Greatest GIFT

Faith, God's Wisdom, journey to healthy living, Life and dreams


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Bad Cholesterol is pretty scary!

“LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of your arteries and form plaque, which can narrow and reduce the flow of blood through your arteries (arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart). This plaque buildup can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis —also known as ‘the hardening of the arteries.’”  Source: https://www.repatha.com/high-ldl-causes-treatment/?WT.srch=1

Cholesterolcholesterol-in-artery1Clogged Artery

Recently I heard news from a close friend of mine that her husband had an emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder full of gallstones. Gallstones may form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. …
High levels of bilirubin can lead to formation of gallstones. …
In case the gallbladder is not able to empty often enough or if it is unable to empty completely, there may be a concentration of bile. …

I was not familiar with gallbladder which I thought was the same as the bladder that stores urine. They are two different body organs.

Gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac which is made up of a mucous membrane, a fibromuscular coat, and a serous layer. It lies in a depression of the posterior surface of the liver.

Gallbladder

Urinary bladder is a part of the urinary system that stores urine produced by kidneys until urination takes place. It is found anterior and inferior to the pelvic cavity and posterior to the symphysis pubis. Bladder receives urine through ureters, the small tubes connecting two kidneys and the urinary bladder.

male_urinary_bladder

“Cholecystectomy is the medical procedure that surgically removes the gallbladder. Around 60% of the patients that undergo this procedure experience an improvement in their digestion, but for the 40% patients, they experience side effects and other discomforts. Diarrhea is a common side effect of removing gallbladder. Heartburn can also be experienced by people who have undergone cholecystectomy.
Unexplainable discomfort is usually felt by the patients a few days after the surgery. Bloating is the result of carbon dioxide pumped inside the body and remains there.
Difficulty in breathing. It is important that after surgery, deep breathing is now practiced. Heartburn is the result of improper digestion. Since there is not enough bile in the system, some of the fatty foods remain undigested and these fatty acids and gastric acids will try to regurgitate back to the esophagus, causing pain in the chest, neck, throat, etc.. “ Source: http://www.tandurust.com/digestive-problems/dangers-of-removing-gallbladder.html

Hopefully, my friend’s husband is one of the 60% patients that improve their digestion when the gallbladder is removed.

Anyway, I never realized that too much cholesterol in the body cannot only affect the walls of our arteries, but can cause problems on the other parts of our organs. Pretty scary!High-Cholesterol-Foods

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
These are the 7 steps you can take to lower cholesterol naturally. And if you follow all of them, you can count on a very high success ratio.

Eat a healthy cholesterol lowering diet. Some fats help lower cholesterol, while others can raise it. So get your fats right.

Reduce overall fat intake, avoid trans fats, limit saturated fats and replace “bad” fats with “good” fats, such as olive oil and those found in whole grains and omega 3 fish.

High fiber foods also help lower cholesterol naturally. They decrease “bad” LDL and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

Do regular healthy physical activity. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to decrease total cholesterol and improve “good” HDL cholesterol levels, while lack of regular physical activity can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels as well as lead to weight gain.

Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can decrease “good” HDL levels and increase “bad” LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Eliminate sweets and refined foods. Few realize that eating sweets and other high glycemic foods increase triglycerides and cholesterol production. These foods are also addictive. Once you eliminate them, you’ll find that fruits, vegetables and whole grains actually taste sweet.

Cut out caffeine and alcohol – drink water. Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to elevate cholesterol. So it’s best to switch to pure water and, at the very least, follow the “no more than one a day” rule.

Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form. Smoking damages blood vessels, contributes to hardening of the arteries and is a major health risk for heart disease, stroke and other degenerative diseases.

Practice good healthy stress management. Just like cholesterol, a certain amount of stress is healthy – such as with exercise. But the link between excess stress and high cholesterol production is well established. So take time to relax, let go, meditate, enjoy yourself or do whatever it takes to keep your stress level under control.

Use the 7 steps to lower cholesterol naturally to reach optimum levels of:
Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl.
Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl.
HDL “good” cholesterol over 40 mg/dl.
LDL “bad” cholesterol less than 100 mg/dl.

