High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure which is also called hypertension is a very common and dangerous disease. This disease is known as a silent killer. It is because usually, high blood pressure shows very little or no symptoms.
Blood pressure is usually refer to the force at which our heart pump blood in arteries. Readings less then 120/80mmg is considered normal blood pressure.
In high blood pressure condition blood moves through arteries with high force. When blood moves in arteries with high force then it put more pressure on arteries delicate tissues and it destroy the blood vessels.
High blood pressure is a serious disease. It can lead to bad health conditions. High blood pressure is the root of many diseases and lifestyle problems. High blood pressure can become the cause of heart diseases that can lead to stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the USA. It also increases risks of kidney diseases, vision loss, peripheral arterial disease, vascular dementia, aortic aneurysms. 1
High blood pressure is a condition in which blood pressure in arteries remains persistent elevated.
In 2014 high blood pressure contribute to or cause 494873 deaths in the USA. About one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. The study has found that men(47%) are more likely to get high blood pressure as compared to women(43%) 2
Research in the UK found that about 14 million peoples have high blood pressure. Thus this high number of population is at risk of heart and many worse diseases. 3
Blood pressure is measured in millimeter of mercury. It is abbreviated as mm Hg. Blood pressure measurement involve two readings.
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in arteries which our heart beating produce.
Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in blood vessels when our heart take rest it mean pressure between heart beat.
Blood pressure also depend on how much blood is heart pumping. It depends on resistance which blood flow gets in arteries. It mean if a person has narrow arteries then in this condition blood pressure will rise.
Blood pressure lower then 120/80mm HG is considered normal. Peoples with 130/80 mm HG readings is considered hypertension patients. If a person has reading less then 130/80mm HG and more then 120/80mmhg then that person has elevated blood pressure which is the sign of high chances of getting high blood pressure problem in future. 4
Normal blood pressure is a sign of awesome health.
High blood pressure can be managed by a healthy lifestyle. Many patients can control or lower their blood pressure without medications by changing their lifestyle.
By following simple tips and with some change in lifestyle not only help peoples with blood pressure problems but it also help in reducing the risks of getting hypertension in peoples without high blood pressure problems.
Here are some tips that can be helpful in reducing high blood pressure:
One of the best pieces of advice to control blood pressure is to exercise regularly. With regular exercise, a person can lower blood pressure by about 5 to 9 mmHg.
Exercise will stop developing hypertension and also will reduce it. Regular exercise will keep your heart strong and your heart will become more efficient to supply the blood to the body and your blood pressure will decrease.
Exercise is a drug free solution of lowering the blood pressure.
Generally, risks of hypertension start rising with age. But these risks can be controlled with regular exercise. Exercise can help a lot in your struggle against hypertension or high blood pressure.
Regular exercise have power to make your heart stronger. So your heart will pump the blood with less effort. When your heart will work less then it will put less force on arteries and in this way your blood pressure will reduce.
If your blood pressure is at healthy range then regular exercise can prevent high blood pressure problem to catch you as you age. With regular exercise you can maintain or can get healthy body weight. Healthy body weight can also reduce the risks of high blood pressure and overweight and obesity can increase blood pressure risks.
Lack of exercise has a link with high blood pressure.
If you have a high blood pressure problem then you need to never stop doing exercise. Firstly when you start your exercise plan then you need to take this in mind that exercise effect will not create benefits fast it will take some time to see the change so never stop it if you don’t see change at early stage of exercise plan.
Aerobic exercise is considered an effective and easy way to control hypertension. Adding strength training or weight lifting routine can boost your performance and fitness more. (Alert: Weight lifting is not recommended if a person has 160/100mmHG or above blood pressure. Always meet your doctor before doing the physical activity if you have that severe high blood pressure). Try to not put your body in difficulty by spending high time in physical activities. You don’t need to spend many hours in the gym or in doing workouts. Just do some moderate physical activities that can be easily performed by you.
- Household chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, gardening or scrubbing the floor
- Active sports, such as basketball or tennis
- Climbing stairs
150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is recommended by department of health and human services. To get most benefits from aerobic exercise make your aim to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.
