5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without Medication

5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without MedicationLiving with high blood pressure can be a scary experience because keeping your numbers in check is paramount to good health. For many people, controlling high blood pressure is equivalent to taking a pill – or two – every day to keep their blood pressure under control.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are several steps you can take to regulate your blood pressure without medication. Of course, you’ll want to do so under the supervision of your primary health care provider. You never want to stop taking high blood pressure medication “cold turkey” because it can cause your blood pressure to spike. Instead, change your lifestyle so that you may gradually wean yourself off your meds with medical supervision.

Consider taking these steps to naturally lower your blood pressure:

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Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?

Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?Seizures can be frightening, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all predictor for the onset of one. Some individuals can feel the symptoms several days in advance; for others, the seizure may initiate without warning. While there are several treatment modalities for seizures – depending on the underlying cause — there are steps you can take to decrease seizures that may be linked to nutritional deficiency.

There is evidence to suggest that certain types of vitamin deficiencies may exacerbate seizure activity. In newborns, a vitamin B6 deficiency can result in seizures. However, in the population at large, there are conflicting reports on the effects of vitamin deficiencies and seizures. One study suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to seizures and that increasing vitamin D levels may lessen seizure activity by 40 percent. Other studies indicate that certain vitamin deficiencies may play a part in seizure frequency in adults, but there is no solid evidence that proves it.

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36 Symptoms of Menopause

36 Symptoms of MenopauseMenopause. For many individuals, that word brings to mind a variety of undesirable experiences, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. However, did you know that there are other symptoms – many more, in fact – that may be attributed to the change of life?

For most women, menopause begins between the ages of 45 and 55, although perimenopause – with similar physical and emotional symptoms – may begin up to ten years prior to a woman’s cessation of her period. The age of menopause may vary significantly between women, however, because some women will experience it as early as in their thirties while others may not enter menopause until their sixties.

Menopause is defined as the end of a woman’s fertility. A woman’s menopause begins one year after the complete cessation of the menstrual cycle. For many women, they are relieved when the risk of pregnancy ends; however, there are other uncomfortable symptoms that may accompany menopause, many of which you may be unaware.

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Reasons Why You May Be Losing Your Hair

Reasons Why You May Be Losing Your HairWhen it comes to hair loss, many of us assume that we’re dealt the cards of genetics. Either we’ll get male or female pattern baldness – or we won’t – and there’s nothing we can do about it. Right?

Not exactly.

Hair loss is part of everyday life. In fact, most of us shed upwards of 100 hairs per day. There is no reason for concern, however, because we have approximately 100,000 hair follicles, most of which are growing hair on a regular basis.

While 90 percent of our hair follicles produce hair, the other 10 percent are in a resting phase – the period of time when we lose strands of hair. There’s no cause for worry, though. The regrowth cycle begins soon thereafter.

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What to Expect as You Get Older: Changes in Your Nails

What to Expect as You Get Older:  Changes in Your NailsAs we move through middle age and into our senior years, there are several changes that occur in our bodies. While we may focus primarily on those gray hairs and stiffness in our joints, there are some changes that we may not necessarily notice until they become more obvious: our nails.

Yellowing of the nails – although common as we age – may also be a sign of diabetes. That’s why it’s a good idea to check with your medical health care provider to assess any changes in nail color, particularly if frequent urination accompanies it.

It’s also important to note that our nails can provide important information about our health and existing chronic conditions. For instance, did you know that dark streaks or spots – not caused by injury – may indicate melanoma? It’s true. This indicator of skin cancer is particularly common with older individuals. If you notice dark places on your nails that are not the result of a trauma, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get a diagnosis.

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What to Expect as You Get Older: Risk for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndromeMetabolic syndrome affects one in six Americans and is not, in and of itself, a disease. Rather, it is a cluster of symptoms that puts you at risk for developing other chronic conditions. Some people are genetically prone to developing metabolic syndrome while others develop it as they experience a series of health-related issues.

