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Insane Medicine – Cardiac Rehabilitation will save your life

Cardiac rehab and healthy eating save lives
Cardiac rehab and healthy eating save lives!

eat healthy

  • Have you had a heart attack? Then why aren’t you in cardiac rehab if your doctor says it’s okay?
  • Those who are involved in cardiac rehab have a 47 % decrease in heart attack risk over the next two years! Also, those who participate have fewer hospital admissions and live longer.
  • Cardiac rehab is an option post-heart attack, as well as for those with arrhythmias and heart failure. It is associated with decreased mortality and prolonged survival.
  • Cardiac Rehab is coached by trained professionals who teach you how to appropriately exercise based on your capabilities and prescription. This improves your functional status.
  • It also involves nutritional counseling, teaching the patient to eat a low fat and sodium diet to help manage cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This allows you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • cardiac rehab also helps you maintain a regimen. More important, one must take their prescribed medications for optimal outcomes. Compliance leads to success. Education about medications that are important is a key  factor.
  • Cardiac rehab also educates one to avoid unhealthy habits, such as smoking and maintaining diet. likewise, the mental aspect of a post-cardiac condition is crucial in maximizing outcomes. Depression and other mental disorders must be fully addressed and treated.
  • Exercise creates stronger muscles and improved cardiovascular fitness that improves ones emotional state as well. Cardiac rehab must be continued in the home environment for maximal impact.
  • The journal BMJ showed that even a little bit of exercise provides noticeable benefits of health. the goal is 150 minutes of exercise per week, but even small amounts of physical activity may decrease the mortality risk.
  • Exercise helps with depression and boosts your natural endorphins that make you feel better, resulting in increased energy levels. Exercise allows you to take control of your life and is a mood enhancer that gives you an overall sense of well-being.
  • Depression and anxiety can be blunted by such exercise programs, especially when they are maintained at home as well. Meditation and behavior modification are key components to creating a healthy lifestyle. People who are depressed and feel hopeless have a higher rate of dying from their cardiac disease. exercise at least 30 minutes a day, working your way up to that amount even if you don’t have the internal motivation to do so.

Insane Medicine – Blood pressure can be affected by your medications.

  • There are a number of medications that can cause your blood pressure to rise, some of which may interact with medications you are already taking. One common mediation is NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin/Advil) which cause the kidney to retain sodium.  Use NSAIDs infrequently if possible.
  • Steroid medications such as prednisone or hydrocortisone can cause blood pressure spikes as they cause the body to retain sodium and water which increases your blood pressure.
  • Beware of over the counter medications such as pseudoephedrine which cause blood pressure to rise in some individuals.
  • Suddenly stopping your blood pressure medication can cause a rebound effect, especially with certain classes of medicines such as beta-blockers and clonidine. Blood pressure can go very high quickly. Be certain your doctor is aware that you stopped or ran out of your blood pressure medicines.
  • With some medications that you are prescribed, blood pressure increases frequently occur but you may need the medication either way. For example, cyclosporine and tacrolimus for organ transplants will increase blood pressure but are needed to prevent rejection of your organ transplant. Your doctor can monitor the situation and add new anti-hypertensives for this.
  • Gaining weight can increase your blood pressure, with a five pound gain adding up to a 4mm of Hg increase in your blood pressure. Abdominal weight gain leads to more blood pressure elevation than fat gain elsewhere in the body. A higher body mass index is associated with higher blood pressure, but it is the presence of extra abdominal fat that actually is the culprit in the blood pressure rise  Remember to keep active and cut back on your sodium intake. We lose ~5% of our lean body mass per decade after age 30 and thus need fewer calories as a result. Eat smaller portions, eat slowly, and eat at home when possible to control your intake of calories. Use vegetables and fruits as snack options, avoid processed foods.

Insane Medicine – A few points on cardiovascular health and interventions

Here’s some general cardiovascular stuff that is useful:

  • There is now a trend to treat your hypertension and cholesterol based on risk factors rather than just specific targets. Looking at the overall cardiovascular risk is more important tan focusing on just one factor.  The decision to treat cholesterol issues should be based on not just the absolute LDL – cholesterol number but also the coexisting problems, such as obesity or hypertension. It is important to modify other lifestyle issues including losing weight, maintaining regular exercise, eating a low-salt diet, and taking your prescribed medications. Look at the overall picture and not just a single parameter.
  • Be certain to stay active. Check with your doctor about the safety of exercise for you before you start on a program. Engage in aerobic activity such as walking or jogging at least four to five times a week and be certain to mix this with muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice a week. Get moving!30-60 minutes a day, and be certain to use good form, standing upright and keeping your back straight, walking on even surfaces so you don’t fall, with good heel-strike and arm swing to maintain balance. Wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes. Stretch after a brief walk and be careful to do the stretching appropriately without any bouncing so you don’t damage your muscles. As winter approaches, you may need to exercise indoors due to the cold. Consider working out a variety of muscle groups to spice it up and keep you interested. This stimulates other muscle groups to maintain overall fitness. You thereby avoid burnout and keep motivated! Consider indoor sports that you can add to your regimen such as swimming, indoor rowing, stair-climbing machines, ellipticals, aerobics, yoga, and racquetball. Keep social. Get a training partner to keep things fun.
  • Be certain to stay on the best diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins with low saturated and trans-fats as well as low cholesterol and sodium. Avoid processed foods and added sugar. Keep your Vitamin D intake at the appropriate levels, with 600 IU a day being recommended for ages 51-70 and 800 IU a day for ages over 70. The goal is a blood level of more than 30 nanograms per milliliter. Sources of foods wit Vitamin D include salmon, swordfish, tuna, canned sardines, milk, eggs, yogurt, orange juice, and cereals fortified with it. Vitamin D provides cardiovascular, neurological, and immune system health. People with high levels of vitamin D have had lower in-hospital death and morbidity rates.
  • Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night.

Insane Medicine – Garlic has multiple benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Insane Medicine - Garlic has a lot of potential health benefits, including lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure ans well as lowering cholesterol
Garlic has a lot of potential health benefits, including lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure ans well as lowering cholesterol.
  • Garlic powder comes in two forms – one is basic dried garlic powder, and the other is aged garlic extract, which has no odor and comes under the name Kyolic. Kwai refers to plain garlic powder and is used in research studies.
  • Garlic intake is associated with blood pressure lowering to the tune of a 8 mm of HG decrease on the upper, systolic side and a 7 mm of HG lowering on the lower, diastolic side. Also total cholesterol and triglycerides are decreased by some 10 %.
  • Aged garlic extract is made by taking garlic slices and placing them in alcohol for 20 months, which removes the Allicin. This extract of the garlic is high in antioxidants, which improves vascular functioning in people and lowers blood pressure.
  • Raw garlic has an enzyme allinase in it that breaks down alliin into allicin.   Allicin is converted to Ajoene and polysulfites when garlic is macerated in oil. Allicin has anti-platlet aggregating activity, preventing clots from forming, hence decreasing risk of stroke and heart attacks. It also inhibits cholesterol synthesis and allows vascular smooth muscle relaxation, thereby decreasing blood pressure. It is an anti-oxidant.
  • Side effects of garlic are odor, potential bleeding risk, and allergic reactions.