A study in 2013 found that older peoples who participate in aerobic exercises successfully lowered their blood pressure. On average they lowered 3.9 percent of systolic blood pressure and 4.5 percent of diastolic blood pressure. 5
A study in 2014 on relation between exercise and lowering the blood pressure found that different combination of exercise can or may be work well against high blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, HIIT workout, workout resistance training and walking 10000 steps a day is good for lowering blood pressure. 6
A study published in 2017 concluded that physical exercises even light intensity exercises may or can help older peoples to lower their blood pressure. 7.
Always warm up before exercise. It can make your body active and can reduce the risks of injury.
Researches have shown that alone exercise can help to reduce 3.5 mm HG systolic blood pressure and 2.0 mm HG diastolic blood pressure. 8
Never try to do heavy exercise at the beginning. Heavy exercise can cause trouble for you. It may make you tired and exhausted and can also cause injury. So always do less exercise at the beginning. Like if you choose walking option for exercise and you don’t have history in physical activities. Then you need to walk 10 minutes at first day. Then try these 10 minutes walk for next three days then increase 5 minutes and so on you can increase your physical exercise time as time pass. After exercise let your body to cool. Give your body 2 to 5 minutes time to cool down it is also very beneficial for blood pressure.
Try to enjoy your exercise by listening to music, by watching beauty of city or nature. Try to add some friends in your exercise plans and do exercise together it will make you to stick with exercise and you will not get bored. It is recommended that do not listen to music with earphones when you walk or jog in roads or in some busy area because it can and will increase the risks of accidents or injury.
Exercise mostly create benefits for high blood pressure patients. Try to talk with a doctor and doctor will guide you more.
Losing weight can help you to decrease blood pressure. Blood pressure and body weight has some links. Obese person is at more risks of hyper tension as compare to normal weight person
Researches have shown that weight loss and exercise can be very beneficial in lowering blood pressure. When blood pressure will become normal than a person can get health normal functioned body. 9
Studies have found a link between blood pressure and body weight. It has been observed that when someone with high blood pressure loses 15 to 20lbs then their systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreases sufficiently. Report of different clinical trial concluded that weight gain is associated with high blood pressure. And on the other hand weight loss can help to lower the blood pressure. 10
Studies have found that blood pressure can be normalize with healthy change in life and by losing weight from the body. A obese person men or women both can get benefits of weight lost. 11
More studies have concluded that peoples who have elevated blood pressure and are obese or lives sedentary life style can get benefits from weight loss and they may can get normal blood pressure. 12
Men at risk of HBP if waist measurement is more then 40 inch.
Women are at risk if waist measurement is more then 35 inch.
Weight loss is not hard. Some peoples who consider it hard are wrong. Weight loss demands consistent work. You cannot get to victory without any work or struggle. Some peoples want to loss weight but they don’t want to workout for it or don’t want to change their lifestyle or eating habits. If they don’t do any workout or don’t change their lifestyle than they will not loss their weight.
How to lose weight
To lose weight a person needs to do exercise. Alone exercise has so many benefits that it can create a healthy, balanced body. Exercise helps the person to lose calories. When a person does physical activities then that person burns calories thus that shows results in fat loss. When a person will lose extra calories then these calories will not stick to the body as fat. Moreover, exercise will build muscles and will increase fitness. Muscles burn more calories than fat tissues thus it will make the person speed high in weight loss journey.
Second most important thing to lose weight is by taking healthy diet. Adding vegetables and fruits in diet can create many healthy benefits. You can’t lose weight if you have a habit of eating junk foods and drinking carbonated drinks is in your favorite list. Try to eat natural whole wheat foods with less sodium and sugar. Remember what ever go in your stomach will create its effects for your body and it will be good or bad it will depend on what you eat so always eat healthy low refined carbs and avoid unhealthy fats.
Eating protein rich foods can also help to lose significant weight loss. Protein rich foods will keep you full for the most time. This will reduce the habit of overeating.
