27.2 C
Sunday, November 26, 2023

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”.


Related stories

Appealing BECE Results: WAEC Offers Students a Chance for Review

Appealing BECE Results: WAEC Offers Students a Chance for...

How to get Job after High School: A Comprehensive Guide

How to get Job after High School: A Comprehensive...

New Phase of BECE Computerized Placement System

New Phase of BECE Computerized Placement System The Ghana Education...

SHS Placement Form Not For Sale: MoE

SHS Placement Form Not For Sale: MoE The SHS...

Laws on Abortion in Ghana: Legal and Illegal

Laws on Abortion in Ghana: Legal and Illegal Laws...

High blood pressure: Medication is only one method for lowering blood pressure. Investigate other possibilities including exercise, potassium, dark chocolate, enhancing your sleep, and garlic.

Healthy lifestyle concepts: red heart shape plate with fresh organic fruits and vegetables shot on blue background. A digital blood pressure monitor, doctor stethoscope, dumbbells and tape measure are beside the plate This type of foods are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids that prevents heart diseases, lower cholesterol and help to keep a well balanced diet. https://myhealthink.com/high-blood-pressure/

Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, has earned the moniker “silent killer” for good cause. Despite having a high risk of heart disease and stroke, it frequently shows no symptoms. And among the main causes of mortality in the US are these disorders.

Your blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated as mm Hg.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

There are two numbers involved in the measurement:

  • Systolic blood pressure. The top number represents the force of the pressure when your heart pushes blood into the arteries throughout the rest of your body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure. The bottom number represents the pressure in your blood vessels between beats, when your heart is filling and relaxing.

How much blood your heart pumps and how much resistance your arteries provide to blood flow determine your blood pressure. Your blood pressure increases as your arteries get more constricted.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg is regarded as normal. High blood pressure is defined as 130/80 mm Hg or above.

Your blood pressure is considered to be raised if it is higher than normal but less than 130/80 mm Hg. You are now at a higher risk of getting high blood pressure.

The good news about elevated blood pressure is that you can make changes to significantly reduce your numbers and lower your risk — without requiring medications.

Here are the effective ways to lower your blood pressure levels.

1. Increase activity and exercise more

Specifically, for males, aerobic and resistance training have been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis of 65 research.

In a 2013 study, aerobic exercise training reduced the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of inactive older individuals by an average of 3.9 and 4.5 percent, respectively. These outcomes match those of several blood pressure drugs.

Your heart develops stronger and can pump with less effort over time if you consistently increase your heart and breathing rates. Your blood pressure will drop as a result of decreased pressure on your arteries.

How much activity should you strive for?

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend engaging in moderate- to intense physical exercise three to four times a week for 40 minutes at a time.

If it’s hard to find 40 minutes at once, breaking it up into three or four 10- to 15-minute chunks throughout the day could still be beneficial.

Similar advice comes from the American College of Sports Medicine.

But you don’t have to run marathons. Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:

  • using the stairs
  • walking instead of driving
  • doing household chores
  • gardening
  • going for a bike ride
  • playing a team sport

Just do it regularly and work up to at least half an hour per day of moderate activity.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

One example of moderate activity that can have big results is tai chi. A 2017 review on the effects of tai chi and high blood pressure shows an overall average of a 15.6 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 10.7 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure compared with no exercise at all.

A 2014 review on exercise and lowering blood pressure found that there are many combinations of exercise that can lower blood pressure.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

These exercises include:

  • aerobic exercise
  • resistance training
  • high-intensity interval training
  • short bouts of exercise throughout the day
  • walking 10,000 steps a day

Ongoing studies continue to suggest that there are still benefits to even light physical activity, especially for older adults.

2. Lose weight if you’re overweight

Losing 5 to 10 pounds might lower your blood pressure if you are overweight. Additionally, you’ll reduce your likelihood of developing additional medical issues.

According to a review of multiple research, weight reduction regimens typically lower blood pressure by 3.2 mm Hg diastolic and 4.5 mm Hg systolic.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

3. Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates

Numerous studies have shown that limiting sugar and processed carbs can aid in weight loss and blood pressure reduction.

According to a 2014 research, sugar, especially fructose, may raise blood pressure more than salt. Sugar elevated blood pressure by 6.9 mm Hg systolic and 5.6 mm Hg diastolic in studies that lasted at least 8 weeks.

