Blood Pressure: An Overview

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart. The pressure of blood is measured in the context of systolic and diastolic activities. When the ventricles in the heart contract, it is termed as a systolic activity, while the relaxing ventricles mark a diastolic activity.

The pressure of blood is highest during the systole activity and lowest during the diastole activity. The unit of measuring blood pressure is millimeters. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.

A normal healthy person maintains the blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg. A deviation from this normal reading can result in a blood pressure disorder. There are basically two abnormal conditions of blood pressure. They are known as high blood pressure or hypertension and low blood pressure or hypotension.

High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension

A person is known to suffer from high blood pressure when their measurement of blood pressure increases over that of a normal reading. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. When this blood pressure increases to, say 140/ 90 mmHg, the person is known to have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often termed as ‘a silent killer’. You might be suffering from a high blood pressure for a long period of time and not know it at all. When a person develops high blood pressure, it usually lasts for lifetime.

Why High Blood Pressure?

Your heart pumps the blood and supplies it to the various organs of your body via arteries. The arteries, when leaving your heart, narrow into arterioles. The arterioles further narrow themselves into capillaries. These capillaries supply oxygen and nutrients to the various body organs.

Due to certain nerve impulses, the arteries become dilated or contracted. If the arteries become contracted, the passage of blood is hampered and it increases the pressure of blood. The condition causes high blood pressure or hypertension. This condition strains your heart and can even damage your blood vessels. If the vessels get damaged, the blood supply can further affect various body organs connected to the damaged vessels.

The human body generally bears and handles this sudden increase of pressure for a long period of time. This is one of the sole reasons for the fact that you can live your whole life, without any ill-effects or symptoms, from high blood pressure.

Two Forms of High Blood Pressure

There are two forms of high blood pressure, essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. Around 95 % of hypertension cases are related to essential hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension is multifold though.

There are several factors which result in essential hypertension. One of the major factors is high salt intake. Other factors that can contribute to the cause of essential hypertension are tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, diabetes mellitus, a sedentary lifestyle and genetic causes.

Secondary hypertension amounts to at least 5 % of the cases of hypertension. The factors contributing to secondary hypertension are pregnancy, a slow pulse, drugs, kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, malformed aorta and aortic vale disease.

High blood pressure largely remains undetected in its first stage of occurrence. A person would probably never know about it. But if the condition of high blood pressure prolongs, it can cause serious damages to the various body organs. High blood pressure can directly affect the person in the form of kidney failure, congestive heart failure or heart attack.

Low Blood Pressure/ Hypotension

In the medical terms, low blood pressure is called hypotension. A person is said to have low blood pressure disorder, if his blood pressure falls below the normal reading of 120/80 mmHg.

Why Low Blood Pressure?

There are many causes of low blood pressure. Among the common cause include acute illness. The condition can be characterized with the symptoms such as severe blood loss, infection, fluid loss or damage to the heart. The age-factor plays an important role in low blood pressure. Increasing age causes your arteries to stiffen and cause a drop in the pressure of blood.

Damage to adrenal glands can also lead to low blood pressure conditions. Damage to adrenal glands affects the production of aldosterone in your body. This hormone controls the salt amounts in the body. If the aldosterone hormone gets affected, it leads to the loss of salt from your body, further resulting in low blood pressure. This causes dizziness when you stand up. Low blood pressure can also be caused due to the usage of diuretics.

A person with low blood pressure shows symptoms of chest pain, headache, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. The person also suffers from burning sensation while urination, stiff neck, high fever and irregular heartbeat. The person, at times, suffers from shortness of breath and a cough with phlegm.

Normal is healthy!

Neither high blood pressure, nor low blood pressure is good for your body and health. You should get your blood pressure checked regularly for either of these two disorders. The proper treatment and control of your blood pressure will definitely enable you to live a healthy and happy life!

Causes of Bad Breath: What Are They?

There are many factors that could be the causes of bad breath, and many of the factors that could be causes of bad breath can be dealt with quickly and easily using simple techniques. In fact the causes of bad breath are so well documented that it is easy to find the factors which are the cause of bad breath for you.