Many peoples believe that smoking can only cause danger to their lungs but they need to know smoking can cause more harm to the body and causing hypertension problem is one of them.
The main harm is caused by nicotine in cigarettes. That plays a dangerous role by narrowing arteries and by hardening arteries walls thus blood pressure and heart rate increase. It makes the blood more like a clot and increases stress and load in the heart and increases the risks of stroke and heart attack.
Studies have found that obese or overweight males who smoke moderate or heavy have blood pressure high than normal. 13
Another study result shows that smoking can affect women and men differently. It shows that women whose daily smoke and consumption level is very high then they are more likely to get high SBP than normal women. Studies show that men and women both affected by smoking and their blood pressure can change with smoking. 14
Also a study in which mild hypertension patients were examined shows that smoking and coffee drinking increase the blood pressure for a short time or for some hours. It is been stated that that combination of cofee and smoking can change or increase the blood pressure. 15
If you want to reduce blood pressure then you must stop smoking. Smoking will destroy your heart and lungs’ health and it will also increase your blood pressure so you need to stop this.
Tips to stop smoking
Talk with doctor. Tell him what your problem is. Doctor will provide help as you need.
Write down harms of smoking in a page. And read and see it daily and think and make your mind to quit smoking. You will get help if will know the harms of smoking well.
Try to do other healthy activities instead of smoking. Try to chew gum instead of smoking.
Try to join some Facebook or other social media platform’s groups or pages that support the peoples who want to quite smoking.
Get rid of lighters or matches. Don’t keep them in your pockets
Make your company with non smokers. Get rid of smokers or keep a distance from them.
Always think about to your health first and think what benefits you can get by quitting smoking.
Limit your carbonated drinks consumption. They can also increase urge of smoking.
Do physical activities. It will help you to keep motivated and fit. So you will control yourself more efficiently.
Get support from friends or family members. Tell them your plan and they will help you in something.
Join a smoking quite program.
Always notice what triggers the urge of smoking and get rid of those triggers.
Make your plan that you will stop smoking in some specific time or date and always remember your goal.
Alcohol consumption has a link with high blood pressure. High consumption of Alcohol can or may cause high blood pressure in a person.
Drinking too much Alcohol can raise the blood pressure at danger level. Only three cups of alcohol drinking at sitting position can raise the blood pressure and repeated binge of alcohol consumption have the ability to raise the unhealthy high blood pressure for long time.
Health experts recommend moderate drinking if a person cant give up drinking. With moderate drinking a person can lower the systolic blood pressure about 5mmHG and about 4mmHG diastolic blood pressure. Moderate drinking is recommended for men and women who like to drink alcohol. Moderate drinking for adults means one drink per day for a women and for men it is two drink per day. 16
A review published in 2005 found that high consumption of alcohol can cause high blood pressure problems in peoples who have the bad habit of high alcohol drinking. High consumption of alcohol not only prevail hypertension but also cause many cardio vascular problems that can increase mortality rate. 17
A study by a university (sun) found that too much drinking can create bad unhealthy effects for body. Too much drinking can raise the blood pressure at high level. Moderate drinking is recommended for good health. 18
A study by ELSA-Brazil in which 7655 volunteer participate both male and female whose age were between 35 to 74. This study concluded that alcohol consumption can change the blood pressure. It is found that high consumption of alcohol is linked with causing high blood pressure. 19
A review of 36 trials in which 2865 peoples participate found that peoples who have the habit of drinking more then two drinks of alcohol per day get reduction in their blood pressure as the consumption of alcohol reduced. 20
So it is found that high consumption of alcohol is associated with high blood pressure. A reduction in alcohol can be very beneficial for a person which can create healthy effects for a person and reduction of blood pressure is included in this.
If your consumption rate of alcohol is very high then it can increase your blood pressure. If you can’t live without alcohol then you can try moderate drinking.
How to stop Alcohol consumption
Make a plan and follow it. Set your alcohol consumption limit.
Reduce your budget for alcohol. Spend less on alcohol buying.
Seek help from health experts they can help you in this regard.
