Effect of Gender on your Blood Pressure (Men vs Women)

Men have comparatively higher blood pressure compared to women. However this trend continues only till menopause in women. After menopause both men and women share the similar chances of developing high blood pressure and diseases related to it. But for a major part of life women have lower chances of developing hypertension. Researches were done to know more about this gender difference in blood pressure.

The body of men and women are very different in terms of metabolism and hormones. In some researches it was found that blood pressure of women remain 6-7% less during both physical activity and mental stress. There are several reasons behind this higher BP in men. Some of the known reasons are described below.
  • Stroke Volume: It is the amount of blood pumped by left ventricle of our heart. Women have lower stroke volume (SV) compared to men, which is a major reason behind comparative lower blood pressure in women.
  • Peripheral Resistance: It is resistance produced by arteries against the blood flow. This resistance must be overcome by force of blood to keep it flowing. When we are at some mental stress, the peripheral resistance increases automatically. Women have comparative lower peripheral resistance even during high stress level, which let their blood pressure remain low compared to men.
  • Intra-abdominal fat: It is the fat content in the abdominal region. Men ten to have more intra abdominal fat compared to women. This type of fat can be present in men irrespective of the obesity, as it is the fat content between the internal organs of abdomen. This type of fat content is directly related to BP level. Thus it is one of the reasons for higher blood pressure in men.
  • Dyslipidemia: It is the abnormal amount of triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids in the blood stream. Dyslipidemia is more common in men compared to women, which may also lead to higher blood pressure.
  • Smoking and Drinking Habits: In most of the societies men are more inclined towards habit of smoking and drinking, which directly affect the blood pressure.
Apart from the above mentioned reasons, some researchers believe that difference between male and female hormones is also responsible for difference in blood pressure levels. The overall conclusion is that women can keep their blood pressure low without much effort. You may also conclude from it that women don't loose control of their mind as easily as men do and it might be one of the reasons behind comparatively cooler nature of women.

Diabetes and Indigestion : Gastroparesis

Diabetes is itself something problematic to live with, but when indigestion comes with it then it becomes even worse. If you are a patient of Diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) for more than 10 years then you have chances of developing Gastroparesis, which causes indigestion and causes more fluctuations in blood sugar level. The meaning of word Gastroparesis means "Paralysis of Stomach", which itself describes the condition. The food moves very slowly through the stomach as if the stomach has paralyzed.

What is Gastroparesis ?

If you have studied about Diabetes then you must have come across a term "Diabetic Neuropathy", which is damaging of our nerves due to diabetes. This damage can also affect "vagus nerve", which plays an important role in digestion and controls the amount of time for which the food stays in our digestive system. This condition of slow down of digestion due to damage in Vagus Nerve is known as Gastroparesis.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

  • Reflux (content of stomach comes back into esophagus)
  • Nausea and Vomiting (in some cases it may happen daily)
  • Inability to control blood sugar even after a balanced diet
  • Feeling fullness of stomach in comparative lesser amount of food
  • Bloating (abdominal discomfort)
  • Weight loss

Bacterial Growth due to Gastroparesis

When food stays for longer duration in stomach then it provides good environment for bacterial growth. These bacteria can itself cause the problem of Gas, which is very painful sometimes and you may incorrectly diagnose it as stone pain, appendicitis or some heart problem. The longer the food stays in your stomach, it becomes harder and can't move properly in small intestine. 

As soon as the food enters the small intestine the blood sugar goes up instantly.

Gastroparesis Diagnosis

Gastroparesis can be diagnosed using Barium X-ray. In this type of X-ray the patient is asked to eat food with barium, a radioactive substance, in it. It makes the food detectable inside your digestive system with the help of a X-ray machine. If half of the food stays in your stomach for more than 90 minutes then you are suffering from Gastroparesis. Apart from that several other techniques are also used for diagnosis, such as ultrasound and endoscopy. Wireless motility capsule is also used in some advanced diagnosis, where the patient swallows a tiny capsule with diet which measures the temprature, ph level and pressure in different parts of digestive system.