So what are the causes of bad breath exactly?

Bad breath, which is usually halitosis, is caused by VSCs (Volatile Sulphur Compounds) in the mouth, these are the most common of the causes of bad breath. But what are they, anyway?

Bacteria in your throat and mouth help to break down certain proteins. When some Amino acids which have a lot of Sulphur inside, start to get broken down and then produce various foul smelling compounds from the back of the mouth and throat.

There is a common misconception that bad breath can come from your stomach, and although it may feel like that sometimes, the smeel comes from the compounds produced your throat and mouth. Some foods however after they have been consumed encourage the production of certain chemicals that are then discharged via the lungs. So that extra helping of deep-fried onion rings is actually making a smell through your lungs.

So how can we avoid these great causes of bad breath?

Well many of the causes of bad breath are things that we take for granted and use everyday. Most toothpastes can be a cause of bad breath because the stuff that makes the foam actually promotes production of VSCs.

A dry tongue can also be a cause of bad breath. The bacteria that produce those nasty SVCs actually don’t like oxygen, so a dry mouth is perfect and hence becomes a cause of bad breath.

The nasty stuff from the bacteria comes from the breakdown of Amino acids, which are found in protein. So high protein foods can be a cause of bad breath, even a generally high protein diet could be one of the causes of bad breath.

Once you have elevated levels of the bacteria in your throat, it becomes very difficult to fight off the bad breath as those bacteria can use anything to be the next trigger for your bad breath. By successfully reducing the amount of bacteria in your throat you can make sure that it becomes that much more difficult to get the bad breath in the first place.

You literally zap the cause of bad breath at its source.

So one of the causes of bad breath are those things that allow the bacteria to produce more SVCs, so avoid or treat these and you will rid yourself of your cause of bad breath. Otherwise hit at the source and reduce those bacteria.

Prozac for Bipolar Disorder, Bulimia, and Anxiety

Prozac is a medication often prescribed for bipolar disorder, bulimia, and anxiety disorders. The medication is highly effective because it acts as a serotonin inhibitor, which means that it helps balance serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin levels are responsible for mood stability, depressive states, and control of anxiety, fears, or phobias.

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mental illness that is caused by a combination of biological, neurological, emotional, and situational factors. The true causes of bipolar disorder are not yet fully understood. However, it is understood that imbalances in the neurotransmitters of the brain, such as serotonin, are partially responsible for the predisposition of bipolar disorder in some patients.

Bulimia is an eating disorder in which the patient eats excessively then purges themselves of the food they have eaten through either vomiting or induced bowel movements. Bulimia is caused by a combination of psychological and emotional factors, and in some cases environmental factors. The emotional factors relating to bulimia are very similar if not identical to factors involved with depression and low self worth issues, which are connected to serotonin levels in the brain.

Anxiety disorders are thought to be caused by erratic fluctuations in brain chemistry. Anxiety is defined as the intense somewhat debilitating feeling that something horrible is going to happen. Everyone feels anxiety at some point, but typically the normal person has a logical reason to feel anxious. With anxiety disorders, the reason for the anxiety may not be known, or it may not be logical if it is known.

Prozac is an effective treatment for bipolar disorder, bulimia, and anxiety because it controls and balances the serotonin levels in the brain. In bipolar patients, it is often prescribed in conjunction with other medications. Prozac is an effective treatment for depression, but may cause manic episodes to worsen. For this reason, Prozac is generally prescribed along with an anti-psychotic drug that helps tone down manic episodes. Therapy sessions or counseling is also generally a part of treatment.

In bulimia patients, Prozac is often the only prescription given. However, it is combined with treatment of symptoms via counseling and therapy. The idea behind this counseling is to identify why the patient has developed a sense of self-worth, and to allow the patient to learn that what they perceive is not necessarily reality. This is very helpful in bulimia patients who binge and purge as a result of how they perceive their bodies.

