Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. The goal is to have a blood pressure at or below of 120/76 for the average adult. If your blood pressure is at or above 140/90 then it is time to aggressively take charge and get your blood pressure under control.
The reason it is so important to control blood pressure arises from the fact that the top number (systolic) indicates the amount of pressure being pushed against your majority of the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that delivery nutrients throughout your body. The problem is that there are inherently weak spots in your circulatory system and no one knows how much pressure they can handle until something ruptures and often then it is too late to prevent significant damage or worse.
Causes and Risks for High Blood Pressure
It is important to realize that in 90 percent of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is not known (referred to as primary hypertension). Although the specific cause is unknown, certain factors are recognized as contributing to high blood pressure.
As body weight increases, the blood pressure rises. Obese people are two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure than people whose weight is within a healthy range. As little as a 9 pound weight gain can significantly raise your risk of heart disease.
Not only the degree of obesity is important, but also the manner in which the body accumulates extra fat. Some people gain weight around their belly (central obesity or “apple-shaped” people), while others store fat around their hips and thighs (“pear-shaped” people). “Apple-shaped” people tend to have greater health risks than “pear-shaped” people.
Contributes to high blood pressure. The older one gets, the greater the likelihood that you will develop high blood pressure, especially systolic, as your arteries get stiffer over the course of time. This is largely due to arteriosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries.”
African Americans have high blood pressure more often than whites. They develop high blood pressure at a younger age and develop more severe complications sooner.
High blood pressure is also more common among less educated and lower socioeconomic groups. Residents of the southeastern United States, both whites and blacks, are more likely to have high blood pressure than from other regions.
Family history (heredity)
The tendency to have high blood pressure appears to run in families.
Generally men have a greater likelihood of developing high blood pressure than women. This likelihood varies according to age and among various ethnic groups.
Sodium (salt) Sensitivity
Americans consume 10-15 times more sodium than they need.
Drinking more than one to two drinks of alcohol per day
Birth control pills (oral contraceptive use)
Some women who take birth control pills develop high blood pressure.
Lack of Exercise (physical inactivity)
A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of obesity and high blood pressure.
Certain drugs, such as amphetamines (stimulants), diet pills, and some pills used for cold and allergy symptoms, tend to raise blood pressure.
Natural Solutions to High Blood Pressure
It would be easy to look at the above list and feel overwhelmed and almost paralyzed as to where to begin.
Here are some simple considerations and of course make sure to visit with your doctor.
1. Lose Weight – Detoxify your body
2. Control Sodium Intake – increase Potassium foods such as vegetables and fruits
3. Identify Stress and Lower it – Take an Online Stress Evaluation Tool and eliminate stressors
4. Identify if you have sleep apnea. If you wake up tired or snore, get tested. It is better to test than guess when it comes to your health and well-being.
5. Magnesium, just like calcium helps contract muscles, magnesium can help relax and lessen muscle tone. Not only can this help with muscle cramps, menstrual cramps and Charlie horses, it can also help lower circulatory tone and augment a health promoting diet and lifestyle.
CoQ10 is critical to fuel and nourish your heart. It is also crucial to support the 100,000 beats per day that your heart achieves each day as it nourishes the 75 trillion cells that comprise your body.
Coleus is a popular herb that is used for high blood pressure to help lessen vascular tone and as a result can contribute to lower pressure as part of an overall blood pressure control program.
Arginine is an amino acid that helps fuel a biochemical substance called nitric oxide. The effects of nitric oxide includes helping expand blood vessels, thus assisting in lowering blood pressure.
Testosterone frequently becomes lowered with the aging process in both men and women. It has been reported that upwards of 1 in 4 men at the young age of 30 have lower than optimal levels of testosterone. It is testosterone that helps contribute to increased blood flow and lower blood pressure within normal hormonal levels.
If your blood pressure is high, it is essential to get it under control. High blood pressure is often called a silent killer. Yet, when it gets to very dangerously high it can sometimes lead to headaches, dizziness and even confusion. No one wants to risk waiting for serious symptoms to get their blood pressure checks or under control. Work with your doctor and incorporate natural medicine approaches to improve your overall health of your cardiovascular system.
- May 2013