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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health.
Are decongestants endangering your blood pressure?
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Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health from GateHouse News Service. Know what the \x34study of the week\x34 means for your health and that of your family, and get plenty of ...
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Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health from GateHouse News Service. Know what the \x34study of the week\x34 means for your health and that of your family, and get plenty of fodder to ask your doctor about.
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If you're among the 68 million Americans who have high blood pressure, you may feel that taking your medicine, getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet means you're doing everything you can to manage your condition. But with cold season in full swing and many areas of the country recording record numbers of flu cases, it might be time for a medicine cabinet makeover as well -- a total renovation in which you toss out any over-the-counter (OTC) medications that contain decongestants.
Feb. 20, 2013 11:15 a.m.



Heart Health



If you're among the 68 million Americans who have high blood pressure, you may feel that taking your medicine, getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet means you're doing everything you can to manage your condition. But with cold season in full swing and many areas of the country recording record numbers of flu cases, it might be time for a medicine cabinet makeover as well -- a total renovation in which you toss out any over-the-counter (OTC) medications that contain decongestants.



That's because the same ingredients in decongestants that help relieve the nasal swelling associated with congestion also affect other blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure and heart rate to rise -- a potentially dangerous situation for those with high blood pressure. Unfortunately, just 10 percent of those with high blood pressure are aware they should avoid decongestants, and nearly half don't know they should take a special OTC medicine when they have a cold or the flu, according to a survey by St. Joseph, makers of over-the-counter medications.



If you have high blood pressure, start your medicine cabinet makeover by replacing OTC medicines that contain decongestants with remedies that don't, such as St. Joseph's new line of cold and flu products. The brand's products for fever and pain contain acetaminophen, which will not interfere with aspirin's benefits if you're on an aspirin regimen.



Next, remove from your medicine cabinet, pantry or refrigerator dietary supplements that are high in sodium, as high levels of salt are commonly known to increase blood pressure. For example, many protein supplements contain hundreds of milligrams of sodium per serving.



Likewise, avoid supplements that contain extracts of grapefruit, and talk to your doctor about whether you should also remove grapefruit and grapefruit juice from your diet. Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal points out that the number of medications that interact adversely with grapefruit is on the rise. There are now more than 85 drugs known to be affected by grapefruit, including calcium channel blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure, according to a CBC News report. 



Once you've removed adverse products from your medicine cabinet, you'll have plenty of room for additions that are good for your heart, your high blood pressure and your overall health.



-- Brandpoint



Number to Know



68 million: Number of Americans with high blood pressure, according to the CDC. That's about 1 in every 3 adults.



New Research



Researchers have found that taking folic acid early in pregnany may prevent autism. The study, done by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, focused on women who took folic acid between four weeks before and eight weeks after conception. The children of women who took folic acid during this period were less likely to evenutally be daignosed an autism spectrum disorder than women who did not take folic acid. Researchers caution that the timing of folic acid consumption is important, as taking folic acid late in pregnancy been associated with the child developng asthma.



-- Medical News Today

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