Posts Tagged ‘Hypertension


Women: Stay Healthy at 50+

Use this information to help you stay healthy at ages 50 and above. Learn which screening tests you need and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and daily steps you can take for good health.

Get the Screenings You Need

Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Blood pressure checks and mammograms are examples of screenings.

You can get some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, in your doctor’s office. Others, such as as mammograms, need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office.

After a screening test, it’s important to ask when you will see the results and who you should talk to about them.

Breast Cancer.Talk with your healthcare team about whether you need a mammogram.Cervical Cancer. Have a Pap smear every 1 to 3 years until you are age 65 if you have been sexually active. If you are older than 65 and recent Pap smears were normal, you do not need a Pap smear. If you have had a total hysterectomy for a reason other than cancer, you do not need a Pap smear.

Colorectal Cancer. Have a screening test for colorectal cancer. Several different tests—for example, a stool blood test and colonoscopy—can detect this cancer. Your health care team can help you decide which is best for you.

Depression. Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your health care team about being screened for depression especially if during the last 2 weeks:

  • You have felt down, sad, or hopeless.
  • You have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things.

Diabetes. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medication for high blood pressure.

Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.

High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.

High Cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Have your cholesterol checked regularly if:

  • You use tobacco.
  • You are obese.
  • You have a personal history of heart disease or blocked arteries.
  • A male relative in your family had a heart attack before age 50 or a female relative, before age 60.

It’s Your Body!

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your health care team about any changes in your health, including your vision and hearing. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about, not just the ones here. If you are wondering about diseases such as glaucoma, or skin cancer, for example, ask about them.

HIV. Talk with your health care team about HIV screening if any of these apply to you:

  • You have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • You use or have used injection drugs.
  • You exchange sex for money or drugs or have sex partners who do.
  • You have or had a sex partner who is HIV-infected, bisexual, or injects drugs.
  • You are being treated for a sexually transmitted disease.
  • You had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985.
  • You have any other concerns.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Talk to your health care team about being tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Osteoporosis (Bone Thinning). Have a screening test at age 65 to make sure your bones are strong. If you are younger than 65 and at high risk for bone fractures, you should also be screened. Talk with your health care team about your risk for bone fractures.

Overweight and Obesity. The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index (BMI). You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, such as the one available at:

A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a normal weight. Persons with a BMI of 30 or higher may be obese. If you are obese, talk to your health care team about seeking intensive counseling and getting help with changing your behaviors to lose weight. Overweight and obesity can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Take Preventive Medicines If You Need Them

Aspirin. If you are 55 or older, you may want to consider taking aspirin to prevent strokes. Your health care team can help you decide whether taking aspirin to prevent strokes is right for you.

Breast Cancer Drugs. If your mother, sister, or daughter has had breast cancer, talk to your doctor about whether you should take medicines to prevent breast cancer.

Estrogen for Menopause (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Do not use estrogen to prevent heart disease or other diseases. If you need relief from symptoms of menopause, talk with your health care team.


  • Get a flu shot every year.
  • Get shots for tetanus and whooping cough.
  • If you are 60 or older, get a shot to prevent shingles.
  • If you are 65 or older, get a pneumonia shot.
  • Talk with your health care team about whether you need other vaccinations. You can also find out which ones you need by going to (Plugin Software Help)

Take Steps to Good Health

Be physically active and make healthy food choices. Learn how at

Get to a healthy weight and stay there. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities.

Be tobacco free. For tips on how to quit, go to: To talk to someone about how to quit, call the National Quitline: 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669).

If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink per day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Get More Information on Good Health

Check out these Federal Government Web sites: Guides and tools for healthy living, an encyclopedia of health-related topics, health news, and more. Go to:

MedlinePlus. Health information from government agencies and health organizations, including a medical encyclopedia and health tools. Go to:

Questions Are the Answer. Information on how to get involved in your health care by asking questions, understanding your condition, and learning about your options. Go to:

If you don’t have access to a computer, talk to your local librarian about health information in the library.

