Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Therapy Can Cure Overeating

We all have certain foods that we would call a “favorite”. We may find that it is difficult to stick to a standard portion with some of these favorite foods. We have all experienced “overeating”. However, for some of us, overeating food in general (not just our favorites) may be a daily struggle. Situations like this often require us to get help to be able to better manage food intake.

There has been a lot of research to help determine what types of interventions/programs help best when it comes to dealing with overeating.  There is a set of criteria that is used to determine severity of a person’s eating difficulties. Some of us have a healthy relationship with food, some of us overeat from time to time, and some of us may struggle with eating disorders, including Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

BED is an eating disorder characterized by frequent consumption of unusually large amounts of food in a small timeframe along with a feeling of being unable to stop eating. Not everyone who overeats has BED. Regardless, both overeating and BED can be successfully helped with various therapeutic techniques.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be one of the most effective types of therapy for treating BED.  This type of therapy is aimed at identifying and changing patterns of thinking and behaviors that may be contributing to the struggle with binge eating. An official diagnosis of BED is not necessary to seek help. Treatment for overeating and binge eating is available and is helpful to those who seek it out. So, for those of us who feel that overeating is something bigger than an occasional indulgence of a favorite food...there are options for getting help which if pursued may lend itself to treatment of a real struggle and improvement of quality of life.

The National Eating Disorders Association Helpline (1-800-931-2237) is a hotline dedicated to offering support, information, referrals, and guidance to those suffering from an eating disorder. If you or someone you know is currently in need of immediate assistance, please call this confidential hotline toll-free Monday-Thursday from 9am-9pm and Friday from 9am-5pm (EST).

Friday, November 17, 2017

News Roundup: New Blood Pressure Guidelines

In a move that will affect millions of Americans, The American Heart Association released new blood pressure guidelines for the detection, prevention, management, and treatment of high blood pressure. Previously, a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or less was considered the norm. According to the new guidelines, normal blood pressure is anything under 120/80 mm Hg. Blood pressure above 130/80 mm Hg is now classified as hypertension. Although this categorization means millions of Americans will now have high blood pressure, it does not necessarily mean there will be a rise in medication usage. The inclusion of a new category, “Elevated Blood Pressure,” allows for people to notice subtle increases in blood pressure beyond the normal range. This will serve as an early signal to make preventative lifestyle changes in order to avoid a future hypertension diagnosis. 

New ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure Guidelines Lower Definition of Hypertension. American College of Cardiology. “The new guidelines – the first comprehensive set since 2003 – lower the definition of high blood pressure to account for complications that can occur at lower numbers and to allow for earlier intervention. The new definition will result in nearly half of the U.S. adult population (46 percent) having high blood pressure, with the greatest impact expected among younger people.”

Half of US adults have high blood pressure in new guidelines. ABC News. “The change means an additional 14 percent of U.S. adults have the problem, but only an additional 2 percent will need medication right away; the rest should try healthier lifestyles, which get much stronger emphasis in the new advice. Poor diets, lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 percent of high blood pressure.”

American Heart Association Announces New Blood Pressure Guidelines. 5 News. ““This particular group of people who had more than 130/80 but less than 140/90, we used to call prehypertensive. Now we've completely scraped off that term,” Cardiologist Dr. Ashu Dhanjal said […] this is important because such a large portion of people in the U.S. were becoming hypertensive. She said people will have to act to make lifestyle modifications like eating a healthy diet and exercising.”

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Mean Yours Might Be Too High Now. NBC News. “Previously, people were not considered to have high blood pressure until the top reading hit 140. “Normal hasn’t changed. We are still saying that it is great and it is normal to have a systolic blood pressure reading below 120 and a diastolic reading under 80,” Whelton said.”

Under New Guidelines, Millions More Americans Will Need to Lower Blood Pressure. The New York Times. “While agreeing that lower blood pressure is better, Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a preventive cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston, worries about having doctors and patients fixating on a particular goal. It’s true, he said, that doctors ought to be more aggressive in treating people at high risk. But, he added, “If a patient comes in with a blood pressure of 180, I will not get him to 130.””

For more information on high blood pressure and the new guidelines visit the American Heart Association’s Understanding Blood Pressure Readings and High Blood Pressure pages.

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