This Diet Will Help Your Kidney (Renal) Disease

Avoiding Dialysis Through Management of Diet

“How to avoid dialysis” by Dr. Mackenzie Walser, suggests that the need for dialysis in kidney patients can be delayed with carefully controlled dietary treatment.

Among Dr. Walser’s patients were those with Nephrotic Syndrome, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Hypertensive Kidney Disease, and Diseases of the Glomeruli. For those with nephrotic syndrome, treatment with a very low protein diet supplemented by essential amino acids (and in certain cases, a low- salt diet) delayed the need for dialysis for two to twelve years, and, in one case, permanently, as the patient’s kidney disease disappeared. The same regimen was successful with patients with polycystic kidney disease; renal failure was slowed and the need for dialysis delayed, in one case indefinitely.

Patients with Hypertensive Kidney Disease were able to delay dialysis for approximately four years using the low-protein diet; those diagnosed with diseases of the Glomeruli had a similar success rate, postponing dialysis by two to five years.

Dr. Walser says that before putting any patient on dialysis, doctors have an obligation to tell the patient that there is an alternative available, namely dietary treatment including close follow-up to watch for the other conditions that could endanger a patient failing kidneys.

This diet approach to kidney disease I often use along with other alternative treatments. If you have kidney disease you must take a moment to read about my services by clicking here..

Got Kidney Disease? .. Pomegranite Juice May Be Your Answer!

An amazing simple remedy that may benefit people like myself, kidney disease sufferers. Click Here to learn more about how alternative medicine may help your kidney disease.

Pomegranate Juice Reduces Damage to Tissues, Inflammation and Infections, Study Suggests

A new study described in a paper to be presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver, CO suggests that pomegranate juice can help prevent infections and other complications in patients undergoing dialysis. These complications can be as serious as to be life-threatening, and account for a high morbidity rate among dialysis patients.

In a study run by Batya Kristal, MD, FASN (Western Galilee Hospital, in Nahariya, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel), PhD candidate, Lilach Shema, and other colleagues, about 100 dialysis patients received either pomegranate juice or a placebo three times a week at the start of their dialysis sessions for one year.

Tests found that those patients who were given pomegranate juice suffered less inflammation and less free-radical induced oxidative stress. They also experienced fewer infections and thus fewer hospitalizations. This confirms previous studies suggesting that pomegranate juice contains effective anti-oxidants.

Other recent investigations have shown that drinking pomegranate juice can improve high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors, leading to fewer cardiovascular events. Similar results have been found in other at-risk groups, but it has additional importance for kidney disease patients because they usually die from infections or cardiovascular reasons.

Dr. Kristal said, “Considering the expected epidemic of CKD in the next decade, further clinical trials using pomegranate juice aimed at reducing the high cardiovascular morbidity of CKD patients and their deterioration to end-stage renal disease should be conducted.”

The researchers also suggest that drinking pomegranate juice (with carefully regulated potassium content, since potassium levels must be controlled, especially in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

Study co-authors include Ronit Geron, MD, Galina Shapiro, Shifra Sela, PhD (Western Galilee Hospital), and Liora Ore (University of Haifa).

The study was supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Ministry of Health, Israel; Jess & Midred Fisher Family Cardiology Research Fund, and the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Technion, Israel.

“One Year of Pomegranate Juice Consumption Decreases Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Incidence of Infections in Hemodialysis Patients,” [TH-FC059] will be presented as an oral presentation on November 18, 2010 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

Story Source: ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2010) —

Eat Your Protein To Lose Weight! Especially If Your A Menopausal Women …

Visit Dr. Robert’s homepage to click the links about his weight loss and menopause relief services…

Eating Protein Throughout the Day Preserves Muscle and Physical Function in Dieting Postmenopausal Women, Study Suggests

Women trying to lose weight after menopause should be careful to consume enough protein, a new study suggests. The study, by the University of Illinois, found that eating protein all through the day helped dieters lose more weight by suppressing the feeling of hunger, and also helped them maintain valuable muscle mass.

Ellen Evans, a former U of I associate professor of kinesiology and community health and member of the university’s Division of Nutritional Sciences, said, “A higher-protein weight-loss diet is more protective of muscle.”

The scientists studied how body composition affects physical functionality.  Dieting by post-menopausal women can lead to muscle loss, which in turn can lead to loss of function, according to researcher Mina Mojtahedi; “That loss can affect their strength, balance, and how well they perform everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs and getting up out of a chair.”

