Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Movers and Shakers

Last year, I was surprised to find out that I was nominated (and chosen!) to be one of Broward county's Top 40 (people) under 40 for Gold Coast Magazine. We are called "the movers and shakers", innovators and leaders, in the January 2013 article...and I must say I feel honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.

Our goal as a whole? Change our community (and nation!) for the better. I was honored to be surrounded by other young adults who share the same drive and determination for making this world a better place... like me! Alongside myself were artists, attorneys, charity organizers, city commissioners, the youngest house of representatives elect, a CFO of a major hospital system, a bank vice-president, a dentist and a veterinarian...just to mention a few. Funny thing, is most of these talented people do not just have a special job, but are also volunteers for multiple organizations. The digital article can be!

My goal? To continue to make you all proud! I will continue to strive to make sure that women's heart health is given the awareness that it deserves. More than anything, I will do everything I can to keep those hearts of yours healthy! I am a lucky girl, although I will admit what I do everyday is no easy task...but hey, someone has to do it! I wouldn't change the sleepless nights and tired days for anything in the world...because like I said on my facebook page, hearing "thank you for saving my life" makes it all worthwhile.

It's important for us all to realize that age is just a number...young, old or in between, we can all have a positive impact on this world!

For your continued support, I thank you all!!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Don't Play with your Pressure!

The most common primary medical diagnosis in the United States is hypertension, or high blood pressure. The most common question I get from my patients is "why do I have high blood pressure", followed directly by "how can I make it better"?

Believe it or not, you are most certainly not alone. 1 in 3 Americans has hypertension, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. So what causes it? Well, to be honest we are not quite sure. There are some cases that may be reversible, such as obesity, but typically there are no identifiable causes. In this case, it is called essential hypertension, and affects 90-095% of people. Patients that have essential hypertension are typically tried on diet correction (low salt) and exercise (leading to possible weight loss) prior to the start of medications. There are some cases however, which require medication first and foremost, if the pressure is just too high.

My friend learning her blood pressure.
It's never too early to learn your
The second, and obviously more rare causes of hypertension are what other name then "secondary" hypertension. The causes of secondary hypertension include kidney problems, some medications (such as oral contraceptives and pain relievers) and illegal drugs. Luckily, the majority of secondary hypertension cases are reversible with discontinuation of the causative agents or correction of kidney problems (not always possible, though).

So why is high blood pressure education so important? Well, it is called the "silent killer" because a typical patient does not feel anything. Currently, you may have a severely elevated blood pressure, and not even know it. High blood pressure leads to cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US. That's why it is SO important to be seen by a physician annually and get your BP checked. (This applies to everyone...even young adults and teenagers!)

What's normal? Less than 120/80. The first (or top) number is the pressure in your arteries when the heart is contracting/beating. The second (or bottom) is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting. There are various stages above this number that are pre-hypertension, stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension.

It you don't know your BP go find out now! It may just save your life!

Until next time,