Warning signs are clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or “brain attack,” don’t wait, call a doctor or 911 right away! -Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body -Sudden confusion, or trouble talking or understanding speech -Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes -Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination -Sudden severe headache with no known cause Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Although brief, they identify an underlying serious condition that isn’t going away without medical help. Unfortunately, since they clear up, many people ignore them. Don’t. Paying attention to them can save your life.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is designated as either essential (primary) hypertension or secondary hypertension and is defined as a consistently elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mm Hg.
High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” because it often causes no symptoms for many years, even decades, until it finally damages certain critical organs. Poorly controlled high blood pressure ultimately can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye, thickening of the heart muscle and heart attacks, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), kidney failure, and strokes.
Most antihypertensive medications can be used alone or in combination. Some are used only in combination. Some are preferred over others in certain specific medical situations. And some are not to be used (contraindicated) in other situations. Several classes of antihypertensive medications are available, including ACE inhibitors, ARB drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, and peripheral vasodilators.
The goal of therapy for hypertension is to bring the blood pressure down below 140/85 in the general population and to even lower levels in diabetics, African Americans, and people with certain chronic kidney diseases. High blood pressure (hypertension) in pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia or eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy). Pregnant women should be monitored closely by their obstetrician for complications of high blood pressure.
Lifestyle adjustments in diet and exercise and compliance with medication regimes are important factors in determining the outcome for people with hypertension. High salt intake, obesity, lack of regular exercise, excessive alcohol or coffee intake, and smoking may all adversely affect the outlook for the health of an individual with high blood pressure.
“Silent killer disease” are diseases that produces minimum or no symptoms and are capable of causing death if not treated. -Heart disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes are major silent killer diseases.
There are other lesser known silent diseases that include primary amyloidosis, Renal cell cancer , pancreatic cancer, Hepatitis B or C infection to name a few. -Heart disease is the number one silent killer disease. The main risk factors that contribute to this increased risk include – Hypertension, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and raised cholesterol. -Cancer as group is the next big silent killer and comes a close second. Estimated deaths in a year due to cancer is 6.2 million. 1 in 8 death occurs due to cancer and it outnumbers death due to AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria combined. -Smoking is an important risk factor for silent killer disease like cancers and heart disease. Smoking causes 87% of lung cancers. -Mesothelioma another silent killer is almost always due to inhalation of asbestos fibers and at present there is no known cure for this very lethal cancer. -There are 246 million people with diabetes in the world and every year it is estimated that 3.2 million people die due to the diabetes or its related causes. -Obstructive Sleep apnea is a risk factor for stroke and sudden death during sleep. The increase in obesity has also increased its risk and incidence. -Silent epidemic that is potentially a threat to the health of the world include liver infection from Hepatitis B and C viruses. It can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. Both these viruses have infected almost 530 million people in the world. Every year there are 3 to 4 million people who are newly infected by the viruses. There is no cure or vaccine for chronic hepatitis C infection.
Doctors have long assumed that saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat are what raise the risk of heart disease. But a study in the journal Nature Medicine fingers another culprit: carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat that also is sold as a dietary supplement and found in some energy drinks. Carnitine typically helps the body transport fatty acids into cells to be used as energy. But researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that in both humans and mice, certain bacteria in the digestive tract convert carnitine to another metabolite, called TMAO, that promotes atherosclerosis, or a thickening of the arteries.
The researchers, led by Stanley Hazen, chief of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, tested the carnitine and TMAO levels of omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, and examined records of 2,595 patients undergoing cardiac evaluations. In patients with high TMAO levels, the more carnitine in their blood, the more likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke and death. Many studies have linked consumption of red and processed meat to cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The Harvard School of Public Health reported last year that among 83,000 nurses and 37,000 male health professionals followed since the 1980s, those who consumed the highest levels of red meat had the highest risk of death during the study, and that one additional serving a day of red meat raised the risk of death by 13 percent. The new findings don’t mean that red meat is more hazardous than previously thought. But they may help explain the underlying risk of eating red meat, which some researchers have long thought was higher than the saturated fat and cholesterol content alone could explain.
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. -You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to: -Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications. -Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening. -Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure. -Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally. -Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss. -Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a cluster of disorders of your body’s metabolism, including increased waist circumference; high triglycerides; low high-density lipoprotein (HDL); or “good,” cholesterol; high blood pressure; and high insulin levels. -If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have other components of metabolic syndrome. The more components you have, the greater your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. -Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.
One in every three adults in the United States suffers from a condition that may lead to coronary heart disease or stroke, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. High blood pressure, or hypertension, means the force of blood hitting against the walls of the arteries is high enough to cause damage. For an adult, the systolic BP should stay under 120. The bottom number, or diastolic, remains less than 80. Anything above those numbers is an indicator of potential risk. -The Silent Killer Hypertension is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it is often present with no obvious symptoms. When blood pressure rises, your symptoms may be negotiable. To monitor BP, medical professionals automatically take a reading with every visit. You should have your blood pressure taken at least once every two years. -Prehypertension
The early stage of the condition is when you are most likely to show some signs of a problem. The medical community defines prehypertension as a systolic rate of 120 – 139 and a diastolic in the range of 80 – 89. Possible symptoms include: -Mild, dull headache
When the blood pressure reaches the level that you are hypertensive, symptoms will disappear. A person is hypertensive when the systolic BP goes above 140 and the diastolic is over 90. Hypertension has two stages. Once the blood pressure exceeds 160/100, you are in stage 2. Neither stage produces symptoms. Video: Stroke
Hypertensive crisis means there is a sudden spike in the blood pressure taking it over 180/120. Symptoms of a hypertensive crisis include: -Chest pain
-Shortness of breath
The person having the crisis may become unresponsive over time. Hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency.