Women consuming more protein lost 3.9 percent more weight and had a relative gain of 5.8 percent more thigh muscle volume than woman who did not, said Mojtahedi. The study indicates that higher protein intake during weight loss can help maintain more muscle relative to the amount of weight lost. Women who achieve a healthy weight while maintaining sufficient muscle mass should be able to preserve their mobility and thus their independence longer.

“When a woman has less weight to carry, even if she’s lost a bit of lean mass in her legs, the effect is that she has better physical function,” she said.

The researchers tracked 31 postmenopausal overweight women following a diet designed around the USDA’s My Pyramid. Participants were divided into two groups; one received a protein supplement to take twice a day, and the other received a carbohydrate supplement. All participants were encouraged to exercise (walking and stretching) and given diet education, including examples of healthy daily menus and a scale to measure portion size.

All the women were assessed for strength, balance, and the ability to perform ordinary minor tasks like walking 50 feet, standing up five times from a chair, and lifting a book 12 inches above shoulder height before and after the study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was also used to measure muscle volume of the right thigh, the fat around the thigh, and the fat in the thigh muscle.

Strength decreased as weight decreased for both groups. But the researchers say that an increase in the amount of muscle relative to fat benefited both balance and performance. And carrying a healthy weight helped them in other ways. “We hypothesize that more vigorous exercise — in particular, resistance training — would preserve even more muscle,” Evans said.

The study concluded that simply adjusting the content and timing of their meals would help postmenopausal women stay healthy while losing weight.

Mojtahedi said, “We believe it’s important to eat protein in the morning and through the day so those amino acids are always available. Unfortunately, American women tend not to eat much protein, especially when they’re trying to cut calories. But it’s easy to add protein powder into a smoothie or eat a high-protein snack and incorporate a healthier diet into a busy lifestyle.”

Story Source: ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2011) —

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – It’s REAL And Not In Your Head

Improve your IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diet, nutrition, supplements and get relief – click here to learn more­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Proof: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Not “In Your Head”

Science Daily, August 2010. The distressing complex of symptoms known as irritable bowel syndrome is quite common – an estimated 10% of the population suffers from recurrent gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea that until recently have not been shown to have an identifiable physical cause. As a result of this, many IBS sufferers have also had to deal with the label of “hypochondriac”.

However, a team of German biologists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have succeeded in discovering tiny inflammations in the mucous lining of the gut, which have the effect of disrupting the sensitive balance of the bowel, and making the whole enteric nervous system hypersensitive.

The symptoms are more than just annoying, and constant trips to the bathroom can by joined by headache, backache, and sleep disturbance. Seven million Germans are estimated to have IBS. The suspicion of hypochondria, and the fact that attempts to treat the problem have been derailed because no organic cause could be shown, has made matters harder for both sufferers and their doctors. The Munich study changes this by identifying previously hidden causes.

The TUM research team, headed by Prof. Michael Schemann, used ultra-fast optical measuring techniques to show that an IBS patient’s enteric nervous system is sensitized by tiny inflammations of the gut’s mucous lining. Specifically, mediators from mast cells and enterochromaffin cells activate the bowel’s nerve cells, and the resulting hypersensivity gets in the way of normal interaction between the mucous membranes and their nerves. Professor Schemann says, “The irritated mucosa releases increased amounts of neuroactive substances such as serotonin, histamine and protease. This cocktail produced by the body could be the real cause of the unpleasant IBS complaints.”

This study is, and is leading to, cutting edge research in human biology. The Munich researchers are currently studying the correlation between the degree of nerve sensitization and the severity of symptoms experienced by the patient. Collaborating with colleagues from Amsterdam, they have been able to show the importance of their initial results on the clinical level. IBS symptoms have successfully been improved after patients received an antihistamine with known immune-stabilizing properties when used for treating allergies like hay fever. With support funding from the German Research foundation (DFG) the team is seeking correlations between symptom improvement and possible improvement of gut nerve activity.

If they are able to identify the active components of IBS, drugs can be developed that can treat this common and painful disease. Even at this early stage, IBS suffers are getting some relief from the Munich team’s proof that irritable bowel syndrom is not “in their heads”.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

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Natural Remedies For Heartburn/Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

How to Alleviate Heartburn in Pregnancy

December 2007, Science Daily. One of the commonest problems for pregnant women is heartburn. It usually shows up in the first trimester, and worsens as pregnancy progresses. According to various studies, pregnancy heartburn may be due to a combination of higher levels of progesterone and pressure on the abdominal organs from the uterus as it enlarges, causing lowered esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure. The lower pressure then makes it easier for stomach contents and acid to get back into the esophagus.