You can greatly reduce your all-around risk of both heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #3 causes of premature death in the U.S. by simply following these guidelines on how to lower cholesterol naturally.   Source: http://commonsensehealth.com/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-in-7-steps/

Foodstolowercholesterol3FoodstolowercholesterolFoodstolowercholesterol2

List of Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally.  

Below is a list of foods that lower cholesterol naturally. You can use this list of cholesterol reducing foods as a guide when eating and should consider having a majority of these foods that lower cholesterol in your home.

– Oat cereal

– Cereals containing flaxseed or psyllium

– Whole grain cereals

– Pecan nuts, walnuts, olives, soy nuts

– Dried or canned beans, peas and lentils

– Corn, fresh, frozen or canned

– Soybean products

– Whole wheat bread

All types of fruits, especially currants, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, apples.

– Canola and olive oils and margarines made from these oils.

All vegetables, especially onion, watercress, leeks, spinach, carrots, artichokes, avocado, broccoli, kale Brussels sprouts and cauliflower

A variety of flavorings, herbs and spices, especially fresh garlic.

– Lean meats and chicken.

– Salmon, swordfish, tuna and trout

Source:  http://www.all-about-lowering-cholesterol.com/foods-that-lower-cholesterol.html

Another method of healing I found on line is Ginger Garlic Apple Cider Vinegar Mix:

1 piece of grated ginger, 1 glove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Liquefy with the use of Nutri Bullet blender. Consume 1 tablespoon of the mixture before breakfast and another before lunch or dinner.  This mixture lowers blood pressure and cholesterol naturally according to the website. Screenshot_20171030-091257.jpg

 

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Coffee, my heart’s enemy!

Change is afoot! I cannot drink coffee, and though I love the taste and smell of it, hands down, I cannot have it! I have to give up even the decaffeinated ones. Since 97% of caffeine has been removed, the remaining 3% still create havocs to my heart and angina sets in until my body eliminates the coffee out of my system.coffee

It’s actually the caffeine that my heart is allergic to and it reacts on caffeine’s entrance in my body’s bloodstream. Even tea is my heart’s enemy because of the caffeine. I’ve come to a conclusion that anything with caffeine added to food, my heart will pitter patter and starts crying out loud! It surely gives me quite a fright. Thank goodness, my heart is in good condition according to my cardiologist.

“The reason for the angina: Vasoconstriction, it is the narrowing of blood vessels. When vasoconstriction occurs, blood flow is slowed down or partially blocked. It can occur in response to psychological conditions or drugs, such as decongestants, pseudoephedrine or caffeine.”

“By limiting your caffeine intake, you may be able to avoid vasoconstriction and decreased blood flow in the brain. The study published in “Human Brain Mapping” found that those who consumed high levels of caffeine had less cerebral blood flow, when compared to low and moderate caffeine users. In the study, 45 milligrams per day was considered low dosage, 405 milligrams per day was considered moderate and 950 milligrams per day was considered a high level of caffeine.”

Excerpts from:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/395736-does-caffeine-constrict-blood-vessels/

I had never been in the habit of drinking coffee like other coffee lovers do. I never did. I’d have a cup once in a while in my younger years, but it was never an ongoing leisure. I drink it then only to perk me up in the morning on the way to work, if I did not get a good sleep the previous night. The desire to be constantly metabolized, in short, energized by coffee everyday was never my thing. Therefore, I did not know then that my heart reacts to caffeine except when I was taking diet pills moons ago. Caffeine is one of the ingredients in diet pills. I definitely did not put two and two together.

Not until I’ve gotten the luxury to be able to stay home. My hubby loves coffee and the coffee aroma got me entangled with the idea of a cup of joe in the morning would be a welcome change. Three days with coffee gave a sudden chest pain. I’d stop drinking it and the pain would go away. Unbeknownst to me, the caffeine raised my blood pressure, too.

As of late, I’ve given coffee a last try by trying some decaf. It didn’t do no good to my heart either especially if I have it every morning, even in small amount. It was alright if I only have it once in a blue moon. But no chance everyday. Coffee is acidic and an acidic body can cause inflammation and increases the chance of diseases thriving in our bodies.

