(Last Updated On: May 3, 2021)Check Hypertension: The first line of defense for cardiovascular problems: Simple natural ways to prevent high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. Your blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through the blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while pumping the heart.
Narrow arteries increase resistance. The narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure will be. Over the long term increased blood pressure can cause health-related problems like heart disease.
Hypertension is quite common. It typically develops over several years. But even without symptoms, high blood pressure can damage all the blood vessels and organs especially the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys. Early detection is important. Regular blood pressure readings can help you and your doctor notice the changes
Masked hypertension means high blood pressure is normal when readings are normal during health call visits but elevated when measured elsewhere, for example, white-collared employees. Those with job strain and work stressors defines as a combination of high work demand ends to have more impact on high blood pressure.
Your heart pumps blood throughout the arteries veins and capillaries. The moving blood pushes against the arterial walls and this force is measured as blood pressure. High blood pressure results from the tightening of very small arteries called the arterioles.
Arterioles regulate the flow of blood throughout the body. As these arterioles constrict or tighten your heart has to work harder to pump the blood through the smaller space and pressure inside the vessels grows.
High blood pressure can affect your health in four main ways:
- Hardening of arteries: Pressure inside your arteries can cause muscles that line the walls of the arteries to thicken thus narrowing the passage. A heart attack or stroke can occur if the blood clot blocks the blood flow to the heart
- Enlarged heart: High blood pressure increases the amount of work of the heart. Like any heavily exercised muscle in your body, your heart grows bigger to handle the extra workload. The bigger the heart, the more it demands oxygen-rich blood but less able to maintain the proper blood flow. As a result, you may feel tired and weak and may not able to perform physical activities. Without treatment, it will get worse
- Kidney damage. Prolonged high blood pressure can damage your kidneys if the blood supply is affected.
- Eye damage: If you have diabetes, high blood pressure can affect the retina of the eye and cause you to bleed. This condition is known as retinopathy and can lead to blindness.
- There are two times of hypertension, Each type with a different cause
Primary hypertension is also called essential hypertension. This kind of hypertension develops over time without any attainable cause. Most people have this type of hypertension. Researchers are still unclear what type of mechanisms causes the blood pressure to slowly increase. A combination of factors may play an important role.
- Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension, this may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
- Physical changes: If something in your body changes, you may experience changes throughout the body. High blood pressure may be one of those issues. For example, it’s throughout the body that changes occur if the kidney function is affected due to the aging process which may upset the body’s natural balance of salts and fluid. These changes may cause the blood pressure to increase.
- Environment: Over time unhealthy lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take a toll on the body. Lifestyle choices can lead to overweight problems. Being overweight and obese can risk hypertension.
Secondary hypertension :
Secondary hypertension occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions can cause primary hypertension
- Kidney disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Congenital heart defects
- Problems with thyroid
- Side effects of medication
- Use of illegal drugs
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain endocrine tumors
Hypertension is generally a silent condition. Many people won’t experience any symptoms. It may take years for the condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious.
Symptoms of severe hypertension can include
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Visual changes
These symptoms require immediate medical attention. They don’t occur in everyone with hypertension, but waiting for these symptoms to occur can be fatal. The best way to know that you have hypertension is to check your blood pressure readings regularly.
For example, if you have a family history of heart disease or have risk factors of developing the condition, your doctor may recommend you to check the blood pressure.
How to prevent or improve hypertension at home?
Simple natural steps to prevent high blood pressure at home.
- Eating a healthy diet: To help manage your blood pressure, you should limit the increase of sodium (salt) that you eat and increase the amount of potassium in your diet. It is also important to eat foods that are lower in fat as well as plenty of fruits vegetables and whole grains. The DASH diet is an example of an eating plan that helps you to treat hypertension at home
- Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your blood pressure. You should try to do a moderate-intensity workout for at least two and a half hours per week. Exercises such as brisk walking are good which causes your heart to beat harder and pump more oxygen than usual
- Being at a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight can help control your blood pressure which can reduce other health problems
- Limiting alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. It also adds extra calories which may cause weight gain.
- Not smoking: Cigarette smoking raises blood pressure and puts you at higher risk of cardiovascular problems
- Managing stress: Learning how to relax and managing stress can improve the levels of high blood pressure. It can also improve your physical and mental health. Stress management techniques including exercising, listening to music, focussing on something calm or peaceful, or meditating can help.
- Move more: Physical activity can be beneficial for your heart. Inactivity can lead to a sedentary lifestyle
- Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antifungal food. Its main active ingredient is allicin which is often responsible for health benefits. Research suggests that garlic helps in the production of natural nitrous oxide which helps to relax muscles and blood vessels to dilate. These changes reduced hypertension. Using garlic instead of salt can promote heart health.
- Pomegranates: Drinking 1 cup of pomegranate juice daily for 28 days can lower high blood pressure in the short term. The researchers attributed this fruit content to the antioxidant effect. When buying prepackaged pomegranate juice check that there is no added sugar
- Pistachios: These are healthy nuts that may help reduce blood pressure during stress. This may be because a compound in the nuts causes the tightness of the blood vessel.
- Eat for rich in magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral to relax the blood vessels. While magnesium deficiency is pretty rare many people don’t get enough. Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure
- Eat calcium-rich food: People with low calcium intake often have high blood pressure. Having a calcium-rich diet is linked to healthy levels and helps lower blood pressure. Get calcium-rich food from dairy and dark green leafy vegetables beans and sardines.
- Eat a potassium-rich diet: Potassium is an important mineral. It helps your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on the blood vessels. To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet eat more fresh and whole foods than processed foods. Foods that high in potassium are banana oranges and apricots, tuna and salmon, dairies such as milk and yogurt, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Cut back on caffeine: Caffeine causes an instant boost in blood pressure. If you ever downed a cup of coffee before you had blood pressure taken you will experience the same. If you suspect that you are caffeine sensitive cut back to see if it lowers your pressure. Caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure. It may have a stronger effect on people who don’t consume it regularly.
- Cut added sugar and refined carbs: All refined carbs such as white flour convert rapidly into sugar in your bloodstream and may cause problems. Some studies show that a low-carb diet may help in reducing blood pressure.
- Eat berries: Berries are full of more than juicy flavor. They are packed with polyphenols, natural plant compounds that are good for your heart.
If you already have high blood pressure it is important to prevent it from getting worse and also take care of complications. You should get regular medical care and follow the prescribed treatment plan. Your plan should include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possible medications
Your first line of defense: Try these lifestyle changes as natural ways to lower blood pressure.