Hypertension is a major public health problem. The American Heart Association estimates high blood pressure affects approximately one in three adults in the US and about two million teenagers and children. Statistics show that 40% all Americans die of heart attacks, 58% of deaths are related to cardiovascular disease, with more that 1.3 million heart attack cases a year. The Journal of the American Medical Association also reports that many are under-diagnosed.
As we age, we commonly face Hypertension, or high blood pressure – Blood pressure is the measurement of force applied to arteries walls. If it’s too high, it can cause serious damage to the arteries and force our heart to overwork, and over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, by damaging the blood vessels, brain, heart, lungs and kidneys.
oPeople with family history of High Blood Pressure and are Diabetic are most at risk of Hypertension (60% of People with Diabetes have High Blood Pressure). People with Prehypertension, when blood pressure is consistently above normal level, are twice at risk to develop High Blood Pressure related diseases.
What Elements raise Hypertension?
Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. No more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 a day for women is the recommended guidelines.
There are no studies showing a link between caffeine and High Blood Pressure; However, it might have temporary effects, especially when drinking large quantities.
Exercising strengthen the heart and regular exercise helps lower your blood pressure.
The main component of salt, Sodium causes water retention and can raise blood pressure. The RDA is of 1.5 grams of sodium a day. 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) of salt contains 6.9 mg of Sodium, and 1 Teaspoon (Tsp) contains 2.3 mg.
Do you understand now why Junk food is the number one enemy, for it is full of Salt (and Sugar and bad/transFats? Have you ever looked at labels, composition of food at fast-food outlets? Perhaps, it is now time.
Stress has an immediate effect on blood pressure; however, no studies reveal that it may become a long-term condition. Somewhat, it may have an indirect connection and is often related to poor eating habits, drinking or smoking, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Cold and flu medicines that contain decongestants, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, and some antidepressants are one of several classes of medicine that can cause Hypertension. Always, seek medical advice before taking medicines and inform your practitioner about your current condition.
Loosing even a little weight through dieting or by changing eating habits can make a difference by reducing the strain on heart, and decrease the risk of high blood pressure. Children who are overweight can also have High Blood Pressure.
During the second half of pregnancy, gestational hypertension, a kind of high blood pressure manifests itself and if untreated, may lead to pre-eclampsia (limiting the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby and affecting the mother’s kidneys and brain); however, after birth the mother’s blood pressure returns to normal.
First and foremost, eating habits must improve and switching to a healthy diet and lifestyle (exercising, muscle-strengthening activities, yoga, meditation, relaxation…) is primordial. Raw vegetables and fruits must be consumed daily (and should make, at least, 50% of your plate - of every colour, think rainbow!), greens, and beans must be part of a main meal daily, cutting down on red meats, salt and products with high levels of fats (especially, hydrogenated and trans fats). All of the above can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure and protect your body from further damages.
Drinking diuretics like spring water (with diuretics properties), tea and coffee, can help the body evacuate excess sodium.
American Heart Association.
American Heart Association: “Stroke.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure.”
FDA: “Medications for High Blood Pressure.”
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Registered Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Iridologist, Lecturer, NLP practitioner and Personal Performance Coach.
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