Cardiacare Ltd

Archive for 'Blood Pressure'

Why you should run – even if it is just a little!

photo_32608_20140707You don’t have to go out and run marathons to have a healthy heart. Even just a light jog now and again could reduce your risk of death by cardiovascular disease. For some this is easier than others. Some people just come out in a sweat at the thought of running whilst others seem to do it for fun.

If you don’t feel that you can run then start with a walk daily for a few weeks. Starting off walking when you have never run before will ease your body into it and when you do eventually decide to run it will reduce your change of injury.

The older you get the more prone your body is too injury. When we are younger the body can do things that over time it can’t seem to do as well. It is important to ease into it and not get up one day and decide to run as far as you can. You need to warm up, stretch, start with shorter distances. If you go from nothing to running 5 miles a day you will soon find yourself injured. Exercising your heart is great but if you are injured you won’t be getting any exercise.

If it’s the thought of running on the road that puts you off either because you don’t want to be outside, or you don’t want to be seen by other people, then why not go to the local gym and start off with a running machine. The beauty of a running machine is that you can programme it to get faster and longer over time. You can start with a brisk walk and gradually increase the pace until you are running.

Consider the equipment you wear as well. Exercising to improve the health of your heart is the aim but it would be better not to end up with injuries in your back or legs. Make sure you have proper running shoes that have been fitted and that you wear the right socks. Go to a local running shop for advice. They have experienced staff that will be able to help you find what you need.

Most of all enjoy it. If you don’t fancy doing it on your own then find someone you can team up with or better still join a local running club. They aren’t full of elite athletes – more often than not they are like-minded people that just want to get fit. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it.

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Posted in: Blood Pressure, Heart Issues

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Red Wine = Weight Buster? Think Again

photo_1839_20060807What a month for health news, first of all we have outlandish headlines telling us chocolate will help fight cardiovascular disease and now The Daily Telegraph have the gall to tell the nation that drinking “plenty of red wine” will help them lose weight. Understandably this headline has already come under intense scrutiny from countless health experts including a long form feature analysis by the NHS.

The bizarre study was incorrectly reported by certain UK papers as some kind of miracle which gave the go ahead for us become red wine guzzling stick insects.  You’ll also find it humorous to know that the study the press were referring to was carried out on mice instead of humans which arguably makes such findings null in terms of dietary relevance. The study was taken by researchers from South China Agricultural University and Washington State University with particular focus on the effect of ‘resveratrol’ on cells and fat tissue.

It’s true that resveratrol does appear in some red wines and can help mice produce brown fat cells (which grown humans have very little of) as opposed to white fat tissue which thus leads to obesity. The amount of resveratrol in red wine is very minor and given the fact that a 750cl bottle of supermarket slosh would contain 570 calories is hardly going to do you any good. Try and use your better judgement when faced with far-fetched headlines like this and always consult a healthcare professional if you wish to have a drastic change of diet.

You can read more about this here.

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Cholesterol Is No Joke

CholesterolCholesterol warnings are ever present in food awareness campaigns but how many people actually know what is and how it affects them?

First of all, cholesterol is a completely natural fatty substance produced by the liver called lipid. On top of lipid production in the liver, it can be found in many fatty foods and having an excessive amount of it in your blood can promote narrowing of the arteries, heart attacks and strokes. While cholesterol itself is completely harmless, having too much of it can lead to a build up in your arteries which in turn makes it harder for blood to flow to the heart, brain and so forth.

chemicalIt is recommended that your cholesterol levels maintain a healthy balance of ‘5mmol/L’ or less. It is recommended that adults receive a blood test to check these levels, particularly if you are a smoker, are overweight, have high blood pressure, heart disease or have hereditary history of cardiovascular issues. When the British Heart Foundation surveyed a sample of the British public in 2008, an alarming number of men and women over 35 had high cholesterol. To lower yours, try and cut down or quit smoking altogether, replace foods with high saturated fats for healthier alternatives (for example, vegetable oils and soft vegetable spreads) and avoid processed foods where possible.

Don’t let your cholesterol levels creep up on you – act today.

