High Blood Pressure aka the "Silent Killer"
Hypertension or high blood pressure, as it is more commonly known, is regarded as the "Silent Killer".
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher. Both numbers are important.
Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. Once high blood pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime. The good news is that it can be treated and controlled. It can also be lowered and sometimes reversed by following a low sodium diet.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. Some people may not find out they have it until they have trouble with their heart, brain, or kidneys. When high blood pressure is not found and treated, it can cause:
- The heart to get larger, which may lead to heart failure.
- Small bulges (aneurysms (AN-u-risms)) to form in blood vessels. Common locations are the main artery from the heart (aorta); arteries in the brain, legs, and intestines; and the artery leading to the spleen.
- Blood vessels in the kidney to narrow, which may cause kidney failure.
- Arteries throughout the body to "harden" faster, especially those in the heart, brain, kidneys, and legs. This can cause a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, or amputation of part of the leg.
- Blood vessels in the eyes to burst or bleed, which may cause vision changes and can result in blindness.
Reducing the salt and sodium in your diet is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reduce your blood pressure.
Here is more information about blood pressure.
It is a disease of the modern age. The fast pace of life and the mental and physical pressures and stresses caused by the increasingly industrialized and metropolitan enviroments have a role to play in the rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called sphygnomanometer in millimetres of mercury. The highest pressure reached during each heart beat is called systolic pressure, and the lowest between two beat is known as diastolic pressure. Most young adults have blood pressure around 120/80. It increases normally with age, even going up to 160/90.
There is no "ideal" blood pressure reading. However, there is a range of "normal" blood pressure reading. Generally, a reading that is less than 120 over 80 indicates that you don't need to worry. If either or both numbers are equal to or greater than 120 over 80 for an extended period of time, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Hypertension is dangerous because it causes the heart to work extra hard. This strain contributes to heart attacks and stroke. When the heart is forced to work extra hard for an extended period of time, it tends to enlarge. A slightly enlarged heart can function well, but a significantly enlarged heart cannot. High blood pressure also causes damage to the arteries, causing arterial disease.
Hypertension can be treated. Mild cases of hypertension can be treated through behavior modification like changing diet and increasing exercise. More severe cases of hypertension require medications like diuretics and beta blockers. Diuretics rid the body of excess fluids and salt. Beta blockers reduce the heart rate and the heart's output of blood.
Symptoms of Hypertension
The first symptom of hypertension may appear as a pain at the back of
the head and neck upon waking in the morning, which soon disappears.
Some of the other common symptoms are dizziness, palpitations, pain in
the region of the heart, frequent urination, nervous tension, fatigue,
and difficulty in breathing.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
The main causes of high blood pressure are stress and a faulty style of
Smoking and an excessive intake of intoxicants, tea, coffee,
and refined foods destroy the natural pace of life and prevent the
expulsion of waste and poisonous matter from the body. Hardening of the
arteries (atherosclerosis), obesity, and diabetes lead to hypertension.
Other causes of high blood pressure are an excessive intake of common table salt, and eating a high fat and low fiber diet.
Natural Remedies For High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure treatment using Garlic
Garlic is regarded as an effective means of lowering blood pressure. It
is said to reduce spasms of the small arteries. It also slows down the
pulse rate and modifies the heart rhythm, besides relieving the
symptoms of dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath, and the formation
of gas within the digestive tract. It may be taken in the form of raw
cloves or two to three capsules a day.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry is another effective remedy for high blood pressure.
A tablespoon each of fresh amla juice and honey mixed together should
be taken every morning in this condition.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Lemon
Lemon is also regarded as a valuable food to control high blood
pressure. It is a rich source of vitamin P which is found both in the
juice and peel of the fruit. This vitamin is essential for preventing
High Blood Pressure treatment using Grapefruit
Grapefruit is useful in preventing high blood pressure. The vitamin P content in the fruit is helpful in toning up the arteries.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Watermelon
Watermelon is another valuable safeguard against high blood pressure. A
substance extracted from watermelon seeds is said to have a definite
action in dilating the blood vessels, which results in lowering the
blood pressure. The seeds, dried and roasted, should be taken in
High Blood Pressure treatment using Rice
Rice has a low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-salt content. It makes a
perfect diet for those hypertensive persons who have been advised
salt-restricted diets. Calcium in brown rice, in particular, soothes
and relaxes the nervous system and helps relieve the symptoms of high
High Blood Pressure treatment using Potato
Potatoes are a valuable food for lowering
blood pressure. Especially, when boiled with their skin. They can be a useful addition to a salt-free diet
which is recommended for patients with high blood pressure. Potatoes are rich in
potassium but not in sodium. The magnesium present in the
vegetable is also beneficial in lowering blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Parsley
Parsley is very useful in high blood pressure. It contains elements,
which help maintain the blood vessels, particularly, the capillaries.
It keeps the arterial system in a healthy condition. It may be taken as
a beverage by simmering 1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves gently in 8 oz. of water for a few minutes. Drink this several times daily.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Rauwolfia
Among the herbs, rauwolfia is the best remedy for high blood pressure.
Alkaloids of this drug, which have a direct effect on hypertension,
have been isolated and are being widely used by practitioners of modem
medicine, but they have certain unpleasant side-effects which the drug,
taken in raw form, does not have. Practitioners of the Indian system of
medicine have, therefore, preferred to use the root of the drug in a
powdered from. Half a teaspoon of this drug, taken three times a day, is
very effective in hypertension.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Vegetable Juice
Raw vegetable juices, especially carrot and spinach juices, also parsley, celery and garlic are beneficial in the treatment of
high blood pressure. Make a combination of 10 oz of carrot juice
and 4 oz of spinach juice 2 oz of celery juice and if you can tolerate it add a clove of garlic for a 16 oz glass. Drink this daily all at once or divided, one glass of 8 oz
should be taken twice daily, afternoon and evening.
High Blood Pressure treatment using Dietary Calcium and Potassium
Recent studies have revealed an important link between dietary calcium
and potassium and hypertension. Researchers have found that people who
take potassium-rich diets have a low incidence of hypertension. They have also found that people
with hypertension do not seem to get much calcium. These two essential nutrients seem to help the red the body of excess sodium and are involved in important functions which control the
working of the vascular system. Potassium is found in abundance in
fruits and vegetables, and calcium in dark leafy vegetables and dairy products.
High Blood Pressure Diet
Persons with high blood pressure should always follow a well-balanced
routine of a proper diet, exercise, and rest. Diet is of primary
importance. Meat and eggs, more than any other food, cause the blood
pressure to rise. The pressure can be lowered and blood clotting
diminished by increasing the consumption of fruits, reducing protein
intake, and sticking to a mostly vegetarian diet at least for a while. A natural diet consisting of
fresh fruits and vegetables instead of a traditional diet, helps to get
rid of the toxins from the body.
Salt should be avoided; in any case. Salt should not exceed more than half a teaspoon per
day, that would be about 1200 mg of sodium per day. If you keep it under 1000 mg of sodium per day, so much the better. Eliminating salt from your diet is the best solution, to lower high blood pressure. There is more than enough sodium in fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet.
Note: Just one teaspoon of salt = almost 2400 mg of sodium.
More High Blood Pressure Diet Tips
Persons suffering from hypertension must get at least eight hours of
good sleep, because proper rest is a vital aspect of the high blood pressure treatment.
Most important of all, the patient must avoid overstrain, worries,
tension, anger, and haste. He or she must develop a calm and cheerful
attitude and develop a contented frame of mind.
This information is to help give you information. It is not used to diagnose or prescribe. Do your own research. Always consult your doctor.