Blood Pressure Control: Do It Yourself by ProQuest


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									                                        RUNNING HEALTHY                      with Dr. Jeremy Torstveit

                               Blood Pressure Control: Do It Yourself
                                        lood            nutritional value, so that won’t help. True            medication at other times in the day could be
                                        pressure        substitutes contain mostly potassium chloride          necessary. If you are taking blood pressure
                                        control has     and would be beneficial, but many people don’t         meds, get a digital machine at home. Check
                                been mentioned          like the taste. It doesn’t promote water retention     morning and evening levels several times per
                                frequently in this      and elevation of blood pressure but can cause          week, and share them during doctor visits.
                                column over the         an unsafe elevation in serum potassium in              Once started, blood pressure medication should
                                years because the       people with kidney disease, diabetes, and other        never be changed or stopped without orders
                                majority of people      medical conditions. Salt substitutes may also          from the doctor. The result could lead to a very
                                will eventually         not be safe when taking certain medications, so        rapid and dangerous rise in blood pressure
                                develop this            check with your doctor before using sodium             (hypertensive crisis) within a matter of just a
condition. Reducing blood pressure remains the          chloride alternatives.                                 day or two.
single most important thing that a person can do to                                                               Racers know what excessive pressure over a

improve long-term health and quality and quantity              Over half of the population                     long period of time can do to tires, valves, and
of life span. Furthermore, recent sound research                                                               other car components. It really is no different
shows that any reduction in blood pressure at any              will eventually become                          with the human body, but the parts changes are
age decreases the chances of stroke, heart disease,     hypertensive, and one out of five                      more difficult, more expensive, a lot more
kidney failure, diabetic complications, and many                                                               painful, or may not even be possible. Get your

other health conditions. This advice is for             are already there and don’t                            whole family involved with this program. It will
everyone, not just those with hypertensive blood                                                               pay big dividends as you go down the track. ND
pressure readings. Well over half of the population
                                                        even know it.
will eventually become hypertensive, and one out                                                               Dr. Jeremy Torstveit, a pediatric and adult
of five are already there and don’t even know it            Salt is for preserving foods on long sea           cardiovascular surgeon, thoracic trauma surgeon,
(that means thousands of our own National               voyages, thawing icy roads, and setting land           and international instructor and lecturer,
DRAGSTER readers). Reducing salt (sodium                speed records. Otherwise, it’s best to lose your       formerly competed in NHRA’s Top Alcohol
chloride) intake, exercising, decreasing stress, and    taste for it (and you will). You can use it in water   Dragster class. Send questions or concerns about
reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption will           softeners. The amount of sodium you take in from       specific health issues to Dr. Jeremy Torstveit, 329
drop blood pressure without a trip to the doctor.       this water is very small and is used as a selling      W. Cypress, Phoenix, AZ 85003; fax, (602) 254-
                                                        ploy by companies to get you to switch to their        2625; e-mail,
Reducing sodium chloride (salt) intake                  brand. You can check levels on your system at
    Salt raises the blood pressure primarily by         home. I did on mine, and they were very low.                            NHRA Racer Information

                                                                                                               NHRA INFOGUIDE
retaining fluids consumed. The AMA (American                                                                                    Competition Registration Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Medical Association) estimates that 150,000 lives       What’s ideal blood pressure?                                            Divisional Contingency Postings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
would be saved every year in the U.S. just by cutting      Blood pressure should be as low as you can                           Member Track Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
salt consumption in half. Unless you work in the hot    get it, provided you don’t get symptoms such as                         Official Sponsors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
sun all day or do activities where sweating occurs      lightheadedness. Current recommendations are
for long periods of time, the average 
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