Posts Tagged ‘high blood pressure’
Birth defects may be linked to high blood pressure, not use of ACE inhibitors in early pregnancy
Newswise — Women who take angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to treat high blood pressure in the first trimester of their pregnancies are at no greater risk of having babies with birth defects than are women who take other types of high blood pressure medication or who take no blood pressure drugs, according to a new study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The study suggests that the underlying high blood pressure itself may increase the risk of birth defects, rather than blood pressure medications taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
ACE inhibitors are among the most widely prescribed drugs used to treat high blood pressure, particularly for people who also have diabetes. ACE inhibitors are known to raise the rate of birth defects in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and one earlier study reported a link between the use of ACE inhibitors and birth defects in the first trimester of pregnancy. But the new AHRQ report, based on a study of a larger population, did not find a unique link between first-trimester ACE inhibitor use and birth defects.
Results of the study, prepared for AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program by the HMO Research Network—a member of AHRQ’s Developing Evidence to Improve Decisions about Effectiveness (DEcIDE) Network—are published in the October 18 issue of BMJ.
“Some women of child-bearing age have high blood pressure, and about half of them will get pregnant while taking one or more medications to treat it,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. “This report should lead to more informed discussions by women, in consultation with their doctors, about the best way to manage their high blood pressure, particularly if they become pregnant.” ACE inhibitors are also used to treat heart failure and to protect some people from diabetes complications. Yet because they work by inhibiting an enzyme in the kidney, physicians counsel caution in taking them in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, a crucial period of development for the unborn baby. ACE inhibitors carry a “black box” warning from the Food and Drug Administration—that agency’s strongest warning—against their use in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
A study published in 2006 that examined nearly 30,000 births over 15 years to mothers enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid system suggested that pregnant women who took ACE inhibitors in the first trimester of pregnancy had babies with birth defects at approximately three times the rate of mothers who were not taking medicines for high blood pressure. But the new AHRQ study—which examined more than 465,000 babies born over 13 years in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California region—found no such correlation. The new report found that birth defects occurred at the same rate among all women with high blood pressure, regardless of whether they took ACE inhibitors, other drugs to treat high blood pressure or no blood pressure drugs.
While the AHRQ study did not conclude that high blood pressure is explicitly to blame for increased birth defects, researchers said that the findings suggest that underlying high blood pressure likely results in increased birth defects. thus, taking steps to reduce blood pressure before pregnancy—including losing weight and reducing sodium intake—may reduce the risk of birth defects.
The study, Maternal Exposure to Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors in the first Trimester and Risk of Malformations in Offspring: A Retrospective Cohort Study, is the latest study from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. The Effective Health Care Program helps patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others choose the most effective treatments by sponsoring the development of evidence reports and technology assessments to assist public- and private-sector organizations in their efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States. More information about the program can be found at effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.
It might be hard to believe that there are actually foods that lower high blood pressure, but it is true. There are actually a number of foods that can do just that. sure, you will still need to do things like exercise and cut out salt, but it can be a great benefit to you to start lowering your blood pressure naturally. If you are prescribed blood pressure medicine, these foods will not eliminate the need for you to continue taking it, but if you have borderline high blood pressure and don’t yet need medication or you still need help even with your medication, then eating some of the foods outlined in this article might just be the answer you are looking for.
Drinking skim milk daily can help reduce your blood pressure up to ten percent. This milk is low in fat, but very high in Vitamin D and calcium, both of which are known to combat high blood pressure. Calcium can also be found in sardines, salmon, nuts, sunflower seeds (unsalted), and dark green leafy vegetables. Magnesium rich foods such as beans and spinach are also an excellent way to lower blood pressure. Other good sources of magnesium are figs, grapefruit, yellow corn, whole grains, almonds, and apples. dark chocolate is great for helping to lower the blood pressure and satisfying a sweet tooth at the same time. the flavonoids in dark chocolate have been found to cause a noticeable drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. Potassium rich foods such as bananas, soybeans, oranges, watermelon, spinach, zucchini, and baked white potatoes are another very good food for maintaining a lower blood pressure, as potassium helps the body rid itself of extra fluid so that the heart does not need to pump as hard. Research also shows that eating foods high in fiber, such as oat bran, fruits, and vegetables can significantly reduce high blood pressure, and even improve blood pressure in healthy individuals. Omega-3 fats, typically found in oily fish and flaxseeds, are known to have a lowering effect on blood pressure, as is garlic.
