New blood pressure guidelines put half of U.S. adults in unhealthy range
Food & Health  

First major update since 2003 aims to spur heart-healthy lifestyle changes

 

ANAHEIM, Calif.  — Nearly half of U.S. adults now have high blood pressure, thanks to a new definition of what constitutes high: 130/80 is the new 140/90. That means that 103 million people — about 14 percent more than under the old definition — need to make diet and exercise changes and, in some cases, take medication to lower their risk of heart attack or stroke.
 
These new blood pressure guidelines, the first major update since 2003, were announced November 13 at the American Heart Association’s annual scientific sessions and published in Hypertension and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
 
“It’s very clear that lower is better,” said Paul Whelton of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, lead author of the guidelines, at a news conference. Previous studies have linked low blood pressure with low risk of cardiovascular disease (SN: 10/17/15, p. 6). The updated recommendations “will improve the cardiovascular health of our adult community in the United States,” Whelton said.
 
A blood pressure reading measures the systolic pressure, or how much force the blood places on the walls of the arteries when the heart beats, and the diastolic pressure, the same force but when the heart rests between beats.
 
Numbers jump
Although the new definition of high blood pressure means more cases for adults across all ages, it’s expected to triple the prevalence of the disease among men under 45 and double the prevalence for women that age. Previously, systolic pressures from 120 to 139 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressures from 80 to 89 were considered to be prehypertension, putting a person at risk for high blood pressure in the future. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, was diagnosed once a patient hit 140 over 90. The old definition placed about one in three U.S. adults in that category.
 
Under the new guidelines, patients with systolic pressures under 120 and diastolic pressures under 80 are still considered to have normal blood pressure. About 42 percent of U.S. adults fall in this category. But those with a systolic reading of 120 to 129 and diastolic pressures less than 80 are now classified as having elevated blood pressure. Just over 12 percent fall in that category.
 
Hypertension — now diagnosable in 46 percent of U.S. adults — occurs when a patient has a blood pressure reading of 130 over 80 or higher. Some who were previously considered to have prehypertension have now been placed firmly in the hypertension category.
 
“People with blood pressure levels between 130 and 140 are at about twice the risk of heart attack and stroke as people with normal levels,” says David Goff of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved with developing the guidelines. The new definition for high blood pressure “really highlights the importance of preventing high blood pressure in the first place.”
 
Lifestyle changes are recommended for those with elevated as well as high blood pressure. For those in the first stage of hypertension, 130 to 139 over 80 to 89, whether drugs are also prescribed will depend on if patients have ever had a heart attack or stroke or if their future risk is greater than 10 percent in the next 10 years. The new guidelines are not expected to open the floodgates to treating hypertension medically. About 4 million more U.S. adults are projected to require medication, or 1.9 percent more than was recommended in the older guidelines, said Robert Carey of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, a coauthor of the new guidelines.
 
“This is a new approach for blood pressure management,” says Goff, which “will help target the medication to the people who stand to benefit the most.” Most importantly, “we really need to redouble our efforts to improve our diets” and increase physical activity, he adds. “Small changes are important — you don’t need to make big changes all at once.”

 
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Why Am I Always Tired?
Food & Health  
sciencenews

If you’re experiencing sluggishness and exhaustion for most parts of the day and it’s persistent, you may be asking yourself the question, why am I always tired? Keep in mind that the recommendations in this guide are not professional medical advice. But these are carefully researched information that may help you find relief of your symptoms as to why am I always tired.

 

If your symptoms are compounded by other problems like very high fever, diarrhea, or severe pain that does not go away, it’s best to consult your doctor or go to an emergency room if you fear it is life threatening.
 
But for those who are just bothered with a non-violent fatigue, this may be the answer to your question why am I always tired. You don’t have to worry too much because sometimes, the reason could just be in your habits. It could also be because of the foods you eat or whatever your activities are.
 
Why Am I Always Tired?
 
Let us first take a look at the simple explanations that may explain your question why am I always tired. These are the not serious, nonemergency reasons why you’re tired all the time.
 
Skipping Breakfast
 
When you sleep at night, your body continues to use what you ate for dinner to keep your blood pumping and continue the flow of oxygen. In the morning, when you wake up, you need to refuel your body. Breakfast is the way to do that. If you skip breakfast, you will feel sluggish. Eating breakfast is how you kick start your metabolism. But you also have to eat the right foods.
 