Pros and Cons of coffee ~~ According to this website,

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-coffee-pros-cons.html

The goods on coffee are: Can reduce the risk of diabetes, fights free radicals, improves memory and cognition.

The negative effects of coffee: can increase Osteoporosis, can cause wrinkles, weight gain, conventional coffee is laden with pesticides.

On this website: http://www.healthassist.net/blog/general/pros-and-cons-of-coffee/

The site particularly discussed about heart disease as part of the negative effects of drinking coffee and high blood pressure. If I continue drinking coffee, regular or decaf, there’s a possibility that my heart may give up on me  due to high blood pressure, which is another side effect of coffee drinking. “Recent Italian study found that coffee drinking can slightly increase the risk for development of sustained hypertension in persons with elevated blood pressure.”

I guess coffee is no longer in my future. As much as I love the smell and aroma of newly brewed coffee, I have to think of the many cons associated with getting addicted to it.

Goodbye coffee, it’s been nice knowing you at Starbucks, especially. coffee2And I am no longer a fan of Starbucks for years now. Talking about pesticides and toxins in their coffee!

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A Question Remains

I recently received a sad news that one of my relatives died suddenly without a warning sign. Just like that, he was gone. In pictures he recently posted, he seemed fit as a fiddle. I saw some tinge of sleep deprivation or lack of good sleep in the current and casual photo shoots, but I could be wrong. He was young, seemed full of life and maybe had great ambition.

It was a puzzle to me and everyone that knew him of his passing at 39 years old, with no serious known illness. He did not make it alive to the hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival and diagnosed that he suffered a mild stroke.

I was told that he went to bed with a full stomach. Just right after he ate a big dinner, he went to sleep, physically tired from a day’s work. In the middle of the night, his wife awaken from his loud snore. She tried to wake him up but he did not respond. They rushed him to the hospital but it was too late.

So many things came to my mind of what might have happened to him from the time he went to bed and got into a deeper sleep.

  • He slept with a full stomach 

fullstomach

According to Livestrong.com

When you go to sleep or go into a reclining position, gravity no longer pulls everything in your abdomen straight down. If you have a full stomach, this can cause acid reflux, potentially resulting in long-term damage to your esophagus. If you have digestive problems when you lie down after going to sleep, you should talk to your doctor and consider making changes to your lifestyle.

Stomach Digestion   Wordmedref_picture_of_stomach_revised

When you eat food, your stomach churns to help mix the food with gastric acid and break it down. The top of your stomach is lined with a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle prevents the contents of your stomach from traveling up into your esophagus. However, when partially digested food presses up against the lower esophageal sphincter, it can relax. When you have a full stomach and lie down, more food can press against the sphincter, allowing the contents of your stomach to re-enter your esophagus.

Stomach Acid Problems

Lying down on a full stomach can cause significant discomfort, but it can also lead to serious health problems. If the lining of your esophagus is regularly burned by stomach acid, your esophageal cells will gradually change, resulting in a phenomenon known as Barrett’s esophagus. This increases your risk of developing esophageal cancer. Chronic acid reflux can also cause your esophagus to narrow or develop open sores.

  • He was snoring loud enough to disrupt his wife’s sleep     

Sleep-Apnea

According to MayoClinic.Org

Normal snoring, called primary snoring, is harmless to the snorer although annoying to anyone who sleeps with that person.

Sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep can lead to further throat relaxation.

  • Sleep position. Snoring is typically most frequent and loudest when sleeping on the back as gravity’s effect on the throat narrows the airway.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring may also be associated with obstructive sleep apnea. In this serious condition, your throat tissues partially or completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing. Sleep-Apnea2
  •  

    Risk factors that may contribute to snoring include:

    • Being a man. Men are more likely to snore or have sleep apnea than are women.
    • Being overweight. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to snore or have obstructive sleep apnea.
    • Having a narrow airway. Some people may have a long soft palate, or large tonsils or adenoids, which can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
    • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, increasing the risk of snoring.
    • Having nasal problems. If you have a structural defect in your airway, such as a deviated septum, or your nose is chronically congested, your risk of snoring is greater.
    • Having a family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea 