Gastroparesis Treatment

There is no particular cure or medicine to treat gastroparesis but treatment is often done by treating the symptoms. Sometime changing the insulin dosage or medication used to treat other medical conditions can help in lowering the symptoms.
Sometimes dietary changes can help a lot in getting relief from gastroparesis. Instead of three diets, your doctor may suggest you to take six small diets to keep the food moving. Slightly liquid diet and low-fat diet can also help you in digestion.

New High Blood Pressure Guidelines | Stages of Hypertension

New High Blood Pressure Guidelines

In year 2003 the definition of High Blood pressure was set as above 140/90 mmHg. But in some cases it was found that even the readings lower than that can be harmful if they retain for long durations. So after a wait of 14 years the American Heart Association changed the definition of High Blood Pressure in 2017. Now anything above 130/80 will be considered as high blood pressure.

New Stages of Hypertension / High BP

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and Diastolic less than 80.
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89.
  • Stage 2: Systolic between 140 - 179 or diastolic at least 90 - 119 mm Hg.
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic above 180 and/or diastolic over 120.
Earlier Elevated and Stage 1 were known as a single stage "Prehypertension".

Prehypertension is Eliminated

Earlier the readings between 120/80 to 140/90 were considered as prehypertension, which means that the chances of being a high BP patient are present there. But the truth was that people never notice this stage. Most of the times people come to know about that only when they have jumped from prehypertension to High BP. However doctors suggest even a healthy person to get his/her blood pressure checked at regular intervals (weekly or monthly), but people ignore it. So this category of prehypertension was not acting as anything. Experts believed that eliminating this category, will be beneficial for both patient and society.

13% instant increase in number of patients

However these changed definitions will bring 13% more individuals into the "high plood pressure" community. Most of the new patients due to this change in categorization are among the age group of 25 to 45. Earlier people use to neglect the 130/80 mark , as they used to take it normal. But the changed definition will tick an alarm to get it treated. Earlier one-third population of US was considered as patient of Hypertension, but now this percentage has increased to 46% by a mere change in definition. This is sufficient to tell you about the seriousness of these new guidelines.

Not to increase medicine sale

However some of you might have a notion that it will increase the anti-hypertension medicine sale. But the truth is that the new comers in this category will be advised to make lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure and save themselves from being a permanent patient of Hypertension. So these changes in definition might be beneficial for general population in long run and it will decrease the usage of blood pressure medication with a few years.

If people start taking their medical condition seriously then it will not only benefit their own health but their medical expenditure will also be saved in future. It can be beneficial for both, the individual and the nation. Heart Diseases are one of the major killers in US. This changed categorization of blood pressure will make people understand the seriousness of connection between hypertension and heart diseases.

Stomach Gas Pain Reasons Symptoms and Solutions

Everybody faces the stomach gas problem a number of times in their lives. Sometimes it passes out through mouth and sometimes as farts. But in some cases this stomach gas become more troublesome and causes a lot of uneasiness and pain in stomach. The reasons and symptoms of stomach gas differ according to diet, lifestyle and physic of a person. The pain due to gas can affect a wide range of organs ranging from your intestine, abdomen and chest. Headache is also common is some cases. In some extreme cases of such gas, people misunderstand it as heart problem, appendicitis or kidney/gall bladder stones.

What we normally think as stomach gas is really intestinal gas. Even a normal person expels this gas at least 10 times a day. Most of these instances remain unnoticed due to lack of potential smell. But here we are talking about abnormal condition where this intestinal/stomach gas generates in excess and causes the real problem.

What are the symptoms of Gas ?

  • Stretching of Abdominal Region.
  • Blotting sensation and knotted feeling in abdomen.
  • Voluntary or Involuntary passing of gas.
  • Cramps or Pain in abdominal region.

When you should see a doctor ?

Usually the pain due to gas is  relieved either through some home remedies or changing postures to pass the gas. But sometimes the pain or uncomfortable feelings make the condition worst. If you feel the following symptoms then you should see a doctor.
  • Bloody Stools
  • Frequent Vomiting
  • Change in Stool color and frequency
  • Chest Pain
  • Weight Loss

The above mentioned symptoms sometimes indicate some other problem, instead of simple gas, which needs immediate medical attention. 

What causes gas pain in Stomach ?

As we have told you earlier that their are various reasons behind gas pain, depending on your eating habits, lifestyle, other medical conditions and medications. Here we have listed some common things that causes gas pain in stomach or abdominal region.
  • Gas usually arises from undigested food/carbohydrate that reaches our colon (large intestine). It can occur from the well known healthy foods which are rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sometimes dairy products can also cause gas. So over-consumption of healthy food can be painful sometimes, if it remains undigested in small intestine.
  • Constipation can cause gas pain even after eating normal diet. It happens because constipated large intestine don't let the gas pass through, which is necessary for a normal person. This blocked gas rises upwards and cause pain in abdominal/stomach region.
  • Usually we swallow small amount of air while chewing or drinking something. But if we swallow excess amount of air then it can be painful sometimes. Usually it happens when we are nervous, or when we are chewing gum, eating very fast, drinking through straw, or sucking candies.
  • Lactose Intolerance can also cause gas pain, especially when you are not aware of it and eat or drink some dairy product.
  • Artificial additives in food products, such as sweeteners can also be harmful for some healthy people. However such sweeteners are claimed to be healthy as they are sugar-free but sometimes they produce much more gas in our digestive system and cause gas pain.
  • Other health conditions (such as Diabetes,  Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease) can be sometimes the reason behind gas pain.

What are the solutions of stomach gas ?

  • You should avoid eating excess food, which is most common reason behind gas pain.
  • You should avoid eating such food products, which you feel that produce more gas in your digestive system. For example a lactose intolerant person should be aware of his condition and avoid dairy products. Even if he/she need to then proper amount of lactase (enzyme) supplement should be consumed with it.
  • Some lifestyle remedies can also save you from gas pain. These are chew your food properly, don't eat fast, don't eat too much, and don't smoke.
  • If you have some other medical condition responsible for gas, then get it treated properly.
  • Sometime over-the-counter medications can also help in getting relief from gas. But if you are having serious symptoms then you should must visit a doctor / medical practitioner. 

Do Deodorants cause Breast Cancer

A very interesting fact about most of the breast cancer cases is that most of the cancerous tumors are found in left upper / outer breast region (in both men and women). Most of the right handed people (which are majority), spray deodorants and antiperspirants on that region primarily and then other parts of body. It is enough to explain the seriousness of this issue.

People often due deodorants to get rid of body odor. Newer deodorants guarantee that they will keep your body odor null for a complete day. They do it by using certain chemicals that either make you sweat less or by killing the good bacteria on your skin which makes your sweat smell more. Such products are usually released in market after doing some short term researches which show that these products are safe for normal usage. Researches are going on to know the actual effect of these deodorants / chemical after long term usage. Some recent researches have shown some interesting results which can make the whole world think twice before using any deodorant in market.

 Before we go further, you must know about the type of products which are used to get rid of body odor.
  • Perfumes were just to put on clothes to override your body odor.
  • Deodorants mask the smell with a fragrance
  • Probiotic deodorant promote certain bacterial colonies which can make you smell better.
  • Antiperspirants reduce the amount of sweat.

When we searched about this issue on internet we found a website named cancer.gov which contain some authoritative information about it. According to cancer.gov Antiperspirants contain some aluminium based compounds which temporarily plugs the sweat duct and hence the sweat flow from the skin is reduced. Some experts believe that these aluminium compounds when applied for longer duration, may cause estrogen-like hormonal imbalance in body. As current researches suggest that estrogen can promote breast cancer cell growth, so some researchers believe that aluminium compounds in antiperspirants may promote breast cancer.

But does that mean that men are on safer side ?  Read further.

Parabens are a kind a preservatives used it deodorants and antiperspirants, which can also mimic the activity like estrogen and may cause cancer. However parabens are currently not used it most of the deodorants and antiperspirants in US, but still it is being used in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products.

Some studies were done by examining breast cancer patients and examining their history of usage of antiperspirants and underarm deodorants and underarm shaving habit. However most of these studies don't conclude a solid result, but still more researches are going on.
Manufacturers of such products always advertise on the basis of some major researches which found them safe for use, but still consumers use their own brain sometimes.

