High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a critical condition that should be taken very seriously. If left untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to fatal consequences. Many people who suffer from this condition underestimate its significance and do not follow their doctors' orders. It is important to be aware that high blood pressure is also a key risk factor for stroke. Often, people refuse to check their blood pressure, believing that they are healthy and that there is nothing for them to be afraid of. However, they are unaware that this is a grave error on their part.
High blood pressure is truly a silent killer, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It's a condition that accumulates over time. If you are suffering from frequent headaches, this can signify that your blood pressure levels are above normal. You can determine the meaning of these symptoms by visiting your doctor, where they will perform blood tests. If your blood results show that you are suffering from a high blood pressure, the doctor can give you the proper medications and treatments to improve your health. It is imperative that a person with high blood pressure do the following:
- Make healthier food choices
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking alcohol, or drink in moderation only
- Get regular exercise
- Minimize stress
- Monitor blood pressure regularly
- Reduce sodium in their diet
Further discussed below are the ways to prevent or control high blood pressure:
Eating healthier food plays a significant role in improving overall health. By eating the right foods, you can lose excess weight, which is recommended for those that suffer from high blood pressure. Your heart will also work more efficiently with proper nutrition and will lead to a noticeable decrease in blood pressure. Benefits of a healthy diet include getting more quality sleep at night, which has many effects on one's overall health. A wholesome diet can be had by removing all sweet, greasy, and salty food, or at least minimizing your intake of them. Including more home-cooked meals, fruits, and vegetables in your daily menu will also improve your diet. You will be able to see and feel the positive results of these changes.
Smoking is an extremely harmful habit. The nicotine that is inhaled into your lungs each time you smoke can cause severe, and even fatal consequences to your health. Statistically, smokers have the highest chances of being diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is important to be aware that the smoke from the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products can decrease the capacity of your respiratory organs. This effect can redirect and/or reduce the blood and oxygen that flow to your brain. In some instances, smoking can cause the pressure of the blood to increase, causing it to enter your cranium with high velocity and result in stroke.
Alcohol can have the same effects on blood pressure as smoking and consuming unhealthy food. It can actually be good for your health to consume alcohol in moderation (for example, a glass of wine with a meal). However, drinking large amounts of alcohol is detrimental to your body. When you binge on large amounts of alcohol for a long period of time, the alcohol can literally poison your blood, leading to high blood pressure. Healthy drinking habits are important. Therefore, you should make a toast with a glass of wine, not with a bottle of wine.
Exercising is incredibly beneficial for your health, regardless of if you have or do not have high blood pressure. If you do have high blood pressure, exercise can greatly reduce your chances of stroke. Exercise forces the blood to move through your body, including your extremities. Lower body weight that results from exercise lessens your blood pressure and risk of stroke. Exercising is truly an essential remedy for those with high blood pressure.
Lower Your Sodium Intake
Sodium is one of the key ingredients that play a major role in increasing a person’s blood pressure or making it shoot up. Even a minute reduction in the intake of sodium can reduce blood pressure by 2mm to 8mm Hg. Different groups of people are subject to different effects of sodium intake on their blood pressure. Try to limit your sodium intake to up to less than 2300 mg per day. However, lower sodium content, i.e., 1500 mg, is appropriate for people with a higher sensitivity to salt, for example, African-Americans, older people above the age of 51, and anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes or serious kidney disease. In order to decrease your sodium intake, follow the methods given below:
- Read Food Labels - Try to choose beverages and food that are low in sodium content.
- Eat fewer processed foods - Avoid processed food as most of the sodium in our food comes through them.
- Don’t add salt - Use herbs and spices instead of salt to add flavor to your food, as 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2300 mg of sodium.
- Ease into it - You don’t need to reduce your sodium intake drastically that suddenly; try to reduce it gradually and your palate will adjust to it over time.
In today's society, we are all aware that it is impossible to live an entirely stress-free life. However, if you want to reduce your risk of having high blood pressure or improve your current blood pressure, you can do so by reducing the stress in your life. It is not always easy to accomplish, but there are medical options that can help you if you are struggling to lower your stress. Alternatively, you can turn to nature for some much-needed stress relief. Traveling to places where you can connect with nature in a purer form is sometimes helpful. The whole atmosphere of a peaceful natural setting can help you to change your perspective and dispel feelings of worry and stress.
A Final Word
Monitoring your health and blood pressure is always important, even if you do not suffer from hypertension. Every time you get a reading of your blood pressure, it could potentially save your life. If you properly keep track of your blood pressure, you increase your doctor's ability to provide the correct medications and treatments.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s essential to monitor your health often and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you.