blood pressure

The usual

When was the last time you were asked to sit without saying a word for five minutes before your blood pressure was measured? If your answer was “I never remember doing that,” you’re in good company.

Yet that is one of the many rules that medical professionals are supposed to follow when measuring your blood pressure.

Paul Whelton, a cardiovascular specialist at the Tulane University School of Public Health, says airplane pilots always run down a safety checklist before taking off. “We would be shocked if a pilot told us he was in a rush and just didn’t have time to do it.”

Yet he says clinicians aren’t taking enough care to make an important measurement when it comes to health: reading blood pressure values.

That is topical right now because Whelton is among a group of physicians who have just recommended new standards for blood pressure. Now, if your blood pressure tops 130 over 80, you are in unhealthy territory. Having an accurate measure is important because more people than ever may be keeping a close eye on their blood pressure and trying to keep it in a healthy range through diet, exercise and potentially medications.

The new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, released Tuesday, which lowered the threshold for diagnosing high blood pressure from 140/90, mean that nearly half of the U.S. population will be considered as having high blood pressure, with the greatest impact on younger people.

Odds Are, They’re Taking Your Blood Pressure All Wrong

Photo: Josh Loock/NPR

Today the cardiology attending was talking about a patient with a systolic blood pressure of 265: 

“Of course he feels terrible he’s got the blood pressure of an elephant…. or what I suspect and elephants blood pressure should be… I’m a cardiologist I should really know these things.” 

So everyone knows- the average BP for an elephant when standing is 178.6/118.7 and it varies minimally between Asian and African elephants. Average heart rate is between 25-30 and increases when they lay down. 

I don’t know why I bothered to look that up, but after he said it I was curious.

N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine (Melatonin)

This hormone is produced by the pineal gland in animals and regulates sleep and wakefulness. Melatonin is also produced in plants where it functions as a first line of defense against oxidative stress.
In animals, melatonin is involved in the entrainment (synchronization) of the circadian rhythms including sleep-wake timing, blood pressure regulation, seasonal reproduction, and many others. Many of its biological effects in animals are produced through activation of melatonin receptors, while others are due to its role as an antioxidant, with a particular role in the protection of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
As a medicine, it is used for the treatment of insomnia; however, scientific evidence is insufficient to demonstrate a benefit in this area. Melatonin is sold over the counter in the United States and Canada. In other countries, it may require a prescription or it may be unavailable.

Just moved house recently and things have been a blur. Looking forward to getting this project back on track and seeing more people post their finished tattoos :)

Piece requested by @katetherainbowunicorn. Enjoy!

Quick fact. Ready?
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which on its own can act like a natural anti inflammatory. This special acid can help to reduce blood Triglycerides, improve insulin sensitivity, and can be used as a natural hair conditioner, teeth whitener, and allergy symptom reducer.

Doctors have long known that black people are more likely than white people to suffer from diseases such as high blood pressure. A study suggests that racial discrimination may be playing a role in a surprising way.

The study, which involved 150 African-Americans living in Tallahassee, Fla., found that knowing someone who had experienced racial discrimination was associated with genetic markers that may affect risk for high blood pressure.

The genetic markers “seem to interact with” being close to someone who has experienced racial discrimination, says Connie Mulligan, an anthropologist at the University of Florida who published the findings in the journal PLoS ONE this month.

Knowing Someone Who Faced Discrimination May Affect Blood Pressure

Illustration: Trina Dalziel/Illustration Works/Getty Images