Sosyal Medya

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension in medical terms, is one of the most common diseases. Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” because of the fact that very few people are aware it is a threat until it is way above the healthy limit. According to a review by the American Heart Association, nearly one-third of Americans have high blood pressure. As you travel from the Western world to the Middle East, awareness about health issues decreases, resulting in uncontrolled diseases . Hypertension may come into your life acutely after a stressful event or can seize your life without letting you know when it is too late. The pattern is referred to as chronic hypertension, which requires lifelong treatment.

The modern history of hypertension begins very early compared to other diseases. It was first discovered back in 16th century in a book named “De motu cordis” written by William Harvey, who conducted research on the cardiovascular system.

In the 18th century, a British clergyman named Stephen Hales made the first published measurement of arterial blood pressure. Hypertension was described as a disease in the early 19th century. However it became a clinical entity by utilizing cuff measurement in late 1800s. Cuff measurement allowed blood pressure to be measured in the clinical setting. Nikolai Korotkoff achieved the major improvement in 1905 when he described the sounds that heard during auscultation while the cuff on the patient was deflated. He gave his last name to these sounds and today we still refer to them as Korotkoff sounds. The upper or first number (marked on first sound heard through auscultation) in a blood pressure reading is called the systolic pressure and the lower or second number (marked on last sound heard through auscultation) is called the diastolic pressure.

You will hear every heartbeat between these two numbers, but the reading of the highest and lowest is important clinically.

Many people are confused over which is considered more important. Well, both of them are. The background or physiology of these sounds is what makes them important to us. The systolic blood pressure represents the pressure in your arteries. This pressure occurs when the heart beats and pumps blood to the arteries. The second reading, which is recorded on the last sound heard, is the diastolic pressure and this is the pressure representing the resting or relaxation pressure of the arteries. Arteries are important as they are the pathways for oxygenrich blood in all parts of the body. If you have hypertension then your arteries wall stress will increase, resulting in constant constriction. Think of a water hose that you use in your garden and imagine you are closing the tip when there is water going through it. As much as you close the tip, the force of water exiting the hose will increase.

If you have ever observed the force of water in soil, you will notice that it lifts the soil off the ground. It is the same process that is being played out in your arteries when there is hypertension.

So, with high blood pressure your arterial walls will start to age, resulting in chronic arterial diseases. Moreover, in addition to an increase in wall stress, the amount of blood that travels might also decrease as well. There you go with two concomitant basic problems. This is why your arteries are important.

When they age, you age in return.

According to my clinical experience, I see many people with high blood pressure do not feel any symptoms until the very last moment and therefore they do not have their hypertension diagnosed until they come for a visit. There is no test available for us to know when hypertension starts, so if it is not treated for many years, we cannot estimate the destruction it has done to your body. We do advise that people get regular checkups but even if you do not like going to a doctor you can always check for your blood pressure at home. Blood pressure measurement is one of most frustration free diagnostic tools. You should at least give it a try and make it part of your routine. Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and can cause severe injury to other organs.

Ideal, or normal, blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. When it is slightly elevated to the range of 120/80 or 140/90, one’s body is in a prehypertension state. In other words, your body can alert you that you are on track for hypertension.

In this range we can help you out with only lifestyle change instead of directly prescribing you a pill for it (if you do not have any other cardiovascular risk factor). Basic lifestyle modifications that help reduce blood pressure are losing weight, exercising and limiting salt intake. If a person’s blood pressure is over 140/90 they are considered to have stage 1 hypertension, and if it is over 160/100 they are in stage 2. In both stages you most probably will end-up taking pills to reduce your blood pressure, but in stage 1 there is at least hope that lifelong therapy will not be necessary.

Hypertension is a multifactorial clinical condition. Some of the factors can be controlled with lifestyle remodeling such as weight, salt use, habitual alcohol use, limited physical exercise and of course stress. The factors that cannot be controlled through alteration are your genetic predisposition, elderly age status and race.

Although we are aware of mechanisms and contribution factors of hypertension, we still cannot define what causes hypertension despite the fact that it was discovered as early as 1925. It is called essential or idiopathic, because we don’t really know where it comes from and roughly about 95 percent of all hypertension cases are in this group.

Improvement in medicine has taught us all the pathophysiology and treatment of this disease but not the root. We do hope that someday we will find it and eliminate this silent killer from people’s lives. Now let’s go through your alternative options in reducing blood apart from weight loss, routine exercise and reducing salt intake.