Get knowledge about effects of high consumption of alcohol and make your mind about controlling or limiting alcohol drinking. Think about unhealthy effects an alcohol can create for you.
Always set your goals in a positive way in your effort of reducing alcohol consumption.
Always take notice what trigger you to drink more. Try to avoid or control the trigger effects with good technique. Take help from professionals or someone who you think can help you in your matter.
Avoid those peoples who have a habit of heavy drinking. Try to say “I don’t drink” if someone offer you drink. By repeating this practice you will make it habit using these words and results will appear with good grades.
Do some healthy activities. Physical activities are also good for refreshing the mind. When your mind will stay refresh and without any tension then you may reduce your habit of heavy drinking.
Reduce sodium intake
Sodium and blood pressure have a link. High sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure problems. Peoples who consume high sodium or salty diet may can increase their risks of hypertension or HBP problem.
WHO members of states have agreed to reduce use of sodium intake by 30 percent by 2025.
It is believed that about 2.5 million death globally can be prevented if world people reduce sodium intake and consume sodium in their diet as experts have recommended.
For Adults WHO recommend less then 5 gram salt or sodium per day. 21
A study in 2019 found that reducing sodium can be beneficial for a person health. Peoples with hypertension can get benefits by reducing salt in their diet. Reduction of sodium in diet not only decrease high blood pressure but it also improve cardio vascular health thus it reduce the risks of stroke and heart diseases. 22
Huge numbers of 133 studies on 12197 peoples found that reduction of sodium in diet help to improve health and reduce blood pressure in high blood pressure patients especially in older peoples. 23
Many blood pressure patients have a sensitivity to sodium.
Tips to reduce sodium intake
Always choose low salt food products and for that read the labels of the food and avoid it if it has high sodium rate.
Don’t add salt in food during preparation. In many foods you can add salt later after preparing so add then but use less don’t look for taste look for health and benefits.
Avoid salty chips or other high sodium packaged foods.
Get advice from health experts and follow their instructions.
Eat mostly homemade natural foods. Mostly foods from market has high sodium and is not play friendly role in managing high blood pressure.
Use pepper shaker instead of salt shaker.
Avoid misperceptions about salt. Take help from doctors or other health experts use their advice in your lifestyle.
Todays modern life is both easy and tough. Easy is because modern technology help a lot in our life and hard is because competition is increasing for a good standard life. With so much competition in every aspect of life, stress is becoming common in human population. Taking stress is common and natural. But stress or long time stress can be harmful for patient and healthy person.
When a person take stress then that person can see the changes in body but high blood pressure which is caused by stress cannot be observed easily. Because high blood pressure has almost no symptoms in most peoples. That is why high blood pressure is called by “silent death”.
Many studies have shown that even thinking about stress ful events can be harmful for health. Conclusion of some studies is that thinking about events that have linked with stress and bad moments can cause more harm then getting stressed moments. Thinking about bad moments can delay the reduction of high blood pressure. 24
In a stressful event our body produce a hormone called adrenaline which cause response. In this situation our heart beat rise and start working harder. It is a natural process but it may be not good for body or health. In this situation when heart beat fast and work more then usual then blood vessels can become narrow and that can lead to high blood pressure.
Research has shown that repeated stress can cause hypertension by producing large amounts of vasoconstricting hormones in the body which can cause high blood pressure. Stress can cause repeated elevation in blood pressure which can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. 25
The Jackson heart study for 13 years concluded that high stress can cause high blood pressure or hypertension and with the reduction of stress in the life high blood pressure can be reduced. This study was black community based. 26
A study on men and women of age 28 to 75 years with high blood pressure problems found that by reducing or by well managing of anger and stress blood pressure can be reduced. 27
Stress can increase your blood pressure and even can make you blood pressure patient.
Tips to reduce stress
Try to reduce your stress by taking part in activities like doing yoga, exercising, and listing to music. You can reduce your stress by meeting with your friends, relatives and try to make trips to famous places. If someone or something is the reason for your stress then try to avoid it completely because stress will not only create blood pressure problems but will also create other health-related issues.
