Managing High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Health

Millions of people suffer from hypertension and, as such, managing high blood pressure is crucial for those that have been diagnosed with it.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries created by the pumping of your heart. A complex bodily system regulates blood pressure. However, the main regulators are arterioles, the body's smallest arteries, which widen and constrict, causing pressure to fall and rise. In short, chronically high blood pressure is when the regulatory system goes awry and the arterioles stay constricted.

Elevated high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump an adequate amount of blood and nutrients throughout the body.

In addition, long term high blood pressure damages the blood vessels and increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure, which is why many people look for information in regards to managing high blood pressure.

The precise cause of this condition is unknown in about 90-95 percent of people. However, experts point out that there are several risk factors associated with high blood pressure. These include high sodium intake, stress, obesity, lack of exercise, cigarette smoking, age, alcohol, heredity, and the excessive use of stimulates such as drug abuse, coffee or tea.

High Blood Pressure Health

How is Blood Pressure Measured?

Blood pressure is measured by using a sphygmomanometer that measures two points in the heart's pumping rhythm: systolic blood pressure is taken at the moment the heart beats and, as such, the first point measures the pressure on arteries as the heart beats; diastolic blood pressure is taken when the heart rests between beats and, as such, the second point measures the pressure on the arteries when the heart relaxes.

Part of managing blood pressure is the understanding what is considered normal, borderline high, and high. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 and borderline high is 130-139/85-89. High blood pressure is any measure greater than 140/90.

Managing High Blood Pressure

Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications

Managing high blood pressure through diet and lifestyle changes have shown to be effective.

Lifestyle modifications such as eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in salt is recommended. If lowering your salt intake is not enough; follow a strict salt-free diet.

In addition, boost your fiber intake, including taking supplemental fiber, and add grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and oats to your diet.

Garlic can be adding to your cooking since it has shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol. Moreover, eating garlic can't hurt you so it's worth a try.

It is also recommended that you maintain a healthy weight, drink eight 8 oz glasses of water daily, exercise regularly, and limit or cut out your alcohol consumption.

It's important to avoid caffeine and tobacco. In addition, cut out animal fats such as bacon, beef, chicken liver, dairy products, corned beef, pork, sausage, processed meats, etc. However, there are a few animal foods that are acceptable in moderation, which include broiled white fish and skinless turkey or chicken. It is recommended that you get your protein from vegetables sources, grains, and legumes.

Relaxation exercises are also helpful such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, visualization, and prayer.

Those of you that are taking an MAO inhibitor, a class of drugs prescribed to counter depression, lower blood pressure, and treat infections and cancer, it is recommend that you avoid the chemical tyramine and it's precursor, tyrosine.

Experts claim that combining MAO inhibitors with the chemical tyramine will not help in the managing of high blood pressure – it causes the blood pressure to soar and could cause a stroke. Food sources containing tyramine include almonds, avocados, bananas, beef or chicken liver, beer, cheese, cottage cheese, chocolate, coffee, fava beans, herring, meat tenderizers, peanuts, pickles, pineapples, pumpkin seeds, raisins, sausage, sesame seeds, sour cream, soy sauce, wine, yeast extracts, yogurt, and others. In general, stay clear from any high-protein food that has undergone aging, pickling, fermentation, or similar processes.

High Blood Pressure Health

High Blood Pressure Prevention

The prevention of high blood pressure requires reducing all the possible risk factors.

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Don't smoke
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Maintain a healthy weight

    In addition, other factors associated with high blood pressure include high sodium intake, stress, and the excessive use of stimulates such as drug abuse, coffee or tea. In fact, a diet high in sodium and low in potassium is associated with high blood pressure. One the other hand, a diet high in potassium and low in sodium have been noted to have favorable results in managing high blood pressure by lowering it.

    Managing High Blood Pressure

    Prescription Treatments

    High blood pressure management also includes the use of prescription medications. However, many of these can have adverse side effects, so it's important that you consult with your doctor carefully if you are considering one.

    Managing High Blood Pressure

    Natural High Blood Pressure Herbs and Nutrients

    Click here to learn all about natural high blood pressure remedies.

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    The Editors

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