These studies were referred to in the updated monograph “Pregnancy in Gastrointestinal Disorders” monograph by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). Based on the monograph, a group of experts from ACG have put together a compilation of tips for reducing heartburn for pregnant women. It also advises about heartburn medications that are safe or unsafe during pregnancy.

How to ease heartburn discomfort when pregnant

If you’re pregnant and having heartburn symptoms, the ACG advises the following simple lifestyle and diet tips to reduce and relieve discomfort.

  • Don’t eat late at night or just before bed. Avoid common heartburn-causing items like chocolate, spicy or greasy foods, tomato sauces, peppermint, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and caffeine.
  • Wear loose clothing. Anything that binds tightly at the waist and causes pressure on the abdomen and lower esophageal sphincter area (just below your chest) should be loosened – or left in the closet until you’re not pregnant!
  • Smaller meals are best. Big filling meals in the stomach can lead to acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Don’t lie down just after eating, and let at least 3 hours go by after a meal before you turn in for the night. In a lying-down position, stomach contents, including stomach acid, can more easily back up into the esophagus. This is especially true when you go to bed on a full stomach.
  • Raise the head of your bed by 4-6 inches to keep stomach contents from getting back into the lower esophagus, thus avoiding acid reflux.
  • Eliminate alcohol and tobacco, or at the very least avoid them whenever possible. Cutting them out not only reduces acid reflux, but protects the developing fetus from harmful substances.

Many natural treatments for acid reflux and heartburn – click here!

Herbs Can Be Dangerous If You Take Chemotherapy Drugs

The study below is why you need a good nutritionist or naturopath who understands how to use herbs with chemotherapy drugs for success in your treatment. Natural health doctors are more familiar with the research that is not readily available to most medical professionals to provide you with all the information for your decisions.  Read more about my cancer services – click here.

Some Herbal Supplements May Have Dangerous Effects on Chemotherapy Drugs

Science Daily, August 2011. Several popular herbal supplements – cumin, herbal tea, acai berry, turmeric, garlic when used over a long period – may turn out to have negative interactions, in some cases highly dangerous, with chemotherapy drugs. According to a recent report given at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago earlier this year, some of them can intensify the action of the chemotherapy drugs, some can weaken them, and some can produce a toxic, even lethal reaction.

The study’s lead investigator, June M. McKoy, MD, geriatrician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said, “With the growth of the Internet, patients have better access to information about alternative products and often turn to dietary and herbal supplements to treat their illness because they think they’re natural and safe. What people don’t realize is that supplements are more than just vitamins and can counteract medical therapies if not taken appropriately.”

Dr. McKoy, geriatric oncology director at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, states that additional studies are needed to gain a good understanding of which supplements affect chemotherapy medications, and how powerful the interactions are. She advises patients to discuss the use of supplements fully with their doctors.

McKoy, who is also an assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said, “Patients need to tell their doctors what medications they are taking – including vitamins and supplements – to avoid any possible interaction.”

Herbal supplements – preparations of plants or parts of plants intended for therapeutic purposes – may affect chemotherapy drugs through different means. In some cases, the herbal material interferes with the way the drug is metabolized by the body, decreasing its effectiveness. A different effect is the action of garlic, which used over a long term can increase the tendency to bleed during surgery. Although it’s generally safe to use cooking herbs for flavor in small amounts, large amounts taken for long periods can have bad effects on the bodies of chemotherapy patients.

Unfortunately, it has been shown by recent studies that half of chemotherapy patients did not inform their doctor that they were using alternative therapeutic measures. Dr. McKoy said, “Some believe it’s not important, while others are uncomfortable admitting they are pursuing alternative therapies. The truth is, integrative approaches can be beneficial for cancer patients, but it’s important to take these approaches at the right time and under the supervision of your doctor.”

She goes on to urge chemotherapy recipients to stop taking herbal supplements until more careful study can be made of the interactions – but to frankly discuss with their doctor any interest they have in complementary therapies that may prove useful.

Melinda Ring, MD, medical director for the Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group’s Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness, says, “Integrative therapies such as massage, acupuncture and meditation can address important patient needs by alleviating stress, addressing pain and helping patients cope.”

