Hypertension

A few tips to avoid High Blood Pressure

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Blood pressure is not always constant and varies continuously. It increases with fear, excitement, and exercise, and this increase is normal. What does high blood pressure mean? It simply means that the pressure goes up and stays up, even after the fear, excitement, or exercise is gone. High blood pressure is also known as HYPERTENSION.

Your heart is a very strong muscle, it pump's blood to every part of your body through approximately 13,000 miles of soft, elastic tubing, called blood vessels.

Blood pressure is the amount of force the blood exerts against the wall of arteries. Each time the heart contract's blood is ejected out and creates a surge of pressure in the arteries. This surge reaches a maximal pressure, called SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE. During the second phase, when the heart relaxes, the pressure goes down to its lowest level, called DIASTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE. A simple instrument called a SPHYGNOMANOMETER measures the higher (systolic) and lower (diastolic) pressures. The higher pressure is placed over the lower pressure; for example, a blood pressure reading of 125/75 is expressed as 125 over 75.

Normal blood pressure is usually around120/60, although this reading can vary considerably depending on several factors, such as age and the circumstances under which the blood pressure was taken.

Arterioles are the smaller vessels that branch from the arteries. These arterioles regulate a person’s blood pressure. To understand how they work, think of a garden hose nozzle: if it is wide open, the water will flow very easily, with relatively little pressure, but if the nozzle is partially closed with the thumb, the water pressure will increase drastically. The same principle applies to arterioles. If, for some reason, the arterioles are partially narrowed, it is harder for the blood to go through them and therefore, an elevated blood pressure occurs.

The results obtained from large studies did not determine the exact reasons of high blood pressure. No specific explanation is discovered. Some predisposing factors to elevated blood pressure are obesity, excessive consumption of alcohol, use of oral contraceptives, sensitivity to sodium, and a sedentary lifestyle.

High blood pressure, like atherosclerosis, is hard to distinguish; no pain or symptoms are associated with it. You can feel great and yet be hypertensive. Over a long period, hypertension will damage your heart because it adds to the workload of the heart and the arteries. Therefore, the heart tends to enlarge because of the additional high pressure, and if it enlarges significantly, it may have a hard time keeping up with the demands of the body.

Hypertension damages all the vital organs such as the brain, which can cause a stroke, also damages the kidneys, and much more. High blood pressure should not be taken lightly. Have your blood pressure checked regularly by your physician or by a qualified professional. Unfortunately, high blood pressure in not curable but can easily be controlled;

1. Maintain your normal weight because being overweight can contribute to high blood pressure. In many cases, lowering your weight does lower your blood pressure. Lose the weight gradually. Keep your body fit through a regular exercise program.

2. Decrease the amount of salt intake, sodium contributes to high blood pressure. If you are used to a lot of salt in your cooking, cut down gradually. In addition, cut down on the consumption of salty snacks. It is essential to reduce your salt intake. Season your food with lemon and spices instead of salt.

3. If you are a smoker, you should stop. Studies show that smoking adds stress on the heart; this is magnified if you are hypertensive

4. If medication is prescribed, take it regularly. Certain drugs help the body eliminate excess fluid and sodium (salt) in the blood. Others open up narrowed blood vessels, and others prevent arterioles from constricting. Know your medication and its effects and take it exactly as prescribed.

You and your doctor are a team; you cannot treat your condition alone, and he or she cannot treat you effectively without your willingness. Cooperate with your doctor, and keep all appointments. If you have any side effects from medication, let your doctor know about them, so he or she can change the medication or alter the dosage. Follow your doctor advice on diet, weight control, and exercise.

It is clear. That hypertension is one of the cardinal risk factors for ischemic heart disease and is the most influential risk factor that affects all age groups. Most of all the symptoms related to coronary heart disease, such as angina, heart attack, and non-sudden death, are directly related to hypertension. Furthermore, high blood pressure predisposes one to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaque is found early in hypertensive individuals. Thus, hypertension accelerates the natural progression of atherosclerosis, rather than acting as a primary cause of coronary lesions.

Regular aerobic exercises can help control your weight and as a result will lower your blood pressure. Such exercises are walking and swimming are known to burn calories thus conditioning your heart and lungs. Physical activities are known to reduce high blood pressure.


FEELING BETTER TODAY, STAY HEALTHY TOMORROW

The kind of foods you eat today determine your health today, tomorrow and in the future. The choices you make must be a balanced one, and you must benefit from it and utilize the proper amount of calories for your metabolism. It is also important to combine with your nutrition a certain amount of physical activities to burn excess calories to maintain your body weight and a constant low blood pressure.

A healthy way to give your body a balanced nutrition is through the combination of a variety of foods, just stay within your daily calorie intake. Add to your diet fruits, vegetables, whole grain and fat-free milk. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, whole grains, and nuts. Avoid saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

When eating out, do not give in to the temptation that surrounds you. Request for your meal to be broiled or baked avoid fried food. Stay away from drinks with added sugars. Remain vigilant and stick to your regular routine. You do not need to be on a restricted diet program, since most diet do not work, but rather establish a well balanced nutritional program., When grabbing lunch, have a sandwich on whole grain bread and drink water or low-fat milk instead of sodas. On a long trip, pack some fresh fruits, cut vegetables low or unsalted nuts, low-fat string cheese.

Understand the importance on how to manage the intake of fats, salt and sugars. Read the Nutritional Facts on foods labels. Look for foods that are low on or no saturated fats and trans fats. If you must use salt, use a minimal amount and add it while preparing your meal, never salt your food at the dinner table. Avoid sodas and beverages containing sugars. Avoid enormous portions, savor and enjoy your meal, take your time and enjoy what you have in front of you.

Consider this; if you consume an additional 100 calorie more a day, you will gain about one pound a month, this is about 12 pounds a year. It is therefore, important to reduce your caloric intake and increase your physical activities.