Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

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High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.

In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.

bloodpressureThe vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:

• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)

• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)

• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)

• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)

• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)

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Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.

• Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.

• Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.

• Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.

Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

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