All in all, there are a number of foods that lower high blood pressure. Since there are a number of vegetables on the list, there are a number of meals that can be made combining them with fish, poultry, and lean meat that would greatly benefit people suffering with high blood pressure. Snacking on fruits high in magnesium, potassium, or calcium and the occasional dark chocolate can be an excellent way to curb hunger between meals while still managing your blood pressure. With skim milk and oat bran on the list as well as fruit, there are enough different foods that can lower your blood pressure to eat one at every meal without having to eat the same thing every day. Some studies have shown that eating enough of these foods in the right combination can be as effective as medicine for some people. Just remember to let your doctor determine whether you need medication and never adjust your dose yourself, even if your blood pressure is lowered by your diet.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure or even pre-hypertension, you might want to look at some natural ways to lower your pressure before you turn to traditional medications. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 7 natural ways to help you regain control of your heart health.
1. Add Tomatoes To your Diet
It’s the lycopene in tomatoes that are effective at lowering your pressure. this was the conclusion of a study done by Dr. Esther Paran, head of the hypertension division of Soroka Medical Center, in an Israeli study. Adding tomatoes to your diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 points and diastolic pressure by 4 points according to the study.
The recommended quantity is four tomatoes a day. look for opportunities to get them into your diet regularly. Salads, sauces, and tomato juice will all do the job. Even a tomato supplement can work.
Though it may take several months before you see the results, studies have found that aerobic exercise that involves the large muscles is an effective way to lower your pressure. In fact, the studies indicate that exercise can reduce your systolic reading by 11 points and diastolic reading by 9 points.
3. Eat Low fat Foods
A well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy products should make up the majority of your eating plan. Eating foods low in saturated fats, low in total fat, and low in cholesterol can reduce your pressure as much as taking a hypertension medication.
4. Try Acupuncture
According to one recent study, when a low level electrical stimulation was applied at specific points on the front legs of rats, they experienced a drop in blood pressure. this study sets the stage for large-scale trails on humans, but in the meantime, since acupuncture is considered benign and harmless, you maybe want to consider giving it a try. it appears that electro acupuncture is slightly more effective, though both manual and electro acupuncture have demonstrated immediate and prolonged reductions in hypertension readings.
5. Try Yoga
Yoga exercises, called asanas, involve stretching the muscles and joints and holding the body in various positions. during these movements any tightness or tension observed in your body is consciously relaxed. The most efficient asanas for lowering blood pressure are the forward bends, which have a pacifying effect on the brain, the nervous system, the blood circulation to the brain, and they also help you reduce the stress. All these lower blood pressure. Furthermore, these asanas slow down the pulse rate, so they lower pressure.
6. Add A little Red Wine
A glass or two of red wine contains the flavonol resveratol, which is an antioxidant that protects your arteries against the damage done by free radicals and also assists in preventing the hardening of your arteries. Flavonol is active in stopping your platelets from bunching together. A glass of red wine helps to keep your blood flowing smoothly through your arteries and improves your artery linings. when your arteries dilate properly, your pressure comes down.
7. Reduce that Caffeine
In one study, it was found that five cups of coffee per day can mildly increase blood pressure. so while you don’t have to kick your coffee habit completely, reducing your intake to only three cups a day can have positive results.
There are other ways to lower high blood pressure, but these should get you started on the right path. As always, consult with your physician before making any health changes in your life.
Who hasn’t bolted upright in the night, awakened by a sudden and
terrible burning sensation in the pit of their stomach? Whether
you indulged in some overly spicy chili, or overdid it on those
late-night leftovers, these quick heartburn remedies will soothe
your fiery stomach and help you get back to sleep
1. The first thing you’ll want to do when you’re awakened by
heartburn pain, is to stand up. This helps keep the acid at bay
while you go and get a full glass of cool water.
2. Drink the whole glass of water, and follow it with a mixture
of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and half a glass of water. Be
careful though, if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant,
this can cause water retention or increase your blood pressure.
3. DON’T drink milk or suck on mints to relieve heartburn. Milk
might feel nice and cool going down, but it actually contains
fats and proteins that cause your stomach to secrete MORE acid
and make your heartburn worse Mints, while they may feel
soothing, actually relax the small valve between your esophagus
and stomach, whose purpose it is to actually KEEP acid at bay
When this valve is relaxed, more acid can seep up and aggravate
4. This is going to sound strange, but downing a teaspoon of
vinegar can help soothe heartburn immediately Why give your
stomach MORE acid when it already seems to have enough, you ask?
Sometimes, heartburn is caused as a result of too little acid,
and vinegar helps quell indigestion by giving your stomach a
little extra juice (no pun intended) to do its job
5. certain foods can cause nighttime heartburn, including: soda
pop or beverages with caffeine (which you shouldn’t be drinking
before bed anyway), alcohol, garlic, chocolate (sorry), citrus
fruits, tomatoes and tomato-based products. Avoiding these types
of food can help ease your indigestion if you frequently find
yourself awakened with that intolerable burning
6. Eating a banana each day works like an antacid to soothe
heartburn. if you’re already stricken with indigestion, eating
pineapple or papaya (or drinking the juice) can help settle your
stomach naturally. Some people also claim that eating a teaspoon
of mustard (yuck) can work immediately.
