Treating High Blood Pressure at Home

Treating High Blood PressureMany Americans suffer from high blood pressure (also referred to as “hypertension”). Hypertension is a huge risk factor for heart disease and stroke as well as other dangerous health problems. This means if you have high blood pressure, you need to treat it. Fortunately, there are ways of treating high blood pressure at home

High Blood Pressure Treatment Program

A study was performed in which patients with hypertension were given at-home BP (blood pressure) measuring devices. When they measured their blood pressure, the Bluetooth-enabled device would transmit the information automatically into their electronic medical records.

The medications these patients were prescribed were then adjusted on a biweekly interval, based on their weekly average blood pressure. Out of all of the participants, 81% of those enrolled and 91 percent of those that regularly measured their blood pressure at home reached their blood pressure goals within an average of seven weeks.

The study showed patients with high blood pressure can potentially be treated more effectively as long as they regularly measure their own blood pressure while at home. Of course, in addition to taking their prescribed medications, there are other steps needed to lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Reducing and Treating High Blood Pressure at Home

The following are a few tips for reducing your blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood pressure. They can also make treating high blood pressure at home more effective. 

    • Eat healthy – High cholesterol levels result in high blood pressure, so make sure you eat good foods and lower bad fats. Reduce the sodium in your diet as well.
    • Exercise – Even if you aren’t overweight, exercising can help lower your blood pressure.
    • Lose weight – Blood pressure tends to increase as weight increases. If you’re overweight, you need to lose weight by eating healthier and exercising regularly.
    • Manage stress – Stress leads to high blood pressure. 
    • Reduce unhealthy activities – Quit smoking and limit how much alcohol you drink.

High blood pressure is something you can treat at home. For more health tips, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Is Weekend Sleeping-In Bad for Your Health?

Sleeping InAfter a hard week of work, it’s not surprising that many people try to sleep-in during the weekend. The importance of sleep is well known, but sleeping-in may not actually be a healthy habit.

Sleeping-In on the Weekend Won’t Help

A study was recently conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It focused on whether or not weekend catch-up sleep is protective. It turns out that even if you sleep longer on the weekends in an attempt to make up loss of sleep during the week, you’re more likely to eat too much and to gain weight as a result.

The problem is that sleeping extra hours on the weekend to try to make up for the lack of sleep you got during the week won’t correct your body’s inability to regulate blood sugar. And if you’re not getting enough sleep during the week in the first place, then you’re probably doing things that could hurt your health long-term, such as overeating.

Lack of Sleep Can Hurt Your Health

The Johns Hopkins study involved 35 subjects divided into three groups. Each group had different sleep requirements over the course of a 10-day period. None of these subjects had health issues or newborns that could impact their sleep.

    • The first group was allowed nine hours of sleep each night.
    • The second group was allowed five hours of sleep a night.
    • The third group was allowed to sleep five hours a night during the week, but was given the chance to sleep as long as they wanted during the weekend. 

Both sleep-deprived groups ate more after dinner and gained weight following the study, despite one of those groups being allowed to catch up on sleep during the weekend. People eat more when they are sleep deprived because their bodies are burning more calories. 

Sleeping-in during the weekends won’t help if you’re not getting enough sleep during the week. For more health news, visit The Benefits Store today.

Putting Muscle Into Cancer Treatment

cancer treatment

A muscular physique has always been something that people wanted and worked for. People go to the gym every day to build muscle, and historically, people have admired those with muscular physiques. However, it turns out that having a muscular physique isn’t just beneficial in terms of how you look, but it could also protect you against cancer.

How Muscle Mass Can Benefit the Fight Against Cancer

Researchers from Osaka University in Japan recently published a study in Scientific Reports focusing on sarcopenia, a disease that causes the loss of skeletal muscle mass. The study revealed that sarcopenia is associated with poor response to treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (referred to as programmed death inhibitors, or PD-1 inhibitors). 

PD-1 inhibitors are a new class of drugs that work along with the immune systems of patients to increase their ability to attack cancer cells. For those PD-1 inhibitors to be effective, the patient must have a strong immune system. One of the current challenges involved with their use is that only a specific subset of patients experienced long-term, progression-free survival rates. 