Individuals who have metabolic syndrome – also known as Syndrome X – have at least three of five of the following risk factors:

• Abdominal fat
• High blood pressure
• High triglyceride levels
• High blood pressure
• Elevated fasting plasma glucose

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7 Steps for Losing Weight Naturally

7 Steps for Losing Weight NaturallyFor many of us, stepping on the scales can be an uneasy experience because the numbers we see don’t always represent the ideal weight that we have in mind. Although we often measure weight in pounds, our body mass index (BMI) is a more appropriate measure of whether we are overnight.

An individual whose BMI is 18.5 or less is considered underweight; whereas an individual with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. The healthiest BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. However, if your BMI measures between 25 and 29.9, you’re in the slightly overweight zone.

You can calculate your body mass by following the steps below:

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5 Symptoms of Acid Reflux

5 Surprising Symptoms of Acid RefluxAcid Reflux can sneak into our lives without warning, and it’s not uncommon to have it without even knowing it. In fact, it is estimated that 60 million Americans are living with symptoms of mild to severe acid reflux.

Here’s the kicker: you may have acid reflux without ever experiencing the discomfort of heartburn.

With acid reflux, it’s true that you may get an occasional bout of heartburn or get a sour taste in the back of your mouth. If your condition progresses to GERD, you may experience frequent heartburn, nausea, and regurgitation of food. Regardless of whether you have a mild case of acid reflux or have progressed to GERD, the condition can lead to more severe problems, such as esophageal bleeding, scarring, and ulcers.

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Itchy Skin May Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 Diabetes

Itchy Skin May Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 DiabetesIt’s winter, and one of the tell-tale signs of the season often emerges as dry and itchy skin. However, did you know that these symptoms can also be warning signs of Type 2 diabetes? It’s true.

Pruritus, which simply means “itching,” is a common symptom of diabetes. While it’s always a good idea to keep your skin moisturized, there are common conditions associated with diabetes that may cause your skin to itch, crack, and peel.

There are various underlying causes that can lead to diabetic pruritus. Here are three of the most common chronic conditions.

Poor circulation. Individuals who experience itching in the feet and lower legs may be experiencing the result of poor circulation. Poor circulation causes narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, which, in turn, causes noticeable itching on the surface of the skin.

To lessen the severity of the itching, consider taking the following action steps:
• Eliminate the use of tobacco
• Adopt a regular exercise routine
• Keep blood glucose levels in check

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What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over Time

What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over TimeGetting older brings about a multitude of changes in our lives. Many of us transition from full-time parents to empty nesters. Our busy careers lead us toward our retirement years. These are changes that many of us look forward to because they create more space to enjoy our lives. However, there are physical changes that are also to be expected as we enter our golden years.

Our digestion changes over time as our lifestyles change and our bodies mature. Here are a few changes that you may want to be aware of:

• Constipation – Constipation becomes an issue as we age and is most common in individuals as they approach their 60s and 70s. Infrequent bowel movements – as well as painful bowel movements – become more common.

• Esophagus problems – As we age, our esophagus may move food through our system more slowly. Because the esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach, it can make swallowing food more difficult as it becomes less effective in performing its function.

• Diverticulosis – Approximately 10 percent of individuals over the age of 40 – and 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 – are diagnosed with diverticulosis. This condition occurs when tiny pockets form on the lining of the bowel. Chills/fever, painful cramps, and alternating episodes of diarrhea/constipation can occur with this condition.

• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – GERD occurs when the stomach acids back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and pain.

• Stomach bleeding and ulcers – Actually, aging is not a contributing factor to ulcers. Instead, the widespread use of NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) contributes to ulcer formation. Since many individuals use NSAIDS to control chronic pain associated with arthritis and other chronic conditions, a higher incidence of ulcers and stomach bleeding is reported in older individuals.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to slow down or alleviate digestion-related disorders. Here are just a few:

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