In any course of treatment McKoy emphasizes communication between doctors and patients about potential interactions between chemotherapy drugs and herbal supplements. She says, “Patients should bring in labels and bottles to their appointments. This can help the doctor calibrate drug dosage with other supplements in mind in order to prevent toxicities.”

She plans to begin a pilot study in summer 2011 about the prevalence of communications between cancer patients and their doctors about supplements. “By identifying communication barriers, we can take steps to improve doctor-patient communication in order to prevent potentially dangerous drug interactions.”

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

ESTROGEN MAY PROTECT AGAINST STOMACH CANCER

Why Men Are at Higher Risk for Stomach Cancer

In a new study, researchers at MIT demonstrate how estrogen protects women against stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer, as well as cancers of the liver and colon, is more common in men than women. Initially, scientists thought that lifestyle choices like smoking and eating habits could explain this disparity, but current research seems to lead to another cause – basic biological differences between the sexes.

MIT’s new study, which was published online in Cancer Prevention Research, demonstrated that giving male mice estrogen greatly reduced their susceptibility to those stomach cancers known to be caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

The researchers hope this new information might eventually lead to new ways to prevent these cancers.

Alexander Sheh, a postdoc in MIT’s Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) and lead author of the paper, said: “If we can narrow in on which estrogen effect is causing this protection, we can come up with a better therapy.”

About half of the population is infected with H. pylori, which is usually symptomless. The infection itself, however, greatly increases the chance of developing gastric cancer, which is the second greatest cause of cancer deaths. The body’s immune response to the H. pylori infection can lead to a chronic inflammation of the stomach, and it is this inflammation that contributes to the development of cancer.

According to the findings from several studies, women seem to be protected from this inflammation by estrogen. For example, when estrogen is blocked by drugs such as Tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer, a woman’s risk of developing gastric cancer rises. In other studies at MIT, female mice whose estrogen production ceased when their ovaries were removed became just as susceptible to stomach cancer as males, while male mice who were given estrogen became resistant to precancerous gastric lesions.

But James Fox, MIT professor of biological engineering and director of DCM, the author of these studies, is the senior author of a new study using mice genetically predisposed to develop gastric cancers. Male mice that were infected with H. pylori were given estrogen, Tamoxifen, both, or nothing; female mice, also infected, were given Tamoxifen or nothing. Since Tamoxifen blocks estrogen, researchers expected the positive effects of estrogen to diminish where it was given.

But, surprisingly, all three treated groups of males showed increased resistance to gastric cancers. Even more surprisingly, none of these mice developed cancer at all, despite their genetic background. Of an untreated control group, forty percent developed gastric cancer. Female mice receiving Tamoxifen had the same outcomes as untreated mice. This suggests to the research team that, for some reason, Tamoxifen mimics estrogen in the stomach instead of blocking it.

So how do estrogen and Tamoxifen both  protect against gastric cancer? Searching for a genetic component, the team looked at the occurrence overexpressed genes in the mice. Out of approximately 60 genes, they selected a signaling protein, CXCL1, involved in cell movement and recruitment of immune cells. It also has a human analogue, IL-8; IL-8 is frequently found to be part of the body’s immune response to H. pylori infection.

The team theorizes that a chronic H. pylori infection causes an increase in production of CXCL1 (or IL-8 in humans); since this gene’s purpose is, in part, to attract immune cells such as neutrophils and macrophages, it does so. The presence of these immune cells promotes inflammation, which lays the groundwork for cancerous growth. For reasons that are still unknown, estrogen interferes with either the recruitment or the activity of these immune cells–or both.

The MIT team are studying mice that are missing the gene for CXCL1, to see if the absence of that one protein can change the course of gastric cancers. Creating molecules that specifically block CXCL1 activity is also on the agenda.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2011, July 14). Why men are at higher risk for stomach cancer. ScienceDaily.

WHAT IS HYPERTENSION? NATUROPATH EXPLAINS

Hypertension Defined

Hypertension is the technical medical name for high blood pressure. “Blood  pressure” means the pressure against the walls of arteries of blood as it travels through them pumped by the heart. The arteries are the tubes, large and small, that carry oxygen-rich blood to all the parts of the body.

A description of hypertension

Because of the pump action of the heart, blood flowing along the arteries pushes against their inner walls: the greater the pushing force, the higher the blood pressure. The size, or diameter, of the smaller arteries can also have an effect on overall blood pressure. The walls are muscular, and when they are relaxed they dilate or enlarge the opening of the tube through which the blood is passing, lowering the pressure. Conversely, when they tighten, the arterial diameter decreases,and blood pressure goes up.

