December 13, 2015


By paying attention, pre-disease can be reversed (W. Gifford-Jones, M.D. Updated Dec 7, 2015, Pawtucket Times)

[Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice,] says we should keep in mind that, "Virtually everyone, as they get older, develops some sort of pre-disease." The outward appearance of wrinkles and graying hair are for all to see. But kidneys, hearts and all the other hidden organs also age. So Welch warns there's a tendency for doctors to over-prescribe pre-diseases that can be corrected by other means.

According to a report in Consumer Reports on Health, about 37 percent of adults in North America have pre-hypertension. Studies show that if you're overweight, smoke, drink too much alcohol, rarely exercise, and have a family history of hypertension, you're more likely to develop borderline BP and finally hypertension.

So what should you do about it? First, make sure you have bona-fide increased BP. Some people on medication show "white coat hypertension" due simply to being in a doctor's office, or having just consumed caffeine. To prevent a lifetime of medication, test your BP in a pharmacy, or buy a blood pressure cuff to take readings at home.

Today, there is no convincing evidence that treating pre-hypertension by drugs prevents the development of high blood pressure. But studies show that dropping nine pounds will lower blood pressure 4.5 points.

Health authorities also stress that it's important to exercise moderately three to four times a week. It also helps to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily, a little more than half a teaspoon, and to limit alcoholic drinks to two a day for men, and one for women. And to follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, fish, skinless poultry and lean meats.

Posted by at December 13, 2015 7:26 AM


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