    Habitual snoring may be more than just a nuisance. Aside from disrupting a bed partner’s sleep, if snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, you may be at risk for other complications, including:

    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Frequent frustration or anger
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • A greater risk of high blood pressure, heart conditions and stroke
    • An increased risk of behavior problems, such as aggression or learning problems, in children with obstructive sleep apnea
    • An increased risk of motor vehicle accidents due to lack of sleep

    I was told that the deceased was not a smoker nor was an alcohol drinker and mostly was not doing drugs.  Narrowing it down, he was a man, may have a narrow airway, had a nasal problems or might have a family history of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious condition if not treated. His diagnose was he had a mild stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea, that he might unknowingly was suffering from, had block his airway during deep sleep and he was unable to breathe which caused a mild stroke as the air to the brain was constricted which caused the mild stroke. WordBrain

    WordStrokeBrain2

    I don’t know the distance from their home to the hospital, but if he got medical help sooner than later, he would still be alive as it was a mild stroke. Our neighbor, who suffered from mild stroke, is well and back on her feet. Our emergency hospitals here, which we have quite a few, are about ten to maybe fifteen minutes away. She’s a lot older than my nephew and thank God, she survived. Hers was mostly stress related. WordStrokeBrain

     

     

    Whether these were the causes of my nephew’s untimely death, it was very sad that he was gone. I feel for his mother and siblings, especially his wife left with five young kids to take care of.

    There are no permanent things in life. Life is so precious and being knowledgeable about how our body works is a must.

     


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    White Coat and White Bloat Syndrome

    I saw my cardiologist yesterday for my six months check up. The medical assistant was amazed that I’ve lost weight. She told me that my weight was 126 in May 2015. I told her that I was 121 that day she weigh me in. She said that different scale has different results. I was very surprised with her response because she did not point out that everything from my clothes to my shoes add up to the weight reading on the scale. I mentioned that to her and told her that when I weigh myself in the morning, I don’t have any clothes on to get my correct weight. Whitebloatsyndrome

    Yesterday, I had to remove my sweater and my sandals so that at least my weight at the doctor’s office is not way too off from my weight in the morning. Being my appointment was in the afternoon, I had already eaten and had drank some water already. At least, the difference in my weight was about 4 pounds. The doctor’s office scale indicated I was 109 pounds, while my morning weigh in was 105.6 pounds.

    I’ve realized, too, that when they take my blood pressure at my cardiologist office, my blood pressure was way too high. Yesterday my BP reading was 200/80. WhiteCoatHypertension5That was too high and inaccurate. The medical assistant and the doctor said that I may have a white coat hypertension. When I think about it now, I may surely be suffering with that kind of hypertension, but only at the cardiologist office. Another medical assistant took another reading and the systolic level went down to 168 which was still high. At my regular doctor, I never get that kind of very high blood pressure reading.WhiteCoatHypertension4

    According to Wikipedia:

    White coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they don’t exhibit it in other settings. It is believed that the phenomenon is due to anxiety that those afflicted experience, during a clinic visit.

    The patient’s daytime ambulatory blood pressure is used as a reference as it takes into account ordinary levels of daily stress. Many problems have been incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of white coat hypertension.

    The term “masked hypertension” can be used to describe the contrasting phenomenon, where a patient’s blood pressure is above the normal range during daily living, although it isn’t above the normal range when the patient is in a clinic setting.

