Women's International Pharmacy E-Newsletter

High Blood Pressure: A Symptom, Not a Disease

High Blood Pressure: A Symptom, Not a DiseaseAs of 2013, approximately 30% of Americans over the age of 20, and over 50% of those age 55 and older, have elevated blood pressure or hypertension. While not a disease in and of itself, high blood pressure is strongly associated with conditions affecting the heart and vascular system health. Because hypertension usually produces no telltale symptoms, many people do not realize they have it. When people are diagnosed, in all but a small percentage of cases, the underlying cause is unknown.

It seems incredible that a condition with no known cause and no overt symptoms would receive aggressive medical attention. Yet hypertension is considered so predictive of heart attack and stroke that when diet and exercise changes do not work, one or more medications are nearly always prescribed, despite the potential for serious side effects.

Instead of a single-minded focus on lowering blood pressure, Cass Ingram, DO, says medicine must take a broader approach to improving the entire vascular system’s health. “There are no drugs which heal or cleanse the heart and arteries,” he writes. “Only a natural approach can heal.”

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Treatment Options for Cervical Dysplasia
Written by Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy

green teaHearing the words “abnormal Pap smear” can trigger a gut-wrenching fear—and for good reason. Cervical cancer was the leading cause of death among women for many years. Today, it ranks only 13th among women in the US, yet many women continue to have “abnormal” Pap test results. What’s going on?

“Abnormal” Pap test results are now fairly common, and almost always due to the widespread human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many types of this virus, and it is so common that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that “most women will be infected with it at some point during their lifetime,” and they may not even know it because there are typically no symptoms.

Cervical Dysplasia

HPV is the leading cause of cervical dysplasia, a catch-all term for abnormal cells in the cervix. Cervical dysplasia is a primary risk factor for cervical cancer, but it does not mean that cancer will develop. Fortunately, cervical cancer is slow-growing, usually taking years to develop, and its precursor, cervical dysplasia, is easily detected as part of routine Pap tests.

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Foot Fat Pad Atrophy
Written by Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy

Here’s another one to add to the number of signs and symptoms of declining hormones. Is the heel or bottom of your foot causing you pain? Are you finding yourself seeking relief in the Dr. Scholl’s section of the pharmacy? It could be due to foot fat pad atrophy.

The foot fat pads are the tissue that protects your foot on the ball of the foot and at the bottom of the heel. Atrophy means shrinking or disappearing. The foot pad tissue under the foot does decline with age. Menopause and surgical menopause increase the rate of decline. Obvious mechanical issues, such as being overweight, can also have a negative impact and hasten the loss of the plumpness of this tissue.

If plantar fasciitis (painful inflammation of the bottom of the foot) has been an issue, your practitioner may have used one or more injections of “cortisone” to relieve pain. Unfortunately, this “cortisone” is not the same as the cortisone hormone the body produces; it is actually a synthetic analog that can lead to even more atrophy of the foot pads.

In addition, as Dr Dzugan points out in The Magic of Cholesterol Numbers, cholesterol levels elevate when the body senses a deficiency of the sex and adrenal hormones, which are normally produced from cholesterol. So statin users beware! When taking statins, not only do cholesterol levels fall, but the ability to make hormones drops even further. Statin drug use may be a source of foot pain from accelerated foot fat pad atrophy.

If you are experiencing foot pain, have your practitioner check for hormone deficiencies, including vitamin D (which is also made from cholesterol). These deficiencies may be the underlying cause of your foot pain.



Staff at Women's International Pharmacy



In This Issue
High Blood Pressure: A Symptom, Not a Disease
Green Tea and
Cervical Dysplasia
Foot Fat Pad Atrophy

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