One of the risk factors associated with poor outcomes for a number of different types of cancer is sarcopenia. This is because a dysregulated immune system leads to muscle degradation. The study focused on the medical results of 42 subjects with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. They were treated with PD-1 inhibitors and had undergone a skeletal muscle mass assessment before being treated. It turned out that patients that had sarcopenia before starting treatment had much worse outcomes than those without sarcopenia. 

The study basically revealed the baseline skeletal muscle mass of an individual has a big impact on how effective PD-1 inhibitors are against cancer. Unfortunately, muscle degradation is common in patients with advanced cancer, but there are drugs that could help increase skeletal muscle mass prior to treatment.

Advancements in cancer research are being made every day. Keep up-to-date on all the latest health news at The Benefits Store.

5 Facts About Eating Disorders

Eating DisordersEating disorders are a serious issue that people often don’t realize they have. Or perhaps they are unable to recognize a friend or loved one that suffers from an eating disorder.

There are many types of eating disorders and not all of them result in the individual looking emaciated. Keeping this in mind, here are 5 facts that can give you a better understanding of eating disorders and how they may affect you:

    1. You can still be close to or even above your ideal body weight and suffer from an eating disorder. Patients who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa often appear to be at a healthy weight. However, they may be engaging in bingeing and purging behaviors. If they are constantly going to the bathroom following a meal, this may be a sign they are vomiting what they have just eaten. 
    2. The main cause of eating disorders is body dissatisfaction. A person who might be suffering from an eating disorder will often spend an inordinate amount of time looking at themselves in the mirror, may make frequent negative comments about their physical appearance, and will insist they are overweight even if they aren’t. 
    3. A disruption in normal eating patterns in a person can indicate they have an eating disorder. Common disruptions include:
        • bingeing certain foods
        • consuming excessive amounts of appetite suppressants
        • developing a strong dislike for foods previously enjoyed
        • drinking too much water and/or coffee
        • eating smaller portions than usual
        • no longer eating with others
    4. Individuals with eating disorders often develop eating rituals, such as moving their food around their plate, chewing for a long time before swallowing, cutting their food into smaller pieces, and taking much longer to eat. These rituals are meant to make it look like they are eating when, in fact, they are not.
    5. Eating disorders can be accompanied by:
        • dental erosions
        • hair loss
        • irregular menstrual cycles
        • low blood pressure and pulse
        • low energy
        • vulnerability to upper respiratory infections

These are five facts about eating disorders you should know. For more health tips, visit us at The Benefits Store

What You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

High Blood PressureYour blood pressure is measured as part of routine doctor office visits, but do you actually know what your blood pressure reading means? You’ve know high blood pressure is a bad thing, but why? Understanding what having high blood pressure means could help encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle and lower your risk for high blood pressure.  

The Risks of High Blood Pressure

According to 2017 studies, it’s estimated about 50% of American adults have high blood pressure. This is a huge increase from 2003, when roughly 30 percent of American adults had high blood pressure. The following are some of the potential dangers of high blood pressure:

    • According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), around 30% of American adults had stage 1 high blood pressure in 2017.
    • High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure.
    • In 2013, high blood pressure was named one of the primary or contributing causes of death for over 360,000 Americans.
    • One in every 6 American adults has high total cholesterol, which is linked to high blood pressure. 
    • The health risks caused by high blood pressure costs the U.S. an estimated $46 billion a year in healthcare services, medication costs, and missed days of work. 

Preventing High Blood Pressure

You can make a number of lifestyle changes to help prevent high blood pressure. This includes:

    • Drinking alcohol in moderation
    • Eating healthy
    • Engaging in routine exercise  
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Managing stress
    • Quitting smoking

Anyone can be at risk for high blood pressure, but improving your overall wellness can help prevent it. Healthy lifestyle changes can also help prevent other potential health complications that are linked to high blood pressure.

For more information about high blood pressure or for more health tips in general, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.