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How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Essay by   •  May 31, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,186 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,350 Views

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How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Within the United States, an estimate of one-third of its population is known to have high-blood pressure or hypertension; and considerably many individuals are unaware of it. The normal systolic (heart contraction) and diastolic (heart relaxation) range of an adult is an approximate value of 120-80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The biggest indicator of hypertension can be easily determined through examining diastolic pressure. A range between 90 to 104 mmHg creates a big window of opportunity for cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Only through changes in lifestyle such as weight loss via eating healthy and exercising, quitting smoking, and administrations of drugs via heart medication can high blood pressure be controlled and reduced to a healthy and not-at-risk level. Here are other generally recognized recommendations to change one's lifestyle in order to help lower blood pressure: consumption of alcohol should be no more than twice daily, as mentioned above losing excess weight and regular exercise is important, smoking should be dropped, sodium intake should be no more than 2400 mg, an adequate dietary intake of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and dietary fibers should be maintained, and a reduction in the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol should also be a given. Although there are various drugs on pharmaceutical industry to help treat high blood pressure, such as diuretics (decreases blood volume and concentration of sodium ions) and anti-diuretics (regulate heart beats via influencing contraction and relaxation of the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels), the best treatment is available will always be preventive care through regular physical examinations that include blood pressure tests with physicians and healthcare professionals.

Websites that may help:

New England Journal of Medicine: www.nejm.org

This website is considered to be the oldest medical journal available, and is still in continuous publication. The editors are considered to be unbiased with strict rules requiring authors to disclose all relevant financial associations that fund their research and proof that these associations do not influence the content of the author's work. It is due to this reliability that the New England Journal of Medicine is to be the most widely read, cited, and influential medical periodical journal in the worldwide community of medicine.

The medical journal website is a very good example of information overflow. The info is just too much and too detailed for a normal reader to comprehend. It takes a little bit of knowledge to understand that you need to search under the cardiology section and view blood pressure related information under the hypertension sub-section. Also a subsearch is required to filter through the 160 articles concerning high blood pressure to find anything related to lowering blood pressure, and even then it isn't really helpful as it simply describes a case-by-case study of hypertension with patients in care. Another issue is that one needs to subscribe to NEJM and purchase the article to view it in its entirety. It is definitely a website designed for medical researchers in mind.

Journal of the American Medical Association: www.ama-assn.org/public/journals/jama/

JAMA & Archives Journals is very similar in its function when compared to the New England Journal of Medicine. It has been published continuously since 1883 and is considered to be one of the most widely circulated, peer-reviewed, general medical journals in the world.

It is very difficult to obtain general information regarding the lowering of blood pressure. A search for hypertension or blood pressure would reveal a long list of articles specifically catered to physicians and medical researchers. There are a few free articles, but again they show case-by-case study on patients in specific scenarios.

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