    Diagnosis

    In studies, white coat hypertension can be defined as the presence of a defined hypertensive average blood pressure in a clinic setting, although it isn’t present when the patient is in other settings. Diagnosis is made difficult as a result of the unreliable measures taken from the conventional methods of detection. These methods often involve an interface with health care professionals and frequently results are tarnished by a list of factors including variability in the individual’s blood pressure, technical inaccuracies, anxiety of the patient, recent ingestion of pressor substances, and talking, amongst many other factors. The most common measure of blood pressure is taken from a noninvasive instrument called a sphygmomanometer. “A survey showed that 96% of primary care physicians habitually use a cuff size too small,” adding to the difficulty in making an informed diagnosis. For such reasons, white coat hypertension cannot be diagnosed with a standard clinical visit. It can be reduced (but not eliminated) with automated blood pressure measurements over 15 to 20 minutes in a quiet part of the office or clinic.WhiteCoatHypertension6

    Mayo Clinic explanation of white coat hypertension here at:

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/white-coat-hypertension/FAQ-20057792

    There must be something that is stressing me out every time I see my cardiologist. Thank goodness that I have a daily log of my blood pressure readings and my daily weight that I can show to my GP and my cardiologist for the correct BP readings at home. It’s frustrating because now doctors can email their patients their medical records and the patients will see what they have recorded at their end. I hate to say it, they are mostly wrong information and limited in scope. Mine showed a wrong height, wrong BP reading info and seem that it did not show what my cardiologist and I had conversed about my health progress.

    He asked me what did I do to lose weight. I explained what regimen I have done which I have posted here on my blog. He seemed to be writing down the information. And he agreed that diet and the type of foods I have eaten in the past months helped me tremendously. He also concurred that blood pressure goes down when a person loses weight. He repeated that my heart is in good shape, very healthy according to the echocardiogram and the nuclear tests in May 2015; and he added that the pain I might have experienced in the past was probably gas from indigestion, which made sense. He commended me for taking a proactive role with my health.

    There were minor findings from my nuclear test that he needs to monitor, so he wanted to see me in six months for another echocardiogram. I guess I only suffer white coat syndrome at the cardiologist office and not with my Primary Care Physician or come to think of it, if they don’t ask me to take a test or two for preventive care. I think I may have to pass this up next time they told me I’m due for a preventive assessment review.

    Maybe because my cardiologist and his office are not in sync with my current health updates, I guess I feel frustrated and it is stressing me out in the back of my mind. Especially, when I viewed my current medical record with them yesterday. It looked like nothing has changed in my condition except my weight. I guess they do not have time to build a relationship with their patients being pretty busy with other patients. I guess I might just have to take this whole thing with a grain of salt.wpid-screenshot_2015-08-07-20-37-20-1.png

    My overall health is really in my hands. I cannot depend on conventional doctors to take care of my health. I have to accept the facts that their medical records about me would be erroneous because no one really pay attention on correcting them and they based things on what their medical instruments tell them whether it’s wrong or not. I just have to leave it at that.  I have to take care of myself by continuously being proactive with my healthy eating habitsasparagus, reading articles about health from functional and alternative doctors and learn from them. If I keep on eating the right foods wpid-screenshot_2015-08-28-07-30-36-1.pngand eating less and do my daily intermittent fasting, intermittentfastingstaying away from most of the processed foods, drinking water, have a good night sleep schedule; my conventional doctors would just be saying on the back of their heads: “there goes my business!” Just leave them in wonderment. Really, when you’re ill and naïve about your health and uneducated, it’s easy for  conventional doctors to whip up any kind of diagnosis. It’s really trial and errors with them because they don’t really know you and your body personally.wpid-screenshot_2015-08-04-15-07-28-1.png

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5013527_avoid-white-coat-syndrome.html

    According to ehow.com, there’s a way to avoid White Coat Syndrome:

