Nourish - Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally | Part 1
Welcome to this blog series on lowering high blood pressure, aka hypertension. Last month we covered hypotension (low blood pressure) so check that out if that sounds more like you.
For part one of this blog series, we are covering :
- What is high blood pressure?
- The symptoms of high blood pressure
- The causes
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as 2 numbers:
systolic pressure – this is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is pumping blood out
diastolic pressure – this is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.
As a general guide:
normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower
If you find that your reading is between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg, you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
As the name would suggest, hypertension or high blood pressure is when your blood pressure is consistently too high.
It occurs when your heart pumps blood around the body at a higher pressure than what is considered normal.
The higher your blood pressure and the longer it is left uncontrolled, the greater the damage can be. Because of the excessive pressure on the artery walls caused by high blood pressure, it can actually damage your blood vessels as well as your organs.
Hypertension is linked to coronary heart disease, strokes, aneurysms, heart attacks, metabolic disorders and even dementia, so it’s definitely something you want to keep an eye on.
Let’s cover everything you need to know about symptoms, causes and natural treatments for hypertension.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Scarily enough, high blood pressure is often known as the ‘silent killer’ because it doesn’t tend to show any signs or symptoms. Because of this, it is incredibly common to not even know you have it. The only way to know for sure whether it’s high is to have your blood pressure tested by a doctor.
Occasionally, if you have extremely high blood pressure, you may notice some symptoms. These range from breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue.
Don’t wait to see if symptoms appear if you think you might have it because they won’t arrive.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
We don’t actually know the exact cause of high blood pressure, however, we do know about several lifestyle and dietary habits that are known to lead to higher blood pressure.
Here’s a small list of some common things that may contribute to higher blood pressure:
Stress and also stress-related habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol or stress eating can lead to further increases in blood pressure.
When we are stressed our body produces a surge of hormones that temporarily increase our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, adrenaline causes our heart to beat faster and our blood vessels to narrow.
Lack of Physical Activity
Inactivity is linked to having a higher heart rate. The higher your heart rate, the harder our hearts must work with each contraction.
High blood pressure often runs in families.
Long-term Sleep Deprivation
Being Overweight or Obese
The more a person weighs, the more blood they need to supply oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues. As a result, the amount of blood flow through the blood vessels increases, therefore so does the pressure on the artery walls.
We can’t do anything about this one, but it is common that the risk of high blood pressure increases as we age.
Once we hit around 65, it’s important to keep a steady eye on any changes in blood pressure.
Although the word excessive makes it seem like you’d have to drink a lot, in fact going over one drink a day for women and two for men is really the definition here.
Alcohol doesn’t do our hearts any favours, and in fact, over time, heavy drinking or binge drinking can damage our beloved hearts.
I don’t think it’ll come as a surprise to anyone that smoking is not good for us. It has a detrimental effect on many areas of the body, but certainly our hearts. Smoking not only raises blood pressure over time, but also increases the risk of atherosclerosis. This is where plaques build up in the walls of arteries.
Too Much Salt
Too much sodium in our diet can cause our body’s to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
High blood pressure is particularly common among people of African heritage.
Particular Chronic Conditions
Some chronic conditions also may increase our risk of high blood pressure, including kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnoea.
Sometimes pregnancy contributes to high blood pressure as well.
And that’s it for Part One of Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally.
Check out part 2 and 3 here:
- Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally | Diet | Part 2
- Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally | Lifestyle | Part 3
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication