Labile Hypertension: What Is It?
The term “labile” refers to any condition which causes one’s blood pressure to fluctuate from day to day or even hour to hour. Labile hypertension is a type of hypertension that occurs when there are changes in your body chemistry such as low levels of potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium and other electrolytes. These fluctuations cause your blood pressure (BP) level to vary greatly over time.
What Causes It?
There are several possible reasons why someone may develop labile hypertension. One possibility is due to a genetic predisposition. Another reason could be due to a medication taken by the patient such as beta blockers, diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, or certain medications used during pregnancy. A third possibility is due to an illness such as diabetes mellitus or high cholesterol levels. Finally, it can also occur due to stress.
How Do You Know If You Have It?
If you suffer from labile hypertension then you will experience your BP level fluctuating between normal and high. Your heart rate will also increase and decrease with each beat. Sometimes your pulse rate may become irregular and your breathing pattern may change too. If you happen to have high levels of potassium in your blood, you may also find that your hands will be very cold. Your sensitivity to light may also decrease as well as your reflexes and your taste. You may also have a metallic taste in your mouth too.
There are several ways to treat labile hypertension. One treatment is to reduce your medication if you are under taking any.
Another treatment is to improve your lifestyle by practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation. You could also start an exercise program or alter your diet by eating more potassium rich foods such as bananas, apricots, raisins, prunes, tomatoes, and avocados. You can also take supplements such as potassium chloride in order to increase your potassium levels. Other supplements that can be taken are magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate. You can also try an alternative treatment such as taking homeopathic remedies.
Labile hypertension is a condition that can be very easily managed when you work with your doctor and take the right steps towards managing it. With the right treatment plan in place, your life should not be affected by it and you can live a normal and happy life.
This Week in medicine
This weeks roundup features articles about the following topics: The New E-Cigarettes, How to maintain a healthy diet while Eating on the Go, Tips on how to deal with stress during Exam Periods, The increase in Dengue Fever, and finally an article on the pros and cons of Hospital Privatization.
We hope you find this week’s issue both informative and enjoyable.
The New E-Cigarettes
There has been a recent push in the past few years for what are known as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). These devices produce vaporized nicotine that can be inhaled, eliminating some of the dangers of tobacco as we know it.
In addition to this, there are no actual flames and users do not have to actually inhale smoke. Rather, they inhale vapor. E-cigarettes also come in many different variations and different flavors, such as mint or chocolate.
The History of the E-cigarette
E-cigarettes were first patented in 1963 by a man named Herbert A. Gilbert, who described them as a “non-tobacco cigarette” that resembled regular cigarettes.
His ideas for the device described it as having non-tobacco cartridges containing nicotine, which could be replaced when they were depleted. The device would contain a battery, heater, and an outlet for the nicotine vapor. Surprisingly enough this original device did not take off, but it paved the way for the modern e-cigarette.
In 2001 a company based in China called founded a company by the name of Hon Lik and has won wide acclaim for creating the first modern day e-cigarette. It was first brought to market in 2004 and has been widely adopted by smokers looking for help in quitting.
Since their creation in 2004, a lot of companies have gotten in on the act, and there are now numerous types of e-cigarettes available on the market.
A Growing Market
The e-cigarette industry has grown at a rapid rate, going from $500 million in total sales in 2011 to a whopping $1 billion in 2012. It is projected that this number will increase to $10 billion by the year 2017.
E-cigarettes are currently legal in the United States but sales numbers continue to rise as more and more people purchase them.
The Health Argument for E-Cigarettes
While e-cigarettes may not contain tobacco, they do still utilize it in some fashion. Nicotine is still a highly addictive substance that is harmful to human health.
In fact, studies have shown that nicotine is more harmful than what we once thought. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still unsure of what effects e-cigarettes may have on human health, and as such, has proposed a law that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under 18 and prohibit their sale in vending machines.
As it stands, most of the studies that have been done on e-cigarettes have been done so by the companies that make them. The FDA continues to warn people that the effects of e-cigarettes are unknown.
E-Cigarettes and the Law
At this moment in time, many states have their own laws in regard to the use of e-cigarettes. In California for example, the sale of e-cigarettes to minors is illegal.
In New York, however, you must be over the age of 18 to buy them, and it is also illegal to sell them in vending machines.
Many airlines have banned the use of e-cigarettes while traveling on their aircrafts as well. The chances of an e-cigarette exploding in your pocket are slim to none, but it is a potential fire hazard, so many airlines choose to err on the side of caution.
As far as how the law views e-cigarettes versus traditional cigarettes, the two are very different things. Currently, cigarettes are legal and you can buy them at traditional tobacco stores or convenience stores.
E-cigarettes fall into a legal gray area, however. In most states, they can still be sold, but only in specialty stores that do not typically sell other items.
If a traditional tobacco store wanted to start selling e-cigarettes, they would have to get a special license in order to do so. The same goes for convenience stores.
In some instances, you must be over the age of 21 in order to buy them as well.
As for vaping, some cities have banned the use of e-cigarette devices anywhere that regular cigarettes are banned.
The new trend nowadays is to create an area where people can go and vape freely. Some bars, in particular, have set aside an area where people can come in, purchase a drink (or not), and vape away.
It’s basically like a non-smoking section but for vapors. It will be interesting to see how the laws change over time.In the meantime, vaping and e-cigarettes are here to stay. With so many people converting over, it might be well worth your while to find out more about them!
Do you use e-cigarettes or vaping products? Have you quit smoking or reduced the amount you smoke traditional cigarettes because of them? What are your thoughts on the laws that govern their use?
Feel free to post all comments, questions, and stories below.
Sources & references used in this article:
The hemodynamics in labile hypertension by RH Eich, RJ Peters, RP Cuddy, H Smulyan… – American heart …, 1962 – Elsevier
Hemodynamics in labile hypertension: a follow-up study by RH EICH, RP CUDDY, H Smulyan, RH LYONS – Circulation, 1966 – Am Heart Assoc
Labile hypertension: a faulty concept? The Framingham study. by WB Kannel, P Sorlie, T Gordon – Circulation, 1980 – Am Heart Assoc
Blood-pressure and catecholamine excretion after mental stress in labile hypertension by PJ Nestel – The Lancet, 1969 – Elsevier
Home blood pressure determination: value in borderline (labile) hypertension by S Julius, CN Ellis, AV Pascual, M Matice, L Hansson… – Jama, 1974 – jamanetwork.com
Labile hypertension and jogging: new diagnostic tool or spurious discovery? by W Fitzgerald – Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 1981 – bmj.com