Eat healthy foods
A person can get normal blood pressure by eating healthy foods.
Healthy foods are recommended for heart and high blood pressure patients. Healthy foods can be beneficial for patients of hyper tension including those who take BP lowering medication. 28
Stay away from salted foods, processed foods, high carbs, caffeine, sugar, and foods with high saturated fats.
Instead of these eat high protein, potassium, calcium,magnesium-rich foods. Eating vegetables and fruits is considered best for blood pressure patients.
Some healthy foods
Fatty fish are the source of omega 3 fats. These fats included many health benefits and one of it is, it help in lowering the blood pressure. A study on a group of 2036 shows that peoples with high omega 3 fats have low systolic and diastolic blood pressure then those who have low level of omega 3 fats. 29,30
2.Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil can be very beneficial for high blood patients. A study in which 23 women included show that that 3 gram of pumpkin seed per day for 6 weeks help in reduction of systolic blood pressure. 31
Citrus fruit that include oranges, lemons, grapes can help in reducing the blood pressure. Full with vitamins, minerals and plants compound these fruits can reduce the high blood pressure. 32
4.Beans and lentils
Studies have shown that consumption of beans and lentils help to lose systolic blood pressure in peoples with HBP and without HBP. 33
5. Other foods
Other foods that may be good for high blood pressure patients are broccoli, carrots, Swiss chard, Greek yogurt, berries, amaranth, pistachios, celery, tomatoes, spinach, spices and herbs. 34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42
Sleep has link with the health of body. For a good healthy fit body good sleep time is much needed. Adults are recommended to sleep for 7 to 8 hours per night.
Sleep less then 6 hours can cause health problems. Regular bad sleep can create bad and dangerous diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Blood pressure depends on sleep time, the less you sleep the more high your blood pressure can get. Sleep help in controlling hormones in the body that are very essential to regulate stress and metabolism. Poor sleep for long time can cause swings in hormones and risks of high blood pressure and heart diseases can be increased.
During sleep, blood pressure and heart rate go down. Studies have found that less sleep habit can cause high BP in peoples especially in middle aged peoples. Insomnia and short sleep duration can increase high BP risks studies say. It is found that objective short sleep is present in 90 percent patients with high blood pressure. 43
Research on the health of women found that insomnia and short duration or bad sleep time can increase the blood pressure and vascular inflammation risks. 44
By doing regular exercise you can get good sleep and also stop alcohol consumption at night it will cause a problem for you to sleep.
Seven studies on 21150 adolescent (mostly males) of age between 10 and 18yrs concluded that short duration of sleep can cause high blood pressure in children of age mention above. 45
More evidence shows that insomnia along with obstructive sleep apnea is the top factor of high blood pressure risks. 46
A study in which mild to moderate patients blood pressure was monitored found that during sleep deprivation blood pressure was high then regular work day. It was 24 hours monitoring of blood pressure in both sleep deprivation time and regular work day. 47
During sleep, heart and blood vessels repair themselves.
Tips for good sleep
- Reduce the exposure of blue light
- Don’t consume caffeine at day end
- Reduce long day time nap
- Exercise daily (not before sleeping)
- Stop alcohol drinking
- Use a comfortable bed and room environment for sleep
- Try to not drink before sleeping
- A bath can help
- Melatonin supplement can help
- Some disease can cause very poor sleep for long time so visiting the doctor is recommended.
A good balanced diet can be very beneficial for healthy body and it provide help against many diseases. Many vitamins and minerals taken from food or as supplement can be helpful against high blood pressure.
Here are some healthy list
Male: 14-18yrs need 410mg. | Female: 14-18yrs need 360mg
Male: 18-30 need 4oomg. | Female: 18-30 need 310mg
Male: 31-50+ need 420mg. | Female: 31-50+ need 320mg
Magnesium rich food sources:
Avocados, nuts, dark chocolate, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grain wheat, fatty fish, bananas and leafy greens are some healthy food source of magnesium.