Sources. The information in this pamphlet is based on research findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF, supported by AHRQ, is a national independent panel of medical experts that makes recommendations based on scientific evidence about which clinical preventive services should be included in primary medical care and for which populations.

For information about the USPSTF and its recommendations, go to



Salt: The Latest “Stealth Threat” to Children’s Health

It’s not that surprising that a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that children were eating almost as much salt as adults every day.  Whether it’s McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (540 mg per 6-piece serving) or a serving of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (560 mg), the foods that many parents find most convenient and palatable to feed their children contain very high amounts of sodium.  And it’s leading to an increase in rates of high blood pressure at an early age.

The CDC study examined the sodium intake of 6,235 children between the ages of 8 and 18.  The study subjects had their blood pressure measured, their weight taken, and they provided detailed information about what they ate each day, from which researchers calculated their sodium intake.  The children were found to eat an average of 3,387 mg of sodium every day, only slightly below the adult average of 3,466 mg per day, which itself is far above the government’s recommended daily intake of 2,300 mg.

Approximately 15 percent of the children were found to have either pre-hypertension (slightly elevated blood pressure that is the precursor to hypertension) or high blood pressure.  Obese children who ate the most salt were three times more likely to have high blood pressure than children with low sodium intake.  High blood pressure is a major contributor to the incidence of heart disease and stroke, and when combined with obesity, it significantly raises the risk of contracting these diseases.

The typical American diet is full of processed food, which is where much of the sodium is concentrated.  Only about 10 percent of our daily sodium intake comes from the salt shaker.  Food manufacturers add sodium to their products to increase their flavor and extend shelf life, and this done whether that food is for adults or children.  Oscar Meyer’s Lunchables contain 870 mg of sodium, more than a third of the recommended daily salt intake.

The best way to protect your children from getting too much sodium in their diet is to avoid feeding them processed food, whether it’s packaged snacks or fast food.  Have cut-up fresh fruit or veggies like carrot sticks on hand for when they come home, and keep snacking to a minimum.  The more meals you cook from fresh ingredients the better.  Preparing fresh foods for your children’s meal does not have to be labor-intensive and it will guarantee that your child is not one of the 15 percent who is at greatest risk of contracting a chronic disease before they reach adulthood.

While it is important to keep the sodium from processed foods to a minimum, you should also be sure you do not cut too much salt from your child’s diet.  Salt is integral to the healthy functioning of the body, but buying a different kind of salt may help reduce your sodium intake.  Almost all salt in processed food is refined, meaning that it is pure sodium chloride that has had the potassium, magnesium, calcium and other trace minerals stripped from it.  It’s precisely these trace minerals (that are not removed in unrefined salts such as celtic sea salt or gray salt) that add significantly more flavor, which allows you to use less of it to achieve the same effect.

Dr P. Dubois, DC, CCSP

Dr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.


High Blood Pressure Facts and Fiction

High blood pressure (hypertension) is widespread, affecting approximately 25% of the population.  If the condition remains untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. 

However, there are many myths about high blood pressure in the popular press.  So in the following paragraphs we’ll separate fiction from fact to provide you with a more accurate understanding of this common health problem.

Fiction: The lower your blood pressure, the better.

Fact: Low blood pressure can also lead to health problems.  It can cause dizziness or fainting, increasing your risk of falls, and (if it is severe), can even lead to shock and death.

Fiction: Young people do not need to have their blood pressure checked.

Fact: While young people are at lower risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises that everyone have their blood pressure checked from the age of 18.

Fiction: High blood pressure always has symptoms.

Fact: This is not necessarily the case.  While some experience sweating, nervousness and sleep disturbances, approximately one in three adult Americans with high blood pressure have it and are not aware of it.  This is the reason hypertension is sometimes called “the silent killer”.

Fiction: Blood pressure is only high because you are at the doctor’s office.

Fact: Many people get nervous while at the doctor’s office, which can raise blood pressure levels.  However, repeated high readings should be an indication that it is not a situational condition.  Home blood pressure monitors are now easily obtainable.  So take your measurements at home a few times and then share the results with your doctor.