    • From the evening before you go to the doctor, stop drinking water. If you have less water, you will have lower blood pressure. The only reason you’re not drinking water is so you can have a few uneventful doctor’s visits without the high blood pressure speech. If you do this, make sure you test yourself so you know you don’t have high blood pressure.
    • On the way to the doctor, listen to pleasant music. Smile. Enjoy life. Drive slowly. Do everything to be relaxed on the way to the doctor. Ignore the stresses of your life. Do not think or worry about white coat syndrome. What’s on your mind can have a huge effect on blood pressure, so it’s best to be relaxed as much as possible.
    • Walk slowly into the doctor’s office. Excessive physical exertion will raise blood pressure.
    • Stay relaxed the whole time at the doctor. Meditate. Smile at the world. Close your eyes. If you have somebody with you, fall asleep while you wait, which will make you very relaxed and lower blood pressure
    • After you get a normal blood pressure reading and avoided the high blood pressure speech, congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ve conquered White Coat Syndrome on this visit.WhiteCoatHypertension3
    • Tell your doctor about your white coat syndrome. This is the most important step.The doctor’s job will be to determine how pervasive your white coat syndrome is. He calls it white coat hypertension, which is still just as serious as regular hypertension or high blood pressure. On one hand, your blood pressure may be normal during the rest of the day, which means blood pressure meds will give you hypotension (low blood pressure). On the other hand, high blood pressure during other stressful parts of the day (other than the doctor’s visit) may warrant treatment of white coat hypertension. In many cases, the doctor will still want to prescribe you blood pressure meds anyway because if you’re stressed from doctor’s visits, you’re probably suffering hypertension during the other stressful parts of your life. If you have other factors such as heart disease or overweight, your doctor might err on the side of caution and diagnose white coat hypertension. Your doctor will do what’s right for you. If he prescribes you meds anyway, it’s not a defeat. He’s doing you a favor in treating white coat hypertension.

    And take a deep breath!


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    An Eye Opener

    The more I read about the connection between gaining excess weight and high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the more I realized why my blood pressure skyrocketed for the last 2 years! The first year, I did not even know it was high. There were symptoms but I was not paying attention. I knew I was gaining weight and I got tired fast. I even was accepting I’m getting older, it’s part of life. That was not the right frame of mind. Now I realized that wherever I am in my stage of life, I have to be proactive and maintain a healthy weight. We live and we learn.

    Looking back at my blood pressure chart for blood pressure monitoring at home, my systolic readings were way high in October and November 2014. My systolic readings were 168, the highest and the lowest was 141. My average systolic reading was 146.39. No wonder I was not feeling so good! Thank goodness, my diastolic readings have always been low.  My doctor started me with a blood pressure med when I decided to seek help last year. But I refused to take more drugs as I go along. Something has to go; it’s either the BP med or my excess weight. It really did not dawn on me that yes, it’s the excess weight that has to be dealt with. I read that just a modest weight gain can increase our blood pressure, even in lean, healthy people. This is especially true if we tend to gain weight in the belly area.

    According to  Dr. Virend Somers, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic ~ “with even a small weight gain like 5 pounds, there is a significant increase in the overall risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. While these findings are important on an individual level, the impact of these findings is multiplied as more and more adults fall into the overweight or obese category, Somers said.“This is important to see on an individual level, but on the overall population as well,” he said. He said that an increase in weight also comes with an increase risk of high blood pressure, which opens us up to a slew of heart health risks.”

    According to Healthline.com, high blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about 67 million American adults, or 1 in every 3, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not even half — only 47 percent — have their high blood pressure under control. The common condition is characterized by higher than normal pressure from blood pushing against blood vessel walls. Early stages of high blood pressure cause no symptoms, so it is also known as “the silent killer” because of the damage it can cause before diagnosis. Excess weight increases the strain on the heart, raises blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It can also make diabetes more likely to develop. Losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds can help lower your blood pressure and your heart disease risk. To successfully and healthfully lose weight—and keep it off—most people need to subtract about 500 calories per day from their diet to lose about 1 pound per week.

    wpid-2015-09-07-12-11-14-603.jpg

    August of 2012 at Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada – I’ve lost 10 pounds here but still on the chubby side.

    I’ve started concentrating on losing weight in May 2011, lost 10 pounds in 2012 and I was able to keep off those 10 pounds until the Christmas holidays in 2014. This year, I’ve finally put my foot down and focused on losing more weight by calorie counting and intermittent fasting, which I’ve been blogging here for extra motivation and accountability on my part.

    wpid-2015-09-07-11-11-17-429.jpg

    this morning, my BMI is 22- blood pressure was 113/60. The pair of shorts I’m wearing is a size 5. Old shorts I used to wear in the early 90s! I kept these with hope that I can wear them again!

