Several studies (large epidemiological studies) have shown that increased physical activity causes lowering of blood pressure (BP). The relationship between physical activity and BP is inverse, i.e., whenever there is increased in physical activity, BP tend to be lower and when there is less physical activity, BP tend to be higher, in same individual as well as for a group of individuals.
Physical activity and blood pressure:
In one meta-analysis (1) study it was reported that, regular aerobic exercise was associated with significant lowering of mean systolic blood pressure by 3.84 mm Hg and lowering of mean diastolic BP by 2.58 mm Hg and the reduction was seen among both individuals with high blood pressure as well as individuals with normal BP and individuals with normal body weight as well as in individuals with obesity or overweight.
In another meta-analysis (2), there was significant reduction of blood pressure (lowering of mean systolic blood pressure by 6.9 mm Hg and lowering of mean diastolic BP by 4.9 mm Hg) during daytime and in ambulatory position among hypertensive individuals in compare to other groups such as normal blood pressure group.
The causes of lowering of blood pressure was associated with decrease in the following factors such as systemic vascular resistance, plasma norepinephrine, plasma rennin activity, body weight, waist size, per cent body fat and insulin resistance.
Hence, it can be clearly said that increased physical activity is associated with reduction in blood pressure and should be part of holistic management of hypertension. In most hypertension management guidelines moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking or jogging or playing sports/games such as tennis, football, basketball, badminton etc.) for 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week is suggested. It is better if 30 minutes exercise can be continues for all seven days a week. Read more…
Untreated or poorly managed (and uncontrolled hypothyroidism) hypothyroidism can lead to various complications and health problems. It is therefore important to treat hypothyroidism adequately and thyroid hormones (TSH, T3 and T4) kept within normal range, to prevent complications and health hazards it may bring.
Complications of hypothyroidism are:
- Myxedema coma: this is the most serious complication of hypothyroidism, which is potentially life threatening emergency, if not treated promptly and adequately. Myxedema coma usually occur in patients with undiagnosed and long standing hypothyroidism. The condition is usually triggered by some triggering factors such as infection, use of sedatives, or some physical or mental trauma. Symptoms of myxedema coma are feeling of intense cold, extreme intolerance of cold, lethargy and disturbance or loss of consciousness. If any diagnosed or undiagnosed patient of hypothyroidism suffer from such symptoms, admit in hospital immediately for timely and emergency management.
- Goiter: any enlargement (from any cause) of thyroid gland is called goiter. Thyroid gland may become enlarged when there is constant stimulation by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which is very high in case of Goiter may not be very harmful, but an enlarged (especially when it is very big) can have cosmetic problem as well as some symptoms such as breathing problem and problem in swallowing. Hence, goiter should be treated by thyroid hormone supplementation and by surgical method, combine. Because any single method (medications or surgery) may not give satisfactory result.
- Infertility: hypothyroidism is common cause of infertility. Test for thyroid hormones is done routinely in all the fertility clinics. Low thyroid hormone level interfere with ovulation and result in infertility. Hence, it is important to treat hypothyroidism in cases of infertility.
Having successfully launched the ground-breaking tumor tissue analysis software TissueMark in November 2013, Belfast based digital pathology software providers PathXL have recently launched a next generation image information management system that is designed specifically for research labs – PathXL Xplore. This software aims to save researchers and pathologists even more time and is currently the most powerful digital pathology system on the market. But what does all this power mean for pathologists?
Why PathXL Xplore is good news for pathologists
It has some never before seen features in it and it is a product of its kind. Using Xplore, the users have the freedom to import scanned images from multiple sources to one database using either their scanner of their choice or from a range of different scanning platforms.
