempts to cure high blood pressure by disrupting signals from the brain that keep it raised. The procedure  involves inserting a wire into a blood vessel close to the kidneys to burn through nerves which carry signals that stimulate high blood pressure.

“This is the most exciting development in hypertension since the advent of anti-hypertensive medication 50 years ago. It is hard to forecast the limitations and it could eventually be compared to medication”,

said Mel Lobo, a doctor and specialist in clinical hypertension with the UK’s NHS

The tiny burns just one millimetre across are the equivalent of snuffing a candle out between the fingers. A series of four or five burns are carried out in a spiral pattern along the inside of the artery to each kidney.

The blood vessel itself does not sustain serious damage as the blood flowing along inside it cools the burn, like running a burned finger under a tap. But the burn is deep enough to affect the nerve on the other side of the vessel.

Once the connection between the brain and kidneys is distrupted the signals to raise blood pressure should stop source

Still A Need for Blood Pressure Monitors

Although it is hoped that it will help some patients stop taking medicines for high blood pressure completely it is important to note that the diagnosis of high blood pressure can only be achieved by regular and proper measuring with an accurate blood pressure monitor.

Already there are misguided reports that the operation to cure blood pressure will lessen the need to follow lifestyle guidelines suggesting that patients can forget about healthy diets and excersise for good.

Results of the Operation to Cure High Blood Pressure

Early results show it can take between one and three months for the procedure to have an effect on blood pressure.

The first person to have this operation to cure his hypertension was found to have much lowered blood pressure after two weeks

Vegetables Lower Blood Pressure

Eating Fresh Vegetables Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Eating more fruit and vegetables helps to lower blood pressure. New research may help to reveal why.

For many years the five a day message has been publicised – now there is further evidence to support the health benefits of a diet that includes pleant of fresh savory vegetables as well as sweet fruit.

Researchers have discovered that people who eat more vegetable protein have a lower blood pressure. In particular, one component of vegetable protein, glutamic acid, appears to have a direct relation to blood pressure: the more glutamic acid you eat, the lower your blood pressure will be.

glutamic acid which creates the fifth taste sense known as ‘umami’ – otherwise known as ‘savoury’

broccoli lowers blood pressure

Vegetables that are high in glutamic acid include

  • broccoli
  • soy (used to make tofu)
  • durum wheat (used to make pasta)
  • cabbage
  • rice
  • grains (used to make bread).

Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage are particularly high in a chemical called glutamic acid which creates the fifth taste sense known as ‘umami’ – otherwise known as ‘savoury’.

The results come from the INTERMAP study (the International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure), which looked at the blood pressures and eating habits of 4,680 people from the UK, US, China and Japan. It found that people who ate nearly 5% more glutamic acid than other people had a lower average systolic blood pressure (top number) of 1.5-3.0mmHg and a lower average diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 1.0-1.6mmHg.

At the moment, there are no studies into the safety of eating large doses of glutamic acid, so it is recommended that you do not take glutamic acid supplements, but instead eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The additional benefit of this approach is that you will also be lowering your saturated fat intake and taking in many other helpful antioxidants and vitamins at the same time.

Dr Stamler said

These findings show the only effective long-term approach to preventing hypertension and pre-hypertension is eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and regular exercise

Two silent killers – High Blood Pressure and Salt

….a warning to the world.salt

Millions die because of high blood pressure and salt

More than 7 million people die around the world every due to two silent killers: high blood pressure and salt. Yet, if everyone reduced their salt intake by half, more than 2.5 million lives could be saved, the World Hypertension League has revealed.

Silent killer – High blood pressure

How high blood pressure kills:

High blood pressure is a killer because it puts extra strain on your body and its vital organs. This excessive pressure quietly damages your blood vessels, heart and kidneys without causing any visible signs.

Because high blood pressure doesn’t normally produce signs or symptoms, the damage to your body builds up quietly over many years. In fact, many people don’t know they have high blood pressure until they have a stroke or a heart attack.

For more, please see: What is high blood pressure?

What you can do to avoid high blood pressure:

The first step to tackling high blood pressure is know if you have it or not. The only way to know is to have regular blood pressure checks (preferably at least once a year).

The second step is to change your lifestyle to be more blood pressure friendly. The good news is that these changes will also reduce your risk of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, kidney disease and diabetes too.

A blood pressure friendly lifestyle means:

  • eating less than 6g salt a day
  • eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • being the right weight for your height
  • being active for 30 minutes five times a week

For more, please see How to lower your blood pressure

Silent killer – Salt

How salt kills:

The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the more damage is being done to your blood vessels, heart and kidneys. Over many years, this damage will build up and may cause a stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.

Salt contains sodium, which makes your body retain to water and eating too much salt means that your body holds on to too fluid. This extra fluid raises your blood pressure. By eating less salt, your body will hold on to less water and this will reduce your blood pressure.

What you can do to reduce your risk: The first step is to become “salt aware” by reading food labels to see how much salt is in your foods.

The second step is to reduce your salt intake as much as possible by eating foods that are naturally low in salt. To help you do this, and to celebrate World Hypertension Day (17 May 2009), the World Hypertension League has issued a list of foods that are High, Medium or Low in salt (or sodium).

High in salt – cut down on these foods: Anchovies, bacon, cheese, salted chips, coated chicken, powdered sauces, noodle snacks, olives, pickles, prawn, salami, salted nuts, salted fish, sausages, smoked meat and fish, soy sauce, stock cubes, table sauces and canned meats

Medium in salt – eat fewer servings of these processed foods: Baked beans, cookies, breakfast cereals, bread products, burgers, cakes, pastries, cooking/table sauces, stuffed/canned pasta, meat pies, pasta sauces, pizza, ready meals, soup and sandwiches

Low in salt – eat more of these foods: Low-salt breakfast cereals, couscous, eggs, fresh fish, meat and poultry, fresh cheese, fruits and vegetables (dried, frozen or fresh), homemade bread/sauces/soups, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, pasta, rice, unsalted nuts, plain cottage cheese, plain popcorn, yogurt, peas, beans, lentils and seeds.

It is also important to avoid adding salt when cooking or at the table.

For more, please see salt and health information

Keep Fit with Wii Fit – Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

First up is the proven fact that people who measure their blood pressure are more likely to see a reduction in their blood pressure.  Not only do they feel more in control but the motivation to keep strict lifestyle changes is maintained because the effects can be seen.

A popular machine is the Omron M10 Blood Pressure Monitor and when used correctly those who measure their own blood pressure do see progress and are able to chart it.

Keep Fit – Exercise to improve your health

Wii Fit GameTaking regular exercise and playing sport is great for keeping the body fit and healthy – both from the physiological cardiovascular aspect and mental well being – 30 minutes of exercise triggers release of endorphins – the natural feel good drug produced by the brain.  Recently Nintendo Wii added another game to the sports range of wii games – wii fit which is being heralded as the ideal solution for couch potatoes  who want to have fun and get fit.  Wii Fit encourages you to work out with a full range of stretching and strengthening  movements – and even calculates the speed and distance of virtual running.  Of course Wii Fit has its critics – this funny wii fit video mocks the original adverts but sarcasm aside there is growing support that playing the game will help people keep fit by lowering blood pressure.

The people over at engadget are conducting an experiment to test the effects of playing wii fit 20 minutes a day for a month and will include details of blood pressure, BMI and weight loss.