- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Blood Pressure And Ways To Lower High BP
Blood Pressure and significance of normal BP
What is blood pressure(BP) ? We have often heard it again and again. It is a major cause concern. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the arteries by the flow of blood. With every heart beat the blood pressure varies from low to high. It is measured as a combination systolic(maximum rate) and diastolic( minimum rate). The systolic rate is a measure at which the blood flows out of heart and flows in arteries. Whereas the diastolic indicates the rate at which the blood is accumulated by the heart and there is lowest pressure on arteries. So when you hear from the doctor that your BP is 120/75. Then 120 is systolic measure and 75 is the diastolic measure.
An ideal BP will ensure that there are no health problems. If you have high BP then there would be increased flow of blood in the arteries. This problem is called hypertension. This increase flow can cause the following problems
1) It can damage your arteries- When this happens it causes problems like stroke, heart attack, kidney failure , angina and lots more of complications
2) Cause heart problem, heart failure and even enlarge left side of heart. As high blood pressure increases the pressure on heart to perform more harder. It makes it stressed.
3)Leads to brain problems- Stroke, dementia, blood clotting and damages your cognitive abilities
4)Get ready for lot of kidney related problems like kidney failure and scarring.
On the other hand if have low BP this will also cause health problems. This is called hypotension. You will feel weak, tired, dizzy and you might even faint.
So we should always aim to have the right BP.
Normal Blood Pressure
Blood pressure varies from person to person . A normal measure is different for infants when compared to adults. So with every age the normal rate varies. A normal BP is lower at nights and higher at evenings.
The normal blood pressure rates are as follows
1) For a normal adult it is 120/80. 120 is systolic rate and 80 is diastolic rate
2) For infants below 1 year systolic measure is 75-100 and diastolic measure is 50-70
3) For children between age of 1 to 5 years systolic measure is 80-110 and diastolic measure is 50-80
4) With age 6-13 years systolic measure is 85-120 and diastolic measure is 50-80
5) Teenager with age 13 to 18 years systolic measure is 95-140 and diastolic measure is 60-90
What is high blood pressure
High BP 1st Stage
High BP 2nd Stage
160 and above
100 and above
How to measure blood pressure
Symptoms Of High BP
When you have hypertension you will have the following symptoms that will tell you about its presence:
1) When you have a severe headache
2) Feeling fatigued or confused
3) Irregularity in heart beating
4) Find difficulty in breathing
5) Sweating heavily
6) Blurred vision is also a sign of this problem
What are the Causes of High BP
The various circumstances that lead to High BP are as follows
1) Age- As we grow old we become prone this risk.
2) History of high BP in the family- If your mom and dad have this problem , there are chances that you can also have this problem
3) Temperature plays a major role in blood pressure. As heart has to work harder in colder climes compared in warmer climes to pump the blood. Bp is lower in warmer regions and higher in colder regions.
4) People with African or South Asian ancestry have high chances of this problem.
5) Being overweight also puts pressure on heart leading to increase chances of hypertension
6) Physically inactive people who don't exercise and who follow sedentary lifestyle are the riskier lot attracting this problem
7) Smoking cause blood vessels to narrow and reduces blood oxygen levels. This makes the heart work harder leading to higher pressure of blood
8) Regular and excessive intake of alcohol
9) Excessive salt consumption
10) Consuming of saturated and trans fat are bad for your health leading to higher blood flow rates.
11) Mental anxiety and stress take a toll on our body. High BP is the result of this
12) Diabetics have high risk rate.
13) Psoriasis not only causes the skin problem but also leads to high blood pressure
14) Other causes are pregnancy and kidney diseases
Foods that lower High BP
Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure
1) Start Exercising
Make a point to include exercise in your lifestyle. Exercising not only will make you more active but at the same time reduce your high blood pressure. My favorite exercises are brisk walking and cycling. These are very effective ways to lower your high BP. Before starting any exercise regime consult your family doctor he will guide as what exercises are best for you.
2) Reduce Your weight
When you loose weight, you will feel light and it will lower your blood pressure.To loose it very important you need to take control on what you eat. Eat food that is low in calories and fat. Foods high in starch and fiber are best for you. Limit the quantity of your food intake. Add exercise in any form. This combo will shed kilos from your bulging waistline. The result would be a healthy fit body
3) Reduce Sodium Intake
One tablespoon of salt that is equivalent to 2400 milligrams of sodium is required by our body. High Sodium consumption aggravates the blood pressure. So you need to restrict sodium intake in any form. This can be done in following ways - Check the food you are eating make sure it is salt free, contain less sodium, low sodium. Another way is to use herbs/ spices when you are cooking food and ignore salt. Eat less processed foods like potato chips, frozen foods or snacks as they contain lot of sodium
4) Limit Alcohol Consumption
It is hard to ignore alcohol in our life. But if you can't stop drinking at-least limit alcohol consumption. For preventing hypertension males should not drink more than 2 drinks and females 1 drink every day.
One drink is equivalent to
- Wine 5 ounces
- Beer 12 ounces
- Whiskey/ Liquor 1.5 ounces of 80 proof or 1 ounce of 100 proof
5) Keep yourself stress free
Stress leads to many health problems apart from high BP. Ensure that you are stress free. This can be done by deep breathing when you are anxious, do yoga exercises in the morning, listen to a soothing music, go for a walk, talk to you friends,meditation, prayers. Happy mind makes your immunity strong and you will be healthy
6) Eat Healthy Food
Healthy food rich in unsaturated fats, less in saturated fats, high in potassium and high in magnesium go a long way in keeping high blood pressure at bay. Eat nuts like walnuts, almonds. Drink coconut water, skimmed milk. Other food you should eat is baked potatoes, bananas,beans, spinach, unsalted sunflower seeds,soybeans, dark chocolate all help in lowering blood pressure. My mother eats unshelled watermelon seeds everyday , it has helped in controlling her high BP. When cooking use healthy oils like olive oil, mustard oil, avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil as these oils are rich in unsaturated fats and less in saturated fats. These oils go a long way in making you healthy
7) Quit Smoking
When you quit smoking not only it help lower high blood pressure but also lead to many health benefits. As tobacco and nicotine present in cigarettes lead to sudden increase in blood pressure.
2) Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine leads to sudden increase in BP. so you need to limit drinks that contain caffeine like coffee, energy drinks, soda drinks