A fact published in dailymail.co.uk made a number of consumers feel something serious about usage of deodorants and antiperspirants. Britain is one of the leading consumers of such products and number of breast cancer cases in UK has doubled from 1970. Every year 13000 women in UK die due to breast cancer, which is something serious. The cases of breast cancer has not only affected women but also men, where the cases have also doubled in past 30 years.

 It doesn't matter if researches have found something or not, but if people get fearful of something then its consumption starts decreasing gradually. Some safety guidelines like frequency of usage and amount of usage should be printed on these products to save the consumers from any possible side effects. Hormonal imbalance is one of the primary reasons behind cancerous tumors in breast, so think twice before using any such product which may or may not harm you.

Smartphone Addiction : Test yourself and get a Solution

Smartphone addiction is a real problem that affect our health and most of us underestimate it. There was a time when only smoking and drinking were considered as addiction. As technology progressed a new type of addiction spread its legs into the human society. That addiction was addiction of electronic equipment. Kids get addicted to electronic games, adults to their smartphone.
Mobile phones were a handy way of communication but as they evolved into smartphones, they became much ore than a mode of communication. It became a camera, a radio, a gaming device, a video player and a social networking device with access to complete internet. It made things a lot easier and handy. Smartphones became one of the best friends of some people, even those who feel shy of talking. But the problem is not with the friendship with phone, the problem is with the over usage.
Most of the smartphone addicts will never confess it that they are addicted to it as they really don't know it. They believe that whatever they are doing with their smartphone is necessary for them to do.

How does Smartphone addiction affect your health ?

  • Smartphone addiction decreases your concentration level on other tasks. Most common of such tasks are studying. It results in bad grades in schools and more accidents on roads.
  • Most of the accidents on roads happen due to usage of phone while driving. It is not only risky for you but also for others on road.
  • Smartphone addict people spend more time watching their phone screen, which damages their sight and they require glasses at an early age.
  • Smartphone addict people interact less with other people in real life. Your health is not just your body but also your social life (Social life and social networking are totally different).
  • Smartphone addicts watch lesser News / Current Events / Science TV Channels and hence have lesser general knowledge.
  • Smartphones also disturb the night life of couples. Even if any one of them is addict then they get lesser time to get intimate, which is a major necessity of good married life.
  • Smartphone addicts give less importance to other necessary tasks such as a kid's school function, doing worship, having dinner together and many more. It disconnects them not only from society but also from their own family. 

Smartphone Addiction Test

The answer to following question will help you in understanding if you are an addict or not. If your answer is yes to any of these questions then you are going towards addiction.
  • Do you check your phone for messages/chats/facebook every night before sleeping ?
  • Do you send jokes to your friends on smartphone even when they are sitting with you in the same room ?
  • Do you start feeling uncomfortable if you smartphone battery gets exhausted ?
  • Do you check your phone every hour while you are awake ?
  • Do you check you phone even while getting intimate with your partner ?
  • Do you take calls while having a shower ?
  • Do you check your phone on a dinner date ?
  • Do you check your phone in a movie theater ?
If your answer is "Yes" to most of these questions then you are an addict.

Draw a line between healthy usage and addiction

However it is hard to draw a line for an addict but you must do it if you feel that you are going towards addiction. Here are some ways to draw a line.
  • Don't use your phone after a certain time in night. You may decide an appropriate time yourself, so that you can get a proper good night sleep.
  • Attend the calls only when it is appropriate to take calls. Not taking a call or not checking your phone in bathroom, during a school program of your kid, while driving ,or in a movie theater won't make much difference but it will save you from addiction, accidents and embarrassment.
  • try to avoid using your smartphone when you are in company of your family, friends or relatives. Real life family and friends are more important rather than thousands of friends on facebook.
  • Don't check your phone after every few minutes for some notifications. It won't hurt if you don't check some notification for a while. It is better to mute your notifications tone and just keep ON the ringtone to attend calls.

A number of institutions like schools in US are using Yondr, a small gray pouch that swallow phones and lock them until you get them unlocked before leaving that institution. It not only helps you in concentrating on your work or study, but also saves you from being an addict. Such practices should be followed all over the world.