In the cycle of heart action, the highest blood pressure occurs when the heart contracts, or “beats”, to push blood into the arteries. When the heart relaxes so that its chambers can refill with blood, then the pressure is lowest. The high pressure at the “beat” is the “systolic” pressure, and the low, relaxed pressure is the “diastolic” pressure. When you have your blood pressure measured, the reading shows the systolic first, the diastolic second, measured in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mm Hg). So a systolic pressure of 120 and a diastolic pressure of 80 will be recorded as 120/80 mm Hg. Any blood pressure reading above 140/90 is considered high for an adult by the American Heart Association.

One of the factors making hypertension a serious health problem is the fact that it has no symptoms, so that many people have it and are unaware of it. It is estimated that, in the US, approximately 50 million people sixty years old or older have hypertension. Men are more likely to have it than women, and older people than younger. After age 65, the percentage of those with hypertension is over 50%. African Americans are also more likely to have high blood pressure than white Americans. The condition is serious because it puts people at greater risk than normal for heart disease and other dangerous conditions. The complications can be avoided by getting regular blood pressure readings, and treating hypertension immediately if it should develop.

Untreated hypertension may lead to other serious conditions, including:

  • Arteriosclerosis (atherosclerosis)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Heart enlargement
  • Damage to the kidneys

Arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis is what is commonly called hardening of the arteries. A normal artery wall has an elastic layer of tissue and muscle that lets it widen and narrow as  pulsing blood flows through. The effect of continuous high blood pressure can be a thickening and hardening of the walls, reducing the elasticity and narrowing the passageway for the bloodstream. This can lead to buildup of fat and cholesterol particles on the wall interiors, leading to even more constriction. The narrowing also makes it more likely that blood clots will get jammed in the passage, with the immediate danger of blood flow cutoff.

Arteriosclerosis can constrict arteries enought so that too little blood is reaching organs and other parts of the body. If blood supply to the heart is lessened or cut off, the result can be a heart attack, while a similar reduction or blockage to the brain can cause a stroke. The extra strain on the heart as it works to pump blood through narrowed arteries can cause thickening and stretching of the heart muscle. A heart can be enlarged to the point where it can no longer pump enough blood. Thus hypertension can lead directly to heart failure.

Blood flow blockage to the kidneys caused by arteriosclerosis is extremely serious, as the kidneys are the body’s disposal units, keeping waste out of the blood. If left untreated, the kidneys begin to fail, and the blood’s waste levels start to rise. Failure makes either dialysis or a kidney transplant necessary to savethe patient’s life. About one quarter of dialysis patients have had their kidneys fail due to high blood pressure.

Hypertension’s causes and symptoms

There are several normal reasons why blood pressure can go up temporarily: increased physical activity is one, reacting to a stress situation is another. Lower the activity level, eliminate the stress,  and the blood pressure goes back to normal. This kind of temporary increase is not hypertension. It’s when multiple high readings are found over a span of time that hypertension is diagnosed.

In the vast majority of cases, the cause of hypertension is unknown. 90-95% of hypertensive persons have this unknown-cause type, called “primary” or “essential” hypertension. Hypertension caused by another medical condition, on the other hand, is “secondary” hypertension, and can result from various other ailments. Kidney disorders often bring on secondary high blood pressure because the kidneys are not removing enough extra salt and water from the bloodstream, which increases the overall pressure. Such disorders can include kidney infections, renal kidney stenosis (a localized constriction of the arteries leading to the kidneys), and others.

Other causes of secondary high blood pressure include: Cushing’s syndrome causing tumors of the  adrenal and pituitary glands, leading in turn to excessive levels of adrenalin, cortisol, and aldosterone which raise blood pressure; blood vessel diseases; thyroid gland disease; alcoholism; some presription drugs; and pregnancy..

Although it is not known what the direct cause is of most people’s hypertension, it is known that there are factors that will increase the risk of developing the problem.

Some factors are:

  • Age over 60 years
  • Male gender
  • Race (higher incidence among the African American population)
  • Heredity
  • Sensitivity to salt
  • Sedentary habits
  • Obesity
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Oral contraceptives

Of these, obviously some are beyond control, like sex and age and race, or inherited familial tendency to high blood pressure. However, people who have one or more unavoidable risk factors can stay away from the factors that can be controlled, to decrease the likelihood that they’ll become hypertensive.

