The best way to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) is to maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke and do eat sensibly. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and in spite of what the dairy industry may tell you, dairy is not an essential food group and should be avoided because of the fat content. Foods low in sodium chloride, (processed salt) are best. The body does require some salt but it should be sea salt or similar that is balanced with other minerals. Alcohol is is slightly contentious. Many doctors recommend a small amount, say a couple of standard drinks a day because at that level it can act as a relaxant. Any more that it can actually cause a rise in blood pressure so some doctors would say don’t touch it.
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent hypertension
- Get into a healthy eating pattern. Research has shown that getting into to a healthy eating pattern reduces the risk of getting high blood pressure and can help in lowering a preexisting high blood pressure.
- Although the body does require some salt to function, the western diet has far too much in it. Be aware of how much salt you take in especially in processed foods. Eat unprocessed foods and use salt in the form of sea salt or similar that is not just sodium chloride and contains other natural minerals and salts. Not consuming excess salt will help control high blood pressure.
- Obesity will result in high blood pressure (hypertension). As soon as body weight increases, so does blood pressure. Just losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) will decrease the blood pressure of an overweight hypertensive person.
- Become physically active. A sedentary lifestyle will tend to result in increased blood pressure. Just walking 4 or 5 kilometers (2.5 miles) a day would be a big help.
- Alcohol intake, as I said before, can be a contentious issue. Just one or two glasses of wine, or equivalent, per day can help relaxation some medical practitioners say. On the other hand any thing more than that on a regular basis will cause stress to the kidneys and liver as well as damage to the brain. Also remember that alcoholic drinks contain calories and so will tend to increase your weight. Step 5 then is to drink in moderation, two drinks a day for men and one for women.
- Smoking is disastrous to health. It damages the walls of the blood vessels and promotes hardening of the arteries. Hardened inflexible arteries increases blood pressure. Apart from high blood pressure, smoking causes a whole variety of cancers in the lungs, mouth, throat, pancreas, this list goes on and on. Step 6 is simple DON’T SMOKE!
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the major killers today. There are no symptoms. Unless you monitor you blood pressure you won’t know you have it. It will kill you silently with no warning.
To sum up, don’t smoke, eat properly, excercise and drink in moderation. If you do this you are well on your way to prevent hypertension.
Oh .. and get a blood pressure monitor. They’re inexpensive and very easy to use.
High blood pressure is potentially deadly. If it is detected early enough, though, it’s debilitating effects can be alleviated. Heart attack or stroke can be prevented or at least postponed if a condition of high blood pressure is detected. When it is diagnosed then treatment and lifestyle changes can begin.
The first problem we have with detecting the signs of high blood pressure is that usually there are no signs. That’s why it is often referred to as ‘the silent killer’
If there are no signs that you have high blood pressure then there doesn’t appear to be any reason to do doing anything about finding out. So this is the dilemma. How to diagnose high blood pressure when there are no symptoms. Actually modern science has given us a very easy way, but more of that later.
The Signs Of High Blood Pressure are Vague
Some people may experience signs of high blood pressure but they could be slight and easily attributable to other things.
A headache is a common sign except, of course, the sufferer may just judge it to be ‘just one of those things’ and take a pain killer. Shortness of breath, lightheadedness and vision problems could also be signs of high blood pressure. And they might not. In any case it will do no harm to visit a doctor and get it checked out.
So What If I Have No Signs Of High Blood Pressure?
In general there are no reliable signs of high blood pressure. So what to do? Well most pharmacies and public health offices will do a blood pressure check for you and of course your own doctor should do one on every visit. These days there is a very simple and inexpensive way of keeping an eye on the whole families blood pressure. Your own automatic blood pressure meter. Every first aid kit should have one of these. They are very simple to operate. You simply put the cuff on your arm as described and push the button. The cuff will automatically inflate and then deflate just as the doctor does using the old fashioned sphygmomanometer, and give you reading. Armed with one of these you will have no need to rely on vague or worry about the nonexistent signs of high blood pressure. You can take charge of your own destiny and maybe save yourself from having a heart attack or stroke. Money well spent, I think. As soon as you can see that your blood pressure is a bit high for most of the time go straight to your health practitioner for remedial treatment. As for signs of high blood pressure, you can’t get much clearer.
I have one of these meters.
Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff
It will help you detect the signs of high blood pressure.
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It’s very simple. If you abuse alcohol on a regular basis then your blood pressure will go up. The relationship between too much alcohol and high blood pressure is well established. Uncontrolled high blood pressure will kill you and you won’t notice it happening. That’s why it’s called ‘the silent killer’. How do I know? Because I abused alcohol for a long time and I let my blood pressure get out of control. I am very lucky to be alive. My main blood vessel blew as a result of the constant pressure and I am only here now as a result of expert emergency medical intervention. Most people aren’t so lucky.
Get The Facts
The fact is that there is a definite relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure. Think about it. If you constantly drink large amounts of alcohol then your liver and kidneys are working overtime to deal with the toxins you are putting in your body. This will cause your heart to work harder and your blood pressure to rise. If that’s not enough, if you smoke as well, you dramatically decrease your chances of surviving any operation you have to fix the problems caused by high blood pressure. Forgive me for being blunt,you need to get help! What is going to happen to your family when you die prematurely.
Yes alcohol and high blood pressure is of concern, but all is not doom and gloom. Research has shown that an occasional alcoholic drink will do no harm. In fact my very own doctor recommended that I consume a pint of a well known black Irish beer everyday to help me relax and to build up my blood iron levels after my lifesaving operation. It is well documented that the French have a lower level of heart disease presumably because they predominately drink red wine. Red wine contains procyanidins, polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids which some reports say are beneficial to the heart. Before you rush out and start drinking three bottles of red wine a day, see previous paragraph. Alcohol and high blood pressure are related. The occasional glass of red wine may be OK but overindulgence is not. Indeed there is nothing more pleasant than relaxing with an alcoholic drink at the end of a hard day. Just enjoy it and stop.
Alcohol and Medication
There are some medications that should not be taken in conjunction with alcohol. In fact some can be a toxic mix or alcohol can render some medications useless. Check with your medical practitioner.
If you feel that you can’t get through the night without a drink, then you have a problem. Either wean yourself of the dependancy or get help. There are many organisations available to help you Alcoholics Anonymous being the most famous one. Change your lifestyle to reduce your dependency.
The occasional alcoholic drink is usually OK but remember the well established link between alcohol and high blood pressure and take care.
For more information on high blood pressure and how to treat it, I thoroughly recommend this book by Frank Mangano.
Essential Reading On High Blood Pressure
Recommended Blood Pressure Meter. I’ve have one, so should you.
Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff
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