Good breakfast should include whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat. You can have oatmeal with some peanut butter, a fruit smoothie, low-fat milk, eggs, and maybe some whole wheat toast and low-fat Greek yogurt. This could be a good solution to your problem of why am I always tired.
 
Junk Food
 
High sugar foods and simple carbs have a very high glycemic index which is an indicator that carbohydrates rapidly increase blood sugar. If your blood sugar constantly spikes, you will experience sharp drops that cause fatigue throughout the day. You should keep your blood sugar steady by sticking to lean protein along with whole grain foods in your meals. These include chicken, brown rice, salmon, and sweet potato. You can also eat salad with chicken and fruit. Junk food may be the culprit in your problem why am I always tired.
 
Not Exercising
 
When you skip your workouts to save energy, it actually does the opposite. Studies show that sedentary healthy adults who began exercising lightly for as little as 20 minutes continuously for three days report having less fatigue and more energy after six weeks. Regular exercise helps boost strength and endurance. This will make your cardiovascular system more efficient and therefore deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. So next time you’re asking why am I always tired and are tempted to just stay on the couch, maybe try brisk walking.Not Enough Water
 
You may also not be drinking enough water and find yourself wondering why am I always tired. Even when you are slightly dehydrated which is as little as 2% of normal fluid loss, it affects your energy levels. Dehydration reduces blood volume and it makes your blood thicker. What happens is your heart pumps less efficiently. This will reduce the speed that oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs.
 
Iron Deficiency
 
Another reason to your problem why am I always tired is that you may not be consuming enough iron. Iron deficiency can make you feel sluggish, irritable, weak and lack focus. You will feel tired because there is less oxygen that travels to your muscles and cells. Increase your iron intake to reduce risks of anemia. To do this, you can start eating more beef, kidney beans, tofu, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, and nuts. You can also add peanut butter and foods that are high in vitamin C to improve absorption of iron. Here are some of the foods that are high in iron.
 
It’s important to note that iron deficiency could also be a sign of an underlying health problem so you may also want to check with your doctor.
 
Too Much Clutter
 
Aside from health related reasons, one not so obvious cause of why am I always tired could be that you have a very messy environment. Too much clutter causes mental exhaustion which restricts your ability to focus. This will limit your brain’s ability to process information. Then you will end up feeling tired all the time. You should make sure that your work and personal items are organized. It will help you have a positive start to your day.
 
Caffeine
 
It’s good to start your day with coffee in the morning. But if you rely on caffeine all day, it can disrupt your sleep cycle and make you feel tired the next day. Caffeine blocks adenosine which puts you to sleep. When you consume caffeine six hours before bedtime, it affects your sleep. Of course, this could differ from person to person as some people get so used to it that they have no trouble sleeping even after taking caffeine.
 
Serious Implications
 
Now here are the other more serious possibilities to your question why am I always tired. Again, do not panic if you think this applies to you. Carefully consider the details and then consult with your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Your doctor is the best person to advise you what to do.
 
Thyroid Disease
 
This may mean that you have hormonal imbalance caused by stress and diet. This is also caused by food intolerance to gluten and dairy.
 
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
 
This is also due to hormonal imbalance and affects up to one million people each year in the United States. Women are more prone to chronic fatigue syndrome especially in their 40s to 50s.
 

 

 

Depression
 
This is also a major culprit as to your problem why am I always tired. It is caused by many things like high stress, emotional problems, an imbalance in the neurotransmitters, hormonal imbalance and chemical imbalance.
 
Depression is a medical condition that needs to be treated. Do not tell someone with depression that they just need to snap out of it.
 
So these are some of the reasons if you’re wondering why am I always tired. Again, make sure to check with a professional if you think you have more serious symptoms than ordinary.
Depression
 
This is also a major culprit as to your problem why am I always tired. It is caused by many things like high stress, emotional problems, an imbalance in the neurotransmitters, hormonal imbalance and chemical imbalance.
 
Depression is a medical condition that needs to be treated. Do not tell someone with depression that they just need to snap out of it.
 
So these are some of the reasons if you’re wondering why am I always tired. Again, make sure to check with a professional if you think you have more serious symptoms than ordinary.

 
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