Potassium is one of the supplement that is very useful in lowering the blood pressure. Many studies on potassium and high blood pressure shows that potassium taken from food or supplements help to reduce the blood pressure. 50,51
Male: 9-13yrs need 2500mg. | Female: 9-13yrs need 2300mg
Male: 14-18yrs need 3000mg. | Female: 14-18yrs need 2300mg
Male: 19-50+ need 3400mg. | Female: 19-50+ need 2600mg
Potassium rich food sources:
Tuna, halibut, trout, rockfish, COD
Pinto, kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, lima beans
Orange juice, Prune juice, Apricot juice, Grapefruit juice
Vitamin B, C, D
Vitamins B , C, D are very healthy and also very good in lowering the blood pressure.
Vitamin B food sources:
Salmon, leafy green, organ meat, eggs, milk, legumes, beef, chicken, yogurt, trout and sunflower seeds are some vitamin B rich foods.
Vitamin C food sources:
Chili peppers, sweet yellow peppers, guava, black currants, thymes, parsley, mustard spinach, kiwis, broccoli, lemons, papayas, strawberries, and oranges are rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin D food sources:
Salmons, sardines, cod liver oil, tuna fish, egg yolk, mushroom, and some fortified foods are good source of vitamin D. (Note: vitamin D is found less in natural food so it is fortified in some foods.)
It is a amino acid that can help to lower the blood pressure. An umbrella review of meta analysis shows that l-arginine help to lower the blood pressure in high BP patients and lower the Diastolic BP in pregnant women. 53
L-arginine is available largely as supplements in the market.
It is also found in fish, red meat, poultry, soy, wholegrains, beans and dairy products.
Melatonin is a hormone made by our bodies. It is usually for sleep but can have other healthy benefits.
Tart cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, fish, nuts, are good source of melatonin.
Green tea has many health benefits and it also help the unhealthy patient of high blood pressure.
A review of many studies showed by drinking green tea for 3 to 16 weeks a person with or without high blood pressure can lower the blood pressure significantly. 56
Ginger is considered a healthy food. It has good effects on health. It can help to lower the blood pressure. A review of 6 studies found the effects of ginger on blood pressure. Review showed that 3 gram ginger per day for 6 weeks lower the blood pressure in young and aged (50yrs) peoples. 57
Fish oil is very good for health. It can reduce inflammation, blood pressure and blood lipids level.
A review found that Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced in peoples who use fish oil supplements. 58
CoQ10 is coenzyme Q10 which is a vitamin like molecule. Our body make it. We can get it from some foods. A review of 17 studies found that CoQ10 can help in lowering the systolic blood pressure sufficiently. 59
Beef, chicken, organs of meat, vegetables, fatty fish, fruits, seeds, legumes, nuts, soybean and canola oil.
It is possible in some cases that after doing lifestyle change blood pressure may not reduced. Usually this happen when health is in very bad condition. In this situation you need to visit the doctor. It is recommended to visit doctor as soon as possible if your blood pressure is not lowering. Doctor may prescribe some medicines. Take these medicine as doctor advise.
Also monitor your blood pressure daily if you are patient. With daily monitoring you will know changes in blood pressure. You will get help about changes that you need to make in your diet and lifestyle.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
Usually high blood pressure or hyper tension rarely shows any symptoms. Generally peoples remain unaware about their bad high BP for some time. It is usually observed during check up of other health problems. Some people with high blood pressure report some symptoms that are given below:
- Severe Headaches (in severe condition)
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Nose bleeding (in severe condition)
- Difficulty in breathing
- Blood in urine
- Irregular heart beat
Complications of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is the one of the main cause of premature deaths in the world. Deaths from high blood pressure can easily be prevented but it need some work and attention. High blood pressure is the root of many dangerous diseases. Some main diseases cause by high BP are these:
- Ischemic heart disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Heart failure
- Aortic aneurysms
- Chronic kidney diseases
- Atrial fibrillation
- Pulmonary embolism
- Cognitive impairment
- Hypertensive retinopathy
- Hypertensive nephropathy