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Take Control Of Your Health

This morning I had one of those interesting events where I read about something and the next person I speak to brings up the same topic. Was someone peeking over my shoulder? Most likely not. However, when these things occur, I think it’s positive reinforcement for what I’d just read or thought about.

So, what did I read? An article in the New York Times with this title: Under New Guidelines, Millions More Americans Will Need to Lower Blood Pressure . According to this article, under the guidelines formulated by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, the number of adults with high blood pressure will rise from 72 million to 103 million. And what are these new guidelines? 130/80 is now considered high, down from 140/90. Just FYI, the top number, systolic pressure, represents the pressure on blood vessels when the heart contracts; the bottom number, diastolic pressure, is the pressure as the heart relaxes between beats.

As we all know, high blood pressure is an indicator of cardiovascular disease, which can increase your risk of getting a stroke or heart attack. These new guidelines will lead doctors to prescribe medications to those people who fall within the old 140/90 guidelines. In a study called Sprint, undertaken in 2015, researchers assigned one group of people over 65 to get their blood pressure down to 140 and another group to get theirs down to 120. The latter group was given three drugs instead of two. At the end of the study, the latter group had decreased their incidence of heart attacks by one-third and death by one-quarter. They also had no more side effects than the first group. So far so good. However, although the latter group enjoyed better cardiovascular health, acute kidney disease had doubled because of the increased drug intake.

As a health coach, I am a firm believer in keeping numbers within the guidelines. This can be done through making lifestyle changes – better nutrition, regular exercise and proper stress management. By the way, another article written by a doctor in response to the one mentioned here, speaks of blood pressure being a variable measurement depending on where you are and what you are doing. Most doctors don’t take that into consideration.

So, bottom line, the solution is to take control of your health. If you don’t feel capable of doing it on your own, you may need a coach to help you. Just fill in the information in the form below, and I will get back to you. The consultation is free, and you are under no obligation.

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Mental vs Behavioral Health

May is mental health month, and as I thought about what I should write in this post, I felt confused. Well, it is mental health month after all, but for someone who worked in a mental (behavioral) health unit for over ten years I should have no difficulty discerning between the two. And yet, when I think of mental vs behavioral health, I see the faces of some of my patients – some alert, others flat, still others inappropriately animated. Many of them have coexisting conditions, either substance abuse disorders and/or chronic illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure. How do you address these problems? states that “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” It goes on to state that mental illness affects your thinking, mood and behavior. Does that mean then that if a person can change his behavior he could become well? Not exactly. Someone suffering from bipolar does need to learn to modify her behavior, but until she gets her mania and depression under control with medication, we will see little or no change in her behavior. This is why doctors recommend a combination of medication and therapy or counseling.

Many times, a hospital stay is inadequate to make a significant impact on a person’s performance. Continued counseling or coaching is needed to help the person benefit fully from treatment. In my practice, I can help you make those lifestyle changes that will help you deal with depression, anxiety and stress.

In this month of May, the emphasis is on mental health. If you have been struggling with the disorders mentioned above for a long time, now is the time to take control. Fill out the form below and arrange for a free consultation. I will be happy to hear from you.

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