- Thrive in Midlife – Stephen Arterburn
Who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing? What’s the meaning of life? If you’re an adult male over the age of thirty-five or forty, you may have asked yourself those very questions. Counselor Stephen Arterburn provides guidance through the midlife crises.Read more »
- Fast Food Genocide – Dr Joel Fuhrman
- DNA Study Announced
The U. S government is currently seeking one million people from all walks of life willing to share their DNA, environment, and health habits with researchers. The goal is to evaluate how lifestyle changes our genes.
This ambitious 1.45 billion dollar study by the NIH will give new and valuable information on the importance of lifestyle factors in health. Frances Collins, director of the NIH, describes the All of US Research Program as “A national adventure that is going to transform medical care.”
We know that stress from certain lifestyle habits can age our genes. Pending our genetic hardware, these stressors eventually may cause damage with the resulting symptoms. The terms telomere shortening and methylation are just some of the mechanisms that attempt to explain these changes. Our current medical system focuses on evaluating symptoms and treating them.
This study hopes to quantitate the role of various lifestyle factors on physiology. Why do some people stay healthy despite smoking, poor nutrition, or other environmental stressors? Could lifestyle changes be more important than medications? How do nutritional interventions, and mental stress change our genetics? I am particularly interested in the physiology of worship.
This NIH study aims to be the largest and most diverse of its kind. This study will need to enroll a diverse group and plans to follow one million for ten years. I applaud those initiating this important study. This study has enrolled 25,000 to date. Finding those one million to study will be no easy task. This is a story we will want to follow.Read more »
- Blood Under Pressure – Dr. James Marcum
If you think you’re under a lot of pressure, you’re right. Normal blood pressure in our bodies keeps things moving. Lack of pressure means we’re dead. But, too much pressure? Dr. James Marcum provides insights into how to keep this dangerous condition at bay.Read more »
- Caregiving – June Hunt
“I didn’t sign up for this!” These unspoken words are more than likely on the lips of many people who have found themselves playing the role of caregiver in the saga of their lives. Counselor June Hunt shares how we can transform that responsibility from prison to privilege.Read more »
- Employee Wellness – Susan Levin
- Beautiful Forgiveness – Yvonne Ortega
- Dangerous Sleep – Dr James Marcum
Sleep—that glorious, peaceful escape from the daily grind. We all need it. More to the point, we probably all need more of it. However, there is a medical condition that can turn sweet dreams into your worst nightmare. Dr. James Marcum wakes us up to the reality of dangerous sleep.Read more »
- Cancer Screening – Dr Michael Greger
- New Hypertension Guidelines
Dr. Paul Whelton and a large number of experts in hypertension have recently published new guidelines for the treatment and prevention of hypertension. These guidelines have been published in many scientific journals and the media has covered this release extensively. The new guidelines replace JNC-7 guidelines. Why are the new guidelines getting so much attention?
The new guidelines lower and change the definition of hypertension. The new blood pressure number is 130/70. If your blood pressure is above this, you have high blood pressure. This will increase those with high blood pressure to over 45% of the adult population. I was recently asked to present a perspective on hypertension at a cardiovascular symposium.
The new guidelines are just that, new guidelines. Our bodies were not designed to be exposed to prolonged high pressures in our arteries and organs. Pending our genetic make-up, this leads to damaged organs and the resulting problems such as heart attacks, stroke, aneurysms, kidney disease, dementia, organ dysfunction and the list goes on.
According to a study by the Health Care Cost Institute, those with high blood pressure spend three times more on health care than those without and about two times more on out of pocket. From 2012-2016 spending for those with hypertension grew 18.3 percent.
The new guidelines ask clinicians to define the measurement more accurately and assess risk. The recommendations also emphasize treating the cause of high blood pressure including the myriad of lifestyle factors including too much sodium, too much fat, inactivity, and stress.
One major problem persisting through all previous guidelines is that our culture does not reward lifestyle changes, nor do we stress the importance. There have been numerous guidelines and yet the problem, hypertension, continues to escalate. Clinician and patient education does not seem to be making a large enough impact. We must find a way to promote a reward system for the clinicians and patients who address cause.
Unfortunately, the economics and culture of modern medicine has evolved into, “let’s treat the symptoms and give a medication.” This is not a solution for this chronic symptom, the number one risk factor for death in the world.
The guideline is well written and researched. It does a great job on emphasizing the problem, stressing the importance of correct measurement, and identifying the pressure at an earlier stage, and intervening before the prolonged exposure causes damage. It stresses the importance of lifestyle changes and the need for pharmaceutical intervention for those at increased risk.
For a clinician who focuses on the “how to implement” and “practical steps” to aid in lifestyle intervention, the guidelines were a first step. Acknowledgement that lifestyle changes and earlier intervention is the key is an important first step. I am not sure this point was emphasized enough.
If the guidelines serve as an impetus to change the economic reward system, we may not continue to read about yet another guideline in the health media.
James L. Marcum MD FACC ACLM
Speaker/Director Heartwise Ministries
Chattanooga Heart Institute
- Our Programs
- Find a Doctor