According to a 2020 research comparing many common diets, low-carb and low-fat diets reduced systolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 5 mm Hg in adults who were overweight or obese after six months.

Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because you’re consuming more protein and fat.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

4. Eat more potassium and less sodium

Your blood pressure can also be lowered by increasing your potassium consumption and reducing your salt intake.

Potassium benefits your body in two ways: it lowers the impact of salt in your system and reduces blood vessel stress. However, potassium-rich diets may be dangerous to those who have renal illness, so consult your doctor before consuming more potassium.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

It’s easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:

  • fish
  • fruits, such as bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges
  • low fat dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
  • vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and spinach

Keep in mind that everyone reacts to salt differently. Some people have a salt sensitivity, which causes their blood pressure to rise when they consume more salt. Others don’t react to salt. They may consume a lot of salt and eliminate it in their urine without their blood pressure increasing.

High blood pressure; the ”silent killer”

The National Institutes of Health recommends reducing salt intake using the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The DASH diet emphasizes:

  • low sodium foods
  • fruits and vegetables
  • low fat dairy
  • whole grains
  • fish
  • poultry
  • beans
  • fewer sweets and red meats

5. Eat less processed food

Your salt shaker at home only supplies a small portion of the excess salt in your diet, which is primarily found in processed meals and items from restaurants. Popular high salt items include:

  • deli meats
  • canned soup
  • pizza
  • chips
  • other processed snacks

To make up for the loss of fat, “low fat” foods typically have high salt and sugar content. Food tastes better and makes you feel full when it is fatty.

You may eat less salt, sugar, and refined carbs by limiting your intake of processed foods, or even better, by completely eliminating them from your diet. All of these may cause blood pressure to decrease.

Make it a practice to check nutrition labels. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high.

6. Stop smoking

Although it might be challenging, giving up smoking is beneficial for your general health. The sudden but transient rise in blood pressure and heart rate brought on by smoking.

Through blood vessel wall deterioration, inflammation, and artery constriction over time, tobacco’s compounds can raise blood pressure. Higher blood pressure is a result of the hardened arteries.

Even when exposed to secondhand smoke, the compounds in tobacco can have an adverse effect on your blood vessels.

A study showed that nonsmokers who were able to go to smoke-free restaurants, bars, and workplaces had lower blood pressure than nonsmokers in areas that had no smoke-free policies affecting public places.

7. Reduce excess stress

We are at a challenging period. Stress is a result of pressures on the job and at home, as well as domestic and international affairs. Your health and blood pressure depend on you finding strategies to lessen your own stress.

Discover what works for you among the many effective stress-relieving techniques available. Do some deep breathing exercises, go on a stroll, pick up a book, or watch a comedy.

It has also been demonstrated that regular music listening lowers systolic blood pressure.

A 20-year study showed that regular sauna uses reduced death from heart-related events.

In 2015, a study has shown that acupuncture can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

8. Try meditation or yoga

Stress reduction techniques that have been used and studied for a long time include transcendental meditation and mindfulness.

Yoga, which frequently incorporates breathing exercises, posture corrections, and meditation techniques, can also be helpful in lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

When compared to people who didn’t exercise, a 2013 research on yoga and blood pressure reported an average blood pressure decline of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic.

Studies of yoga practices found that those that incorporated breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as successful as those that did not.

9. Eat some dark chocolate

Absolutely, chocolate lovers: There is evidence that dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure.

But 60 to 70 percent cacao should be present in the dark chocolate. One to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help decrease the risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure and inflammation, according to a review of studies on the subject.

The flavonoids found in chocolate with greater cocoa solids are considered to be responsible for the advantages. Your blood arteries can dilate or expand with the aid of flavonoids.

10. Make sure to get good, restful sleep

When you sleep, your blood pressure normally drops. Your blood pressure may be impacted by poor sleep.

People who lack sleep, especially those in their middle years, are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

For some people, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t easy. These are some of the many ways to help you you get restful sleep:

  • Try setting a regular sleep schedule.
  • Spend time relaxing before bedtime.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Avoid daytime naps.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable.

The 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased rate of high blood pressure.

Regularly sleeping fewer than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of high blood pressure long term.

11. Take prescription medication

If your blood pressure is very high or doesn’t decrease after making these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.

They work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if you have other risk factors. However, it can take some time to find the right combination of medications.

Talk with your doctor about possible medications and what might work best for you


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here