Did you know that 1 out of every 3 adults has high blood pressure? In the United States alone, there are about 80 million people who are suffering from this medical condition, and the disease takes away at least a thousand American lives each day.
What can you do to protect yourself from the dangers of high blood pressure? Are there natural and safe ways to manage your blood pressure levels?
What is high blood pressure?
Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is a prevalent health problem in which the intensity of the force of the blood that pushes against your artery walls in the long-term reach higher than normal levels, putting you at risk of heart disease and other diseases.
According to health experts, blood pressure readings that fall around 120/80 mmHg are considered normal, while those that are around 140/90 mmHg and higher belong in the high range.
If you have high blood pressure, plaque can build up fast on your artery walls, disrupting the blood circulation and blood flow to your heart, which increases your risk of a heart attack; and impairs the artery walls in your brain, which puts you in danger of a stroke.
What are the common causes of high blood pressure?
Blood pressure levels fluctuate throughout the day. They are influenced by the activities that you do, the time of the day, the amount of fluid present in your body, any medications you are currently taking, your feelings and emotions, the amount of sleep you get, your fitness level, and many other factors. However, there is no one definite cause of high blood pressure. Health professionals believe that a significant number of high blood pressure cases are due to poor lifestyle choices and habits, such as:
Older people, especially those that are in their 60s, are more likely to develop high blood pressure than the young ones.
Regular physical activity is key to maintaining healthy blood pressure, so you have to strive to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise thrice a week.
Cigarettes and tobacco contain elements that are quite harmful to the human body, and they can increase your risk of not only respiratory problems but also high blood pressure and heart disease.
Eating foods that are high in fats, sugar, and sodium increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, stroke, liver disease, kidney problems, and many other medical complications.
Excessive alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure to dangerously high levels, and cause damage to your liver, kidneys, heart, brain, and other vital body organs and systems.
When is the best time to visit a doctor?
It is recommended that you get regular blood pressure readings. Once you are 18 years old, you should see your doctor at least once a year to check your blood pressure and do routine health exams and tests.
Alternatively, you can get your own blood pressure monitor, which is a portable device that allows you to know your blood pressure level at home or anywhere you want to. You still have to talk to your doctor about it though, as they can provide important advice and valuable information to help you with your purchase.
What happens if high blood pressure is not managed or treated?
If you have high blood pressure, the super-strong pressure that your artery walls are subject to can cause some serious harm and damage to your blood vessels and bodily organs. It has to be controlled as soon as possible before the following severe complications arise:
This is a medical condition that occurs when blood supply to the heart is cut off due to blockage or blood clot in an artery.
This is a health problem characterized as an unexpected interruption in the blood flow to the brain because of some blockage in an artery that leads to the brain.
This happens when a weakened part of a blood vessel wall bulges as blood passes through it, causing headaches and blurred vision.
This happens when there is a decline in a person’s mental capabilities because of a variety of reasons, including traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, brain tumor, stroke, or blocked or narrowed arteries that prevent enough blood from flowing to the brain.
How can you lower your high blood pressure or maintain healthy and normal blood pressure without taking medication?
Your lifestyle is integral in fixing your blood pressure issues. You have to start making healthy lifestyle choices and quit bad habits to get your blood pressure levels down. Below are lifestyle changes that you should make to improve not only your blood pressure but also your overall health and wellbeing:
According to health experts, your blood pressure and your weight have a directly proportional relationship with each other. This means that if your weight increases, your blood pressure levels increase too. Therefore, you have to burn off those excess pounds by controlling how much you eat, eating foods that are high in essential nutrients, and eliminating fatty, sugary, and salty foods from your diet.
Being physically active is greatly beneficial to your blood pressure levels. Even if you just exercise around 30 minutes every two days, you can reduce your blood pressure levels by 5 mmHg to 8 mmHg if your blood pressure levels are high. Examples of exercises to try are swimming, walking, running, dancing, and biking.
Smoking offers no health benefits at all. It only poisons your body, increasing your risk of diseases and health problems. If you are a smoker, you should stop now and find other habits and hobbies that can positively influence not only your blood pressure but also your overall health.
Being always stressed increases your odds of high blood pressure, so you have to learn how to properly manage your stress to avoid raising your blood pressure levels and other health problems.