This tops the list of home remedies that help reduce blood pressure.

Many studies have shown that garlic can lower systolic blood pressure. On average, the efficacy of garlic on the reduction of blood pressure is about 10mm Hg (which is less than 10 percent). The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is thought to be effective in this reduction. It is thought to lower blood pressure through the body’s nitric oxide system that relaxes the arteries.

There are some cons to using garlic depending on your condition, so please ask to your doctor if you are free to use it as a home remedy.


Hibiscus tea and supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure in human research. A systematic review of two randomized controlled trials found that hibiscus tea was associated with reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure when compared to black tea. The latter two studies were more important because they compared hibiscus extract to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (actual hypertension medicines).

In these studies, researchers have shown reductions in blood pressure for hibiscus extract treated groups, but the effects were not as much as those recorded in ACE-inhibitor treated groups.

Chocolate / Cocoa:

Studies in humans have shown that eating dark chocolate or chocolate or cocoa products may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The power source of cacao is flavonols. Although it is not powerful enough to treat hypertension, it does help. Research has shown that 50g of daily cocoa consumption is associated with 2 to 3 mm Hg drop in blood pressure.

Chocolate is believed to interact with the nitric oxide system resulting in relaxation of arteries. There are also some indicators that it may act similarity to angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors, the active substances in hypertension drugs. Despite the fact that we have some evidence, further research is still needed.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is oil based and found naturally in fish, eggs and milk. Our bodies also produce it naturally during exposure to the sun. In the current years recent research has proven the efficacy and power of Vitamin D to treat heart problems and some even call it the longevity vitamin. Low levels of vitamin D are thought to have a role in the development of high blood pressure. The literature establishing the connection of vitamin D with hypertension is scarce but the clues we are gathering from these limited number of studies is that blood pressure is often elevated when there is reduced exposure to sunlight or impaired vitamin D intake.

Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet:

Research has shown that vegetarians have a much lower incidence of high blood pressure. I am not indoctrinating or advising you to become a vegetarian but I am saying that you can at least benefit from this approach. You can gradually import vegetarian habits to your diet plan and in turn you will eat less fat and less salt while increasing you fiber and potassium intake.

It will help you to lose weight as well in addition to the basic benefits.

For a healthier cardiovascular system you need potassium and for a healthier body you need a healthier gut that the fiber will
provide you with.

English Articles

False Facts About Catching a Cold, Flu



Everyone catches a cold once or twice in the winter and mid-seasons. Although we take precautions to prevent catching a cold, the false facts that we believe to be true misdirect us. To be able to protect ourselves from the disease, it is important to know facts about the disease in the first place

Even though it is getting warmer, changes in temperature have the potential to lead to different diseases. Some of us have already started to feel tired, get the sniffles or become sneezy. Amid the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we do not have time to rest and look after ourselves to fight our sicknesses. One should not forget that the most important point in the fight against a cold is to take precautionary measures.

Well, what do you know about illnesses, such as the cold, which affects the quality of our lives immensely? How accurate is the advice that our elders or neighbors give us? One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the source of sickness (for influenza) is not cold weather, but it is microorganisms and viruses. Here are several points about colds that are actually false.

Does going out with wet hair make us sick?

Cold or flu develops after a virus called “rhinovirus” enters the human body. Regardless of the temperature, weather or environmental conditions, once this virus enters into your body through your nose, mouth or other organs, then you will get sick. Otherwise, this virus will not affect you even though it exists in the same place where you are.

In this case, if we go out with wet hair, are we more likely to catch this virus? Well, wet hair only leads you to feel the cold more intensely. That is why this ongoing belief is still popular among people.

A group of American scientists studied the influence of going out with wet hair in cold weather on catching cold or flu. They first asked a group of participants if they believe this factor increases the risk of getting a cold. Some 41 percent of them responded “yes” to this question.

Then they prepared two different settings where the flu virus existed. In one of these settings, there were cold temperature conditions while the other had normal weather conditions. Some of the participants had wet hair and some had dry hair when they entered their own settings.

The result turned out to be very interesting. According to the study, in the same conditions (cold temperature), no difference was observed between the participants with wet hair and those with dry hair regarding their chances of getting cold. The only difference between the two groups turned out to be that the participants with wet hair felt colder than the participants with dry hair.

There are more studies that point out the same results. Thus, it has been scientifically proven that wet hair in cold weather does not increase the chances of getting a cold. Well, you’d better tell your mother about this fact because it is very likely she will resist changing this strong belief about catching a cold.

