With medical care becoming overly frustrating for most Americans, new medical recommendations coming out practically every month so it seems and the busy, crazy lives all of us lead, I do my best to simplify the complicated for my patients.
Do I recommend an apple a day? Sure.
Should I tell you to eat bread every day like Oprah to lose weight? Um. This one we should tackle when you come in for a visit or call.
Obviously, there is so much more to patient care.
Take for example the most recent study by the National Institutes of Health. A study was released finding that the systolic blood pressure once defined for high blood pressure as 140 is now being recommended and lowered to 120. What I do with my preventative and personalized care medical practice is listen to my patients and their concerns. When they read about the blood pressure study and call me to be seen, I listen, take their blood pressure and make recommendations based upon the findings.
I always take blood pressure readings both sitting and lying down and also when my patient is standing up. I look for Orthostatic Hypotension — also called Postural Hypotension —a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. Orthostatic Hypotension can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even faint.
What do we do when we find there is high blood pressure?
There are 3 steps every American can take to diminish their risk for high blood pressure, which is prominent in 1/3rd of the population over the age of 50.
When you bear more weight on your body, more blood has to be pumped throughout your system. This puts great stress on your heart. Watching your weight is very important to your overall health; something we promote very strongly in our preventative and personalized medicine practice. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and reduce your caloric intake.
Be conscious of your salt intake. I usually recommend for the average patient to keep your salt intake no higher than 4,000mg per day, if not closer to 3,000. Salt increases fluid in your body and bloodstream and causes blood pressure to rise. Read food labels and try to be aware when you eat out how much salt is in your food. If you have a weak heart, restrict your diet to 2,000mg/day of salt. If you have good kidneys, light salt is another option. Light salt contains a percentage of potassium which counteracts the effects of salt.
Prescription medication has proven to help those with high blood pressure. But prescriptions also cause some uncomfortable side effects. Speak with your prescribing doctor if you have any side effects from blood pressure meds. There are many options out there, so an adjustment may be necessary.
If you take prescribed medications to help with your blood pressure, patient compliance is crucial. Take your medicine the same time every day and do not miss a dose. Pack it with you on vacation and store your medication in a cool, dry location, out of the reach of young children.
What is the best solution to high blood pressure? Being seen regularly by an accessible and knowledgeable doctor concerned with your overall health and wellness would be my number one prescription… Along with the Apple a Day Keeping the Doctor Away!
The world of healthcare may be rapidly changing for many, but hundreds who choose to put prevention first are clearly adding years to their life and life to their years. Why don’t you join them today? To schedule your FREE consultation, call 215.PREVENT (215-773-8368) or visit www.215prevent.com.
Dr. Marc S. Rabinowitz
Prevention First Healthcare