    My hubby has lost a lot of weight since we started calorie counting on June 2015. He is 6’1 and weighing now at 194. Aside from doing calorie counting, he is also on intermittent fasting and brisk walking around our neighborhood with some jogging. In a matter of six months, he was able to normalize his blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Before this, our doctor told him six months ago that if he did not change his lifestyle habits, he may have to start with statin drugs. His good blood test counts recently are testaments that we can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels naturally, by eating healthy foods like veggies and fruits, whole grains, good fats, lean meats, poultry and fish and eating less and exercise.

    This morning, my blood pressure reading was 113/60 which is considered normal. My BMI is 22.


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    Waist Measurement

    HeartHealth

    When I see my doctor, the nurse assistant measures my weight and my blood pressure. I never paid so much attention about these routine checks until I was told that my blood pressure was slightly higher. I took that as a warning sign. It made me pay attention to possible health risks that may start in the very near future.

    Since my last checkup, I have lost 11.1 lbs. and my BMI (body mass index) went down to 22.5 which is considered normal weight.

    According to the UK site NHS choices– while body mass index (BMI) is a good way to tell if we are on a healthy weight, BMI doesn’t tell the whole story. Our health greater risk depends on where we store the spare body fat —  when it’s under the skin and also around the vital organs in our abdomen, this cause for concern abdomen because it means more health problems.

    According to an article I have read, concerning the size of our waist, said that 90% of those whose waists were 35 inches or more had at least one major risk factor for heart diseases, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Plus, a large waist is a risk factor for diabetes, another heart threat. The article continued to say that waist size forecasts heart health better than our weight or body mass index. It’s an indicator of dangerous fat deep in our abdomen, even if we are not overweight. Losing just an inch can improve all of our heart health numbers.

    As I continue to lose more weight, I have to make sure to measure my waist every thirty days, to see if it’s improving. waistmeasurement2 I am at a high risk at 36 inches.

    From NHS choices — in regards to measuring our waist, this is their advice:

    To find your true waist, feel for your hip bone on one side.

    Move upwards until you can feel the bones of your bottom rib. Halfway between is your waist. For most people this is where their tummy button is.

    Use a mirror the first time to see what you’re doing and to make it easier to measure.

    From WebMD website: Your waist size is a clue to whether you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.To measure your waist circumference, use a tape measure. Start at the top of your hip bone, then bring the tape measure all the way around, level with your belly button. (your abdomen is where your belly button is) Make sure it’s not too tight and that it’s straight. Don’t hold your breath while measuring.waistmeasurement3

    Of course, another sure way to know where you stand with your blood sugar/glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol is to have blood test taken every six months.

    My blood pressure has gone down to a much better level, thanks to a diet of plant-based foods (veggies and fruits), nuts, good fat intake, whole grain and fish with less red meat intake and less chicken and few seafood. Eight glasses of water has helped lower my blood pressure and so does a great sleep schedule. I exercise moderately and I always tend my garden. I try to always move around the house and do housework and cooking and preparing our daily meals; and not to stay put or sit for a long period of time, if it’s not necessary.  And my cholesterol level is now okay with my doctor. I only take one medication and it’s for my blood pressure and I intend to not have more than one medication if I can help it.  I went further into buying a blood pressure monitor and I check my blood pressure every morning. This morning my blood pressure reading was 118/64 with a heart rate of 54.

    A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that nearly 1 in 3 Americans suffers from high blood pressure and more than half don’t have it under control, and don’t even know they have it. According to the report, most people with uncontrolled high blood pressure have health insurance and had actually seen a doctor at least twice in the previous year, yet their condition remained unmanaged.

    I think it’s because they see their doctors for an emergency or they are running a fever or cold that won’t go away. Most of the time when they are told that their blood pressure is high, the doctor or the nurse or medical assistant would assume that it’s because they are not feeling well. In turn the patients don’t follow up because of being busy from their work, family and personal life.

    And if their eating habits are not up to par, and they eat all kinds of junk foods and processed foods, they are headed to all kinds of health problems.

    I was one of those people, although I had read books about health most of my life, I did not connect the dots until I was told that my blood pressure was elevated.

    I am now a firm believer of this phrase from Hippocrates: Let your food be your medicine, your medicine be your food.