You have to have blood flow to live. High blood pressure on the other hand isn’t good. This article looks at high blood pressure, causes and some treatments. You should always consult your personal physician when attempting to treat any blood pressure issues.
High Blood Pressure
What is blood pressure?
Before we discuss high blood pressure let’s talk about blood pressure in general. For us to survive, we have to have proper blood circulation. This allows your tissues, organs etc., to receive the oxygen that they need. Your blood is your oxygen highway. When your heart pulses or beats this creates blood pressure as the blood is pushed through your body’s network of tubes aka blood vessels which include capillaries, arteries and veins.
The pressure aka blood pressure is made up of two forces.
- Systolic pressure – Created when the heart pumps blood out and into the system.
- Diastolic pressure – Created when the heart is at rest.
A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
What is high blood pressure?
So now that we know what blood pressure is, when is blood pressure considered high? First, when the force of the blood flow is pressed against the walls and is consistently too high, this is high blood pressure. This can cause damage to your arteries as well as your heart. High blood pressure increases the work load on your heart as well as your circulatory system. This is because they are working harder and not efficiently.
Over the long haul, the increased friction and force created by high blood pressure will cause damage to the tissues inside your heart and arteries. Plaque is formed by LDL or bad cholesterol which forms in tiny tears within the walls of your arteries. This is the beginning of atherosclerosis. The creates a vicious cycle of narrowing of the arteries, increased blood pressure, more formation of plaque and then cycle continues. This process ultimately leads to heart attack, stroke and death.
Many people are not aware that they have high blood pressure which is why it is known as a silent killer. You should check your blood pressure regularly.
Treating Your High Blood Pressure Naturally
There are things that you can do to treat you high blood pressure at home. Here are some suggestions:
Suggestion #1 – Exercise
Having some form of exercise or physical activity for thirty to sixty minutes per day is essential. This will not only improve your blood pressure but you will have better mental health as well as strength and balance. If you haven’t been active for awhile, make sure and consult your physician.
Suggestion #2 – Follow a proper diet
Using the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet as a guideline for eating can help to lower your blood pressure by as much as 11 mm Hg systolic. Eating using the DASH diet as your guideline means eating:
1. fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
2. low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, and nuts
3. Not eating foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats
4. Cutting back on desserts and sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice.
These dietary guideline will help you improve your blood pressure
Suggestion #3 – Lower your salt intake
Lowering your sodium levels is easier than you might think and can be a key element in lowering your blood pressure. Raised sodium levels cause increased fluid retention and will cause a sharp rise in blood pressure.
The recommend daily sodium intake is between 1,500 mg and 2,300 mg daily which is only 1/2 teaspoon. Not adding salt to foods and avoiding processed foods can help. Pick low sodium options when possible.
Suggestion #4 – Get down to your proper body weight
Excess weight and high blood pressure are married to one another. Reducing your weight by 10 lbs or 4.5 kg can make a difference.
The weight number isn’t the only important thing. Your waistline is also key. Men should be under 40 inches and women below 35 inches. Visceral fat causes stress on your organs.
Suggestion #5 – Don’t smoke but quit if you do
The best thing is to never start smoking in the first place. If you have started smoking, quit as soon as possible. A cigarette raises your blood pressure a few minutes after you finish. This means that heavy smokers experience high blood pressure all day long.
Suggestion #6 – Limit alcohol intake
While some alcohol can help too much is bad. Here are some guidelines for alcohol intake.
The AHA says that men should not drink more than two alcoholic drinks and women no more than one per day. Here is what that means:
One drink equals:
12 ounces of beer
5 ounces of wine
1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor
More than that creates negative impacts.
Suggestion #7 – Manage your stress
We live in a world filled with stress. Still it is important to be able to reduce your stress levels.
Take the time to identify your stress triggers. Learn to known what you can control, change those things and let others go.
Learn stress reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga.
We hope that the above information is helpful. You should consult your physician prior to implementing the above changes or if you don’t receive any benefit from using them.