Tag Archives: Smoking

What You Can Do About High Blood Pressure

Woman monitoring her own blood pressure

You go for a routine check up. The diagnosis: High blood pressure, a.k.a. The Silent Killer. It is asymptomatic. It sneaks up on a third of Americans without them even knowing it. High blood pressure does not make your head ache, it does not make you bleed, it does not make you break out in a rash, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s not deadly. It works against your heart and arteries and can cause kidney disease, blindness, brain hemorrhage, and, eventually death. Of the 29% of Americans with high blood pressure, only 54% have it under control. However, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you can keep yourself in that percentage. Here are some tips on doing just that.

Lose weight
Blood pressure can increase with weight, and, if you suffer from sleep apnea, as a result of excess weight, your blood pressure can increase even more. Losing just 10 lbs is enough to bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure.

While you are slimming down, you may want to pay special attention to your waistline. Men with a waist measurement greater than 40″ are at risk for high blood pressure, as are women with waist measurements exceeding 35 inches.

Exercise
If you have high blood pressure, you can reduce your blood pressure by 4-9 mm of mercury by performing at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. But, it’s important to keep it up. A lapse in consistency can cause blood pressure to go back up.

Woman jogging

The Dash Diet
The Dash diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension is the suggested diet for lowering hypertension. It consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in potassium.

Limit Alcohol Intake
Although small amounts of alcohol can lower your blood pressure, too much alcohol can reverse the effects. Women and men over 65 should not drink more than one drink a day, while men under 65 should not exceed two drinks. Twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor constitute one drink.

Reduce Sodium
Although a reduction in sodium can reduce blood pressure in all people, the amount of recommended intake varies. Sodium should generally be limited to less than 2,300 mg per day; however, an intake of 1,500mg a day is more appropriate for higher-risk groups, including African Americans, people 51 or older, and anyone diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

Man cutting cigarettes in half

Quit Smoking
Each cigarette increases blood pressure for several minutes after you smoke it. Quit smoking to reduce blood pressure and increase life expectancy.

Monitor Blood Pressure and See Your Doctor Often
It is important to keep track of blood pressure levels and home monitoring can help you make sure that your lifestyle changes are effective and alert you to complications. Monitors are widely available and do not require a prescription.

See your doctor every six to twelve months to keep your blood pressure under control.

Do you have high blood pressure? How do you keep it under control? Let us know! Your advice could make a difference!

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Smoking and Wrinkles

Woman smoking - shows effects on skinThe damage to your skin that is caused by smoking might seem irrelevant when compared to the damage it causes to your lungs, but your skin is the usually the first place to show the damage that smoking causes. Smoking has become common all over the world, particularly among the younger generation. As a result, experts continuously find women in their early 30s asking them for advice on how to negate the ravaged complexion that smoking has given to them. The simplest solution for all such men and women? Stop Smoking.

The good news for smokers is that if you do manage to give up smoking, your skin shall automatically start to repair and heal itself. However, if you don’t give up your habit and continue smoking, your problems shall become irreversible once you grow old. Smoking is a habit that affects your entire body by putting it under stress using a combination of cyanide, tar, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals.

The presence of nicotine reduces the flow of the blood to the dermis and this results in a lesser amount of oxygen being delivered to the skin. The lack of oxygen makes the skin sallow and it also affects the quality and quantity of cell production, which ultimately leads to dry and flaky skin.

Furthermore, the skin begins to sag over time and the wrinkles become all the more obvious due to the fact that the skin cannot produce collagen effectively. To make things worse, smoking also saps up Vitamin C from the body – a major component required to produce collagen. This in turn, disturbs the production of the metalloproteinase enzyme, an enzyme responsible for regulating the collagen production. However, in the case of smokers, the enzyme ends up damaging more tissue than it creates. This leads to more fine lines and less plump looking skin.

When you puff a cigarette, you also place your skin under duress. This commonly leads to crow’s feet, puckered lips and hollow cheeks. Even if these effects are not obviously visible, you may still have damaged your skin and would not know it because it can take as many as 25 years for the signs of damage to show.

Now that you’ve understood how damaging smoking can be for your skin, would you like to learn about how to negate and reverse the damage?

The moment you stop smoking, your skin begins to heal itself and the presence of more oxygen in your body makes your cells function better. This should help you prevent any more damage from smoking. However, if wish to negate or reverse the damage that has already been caused to your skin, you need to follow a strict skin care routine.

First of all, a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers an SPF of 30 is a must. Secondly, you should empower yourself with face creams that contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  It is also advocated that you add lycopene supplements and fish oil supplements that contain high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. The lycopene should help you to reverse skin damage and the fish oil should dampen inflammation, aid in moisture retention and promote overall healing for your skin. Finally, don’t forget to exfoliate your skin two times every week, regulate your diet, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and exercise for about 30 minutes each day.

You will not believe the wonders that this routine can do for your damaged skin until you try it out. This works for those who have been chain smoking for a really long time as well.

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