High blood pressure or Hypertension is often called the silent killer as it usually causes no symptoms in the early stages. You might not know that you have it until you develop a serious health problem. Just because you cannot feel blood pressure, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Blood pressure can hang around for years, damaging vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, and eyes without you knowing it. About half of all heart attack victims have a high history of high blood pressure. Know how to control your blood pressure by making lifestyle changes to live a healthy and productive life.
Blood pressure refers to the amount of force the blood pushes against the artery walls of your heart. If you have high blood pressure, your blood is being pushed too hard against the arteries. If this is not diagnosed and treated early, it can lead to serious damage such as heart attacks, strokes, and coronary disease. The good news about high blood pressure is, it is easily detected and it can be controlled.
How to keep your blood pressure under control
Everyone has blood pressure which can go up or down frequently from minute to minute. Each time your heart beats, it sends out blood and your blood pressure goes up. This is known as (systolic blood pressure). When your heart relaxes between beats, this is called (diastolic blood pressure). You are given two numbers when your blood pressure is tested. The systolic is the top number and the diastolic is the bottom number. Many people all over the world have high blood pressure, and more than a third of them don’t know they have it.
Factors that increase your risk
Overweight or obese, excessive alcohol use, a diet with too much salt, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and taking certain medications. Other risk factors such as age, race and a family history of high blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing weight can reduce your blood pressure which can help prevent you from developing hypertension. If you have type 2 diabetes, restrict sodium to lower your blood pressure.
How much salt do you eat?
Experts believe that many people with high blood pressure tend to be more sensitive to salt, especially older people. If you are sensitive to salt, your body retains more fluid which can raise blood pressure. With too much water, your blood vessels expand which produce higher pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, the best way to cut down on salt is to reduce the sodium in your diet. Cut down on fast food, cured meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausage, etc. as these are high in sodium and fats. Besides eating less salt, and fewer calories, you can add a baked potato to your diet as well. Limit the amount of salt during cooking, and keep salt off the table during meals.
Practice to eat right
Always read nutrition labels and be sure to take sodium content into consideration. Look for ways to eat more fruits and vegetables. When you are buying produce, be sure to get some apples, pears, and oranges. These are full of fiber which can decrease dangerous cholesterol levels and also lower blood pressure. Say no to chips and other salty snacks. Most types of cheese are high in sodium, this includes cottage cheese. Try to reduce the amount of fat in your diet by half. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise.
Limit your alcohol use
According to research, 16 percent of hypertensive disease worldwide is due to alcohol use. It is recommended that men should drink no more than two drinks a day and women should keep their consumption to one drink daily. By using your alcohol in moderation, you could see a reduction in your systolic (top) blood pressure. Remember, moderation is the key or it would be better to stop drinking altogether for your health.
How to find out if you have high blood pressure?
To find out if you have high blood pressure, you will have to go to your doctor and have your blood pressure checked. It’s fast and simple and you will feel no pain. Every adult should have a blood pressure check at least once a year. Those who already have hypertension, need to be seen more often. If you are comfortable to do your own reading, you can get your own blood pressure monitor to do it yourself at home. Your doctor will sometimes ask you to monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure is very serious, so if you are diagnosed, you should be supervised by your doctor.
Ways to help you decrease high blood pressure
These are ways for lowering your high blood pressure. Eat fewer calories to lower your body weight. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour, sugar, french fries, sugar-sweetened soft drinks as these will lead to weight gain. Don’t drink more than one 8-ounce glass of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of hard liquor per day. Higher amounts will increase your blood pressure.
Eat high-fiber foods such as flaxseed, whole grains, and vegetables. These foods contain nutrients that lower blood pressure and fiber will help you to lose weight if you have to. Eat deep-sea fish that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as salmon, cod, mackerel, and tuna. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish relax the artery walls which helps to reduce blood pressure. Eat foods high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, bananas, oranges, apples, avocados, melons, etc.
Stop smoking as this raises your blood pressure. Smoking also damages the heart muscle and other tissues by decreasing oxygen supply. Try to engage in regular aerobic exercise for at least 30 or 40 minutes three or four times a week. These help to lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
If you have successfully reduced your blood pressure to a normal reading, this does not mean that you are cured. High blood pressure is a risk factor that can lead to many diseases, the most common is heart disease. It is very important to keep other risk factors under control. Don’t smoke, watch your cholesterol level, exercise regularly, and get a regular checkup from your doctor. I do hope how to control your blood pressure help you to live a long and healthy life. All the best.
My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Believe in yourself. You will achieve.