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Ulcer-free reader has another request. (Medical Mailbox).

Dear Dr. SerVaas:

In the Nov./Dec. '98 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, you published my letter telling how you had helped me with the two-week ulcer cure discovered by Dr. Barry Marshall. My doctor at the time wouldn't treat me, so I went to another doctor, took the cure, and haven't been bothered by ulcers again. You will always be remembered as the one who saved me from all that pain.

Now I have another problem. I have a lot of trouble with my balance. If I work bending over for long, I almost pass out; my brother-in-law had similar problems and finally fell off the porch. He hurt his neck and, as a result, had to sell his beloved home.

I'm in pretty good health, aside from the lightheadedness. My doctor says my blood pressure numbers are good. An allergy doctor suggested that my blood pressure medicine was making me feel this way, and I'm inclined to agree with him. Do you know of another approach to this problem? You sure came through once!

Paul Barber Volcano, California

Do you have a blood pressure cuff? If not, we would like to refer you to our article, "The ABCs of Blood Pressure" (Jan./Feb. 2001 Post). We find that problems with balance and lightheadedness follow when the blood pressure drops too low. A log of blood pressure readings taken throughout the day could help you and your doctor better manage your condition.

We encourage you to exercise religiously to keep your muscles strong. An individualized regimen of strength training and balance exercises with a good therapist could do wonders to help avoid injury from a fall.

One of our older readers tells us that he is able to control his blood pressure by taking Slow-Mag (an enteric-coated magnesium supplement) and extra vitamin C (about three grams morning and night). In a 1999 study, blood pressure readings of patients taking 500 mg of vitamin C daily dropped 9.1 percent compared to 2.7 percent in the placebo group. Patients from both study groups continued taking their blood pressure medicines during the trial.

Findings from the federally funded DASH research project suggest that many Americans can reduce their high blood pressure by switching to a low-fat, low-sodium diet and doubling their intake of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:blood pressure effects
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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