Every year, hypertension kills seven and a half million people around the world, and what may be even more alarming, almost half of them did not know they had it, because it does not usually cause symptoms.
Simultaneously, this condition causes many more to experience everything from strokes and heart attacks to kidney disease and dementia.
Although hypertension is rarely noticed, in some cases it can manifest with headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds – signs and symptoms that usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe stage.
Although it is more common in adults, children can also be at risk. In some of them, high blood pressure is caused by problems with the kidneys or the heart.
Why does the pressure rise
As is known, pressure measures the amount of blood that passes through the blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood encounters while the heart pumps.
Narrow arteries increase resistance, and the narrower they are, the higher the blood pressure.
High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body, causing part of the heart, usually the left ventricle, to thicken, increasing the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and sudden heart death.
Blood pressure can be measured with the help of a blood pressure monitor. This attachment includes an adjustable band that wraps around the upper arm and inflates to momentarily stop the flow of blood in the artery, then slowly restore it.
When that artery opens, the maximum or systolic pressure is measured, while the heart is doing its best to circulate the blood. When the flow returns to normal, the minimum or diastolic is measured.
Normal blood pressure in adults is 120 millimeters (mm) of mercury (up to 150 for the elderly), when the heart is at its maximum beats, and 80 mm of mercury when it is most relaxed.
We speak of hypertension when the blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140 mm of maximum or diastolic pressure and 90 mm of minimum or systolic pressure.
If that happens, you have to go to the doctor, although without being excessively alarmed, because there are remedies.
In any case, if your blood pressure is very high or does not drop after making certain lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend medications that work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if there are other risk factors.
However, it may take some time to find the right combination of drugs. Therefore, you should always consult your health professional, take your blood pressure regularly and check the results.
The first thing is to know that various causes can cause the arteries to narrow and therefore increase the tension. Here are some of them, along with some ideas on how to solve them:
The risk of hypertension increases as you get older. Until around age 64, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65.
Interestingly, globally, high blood pressure is particularly common among people of African descent, who often develop it at a younger age than whites. Serious complications, such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure, are also more common in blacks.
High blood pressure is usually passed on in family genes. If the parents or grandparents have suffered from it, it is necessary to monitor themselves with greater dedication.
The extra pounds
The more you weigh, the more blood will be needed to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. As the volume of blood flowing through the blood vessels increases, the pressure on the artery walls also increases. By far the most effective way to lower high blood pressure is to lose weight. And it doesn’t take a huge loss to make a difference. Even losing weight as little as eight to ten pounds can be vital.
Not be active
People who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates. The higher the heart rate, the more beats, the harder the heart must work with each contraction, and the stronger the force on the arteries.
Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight, which also helps with hypertension.
It doesn’t take a lot of exercise to make a difference in health. It is enough to walk or play sports for half an hour, at least five days a week. The ideal is to practice the specialty that one likes. For some that means dancing, for others riding a bike or brisk walking with a friend. Even everyday activities like gardening can help.
Smoking tobacco not only raises blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of the artery walls. This can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk for heart disease. For second-hand smokers, smoke can also increase the risk of heart disease. It is best not to smoke, and not just because of the stress, but for your overall health.
Too much salt
Too much sodium in the daily diet can cause the body to retain fluids, which increases blood pressure. Most of us get too much sodium in our diet, up to three times the total recommended amount, which is 1.5 milligrams a day for people with high blood pressure. And it doesn’t take a lot of sodium to reach that 1.5 milligram (mgs) daily limit – just 3 or 4 teaspoons of salt. It is advisable to read the labels on packaged products and monitor the quantities if you make the food at home. There are several foods that are especially rich in sodium: breads, cold cuts, pizza and pasta, soups, sandwiches, and in general almost all processed foods.
Low potassium and not eating a healthy diet
Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in cells. If you don’t get enough potassium in your diet or don’t retain enough potassium, too much sodium can build up in your blood. Eating healthy foods can help keep your blood pressure under control. The key, therefore, is low salt and high potassium.
The base can be many fruits, especially those rich in potassium such as bananas, apricots (apricot), avocados and Chinese, and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, spinach … As well as limiting excessive consumption of calories, fats, carbohydrates and sugar. Garlic and garlic extract also help control pressure. Drink dark chocolate anyway, so yeah, chocolate lovers: dark has been shown to lower blood pressure, but it should be at least 60 to 70 percent cocoa.
Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart. Drinking more than one drink of alcohol a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men can affect blood pressure. The solution is to limit alcohol to one drink a day.
High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress can be relieved with daily meditation or deep breathing at home.
Stress hormones constrict blood vessels and can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure. Also, over time stress can trigger unhealthy habits that put cardiovascular health at risk. These can include overeating, sleeping poorly, and abusing drugs and alcohol.
For all these reasons, reducing stress should be a priority if you are looking to lower your blood pressure.
Lots of caffeine
Caffeine raises blood pressure, but the effect is temporary. It lasts 45 to 60 minutes, and the reaction varies from one individual to another. Cutting back on caffeine will make you sleep much better, which is also very important to keep your blood pressure under control.
Certain chronic conditions
Certain chronic conditions can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Sometimes pregnancy also contributes to high blood pressure, although in this case it is a temporary cause.