Diagnosing high blood pressure

Regular periodic checks of blood pressure are important precisely because the condition has no symptoms of its own. The familiar blood pressure cuff, or sphygnomanometer, is wrapped around the upper arm and tightened by inflating it with a small attached pump. The cuff’s pressure briefly cuts off the flow in one of the arm’s arteries, and then the cuff pressure is released while a stethoscope is positioned over the artery so the medical practitioner can listen to the sound of the pulsing blood returning to the artery. The stethoscope first picks up the systolic beat as the heart forces blood through the vessel, and then the diastolic part of pulse cycle as the heart and the artery relax between beats. Both systolic and diastolic pressures are recoreded on the cuff’s mercury gauge.

Temporary rises in blood pressure can come from things like pain, temporary physical and emotional stress, anxiety,  etc. Because of this, as noted earlier, a diagnosis of hypertension is not made from a single reading. If the first reading is over 140/90, the physician will take another reading at a later time. A hypertension diagnosis usually results from two or more later high readings, after the first one. Then there’s “white-coat hypertension”, the tendency of many people to have high blood pressure in doctors’ offices. This type of high reading has usually been blamed on situational anxiety, although a study done in Italy in 2001 raised questions about dismissing these results as unrelated to true hypertension.

In elderly persons, it is not uncommon to find systolic hypertension coupled with normal or low diastolic pressure, for instance a reading of 170/70 mm Hg. This systolic hypertension tends to be associated with hardening of the arteries.

These are the blood pressure reading classifications, listed by increasing severity:

  • normal blood pressure: lower than 120/80 mm Hg
  • high normal: 130–139/85–89 mm Hg
  • mild hypertension: 140–159/90–99 mm Hg
  • moderate hypertension: 160–179/100–109 mm Hg
  • severe hypertension: 180–209/110–119
  • very severe hypertension: 210/120 or higher

In order to evaluate a patient for possible hypertension, the typical exam would include:

  • Family and medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Examination of the blood vessels of the eye (opthalmoscopy)
  • Electrocardiograph (ECG)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Blood and urine testing

Taking the patient’s family and medical histories is needed to help alert the physician to other conditions that could be behind the high pressure, or making it worse. Family members with hypertension can mean that a genetic tendency to the condition is present.

During the physical, the doctor may well take multiple pressure readings at different points during the visit, and with the patient in different positions. Heart and blood flow sounds will be checked with a stethoscope, and notes will be made of  pulse, height, weight, and reflexes. The doctor will manually feel (palpate) the internal organs to check for enlargement. In addition, he or she will look at the blood vessels in the eyes with an opthalmoscope, to check for hemorrhages or abnormal thickness or narrowing caused by hypertension.

The patient may be checked with an electrocardiagram, to evaluate the heart’s electrical activity, and to see whether the cardiac muscle is abnormally enlarged or damaged due to artery blockage. Enlarged heart muscle and other heart problems, and lung disease may be revealed by a chest X-ray

Testing blood and urine samples are additional ways to check for the possibility of other physical ailments that are known causes of hypertension..

Treating high blood pressure

Primary hypertension – in other words, high blood pressure with no detectable cause – has no cure, but proper treatment can nearly always bring it down to healthier levels. Treatment is undertaken to reduce the pressure to the point where heart disease and other hypertension complications are prevented. With secondary hypertension, caused by other disorders, the causing disease is treated as well as the high blood pressure. If and when the underlying ailment is cured, the secondary hypertension may be too.

The usual techniques for lowering blood pressure include changing the patient’s diet and prescribing a regular exercise routine. If no kidney or heart damage has taken place in a person with mild to moderate hypertension, such changes are often the core of initial treatment.

Some behavioral changes that are capable of bringing blood pressure down by approximately 5-10 mm Hg are:

  • Lowering salt intake in the diet
  • Lowering dietary fat
  • Weight reduction
  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Stress management

There are also natural alternative methods which may be approved by the patient’s doctor for reducing blood pressure, or even keeping it from developing in the first polace. Aromatherapy is a good example, which can help reduce stress with the use of essential oils. The fragrances can be inhaled from a bottle during periods of tension, and/or the oils can be massaged into the skin before retiring, usually just below the collarbone to release fragrance and promote relaxation. Lavender and blue chamomile are two essences that have shown stress releaving effects.

