In case you missed it: our most popular topics

I have been writing My Healthy Matters for nearly two years, and over that time there have been over 50,000 views to the site.  To all of you who read along with me, THANK YOU!

I took a pause in writing new posts today to look at the statistics on what most of you are reading on the blog.  It is really fascinating to see what strikes your collective fancy, so I thought I’d do a little retrospective post to highlight the most popular posts of the past.  You may wish to go back and read what you missed.

I’ll rank them in order of popularity, based on number of people who viewed them in 2017, and I’ll include links to the posts in case you want to read them.

Continue reading “In case you missed it: our most popular topics”

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New blood pressure guidelines: 130 is the new 140

Dr. Marty Stillman reassures me about my blood pressure

For many years I have been telling listeners and patients that “one-third of you have high blood pressure and many of you don’t know it.”  Turns out I need to update that to “nearly one-half of you have high blood pressure and many of you don’t know it.”

That is because the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association guidelines for hypertension – high blood pressure – were recently updated.  Like any good scientific process, the guidelines change as our knowledge of the science changes.  That is exactly what occurred this past month.

I mentioned all this on the most recent Healthy Matters radio broadcast.  I started the show off with this information, all of which you can listen to on the podcast by clicking Healthy Matters show #463, November 19,2017.

Your doctor may be . . . should be . . .  talking about this with you at some future visit.  In this post I’ll try to break the new guidelines down for you a bit.  If you read on, you’ll find:

  • New 2017 blood pressure guidelines
  • Bad effects of high blood pressure
  • A word about garden hoses and metal pipes.  Huh?
  • How to measure your own blood pressure.
  • Treatments for high blood pressure.
  • Tips about healthy living.

Let’s get to it.

Continue reading “New blood pressure guidelines: 130 is the new 140”

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Coffee, WHO and You: the best news in a long time

cup-of-coffee-1414919__180OK, before I say one thing about this topic, we need to set the mood by playing this very short audio clip.  Make sure the sound is turned up on your computer or mobile device and click the “play” arrow.

This is going to be epic:

 

 

Hallelujah!  Yes, indeed, the medical community has determined that drinking coffee is not only probably not bad for you, it may actually be good for you.

Here I am celebrating (undoubtedly after having had a couple cups):

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That news is proof of a divine being, I say.

Continue reading “Coffee, WHO and You: the best news in a long time”

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Quick tips: stroke symptoms, swollen legs, and glucose levels

Lots DRH Letterboxof questions from listeners on the show this week and time did not permit me to get to all of them.  So nothing fancy in this post.  Just quick answers on a range of topics from actual listeners.

If you missed the show, the podcast is here (click the logo) for you to listen to on your computer, phone, or whereever:logo_healthy-matters

 

 

Just like on the radio show, I can’t give complete answers to questions here.  Always good to check with your own doctor.  

Here’s how this post will go.  I’ll cover 3 topics in a bit of depth:  swollen legs, blood glucose, and recognizing a stroke.  Although all are important, I really want you to know the symptoms of stroke so I’ll start with that.  At the end I’ll do a few quick “lighting round” questions.  Fasten your seatbelts. Continue reading “Quick tips: stroke symptoms, swollen legs, and glucose levels”

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Aspirin: should you take it?

aspirinThere was a big development in health care news this week.  The buzz is all about the latest guidelines on aspirin since our friends at the US Preventive Services Task Force updated the recommendations.  It came out in the Annals of Internal Medicine just this week on April 12, 2016.  Talk about “hot off the presses” reporting, eh?  This post is going to decipher the guidelines on who should take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks, stroke, and now even colon cancer.  I think this is one of the most important topics I’ve covered yet.

Consider the humble aspirin

  • Descendant of willow bark
  • Invented during the reign of Queen Victoria
  • Known to doctors and nerdy people (that may be redundant) as acetylsalicylic acid (aka ASA to prescription-writers)
  • Introduced by Bayer in 1899 as a powder to treat rheumatic conditions like gout
  • Has been used for centuries (maybe without knowing why) as a pain reliever
  • Almost certainly reduces risk of heart attacks , strokes, and colon cancer.  Possibly reduces risks of esophageal, breast, ovarian, and maybe some other cancers as well.

Should I take an aspirin?

I should note that I’m going to stick to people who have NOT had a heart attack or stroke.   Those people certainly need some kind of anti-platelet treatment and aspirin is one of the best choices for many reasons and may be helpful for secondary prevention of future problems.  Here we are referring to primary prevention which means trying to prevent heart attack and stroke (and we can add colorectal cancer) in people who have never had these conditions.

So let’s get to it.  What do the new guidelines say? Continue reading “Aspirin: should you take it?”

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