Excuse me for that long, obtuse diatribe on balance yesterday. I should know better than trying to write between 1:00 and 3:00 pm-it’s my low energy time and I should take a nap. Sorry.

Hypertension is a silent killer, and many people don’t know they have it unless they visit the doctor. However, the “white coat effect” can occur in some people, so the blood pressure (bp) may or may not be accurate. Since bp tends to creep up with age, regular bp monitoring can be useful for diagnosing hypertension early and treating it in non-pharmacological ways. To get the most accurate results: 1) Sit correctly; your back should be supported and both feet on the ground. If you are taking your bp at home, make sure to keep the cuff level with your heart and keep the arm relaxed. 2) Make sure your sleeves are loose-fitting if you have to roll them up-if they are too tight it will interfere with an accurate reading. 3) Avoid eating a big meal or drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages at least one hour before taking your BP. And, empty your bladder. All of these can elevated bp.

Remember, if you have high blood pressure, there are several natural ways to lower it. Losing weight is always good, celery, pomegranate, and root berry juice are also good. Supplements arginine, taurine, and hawthorn are but a few good choices. Exercise, of course, is the best.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.