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Facts and Research that can Lessen The Impact of Hypertension
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Hypertension is more often called the silent killer, because many people do not realize that they have it. It is estimated that a third of the population in most developed countries suffer from hypertension, because of their lifestyles. Hypertension increases the risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease and a number of other serious medical conditions. It is a disease that affects men and women alike.

Recent research has established that the impact of hypertension can be reduced by adopting a more realistic and healthier lifestyle. Medication can be part of the solution, but is not the essential first step in tackling this crippling disease. The first basic step is to constantly monitor your blood pressure and ensure that it is within the research prescribed range. The systolic or higher number should be less than 140 and the diastolic or lower number should be below 90. Recent research has also indicated that smokers suffer from higher blood pressure, and this is more of a reason to stop smoking than the fear of cancer. Forty percent of deaths due to hypertension are caused by smoking. Carbon monoxide from the burned tobacco reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen, and this leads to increased heart rate. It also constricts the blood vessels in the arms and legs and leads to higher blood pressure. 

Blood pressure rises with body weight and recent statistics have established that two thirds of adults are overweight, with a third being actually obese. Losing weight can help to reduce the systolic pressure by 5 to 20 points (WebMD). A simple thing as reducing calorie intake by 250 calories a day can stop weight gain and result in more control over blood pressure. Proper exercise has also been established as a means to strengthen the muscles of the heart, improve lung function and increase the diameter of arteries. All of these can have a cumulative effect on the lowering of the blood pressure that can only be a big health benefit. Improved heart muscle increases the efficiency of its contraction and results in greater volumes of blood being pushed out, resulting in lower pressures. Capillary function is improved which does lower diastolic pressure. 

Recent research has established that the eating of more fruits and vegetables can lower systolic pressure by 8 to 14 points. This is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which has the best record in reducing cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that it is the phythochemicals in fruits and vegetables that act as antioxidants, keep the smaller blood vessels healthy, make them stronger, and prevent platelets from becoming stick and piling up and block certain enzymes that are responsible for raising blood pressure. It has been established that incorporating fruits and vegetables into a diet is one of the easiest methods of controlling blood pressure, while it also brings in a lot of other health benefits. 

Research has also shown that reducing sodium intake has a huge effect on reducing blood pressure, and in fact it is the high sodium intake in processed food that has led to the sudden increase in hypertension in people. Processed foods include bread, prepared dinners like pasta, meat and egg dishes, pizza, cold cuts and bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods (Mayo Clinic)A reduced sodium intake with higher consumption of magnesium, potassium and calcium has a definite effect in reducing hypertension. These minerals are best obtained from natural food products instead of supplements. 

The 1998 prize for medicine, given by the Nobel foundation was given to researchers who established that nitric oxide regulated muscle tone in blood vessels. This molecule has been found to be very critical and is produced by certain enzymes and endothelial cells that are in the lining of blood vessels. It regulates the muscle tone and has a major effect on blood pressure. 

Related article: Hypertension and Obesity

References:

1. Untitled photograph of doctor knowing high blood pressure [jpg file] Retrieved on January 8, 2015 from http://www.globaldata.com/Documents/images/hypertensionxsxs.jpg

2. Zelman, K. (n.d.) Take Charge of Your Blood Pressure. Retrieved on January 8, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/take-charge-of-your-blood-pressure

3. Mayo Clinic Staff (May 30, 2013) Sodium: How to tame your salt habit. Retrieved on January 8, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/sodium/art-20045479

Disclaimer: All of the information stated here is not intended to replace a professional medical advice. 

Comments:
3 blogger(s) are following this post, but not you. Follow?
  .   Phil Langer
Interesting facts! Just wanted to share that nootropics can also help in reducing hypertension and stress significantly. Piracetol is a reputed natural nootropic, see Piracetol ingredients.
  .   Deborah Axtell
EMT jobs : Such an awesome and well described post by author. Its a huge resource. Thanks for sharing with us.
 
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