Not all illnesses develop with visible signs and symptoms for a person to be able to take necessary actions to counter it – high blood pressure being one such. Many a time the occurrence of high blood pressure goes unnoticed until serious complications befall the person’s health. In extreme cases, unfortunately, it would be too late to make amends and hence may end up with fatal results. This article will cover in detail high blood pressure and how following certain simple remedies at home can help keep a person’s blood pressure readings under control.
What Is High Blood Pressure
More commonly found in older people, high blood pressure also known as hypertension is a health condition that one must not take lightly. It is found more in men older than 45 years of age as compared to women of the same age group. The physical force with which the blood exerts a force on the arteries is termed as blood pressure. With each expansion and contraction of the heart pressure is used and released. When a person’s blood pressure rises it puts more pressure on the heart to pump blood and this can lead to arterial wall-damage, cause heart diseases, kidney diseases, and several others. It can also lead to stroke if left unchecked for a prolonged time.
To get an exact idea about a person’s blood-pressure reading one must consult a doctor. The normal blood pressure of a healthy person should be below 120/80. In this reading 120 stands for the systolic pressure which represents the pressure exerted with every contraction of the heart as it pushes blood forwards and 80 stands for the diastolic pressure when the heart expands. Hypertension is classified into stage 1, stage 2, and as a crisis where each stands for the intensity of the condition. Hypertension is a silent killer and hence dangerous. This is because most of the time it develops within a person unknown to them and deteriorates through the years ending up with fatal results. So, it is very important to get your blood pressure checked periodically to take necessary precautions.
Some Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Various factors may lead to hypertension. Some common ones are:
- Age is one of the leading causes. The older the person the more chances of them getting hypertension. Especially in men after 45 years of age and in women after 65 years.
- Diabetes in some people can lead to hypertension.
- A family history of a close relative with hypertension can be another cause of some people getting it in their lifetime.
- Obesity is another leading factor where the main culprit is overeating and lack of any physical activity.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypertension.
- Stress and anxiety can lead to high blood pressure in some people.
- Diseases of the adrenal gland as well as kidney diseases can cause hypertension. Thyroid disease can also lead to high bp.
- Excessive salt intake in food can cause hypertension.
- Smoking can cause hypertension in some people.
- Sleeping disorders like sleep apnea also cause hypertension.
- Certain medications can cause an elevation in blood pressure in people.
When To See A Doctor
Although for the most part of a person’s life hypertension may not pose any visible symptoms but certain tell-tale signs could be a warning that the person is suffering from very high blood pressure. That is their cue to immediately pay the doctor’s office a visit. The signs may include:
- Unexplained tiredness
- Problems with vision
- Pain and heaviness in the chest
- Breathing difficulties
- Unexplained but extreme headaches.
- A sort of pounding sensation in the neck, ears or chest.
- The appearance of blood in the urine
- Palpitations or irregular heartbeat
Home Remedies To Keep High BP At Bay
Following simple home remedies can help manage your high blood pressure issues and help you lead a healthier life. Below mentioned are some of those:
- Make exercise a part of your daily routine – exercising regularly is one of the simplest and easiest remedies for many a disease including high bp. One need not follow any rigorous routine and can simply make a habit of walking for 30 minutes a day at least and then slowly increase the time and pace as needed. Not only does it help manage high bp but it also promotes one’s overall health. Exercising also acts as a mood lifter thereby reducing stress which also helps counter one’s high bp problems.
- Add more potassium to your diet – being an important mineral, potassium helps to get rid of sodium thereby reducing the pressure exerted on the blood vessels. One should consume whole foods as opposed to processed foods to supply the body with the adequate amount of potassium that it needs. Green leafy vegetables, banana, sweet potatoes, nuts, dry fruits, tomatoes, salmon, potatoes, etc. are all great sources of potassium and hence should be consumed regularly to better manage their high bp issues.
- Cut down on salty food – the more one consumes processed and canned food, the more salt or sodium they are feeding their bodies and this can create havoc to the health of those who are at risk of high bp as well as those who already have hypertension. So, reduce salt intake and resort to lime, dried herbs, spices, etc to add flavor to your food.
- Learn stress management – stress is a key factor that causes hypertension in people. Doctors often advise hypertension patients to learn to manage their stress levels. Turning to Yoga, aromatherapy, music therapy, meditation, practicing deep-breathing exercises, etc. all help in stress relief and hence enables one to live with a healthy heart and reduced bp levels.
- Befriend chocolate – yes, you read that right. Chocolate, best eaten dark, being rich in flavonoids assists in the dilation of blood vessels. This promotes heart health and in turn, helps to better manage one’s blood pressure levels.
- Cut down on smoking and alcohol consumption – bad habits are difficult to get rid of but never an impossible task. Cutting down on alcohol intake and smoking gradually can do wonders to not only lower blood pressure levels but also help improve one’s overall health.
- Make berries an essential part of your diet – berries contain polyphenols which are heart-healthy plant-based components and hence reduces blood pressure levels. It also favors those having diabetes and heart diseases as well as reduce the risk of stroke.
- Increase calcium intake – studies have shown that people with low calcium in their diet often fall prey to high blood pressure. But instead of calcium supplements, one must consume calcium-rich foods like dairy, dark leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines, etc.
High blood pressure is a disease that stays through one’s lifetime. The best way to increase longevity hence is by managing hypertension well. For best results make positive lifestyle changes and eat nutrient-enriched food with less or no salt intake. Cut down on unhealthy, processed food and say no to aerated drinks both of which could cause weight gain and obesity. Quitting bad habits like smoking and drinking would also be a wise choice to make to not just reduce one’s high bp levels but also improve one’s overall health and well-being. And lastly, pay periodic visits to the doctor to ensure all is well within.