Do wool caps protect us from getting cold?

I am sure there are thousands of people who spent their childhood wearing woolen caps like I did, thus you became like a pea in a pod with your cap on until the weather gets better. The common belief that woolen caps protect us from getting cold stems from the belief that the fastest and biggest heat loss in the human body occurs from the head when the body starts to lose heat in cold weather, a belief that dates back 50 years.

The U.S. Army Forces conducted various experiments to increase their chances of survival in the perishing cold, to which the soldiers were likely to be exposed. A pretty cold environment was prepared for the experiment guided by scientists. Some volunteer soldiers started to wait in a cold room without wool caps and scientists measured the head temperatures of soldiers at certain intervals. Results show that soldiers lost up to 50 percent of their body heat from the head.

One of the most important reasons why this belief is still popular is the trust in the results of the scientific research. But, does the fact that we lose heat from our head quickly and in large amounts mean that it is the only part of our body that loses heat? Of course, not. If that was the case, only wearing a woolen cap would be enough to protect us from risk of freezing.

Grounding his research in this argument, Dr. Daniel Sessler, president of Cleveland Clinic Research Center, conducted similar a similar study – in cooperation with the U.S. army again – including participants who wore swimsuits in the same conditions. This study showed that almost every part of the human body experiences heat loss at the same level when the body is not protected in cold weather.

Thus, even if we can’t say that wearing a wool cap does not make any difference in cold weather, we can easily say that protecting only the head does not protect us from getting cold.

To sum up, always remember it is microorganisms and viruses that make us sick, not the cold weather itself. We must be especially careful about keeping our hands clean as we are frequently in crowded places and in contact with people who have a cold or the flu. Hands are in constant contact with the mouth and nose, which serve as an entrance point for microorganisms. We must make a habit out of washing our hands especially while it is still cold.

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English Articles

Depression: A Hidden Heart Disease Risk Factor For Women



Depression is almost twice as likely to affect women than men. Difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite and fatigue are the most common symptoms, but another lesser-known risk is a higher chance of heart attack

If we have not seen for ourselves a person who has had a heart attack before, the first image that comes to our minds in such a situation is similar to those in movie scenes. In most cases, a man holding his chest suddenly collapses, and the diagnosis is a heart attack. There is a strong public belief that a heart attack is seen in men more than women. This partially true data does not necessarily mean that women are at a lower risk.

The human body generally gives signals about what is happening. The important thing is to interpret these messages correctly and in a timely manner. The male and female bodies are two different systems that process things in different ways. This is why the same disease can show up with different signals in the two sexes. A heart attack is one of them.

If you have problems such as fatigue, heartburn, indigestion, sudden dizziness and lack of quality sleep, it may be a sign that you are at risk of a heart attack. Many women can relate these symptoms to busy work life, stress and city life. These are true, yet your lifestyle may assist in developing such symptoms, which can lead to worse health problems.

Do you constantly feel tired?

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints in our lives. Insomnia, the flu or the side effects of medications can easily cause tiredness, but being able to associate your fatigue with these causes does not mean that the actual cause of your complaints is one of them.

The results of a survey on women who have had a heart attack are quite interesting. More than 70 percent of women who had a heart attack reported that they had a feeling of fatigue that did not go away in the pre-heart attack period.

Do you have trouble sleeping?

There can be many different reasons for lack of sleep, and the vast majority requires regular treatment. If you cannot sleep immediately when you get into bed at night or if it takes too much time, you should be careful. A scientific study on women suffering from a heart attack calls attention to women’s sleep disorders. Almost half of the women who had a heart attack reported that they had suffered from lack of sleep that lasted for a while.

Do you suffer from shortness of breath?

If you are having difficulty doing routine activities during the day and the most obvious change that is bothering you is shortness of breath, never ignore this. Studies have shown that unexpected shortness of breath, which cannot be attributed to a known illness, may be a symptom of a heart attack for women. If you suffer from a cough as well as shortness of breath, this can be a signal you need to take seriously.

Do you suffer from heartburn and indigestion?

Eating habits and existing stomach disorders may cause you to develop heartburn. What should be noted here is whether you have a known illness that can explain your stomach problem. If you have not developed heartburn or indigestion complaints before, do not ignore it.