Xplore is intended to accelerate research in the modern working environment. The software is browser based and securely accessible from any device, anywhere in the world. This facilitates sharing and collaboration with other pathologists and researchers and helps you get to your final result much quicker. Studies are shared with a single click and study partners receive an automatic email alerting them to the sharing event. Read more…
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Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem in modern world. As the world progresses more, the incidence/prevalence of hypertension is also increasing, due to stress of modern life, lack of physical activity and various other factors. If you are diagnosed with hypertension (you may have no symptoms, whatsoever of hypertension), your doctor will certainly ask you to take two pronged strategy for management of hypertension, namely non drug (pharmacological) management and medications. All patients with hypertension are advised about non pharmacological management of hypertension. Hence, it is important for all patients with hypertension, to know clearly about non pharmacological management of hypertension, so that following it becomes easy and simple.
Non pharmacological management of hypertension usually include lifestyle modification (such as increasing physical activity), dietary modification, avoidance of tobacco and excess alcohol, reduced intake of sodium (common table salt), stress/anxiety reduction, weight reduction (if patient is obese or overweight) etc. Truncal obesity is directly related to increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
The most important lifestyle modification is to increase physical activity. It is advised that moderate physical exercise (such as brisk walking) should be done for at least 150 minutes a week, spread over five days. Read more…
Hypothyroidism is a common health problem. It is a hormonal disorder where there is low level of thyroid hormones, namely T3 and T4, which are essential for various vital physiological functions of the body. Deficiency of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) lead to number of clinical problems.
What is subclinical hypothyroidism?
In case of “overt” hypothyroidism there is elevation of TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and low blood levels of T3 and T4 because, when TSH is high, T3 and T4 are low. Subclinical hypothyroidism is milder form of the disease, where there is normal T3 and T4, especially free forms of T3 and T4 but TSH is high. The clinical presentation of subclinical hypothyroidism are variable. In many patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, there may not be any symptom, whereas some may have minor symptoms, without classical symptoms of hypothyroidism such as cold extremities, feeling of cold even during summer, weakness, fatigue etc. Some percentage (2.5% to 4.3%) of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, converts to overt hypothyroidism every year. In some patients of subclinical hypothyroidism, antibodies against thyroid peroxidase can be detected and those have higher risk of developing overt hypothyroidism.
Should subclinical hypothyroidism be treated?
There is no consensus among doctors, regarding treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism. Some doctors advocate treatment, while some doctors advise against treatment, because there is risk of overtreatment and risk of hyperthyroidism. In one study it was seen that there is modest increase in risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) among untreated cases of subclinical hypothyroidism. Currently most doctors agree that if TSH level is high but below 10 mIU/L need no treatment with thyroid hormone without any symptoms and treat them if there are some symptoms of hypothyroidism or there is detectable antibodies against thyroid peroxidase or if there is history of heart disease or patient is at increased risk of heart disease from other causes. Read more…
We all know high cholesterol is detrimental to good health, especially good cardiovascular health. But many of us may not know that low cholesterol, especially too low cholesterol is also not good for health (one can say that cholesterol is two edged sword and cut on either side, high or low).
High cholesterol is not good and for this reason we all try to avoid high cholesterol containing foods and the good news is that, for majority of individuals body can produce adequate cholesterol on its own, provided the individual consumes right amount of right type of fats (e.g. unsaturated fats, essential fatty acids containing foods). However, trying to avoid all types of fat containing foods may lead to too low cholesterol, which may not be good for good health. Hence, one need to take adequate amount of right types of foods containing right type of fats (foods containing mono unsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids).
Ideally total cholesterol content in blood (serum) should be 125 to 145 mg/dl, desirable level is 146 to 165 mg/dl and acceptable clinically 166 to 199 mg/dl (although some experts say up to 220 or even higher is acceptable, provided good cholesterol HDL or High Density Lipoprotein level is good/normal). Total cholesterol level of below 100 can be said to be too low and not good for health.
Among the cholesterol LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is known as bad cholesterol, and ideally it should be below 70 mg/dl. Up to 80 mg/dl is desirable and up to 99 mg/dl is acceptable, provided HDL is present in right ratio.
Cholesterol is not bad for body, in fact we must have cholesterol, which is essential. It is the high cholesterol (especially bad cholesterol) and unfavorable LDL: HDL ratio in presence of high cholesterol level is bad. Cholesterol is in fact life essential nutrient, without which survival may not be possible, as body cannot function normally. Read more…