It’s not hard to whip up recipes that fit with the low saturated fat, low trans fat, low-cholesterol eating plan recommended by scientists to help you manage your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Discover how easy it is to avoid excess saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol while enjoying mouth-watering dishes.
The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry (skinless), fish or seafood a day for people who need 2,000 calories. Most meats have about the same amount of cholesterol, roughly 70 milligrams in each three-ounce cooked serving (about the size of a deck of cards). But the amount of saturated fat in meats can vary widely, depending on the cut and how it’s prepared. Here are some ways to reduce the saturated fat in meat:
There are some cooking tips listed below will help you prepare tasty, heart-healthy meals. -Select lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean beef cuts include the round, chuck, sirloin or loin. Lean pork cuts include the tenderloin or loin chop, while lean lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin.
–Buy “choice” or “select” grades rather than “prime.” Select lean or extra lean ground beef. -Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking. -Broil rather than pan-fry meats such as hamburger, lamb chops, pork chops and steak.
-Use a rack to drain off fat when broiling, roasting or baking. Instead of basting with drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade. -Cook a day ahead of time. Stews, boiled meat, soup stock or other dishes in which fat cooks into the liquid can be refrigerated. Then the hardened fat can be removed from the top. -When a recipe calls for browning the meat first, try browning it under the broiler instead of in a pan. -Eat chicken and turkey rather than duck and goose, which are higher in fat. Choose white meat most often when eating poultry. -Remove the skin from chicken or turkey, before cooking. If your poultry dries out too much, first try basting with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade and if that does not help, leave the skin on for cooking but remove before eating. -Limit processed meats to none or no more than two servings per week. Examples of processed meats include sausage, bologna, salami and hot dogs. Many processed meats — even those with “reduced fat” labels — are high in calories and saturated fat. They are often high in sodium as well. Read labels carefully and choose such meats only now and then. -Organ meats such as liver, sweetbreads, kidney and brain are very high in cholesterol. If you’re on a cholesterol-lowering diet, eat them only occasionally.
One in every four adults — some 50 million people in the USA alone — have high blood pressure. But many people are unaware that they have the condition. Untreated hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. These are the first and third commonest causes of death in the USA. Hypertension can also damage the kidneys and increase the risk of blindness and dementia. That is why hypertension is referred to as a “silent killer.” Everyone is at risk from high blood pressure. However, the elderly tend to have a different hypertension profile compared with younger people, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
It is important to raise our collective consciousness of a particular type of high blood pressure known as isolated systolic hypertension (ISH). Systolic pressure is the first number in a blood pressure reading and is an indicator of blood pressure when the heart contracts. The second number, the diastolic pressure, reflects pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.
In the past, many doctors diagnosed high blood pressure based on diastolic pressure, the smaller number. However, new research suggests that systolic pressure is a much better indicator of hypertension, particularly in the elderly. Diastolic pressure increases up to age 55 and then tends to decline, according to the NHLBI. On the other hand, systolic pressure continues to increase with age and is an important determinant of elevated blood pressure in middle-aged and older adults. While any pressure above 140/90 is considered elevated, about 65% of people with hypertension who are over age 60 have ISH. High blood pressure interacts with other major risk factors such as diabetes and high levels of cholesterol to amplify the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When you have a heart attack, you know it because the main symptom—crushing chest pain—is overwhelmingly obvious. That’s what most of us believe about heart attacks. But it’s not always true. What few people realize: Studies show that 20% to 60% of all heart attacks in people over age 45 are unrecognized or “silent.” And the older you are, the more likely it is that you’ve already had a silent heart attack. In a study of 110 people with a mean age of 82, an astounding 68% had suffered a silent heart attack. What happens during a silent heart attack? You may have no symptoms at all. Or you may have symptoms that are so mild—for example, a bout of breathlessness, digestive upset or neurological symptoms such as fainting—that neither you nor your doctor connects them with a heart attack. Scientists don’t know why some people have unrecognized heart attacks. But they do know that a silent heart attack is a real heart attack and can cause as much damage to heart muscle as a non-silent heart attack. And just like a person with a known heart attack, anyone who has had a silent heart attack is at higher risk for another heart attack, heart failure, stroke… or sudden death from an irregular heartbeat. Recent scientific evidence: In a six-year study by cardiologists from the University of California in San Diego and San Francisco—published in Clinical Research in Cardiology in April 2011—people who were diagnosed with a silent heart attack at the beginning of the study were 80% more likely to have another “cardiovascular event,” such as a heart attack or stroke, by the end of the study period. In a five-year study by cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic, people with an unrecognized heart attack were seven times more likely to die of heart disease than people who didn’t have an unrecognized heart attack.
Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you’ve had a stroke or a TIA, these measures may help you avoid having another stroke. Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include: -Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension). One of the most important things you can do to reduce your stroke risk is to keep your blood pressure under control. If you’ve had a stroke, lowering your blood pressure can help prevent a subsequent transient ischemic attack or stroke. Exercising, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting the amount of sodium and alcohol you eat and drink are all ways to keep high blood pressure in check. -Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in your arteries. -Quitting tobacco use. Smoking raises the risk of stroke for both the smoker and nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting tobacco use reduces your risk of stroke. -Controlling diabetes. You can manage diabetes with diet, exercise, weight control and medication. -Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. -Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce your risk of stroke. -Exercising regularly. Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of stroke in many ways. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week. -Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. Alcohol can be both a risk factor and a preventive measure for stroke. -Treat obstructive sleep apnea, if present. Your doctor may recommend an overnight oxygen assessment to screen for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).