Blood pressure is a term used to define the force the heart uses for pumping blood throughout the body. When the pressure is too high, then the condition is termed hypertension or high blood pressure. The disease usually has no symptoms, but it can lead to stroke, kidney failure, and heart diseases if unchecked.
With early diagnosis, hypertension is treatable and can help prevent severe illness resulting from it. You can find out more about hypertension in this guide.
Relationship Between Your Heart and The Food You Eat
To maintain your heart’s health and make it pump blood normally, you need to watch what you eat. Some of the foods that should get eliminated from your diet include fast foods, sweets, deep-fried meals, and fizzy drinks. You may not eliminate all these, but you can opt to have them once in a while.
There are foods good for the heart. Consider replacing the unhealthy ones. Having large portions of fresh vegetables will do more than put hypertension at bay Ė they will improve your whole body’s health. Fish, poultry, and eggs are good sources of proteins that make you feel full for a long time, boost muscle strength, and balance blood sugar.
Fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon also offer you omega 3 fats. For balanced blood sugar levels and heart, legumes are the way to go as they are full of proteins and contain low salt and calories. Whole-grain foods, milk, and dairy products are also a must-have for a healthy heart.
Causes of Hypertension
Age is the leading factor why most people get diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, what exactly causes the condition is unknown. Apart from age, race, family history, having chronic conditions such as thyroid dysfunction or kidney disease, being obese or overweight, eating food with much sodium, and smoking are possible causes.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Rarely will high blood pressure show off any signs, and if they do, one may not likely associate them with hypertension. Most people only realize they have it when they check-in for heart problems, kidney failure, or stroke. However, there are tell-tale signs that can get connected to hypertension, such as tiredness, blurry vision, headache, or hearing the sound of the heart beating in your ear, mostly at night.
When the blood pressure is too high, symptoms will include anxiety, nose bleeding, shortness of breath, and severe headaches. At a later stage, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and stroke manifest.
You can go to the nearest clinic or hospital to get your blood pressure checked in your home area. Normal blood pressure measures at 120/80. Prehypertension ranges between 120/80 to 13/89. Stage 1 of hypertension is at 140/90 to 159/ 99, while stage 2 above 160/100.
An emergency case will be above 180/110. The numbers get measured in mmHg, with the top digits showing your heart’s pressure when pumping, while the bottom one shows when the heart is relaxing. The term used to refer to the top one is systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure is for the bottom one.
If you get diagnosed and get the reading high, it does not necessarily mean you have hypertension. For the doctor to make a precise diagnosis, several tests will have to be taken either at the hospital or home. After diagnosis, your doctor will advise you on proper dieting, exercising, and adopting a healthy lifestyle regardless of your pressure level.
You may have to take medication if you are in stages 1 and 2 if a lifestyle change does not improve the condition.
Medication for Hypertension
Some of the medications used include Diuretics, which are the most effective and safest drugs used to treat high blood pressure. ACE inhibitors can also treat as they can help block kidney hormone production, which is overactive and tends to intensify blood pressure. Calcium Channel Blockers are treated by lowering blood pressure by relaxing muscles on the arteries’ walls and veins. Beta-Blockers can help the heartbeat slow down and reduce blood pressure as the adrenaline gets released into the body’s system.
Alternatives to Medication
You can get your blood pressure to normal without necessarily taking medicine. You may have to make some changes in your diet, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise. Some forms of activities you can do include swimming, running, and cycling several days a week.
Losing weight in a bid to maintain your BMI at a normal level is also crucial. Avoiding too salty foods will also help keep sodium away from your system. Avoiding alcohol, treating sleep apnea, and eating a special diet to stop hypertension will all play a significant role in treating high blood pressure.