Anxiety patients are often prescribed Prozac with great success. Counseling may also be a part of treatment. In therapy sessions, patients may learn techniques to control their anxiety through rationalization of situations that may not at first appear rational. For example, if a patient feels anxiety over a cigarette burning in an ashtray, they can learn techniques to allow their mind to rationalize the situation and understand that there is no real danger of fire, and therefore no reason for the anxiety. These techniques are very successful in conjunction with Prozac for treating anxiety.

Overall, Prozac is an effective treatment for many mood disorders. Along with Lithium, it is often considered a miracle drug, helping patients gain stability and normal lives while living with an unstable, unrealistic view of themselves or their surroundings.

The #1 Sugar Alternative: Healthy, Natural and Sweet – The

The #1 Sugar Alternative: Healthy, Natural and Sweet – The Ultimate Substitute!

Copyright 2006 Sylvia Riley

We all enjoy a little sweetness in our lives, yet theres no getting away from the negative effects of sugar. A wealth of scientific evidence links this acidic poison to a legion of harmful consequences including immune system suppression, a rise in bad cholesterol, tooth decay, premature aging, a mal-absorption of nutrients, Candida growth, hormone imbalance and an increase in free-radicals. Sugar also contributes to obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, vision problems and migraines and is found to feed cancer cells. With no saving graces, sugar is highly deleterious to the systems of the body.

We crave sugar if our blood sugar levels are out of kilter. This occurs by consuming sugary foods and refined carbohydrates such as white flour that are quickly converted into sugar by the body. It’s a catch 22; the more sugar you eat, the more you crave. Aside physical detriments, the highs and lows of sugar addiction cause mood swings, irritability and a loss of concentration.

Artificial sweetness such as aspartame and saccharine are dangerous alternatives which break down into hazardous toxins in the body. Methyl alcohol derived from aspartame, for example, converts into the neurotoxin and carcinogen formaldehyde and formic acid which has the chemical composition of ant venom. Formic acid is used commercially in products such as paint stripper.

The synthetic amino acids that compose aspartame phenylalanine and aspartic acid are seriously poisonous. According to Dr. John Olney, a neuroscientist at Washington University, St. Louis, Aspartic acid (40% of aspartame) causes holes in the brains of mice. Further, phenylalanine (50% of aspartame) causes seizures and degrades into DKP, a tumor causing agent.

Aspartame has a staggering 92 official side effects and countless studies have linked it with damage to the nervous system and neurological problems. Saccharin even tells you on the package that their product can cause cancer.

Complaints about aspartame represent 80-85 per cent of all food complaints registered to the FDA. There is Strong statistical evidence which links aspartame to breast cancer. American Cancer Society figures show that breast cancer cases have doubled since 1981, the year aspartame was approved for use as a food additive.

What if there was a healthy alternative that not only tasted sweet but actually had positive effects on the body? Sound too good to be true?

Stevia is a natural sugar substitute, a healthy sweet food that, quite the opposite of sugar, can regulate blood sugar levels and improve stamina. Used for centuries in native Paraguay, stevia is now widely popular in Japan, where thorough testing has revealed its benevolent use as a sweetener. The glycosides in stevia that give it its sweet taste are not metabolised by the body so no calories are absorbed. Further more it hosts an array of healthy nutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc, vitamins C and A, protein and fibre and, unlike sugar, does not cause the growth of unhealthy bacteria or fungi.

Stevia, in balancing blood sugar can actually alleviate cravings for sweet foods and has been observed to reduce the appetite if taken 15-20 minutes before eating. It has also been revealed as a diuretic that can help rid the body of excess fluid.

If looking for an alternative to sugar, this remarkable non-caloric herb is the ultimate sugar subsititute; healthy, tasty and sweet! Stevia can be found in liquid or powder form in many healthfood stores or online and there are numerous cook books available with stevia recipes.

Sweet vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash and sweet potatoes, and superfood fruits such as berries, papaya, figs and prunes rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, are also great substitutes when kicking the sugar habit. Vegetables high in fibre and healthy whole grains also serve to stabalise blood sugar levels and ensure a slow release of energy into the blood stream, dimishing the rushes and subsequent cravings associated with sugary foods and refined carbohydrates.