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Release The Pressure

Release The Pressure

Monitoring blood pressure at home can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, explains Linda Warren, Director of Cardiacare Ltd . . .

Health experts are keen to engage the general public in taking an interest in and understanding the importance of home blood pressure monitoring. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer and is impossible to detect unless regularly checked. Any problems detected can be addressed if discovered early, therefore limiting the threat of stroke and heart disease. This simple check could potentially save the NHS thousands of pounds per year, free up hospital beds and ensure more effective use of doctors’ time. Variations in blood pressure are not normally cause
for concern. The pressure in blood vessels changes according to a person’s lifestyle – for example stress at work, physical exertion, and changes in mood. However, if blood pressure constantly exceeds the limit value (>140/90mmHg) even when at rest, it becomes a risk. High blood pressure is one of the most common complaints in today’s society,

affecting one in seven adults. If left untreated, it may lead to kidney failure, and in the worst case, to a heart attack or stroke. You cannot know whether your blood pressure is normal or not.

Certainty is only possible with daily readings Blood pressure readings taken by doctors are merely snapshots.

Agitation and tension while at the doctor’s office may falsify measured values. To get high blood pressure under control it is important for patients to know about their readings. It is only by measuring blood pressure every day that they can familiarise themselves with their body and see how their lifestyle affects blood pressure levels. Such knowledge will help the patient to manage this disease.

The pressure in blood vessels changes according to a person’s lifestyle – for example stress at work, physical exertion, and changes in mood.

Does your pulse beat regularly?

The heart pumps blood through the body, supplying it with oxygen and nutrients. But circulation will only work properly if the heartbeat is regular. This is why it is important to constantly check this cardiovascular system via the pulse.

Possible causes for an irregular pulse

No cause for concern:

  • Sport;
  • A hot bath;
  • Intake of stimulants;
  • Agitation;
  • Loose cuff;
  • Incorrect posture during measurement.

Cause for concern
■ Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia).

HEALTH TIPS ! – Tips on avoiding high blood pressure

  • Keep an eye on your weight;
  • Avoid stress;
  • Only drink alcohol, tea and coffee in moderate amounts;
  • Take regular exercise;
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • How to obtain accurate blood pressure readings
  • Make sure that the cuff is fitted properly and is positioned level with the heart;
  • Try and relax five minutes before measurement;
  • Make sure you are in a comfortable position, but still sitting upright;
  • Do not drink/eat anything or smoke for at least half an hour before measurement;
  • Do not move unnecessarily during measurement and do not speak;
  • Take a break of about four to five minutes between readings.

I would like to tell you of my own personal experience of high blood pressure. Having had regular checks at the doctors, my blood pressure was always OK. I am overweight but have been trying for years to address this. I have never smoked or taken drugs, with the exception of medication prescribed by my GP. My cholesterol is always good and I am not diabetic.

High blood pressure is one of the most common complaints in today’s society, affecting one in seven adults. If left untreated, it may lead to kidney failure, and in the worst case, to a heart attack or stroke.

Whilst on holiday in Australia a few years ago, I was on a train journey when I suddenly developed a nose bleed. I knew this was no ordinary nose bleed; it was more like a haemorrhage. The cabin crew were very good and called ahead for help and I was taken off the train at the next station and taken by ambulance to hospital, where I was kept in for a few hours and then told to take it easy for the next few days. Back in the UK all was fine for a couple of months and then the problem occurred again. After seeing a consultant he confirmed that I had high blood pressure and prescribed medication. He said that if I had not had the nose bleeds I would have had a stroke. Talking to friends after dinner one evening and telling them of my experience in Australia and the horrendous nose bleeds, I casually passed round my wrist blood pressure monitor, leading one male friend, very fit in his late 50s and a non-smoker, to discover he had very high blood pressure. I told him to go to the doctors asap, and after further tests he was diagnosed with the condition and prescribed blood pressure pills. From my own personal experience, I am certain that encouraging home monitoring and understanding of one’s own blood pressure will lead to a great reduction in potentially serious problems. In addition, this could assist the NHS a great deal in its mission to get individuals to take preventative steps for a healthier lifestyle.

linda Linda Warren
Cardiacare Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1277 812968

Posted in: Blood Pressure

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