Another avenue to explore is food therapy, which can have demonstrated benefits for blood pressure. For instance, celery will dilate muscles that regulate blood pressure, and celery juice is mildly diuretic. Sodium and excess fluid in the circulatory system can by lowered by eating  fresh vegetables and fruits that are high in magnesium and potassium. The reduction of dietary sodium lowers blood pressure, whether or not hypertension is present, according to a study published in 2001. Garlic has been discovered to have a similar effect. The active ingredient is thought to be allicin, which is present both in enteric-coated garlic capsules and in fresh garlic.

Lowered blood pressure can also be accomplished through relaxation and meditation. Similar techniques also have good effects: focusing on calming music, the use of mental imagery, such as imagining coolness seeping into one’s pores and spreading quietly throughout the body, bringing blood pressure to normal levels. Yoga specialists recommend two poses, the corpse pose and the knee squeeze pose, that are especially good for tension relief and healthy blood flow when combined with breathing exercises.

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WHAT IS BREAST CANCER? NEW JERSEY HOLISTIC TREATMENT DOCTOR EXPLAINS

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is characterized by abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells in the breast. These cancerous cells multiply and destroy the normal breast tissue around them, and can also travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or the clear lymphatic fluid that bathes cells, causing new cancerous growths in new locations.

The risk of breast cancer is a fact of life for all women. In 2002, more than 200,000 new diagnoses of this disease were made in the US alone. The risk increases with age, regardless of family history. By the time a woman is 85, she has a one in nine chance of gettng breast cancer at some point during the remainder of her life. For a 25-year-old, the risk is 1 out of over 19,500; for a 45-year-old, it has increased to 1 in 93. Eighty percent of these cancers are diagnosed in women 50 and older.

Breast cancer causes and symptoms

The risk factors for developing this type of cancer include:

  • Family history: mother or sister with breast cancer
  • Early menstruation, late menopause
  • Reproductive history: women who have never borne a child, had children late in life, and those who never breastfed are more at risk.
  • History of abnormal biopsies of the breast

Over 70% of those diagnosed with breast cancer do not have any known risk factors. A breast cancer gene was identified in 1994, but it’s believed that no more than 5% of cases are caused by this gene.

There have been studies published that implicate high-fat diets, alcohol intake, and avoidance of breastfeeding in increased risk. There may be other factors in the typical Western lifestyle that are responsible for the comparatively high rates of breast cancer in those countries compared to other parts of the world. Two examples may be the aromatic hydrocarbons in tobacco and hydrocarbons found in well-done meats. Another association addressed by researchers has been possible linkage between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer. Early studies pointing in this direction were not seriously received in many quarters, but an important project published in 2003 provided substantial evidence of the risk. The Women’s Health Initiative published results showing that the risk increased even with quite short-term use of HRT using combined estrogen and progestin, with diagnoses being made at a later stage of the disease, and higher than expected numbers of abnormal mammograms. The longer a subject was on HRT, the greater her risk.

Woman need to be aware that many breast lumps are NOT cancerous. These benign lumps need only to be removed. If you have several risk factors you may, statistically, have a greater chance of developing breast cancer, but bear in mind that the disease is not a simple yes-or-no likelihood, but the outcome of complex interactions of factors. Monthly self-exams are the best way to keep track, so that any lump can be found at an early stage of development. Regular mammograms – xrays of the front and sides of the breast – can detect tumors or cysts at very early stages. It’s also a good idea to get a risk assessment consultation at a breast cancer center, of which there are many across the US.

Signs that can indicate breast cancer include:

  • Changes to nipple, such as thickening, bleeding, pulling in, or discharge
  • Dimpling or reddening of skin over the breast
  • Changed size or shape of breast
  • Abnormality detected in a mammogram

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Mammograms (low dose breast x-rays) pick up more than 90% of breast cancers. If a suspicious lump is found, a mammogram should be done to investigate it further. Doctors will order routine screening mammograms in accordance with standard guidelines. Although there has been disagreement in the medical community about the cost effectiveness of regular mammograms for women in their 40s, the majority of doctors concur with current guidelines from the American Cancer Society, for screening mammograms annually or every two years for women 40 to 49 years old, and annually for women 50 and above. Woman whose family history includes close relatives with breast cancer may choose annual mammograms after age 40.

A screening mammography usually includes two x-rays of each breast, one taken from above, one from the side. The technologist looks at the films immediately to see whether they are complete; the radiologist decides if more views or follow-up ultrasounds are needed to make a thorough assessment.

If an irregularity shows up – a mass, changes from earlier mammograms, skin abnormalities, lymph nodes enlarged – more tests may be ordered. The additional test might be an ultrasound scan of the breast, a biopsy or needle sampling of the suspect area, or a consultation with a breast surgeon.

