Life under pressure

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Last Monday, November 13th, the authorities of cardiovascular health in the United States unveiled the 2017 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure at the American Heart Association meeting in Anaheim, CA.

The copy of the new guideline was only available to the media seven hours before the meeting, and with reason. Based on the new parameters, the number of Americans who have high blood pressure–130 systolic over 80 diastolic–surpasses 100 million and many of them don’t even know it.

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Currently, the World Health Organization defines hypertension as 140 systolic over 90 diastolic. However, in light of this new directive from the United States, it won’t be a surprise that the rest of the world will follow suit.

Although the American Heart Association and other health organizations dedicate their efforts and research toward finding ways to extend life expectancy, drastic changes such as the new high blood pressure level generate skepticism due to the massive effects on public health policy.

The new high blood pressure level reresents more than four million potential new users for the pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. The same situation happened in 2004. The ACC and AHA reduced the cholesterol normal level from 130 to 100, which caused an increase of eight million new “clients” for the statin manufactures.

Another factor that raises questions is the origin of the initiatives and the studies used to argue and support these changes. Most of the time, these are commissioned and financed by the same beneficiaries of their results: the pharmaceuticals.

Everything related to this issue matters to me greatly. My maternal Grandmother has endured the constant threat of hypertension since she was 35, and my husband survived a massive heart attack–ironically not caused by high blood pressure–in December of 2010 when I was five months pregnant.

The day cardiovascular disease walks through the door of one’s home, your life changes forever. Therefore, my husband and I try to follow a healthy life-style to set an example for our six-year-old son. Nonetheless, keeping up with the rhythm of the trendy diets of our time is not only difficult but expensive.

Every so often there is a new “super-food” which is advertised as the cure for everything, but a month later, a new study reveals that all previous promises are not true or can actually cause adverse reactions in people if ingested in high quantities.

In my opinion, everything in excess is harmful. A beautiful body and a healthy life require more than anything balance, not just eating habits, but living habits in general.

Extreme dieting tends to eliminate from the grocery list vital nutrients, such as natural sugars and fats, labeling them as unhealthy. At the same time, diets rich in sweet or salty “snacks,” filled with added-sugar processed food and beverages, are the perfect recipe to become a member of the pharma dependent list.

I will continue to follow my home country, Colombia, saying, “Full belly, happy heart”, but I’ll try to make sure to fill it with good stuff!

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora

This column was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency. Many things in life don’t have insurance. For everything else call Zellner (888) 208-8119

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