7. Avoid eating at least two hours before you go to sleep. Those
late night snacks can keep your stomach busy all night and
prevent you from easing into a deep, restful sleep. you may also
find that sleeping on your left side or sleeping at a somewhat
upright angle can keep acid down where it belongs.
If you are awakened by heartburn on a regular basis, or the pain
is severe, or if you have heartburn with vomiting, you’ll want to
consult your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of a more
serious condition such as an ulcer. above all, avoid spicy,
fatty and caffeine-containing foods before bed, and you should be
able to drift off to sleep easily.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.
High blood pressure is an increasingly common affliction, and with it comes the increasing danger of unknowingly putting yourself at risk of new or increased blood pressure issues as a result of the use of over the counter medications as common as cold and flu medicines that are readily available. how is it that medicines so commonly sold and easily acquired at the local pharmacy can have such dangerous potential?
The answer is in the decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that these drugs use in order to control some of the symptoms of the cold and the flu, such as a runny nose and sneezing. Decongestants and NSAIDs unfortunately, commonly cause an increase in blood pressure as a side effect.
In fact, not only do you risk increasing your blood pressure when using regular medications that include decongestants and NSAIDs, but you may also cause a conflict with any blood pressure medications that you may be taking at the same time.
Examples of common decongestant ingredients that can cause blood pressure issues are:
Examples of common NSAIDs that can cause blood pressure issues are:
oIbuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
oNaproxen sodium (Aleve)
If you have a family history or personal history of high blood pressure, and especially if you are already taking blood pressure medication to control high blood pressure, it is very important that you be selective about the cold and flu medications that you choose.
Fortunately, some cold and flu medicine companies have recognized this issue, and have created products that have been specially formulated for people who already have high blood pressure. By opting for these medications, you are making sure that your cold, cough, and flu relief is safe for the rest of your health. The secret is that these products are free from decongestants, and therefore will not raise your blood pressure.
The following products are decongestant free, and are therefore safe for treating the symptoms of coughs, colds, and the flu, even when you already suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension:
oCoricidin HBP cold and Flu Tablets – a medication that uses antihistamines, pain relievers, and fever reducers to temporarily relieve symptoms such as aches and pains (including headaches), while reducing the fever commonly associated with colds and the flu. these tablets also provide temporary relief of runny nose and sneezing caused by the common cold.
oCoricidin HBP Cough and cold Tablets – medication that uses antihistamines and cough suppressants to temporarily relieve the symptoms of coughing and minor throat discomfort that are frequently associated with the common cold. this medication also temporarily relieves runny nose and sneezing from colds.
oCoricidin HBP Maximum Strength Flu Tablets – medicine that uses antihistamines, pain relievers, fever reducers, and cough suppressants in order to achieve the temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms which include: coughing, runny nose, sneezing, aches and pains caused by the common cold or the flu.
Even with these medications available to you, it is important that you consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications. be certain to keep yourself informed regarding any blood pressure issues you have, and have your doctor and pharmacist help you in understanding the labels on your over-the-counter medicines so that you don’t inadvertently cause or worsen your high blood pressure.
i had high blood pressure for some months and then it went to normal. last week when i went to the doctor for a cold my pressure was up again but i went a week before that to check it and it was fine. the doc said i should go check it since im 9 weeks preg. what are the risks? what could happen to the baby? i would apreciate answers from women who have gone through this before. also this is my first pregnancy.
Yes i had high blood pressure in my pregnancy, especially toward the end. try to avoid (but not eliminate) caffeine and salty foods. also, you must attend all of your checkups, especially toward the end. if not monitored, it could lead to pre-eclampsia and could be harmful to you and the baby and life threatening to you and the baby. I ended up having the baby two weeks early because I was starting to show signs of this.
High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the baby. as long as your doctor gets it under control for the majority of the pregnancy you should be fine.
Pre-eclampsia is pregnancy induced high blood pressure. Yours is different because you already had existing BP issues before pregnancy.
Talk to your OB.
well my baby had that and it cuts of the main sorce of blood flow to the baby.
it can cause in premature size and health problems.
i would look it up or go to the dr.
my friends baby was born january and didn't get realeased until april and she was 6 months into the pregnancy cause they can't keep her blood pressure regular.
High blood pressure could cause you to have a stroke or it could cause you to go into a coma. also, high BP can affect your heart also. I had high BP while on Birth control….and I also work in cardiology.