Breast biopsy is the removal of breast tissue so that a pathologist can examine it for abnormal cells. Excisional biopsies surgically remove the whole area around the lump, plus some adjacent tissue; with a very large lump, the excision removes only part of the area for analysis. Needle biopsies can be done in two ways, aspiration needle biopsy and large core needle biopsy. In the first, a very fine needle withdraws fluid and cells from the mass, and in the second a larger-diameter needle takes out small segments of tissue. The analysis of biopsied tissue will show if the lump is noncancerous (benign) or cancerous.

If cancerous cells prove to be present, physicians will remove some lymph nodes from the patient’s underarm area to discover if cancer cells have spread into other parts of the body, and to help guide their decisions for further treatment. Sentinel lymph node biopsy, a new technique, removes only the node that is “first in line” to receive fluid draining from a cancerous area, preserving the other lymph nodes. If there are no cancer cells  in the sentinel node, the cancer has remained local. Testing for cancer cells in lymph nodes gives the physician a reliable indication of what stage of advancement the cancer has reached (“staging” cancer). Breast cancers are rated on a scale from Stage 0 (cancer-free) to Stage IV. This tells the cancer specialist (oncologist) how much the disease has spread. The stages are:

  • Stage I. The cancer is no larger than 2 cm and no cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes.
  • Stage II. The cancer is no larger than 2 cm but has spread to the lymph nodes or is larger than 2 cm but has not spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIA. Tumor is larger than 5 cm and has spread to the lymph nodes or is smaller than 5 cm, but has spread to the lymph nodes, which have grown into each other.
  • Stage IIIB. Cancer has spread to tissues near the breast or to lymph nodes inside the chest wall, along the breastbone.
  • Stage IV. Cancer has spread to skin and lymph nodes near the collarbone or to other organs of the body.

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NUTRITION CAN HELP HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE – NJ NY NUTRITIONIST EXPLAINS

Nutrition Recommendations for Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects an astounding twenty-five percent of Americans. Although it frequently presents few or no symptoms, this condition costs more than ten billion dollars annually.

What is Hypertension?

With each beat, the heart pushes blood through the circulatory system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body, and carrying away debris. Blood pressure is measured by recording the force with which the blood travels. For most people, when blood pressure reaches 120/80, it is seen as high and usually requires treatment. The first number represents “systolic” pressure, which is the result of the hearts contraction; the second number measures “diastolic” pressure, which is the pressure when the heart rests.  Both numbers are meaningful, but it is a high systolic number indicates a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Who’s at Risk?

High blood pressure is implicated in the development of other conditions, including arteriosclerosis, kidney disease, stroke, and heart disease. Some segments of the population, such as African-Americans or those with a family history of hypertension, have a greater than average risk of developing the disease. So are older people. However, many known risk factors are in fact controllable through lifestyle changes; these include smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, stress, and a diet too high in sodium, caffeine, and alcohol.

What about salt?

Changes in diet and lifestyle can actually help lower the risk of developing hypertension. Although a diet high in sodium is considered a risk factor, the actual intake of sodium is not the cause of the problem. But an overuse of salt disturbs the chemical balance of the body; other minerals, especially potassium, must be properly balanced against each other. We need to ingest more potassium than sodium. Consciously lowering the amount of salt you use while increasing the high-potassium foods consumed is an important step.

Flavor-enhancers such as spices and herbs can help to replace salt in the diet; also remember that packaged and canned goods can be high in salt.

There are several simple ways to start taking control of your diet:

* To add up to 30 grams a day of water-soluble fiber, eat 6-8 servings of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables

* Include legumes such as beans and lentils as a source of protein

* High-potassium foods include bananas, avocados, oranges, greens such as kale, seaweed, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes, and apples

* Eat less saturated animal fat; choose lean meats and fish

* Include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as cold-water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, and halibut), flaxseed oil and walnuts

* Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that produce trans fatty acids. Read labels!

* Use less salt when cooking, and don’t add salt to your food at the table

* Have no more than one serving per day of alcohol and caffeine-rich drinks

* Increase physical activity; a daily walk can make a big difference

* Ask your doctor or nutritionist about supplemental vitamins and minerals

* Monitor your blood pressure regularly

DIET AND NUTRITION CAN GREATLY HELP HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE/HYPERTENSION … CLICK THE LINK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NUTRITION SERVICES FOR HEART ISSUES