Another scientific study on women who had a heart attack draws attention to the finding that women who suffer from (unexpected) heartburn and indigestion should be careful. According to the study, almost 40 percent of women who had a heart attack reported that they suffered from heartburn or indigestion before the heart attack occurred.

Apart from heartburn, nausea and vomiting that occur without reason are among the heart attack symptoms for women. A study examining pre-heart attack symptoms showed that women had twice as many stomach and intestinal system diseases as men. In this case, women who have complaints such as heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting that develop without cause should pay twice as much attention as men.

Do you have serious anxiety problems?

Depression, angst and anxiety are frequently experienced among many people. Panic attacks, which have seriously increased in prevalence, are one of the psychological disorders that go along with a heart attack. As I mentioned before, if there is no known cause of the situation you are experiencing, you should take it seriously.

A study on women who had heart attacks call attention to the fact that women suffering from anxiety and angst should be careful. According to the survey, most of the women who had a heart attack said that they suffered from unexpected anxiety and angst in the pre-heart attack period.

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English Articles

A Heart-Friendly Grocery List For Your Next Shopping Trip



While walking along a supermarket’s aisles, the temptation to buy a variety of food items sets in, not aware that your basket is already full. For a healthy diet especially for the heart, you need a smart grocery list

Having a well-thought grocery list does not only save you time but helps you stick to a healthy diet. The items on your grocery list show how much you prioritize your health without being fooled by the marking hype.

The same thing goes when it comes to your heart health. Avoiding unhealthy food is as crucial as consuming foods rich in nutrients, fiber and healthy fats to prevent heart attacks. We have put together a shopping list for a heart-healthy diet.

The following foods that have been proven to be healthy for your heart should be included on your shopping list.

Beet greens

Are you throwing beet greens in the trash? Don’t! Beet greens is the top item on our list to protect yourself against heart diseases. Studies have revealed many advantages of beet greens for health. Fibers found in beet greens are known to decrease cholesterol absorption. Particularly those who have high cholesterol should definitely take advantage of the health benefits of beet greens. The heart-friendly product also helps stabilize your blood pressure thanks to its potassium content.

Canola oil

Marketed as heart-healthy oil, canola oil, which used to be widely available in local markets is currently a rarity. Made from crushed canola seeds, it has less saturated fat than any of the other oil kinds. It is higher in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies show that sterols found in the canola plant lowers bad cholesterol levels. Canola oil is also very rich in antioxidants and (thanks to antioxidants) it reduces inflammation in the body. You need to consume one table spoon of canola oil to get the expected benefits.

Bitter chocolate

There are enough studies to make any chocolate lover happy. Findings show that bitter chocolate speeds metabolism and aids weight loss, putting a smile on women’s faces in particular. However, in order to accelerate your metabolism, you need to make sure that your choice of bitter chocolate contains no less than 70 percent cacao.In addition to boosting metabolism, bitter chocolate is also good for your heart. Flavanols found in cacao help your vessels to flex and your blood to dilute, thus, reducing your blood pressure. Flexing your blood vessels is an important factor helping you reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, do not forget that bitter chocolate must contain at least 70 percent cacao in order to protect your health.


A staple of traditional Turkish cuisine, garlic is usually an indispensable item in the preparation of dishes. Researchers say consuming one clove of garlic – or if you are taking it in powder form, 1 teaspoon – will also provide protection against cardiac diseases. Garlic flexes your muscles and prevents plate formation in vessels and high cholesterol.


The struggle to lose weight has been one of the most popular subjects in the last few years. A number of scientific studies spotlight the fiber content of apples. There is about 5 milligrams of fiber in an apple – enough to meet (+/-) three-quarters of our daily intake need. Those trying to lose weight must definitely include apples in their diet. There are some other studies revealing that eating an apple a day helps you protect against heart diseases. Apple ranks fifth on our list of heart-healthy products. Scientists say that the high fiber flavonoid content of apples reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes and lowers cholesterol levels! Consuming an apple a day is crucial for your health.

Olive oil

Used frequently in Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is deemed as one of the miracles of nature. Very rich in antioxidants, olive oil helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels without affecting HDL (good cholesterol). Therefore, it ranks sixth on this list. In order to benefit from olive oil, you need to consume about 2 tablespoons per day. It is advised to consume it raw by adding it to salads. There are a myriad of olive oil varieties available at supermarkets, which perplexes shoppers. It is very normal that you might not be able to decide which one to buy. The packaging and labels are sometimes confusing. My personal advice is to go for the “natural extra virgin olive oil.”

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