High blood pressure on the rise among young adults

(NaturalNews) Rates of high blood pressure have remained fairly steady over the past ten years in every category except one: young adults between the ages of 18 and 39. According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increasing numbers of young adults are developing high blood pressure, and more young people than ever are now taking blood pressure medication for the condition.

"[I] got upset when I first found out because I automatically associated it with people who are overweight or old," explained Kristen Pessalano, a 23-year-old woman with high blood pressure, in an ABC News article. "I would have never associated high blood pressure with someone my age, especially when I appeared to be totally healthy."

And there are likely millions of other young adults like Kristen who think they are safe just because of their age, without taking into account their dietary and lifestyle habits. The modern American diet is loaded with high levels of bad fat, processed sodium, highly-refined sweeteners, and artificial chemical additives, all of which contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

"I'm not surprised that more and more young people are being treated for high blood pressure since the incidence of obesity, a contributing cause for high blood pressure, is increasing in this age group," Dr. Randal Thomas, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is quoted as saying by ABC News.

According to the American Heart Association, roughly 30 percent of all adults suffer from elevated blood pressure levels, which will likely develop into full-blown high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease if not addressed nutritionally. To learn more about high blood pressure and how to prevent and treat it

Statistics Show Drug Abuse in Seniors is Rising

(NaturalNews) A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found a dramatic increase in illicit drug use in adults 50 and over, including an alarming incidence of non medical use of prescription drugs among women aged 60 to 64. In part, this increase points to the aging of the baby boomer generation, and reportedly may necessitate the doubling of substance abuse treatment facilities by 2020.

The SAMHSA report, entitled Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults, found that an estimated 4.7% of older adults (4.3 million) have used an illegal drug during the past year. The report further showed that men 50 and over were almost twice as likely to use marijuana over the nonmedical use of prescription drugs. In those 65 years or older, the use of nonmedical prescription drugs was found to be more common than marijuana use.

Taking all age groups into consideration, men had the higher rate in using all types of drugs. However, women were found to have equal or greater nonmedical use of prescription drugs than men (1.9 vs. 1.7%). In particular, women between 60 and 64 years of age had a much higher rate of nonmedical use of prescription drugs, primarily for the purpose of self-medicating.

Pamela S. Hyde, J. D., SAMHSA Administrator, said that "This new data has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults who continue to abuse substances." She further went on to say that this study pointed out the need for prevention programs focusing on all age groups, together with the proper screening and referral programs to be included in routine health services.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), the agency that monitors medications and illicit drugs reporting in emergency rooms across the nation, reported that the two most common prescription drugs that are abused are benzodiazepines (diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam) and opiates (oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone). The abuse ranges from dependence on solely one drug to several combinations.

Self-medication in both older men and women is often the result of an attempt to relieve both physical and emotional issues. With children "gone from the nest," many widowed women find themselves in the position of not having needed companionship - trying their best to cope with loneliness. Women who outlive their spouses also find themselves not being as financially independent as their male counterparts, causing additional stress.

The danger in this type of behavior is dependence on these highly addictive drugs. Although they present a health risk in themselves, dangers also come into play when the person, not aware of the imminent withdrawal symptoms and the health risks involved, ceases to take these medications.

When treating seniors for drug dependence, several steps are necessary. The most important step is to address their emotional concerns by providing psychological treatment and support, focusing on stress relief and development of a healthy lifestyle. The drug or drugs in question must be eliminated. However, in many instances sudden removal of the drugs is not possible and must be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Too often our seniors, finding themselves alone and with no one to nurture, seriously neglect their own diets. Guidance towards a healthy diet may be necessary. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, minus the sugar, processed foods, junk foods, and fast foods, has been proven to relieve depression and anxiety.

Among the supplements that are effective in relieving these conditions are SAMe, 5-HTP, I-Theanine, GABA, St. John's Wort, Bach Flower Remedies, and Omega 3's. Please note that certain herbs should not be mixed with medications.

UCLA Study Says Drinking Soda Causes Obesity

(NaturalNews) Regular soda consumption significantly increases a person's risk of obesity, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

"We drink soda like water," said Harold Goldstein of the Center for Public Health Advocacy, which also took part in the study. "But unlike water, soda serves up a whopping 17 teaspoons of sugar in every 20-ounce serving."

Researchers interviewed 40,000 adults on their beverage consumption habits, finding that adults who drank one sugary beverage per day were 27 percent more likely to be classified as overweight than those who drank sugary beverages less frequently.

Drinking one soda per day involves the consumption of 39 pounds of sugar per year.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, 15.5 percent of adults, 56 percent of teenagers, and 41 percent of children under the age of 12 in Santa Cruz County, Calif., consume one soda per day. The figures on children's consumption were obtained from their parents.

An estimated 64 percent of adults in the city of Pajaro Valley are overweight or obese. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District says that 39 percent of its seventh graders are already overweight or at risk of being overweight.

Health advocates are acting on levels from the local to national to limit the damage done by soda and other sugary beverages. Many schools have banned sugary drinks from their campuses, but Watsonville High School Principal Murry Schekman admits that it is easy for students to get around this restriction by purchasing the beverages off campus.

"We need to provide a steady stream of information to students and families so they can very much understand the real dangers of sugar-sweetened products," Schekman said.

On the city, state and national levels, there are also campaigns to impose a tax on soda. And the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food assistance program recently banned the use of its funds to purchase juice for infants.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites