When doctors say about high blood pressure, they usually use the term “hypertension”. The most dangerous thing about this illness is that you can have no symptoms at all. Due to this fact it is sometimes called a “silent killer”. If people don’t know their blood pressure, it can lead to different complications and consequences. High blood pressure over a long time can influence different organs in the body, and it can lead to serious problems such as a heart attack or a stroke. So, the doctors recommend taking regular blood pressure readings.
A healthy person has a blood pressure of about 120/80 mm Hg. But it can vary from one person to another because of different factors. If you have high blood pressure, doctors usually prescribe some medicine or strongly advise to change the way of life. First of all, it is important to know the roots of the problem to take the necessary measures to stop or prevent the disease.
What can be the reason for hypertension?
It is rather difficult to single out the only cause that can develop the disease. It is usually connected with several factors, that are combined. Among them, doctors usually speak about regular alcohol intake, side effects of medications, different uncontrolled diets and inactive way of life. All of these factors stimulate the process of high blood pressure development.
And, it is necessary to state, that aging is one of the key factors here. As you are getting older, your body is getting tired and some functions don’t work properly. In this case, secondary hypertension can occur, as it is connected with kidney disease. If the causes remain unknown, doctors usually speak about primary hypertension.
How to protect yourself from high blood pressure?
The first factor that has an influence on our body, in general, is an eating habit. Sometimes people don’t have enough time to have regular meals, and they replace them with snacks or just a cup of coffee. And caffeine is even more destructive for the body than alcohol. If you want to change your eating habits, there is a recommendation given by the American Heart Association. They have worked out a diet that is called the DASH diet. This type of diet includes various vegetables, fruits, and grains. At the same time, you can hardly find in the recommendation such elements as fats, sugar, and sodium.
Sodium and potassium – are they both important for us?
These two elements are rather widespread, and it is difficult to imagine our daily life without them. But we must take special care, as sodium is not so health-giving as potassium. Let’s see where the difference lies. Sodium is one of the elements that retain fluids in the body. Due to this, it is better to reduce the regular intake of it. The result of taking too much sodium can lead to extreme pressure in the blood vessels. It is especially dangerous for people who are suffering from diabetes and kidney disease. For healthy people, a normal intake of sodium is about 2,300 mg a day or even less. And if you have the above-mentioned problems, it is necessary to reduce it up to 1,500 mg a day. It also concerns people who are older than 50 and African-American.
Another situation is with potassium. It works as a killer of sodium. It reduces its amount in the body. Getting enough potassium can help control the blood pressure level. A normal dose of potassium should be about 4,700 mg a day for an adult. You can find this element in beans, potatoes, avocados, bananas, and salmon. If you are keeping to a diet, consult your doctor to find a suitable menu. But it is also important not to take too much of it, as overloading the body with this element can be harmful, especially for people with chronic kidney disease.
Simple ways to control blood pressure level
The first thing that must be mentioned is regular exercise. You don’t need to be a professional sportsman to be absolutely healthy. The researchers found out that 150 minutes of exercise will be enough to avoid hypertension. But if you already suffer from hypertension, you can even start with 40 minutes of exercise a week.
Obesity is another dangerous factor in our health. It influences our general state and can be the reason for hypertension. Even a couple of kilograms gained, can have a bad influence on the body, and gradual loss of weight can change the situation for the better. There are a lot of ways how to lose weight. It is better to consult a doctor to find the best one. It must be safe for you and not cause any side effects.
Alcohol addiction is another problem that leads to hypertension. Regular alcohol intake stimulates the process of constant blood pressure increasing. The AHA warns people to limit the amount of alcohol. But at the same time, a glass of wine can bring some benefits than do any harm.
Another problem that goes hand in hand with alcohol intake is smoking addiction. Instead of increasing risks of cancer development with each cigarette, it also produces a bad effect on blood pressure. Though scientists are not sure that cigarettes influence blood pressure for a long time, the risks of inflammation still exist.
What vitamins are important to control blood pressure?
According to John Hopkins, vitamin C is vitally important for our health. He reports that 500 mg of it can reduce blood pressure. It works as a remover of fluids from the body. As a result, the pressure on vessels is getting lower, and also leads to blood pressure reduction.
Another element that is important for our body is vitamin D. It is necessary for different organs in the body, especially for women who are planning to become mothers. The shortage of vitamin D can cause several illnesses. The researchers also report that it can lower the blood pressure level. Where can it be found?
The greatest source of vitamin D is fish, especially salmon. Then come herring and sardines. Another popular supplement is cod liver oil. Dairy products, especially milk, are also rich in vitamin D. If you want to add some vitamins to your daily life, consult a doctor to make up a menu.
How can stress ruin our bodies?
Despite the fact, that some scientists claim that stress can be beneficial for our health, this idea is very tricky. Short stress can produce a good effect on the body, but if you suffer from long-term stress, it is another situation. Stress is considered to be the root of many health problems. And hypertension is among them. The only way out of it is to reduce it. It can be done by meditation. This direction is quite popular among eastern peoples. It includes breathing exercises that help control the heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
A lot of people complain that they can’t avoid stress because of their occupations and family problems. If you don’t know how to do it, ask a therapist to help you. There are a lot of widespread techniques that help control the stress level. In any case, your health is in your own hands. Nobody will care for you better than you are yourself.