Fiction: If you have high cholesterol, you must have high blood pressure.

Fact: Although the risk factors for both are often the same (poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.), having one does not necessarily mean you have the other.  You should have both your blood pressure and cholesterol checked periodically to ensure that you do not have either.

Fiction: Women do not need to worry about getting high blood pressure.

Fact: Although middle-aged men are more likely to have high blood pressure than women, the numbers begin to even out after a woman reaches menopause.  In fact, African-American women over age 65 have the highest rate of high blood pressure.  Other women at higher risk are those with a history of the disease in their family, those who are on birth control pills, those who are pregnant, and those who are overweight.

Fiction: Over-the-counter medications are always safe for those with high blood pressure.

Fact: Decongestants can both interfere with blood pressure medications and raise blood pressure.  If you are looking for cold and flu remedies, ensure that they do not contain decongestants.

Fiction: Insulin injections cause high blood pressure.

Fact: It was once believed that people taking insulin were at greater risk of hardened arteries and high blood pressure, but this idea has since been disproved.

Fiction: As your blood pressure improves, it’s all right to stop taking your blood pressure medication.

Fact: It is never a good idea to stop taking your blood pressure medication until you have consulted with your doctor.  Suddenly stopping your medication can cause your blood pressure to spike suddenly, stressing the heart, causing an irregular heartbeat and increasing your risk of a heart attack.  It can also cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and insomnia.  If you decide to discontinue taking your medication, do so slowly, and always under a doctor’s supervision.


Dr. P. Dubois, DC, CCSP.

Dr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.



Chiropractic Adjustment Can Lower Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American adults has high blood pressure. This serious condition can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, which are among the three leading causes of death in the US.

In many cases, following a healthy diet, exercising and refraining from smoking can significantly reduce blood pressure. A study reported in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that chiropractic may also help. In fact, the research suggests that a specific type of chiropractic adjustment may be able to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients just as well as two hypertension-lowering medications combined.

Dr. George Bakris and researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 50 patients who had stage 1 high blood pressure and evidence of a misaligned Atlas vertebra (the C-1 vertebra of the spine). For over 40 years, the association between hypertension and circulatory abnormalities in the region of the Atlas vertebra has been understood, though the effect of chiropractic adjustment on the condition had not been extensively studied. The researchers wanted to test their hypothesis that a realignment of the Atlas vertebra could lead to a long-term reduction in blood pressure.

Patients were screened for a misaligned Atlas by using a leg length test. When the Atlas is misaligned it results in a disparity in leg length, which can be seen by the heel position when the patient is lying down. If the Atlas is misaligned and the patient turns his or her head to one side or the other, the position of the heels will change. If there is no misalignment, the heels remain at the same level. A misalignment of the Atlas vertebrae does not necessarily cause pain, so it frequently goes undetected.  None of the patients in the study reported having felt neck pain.

Patients were referred to a chiropractor from the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA), a group of specialist practitioners who do not do typical chiropractic adjustments, but who specialize in adjusting only the C-1 vertebra.

Before the beginning of the study period, participants had a paracervical skin temperature determination, pre-alignment craniocervical X-rays and postural analysis, in addition to being cleared of all blood pressure medications. Half the patients received an adjustment to the C-1 vertebra and the other half received a “sham” adjustment designed to simulate a C-1 adjustment so that the patient would be unaware of the difference. Participants had one assessment directly after the adjustment and another 8 weeks later.

The results of the experiment showed that the patients who had received the actual adjustment had their blood pressure reduced to the equivalent of taking two anti-hypertensive medications simultaneously. Both systolic and diastolic levels dropped by an average of 14 mm Hg and 8 mm Hg, respectively. These lower levels were maintained throughout the 8-week follow-up period. This change was not observed in the sham intervention group.

A larger study is being planned, but this evidence shows that in some cases chiropractic care may be helpful in lowering blood pressure without the use of drugs.

Dr. P. Dubois

Dr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst hispatients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levelswho benefited from his chiropractic care.


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