Hypertension / blood pressure
Generally people think that high blood pressure (hypertension) is easy to diagnose, control and treat. Very experienced doctors also in some instances fail to properly treat the complexities of this disease, often considered a “silent killer.” High blood pressure is a health condition that a sufferer can work on, to see improvement and even cure depending on several factors. It is a treatable, avoidable and preventable disease.
Hypertension could be genetic, which means that some people are predisposed based on their family health history. It could be age related. The older you get the likely you could be hypertensive. It could be life style, including alcohol intake, lack of exercise and smoking. Also Sugar and salt intake could affect your blood pressures. And finally pollution is a new factor in the issues of hypertension, because some of these pollution substances affect the sodium, calcium and potassium balances.
Many people get hung up on their blood pressure numbers; it is like putting a horse before the cart. In one hour if you take your blood pressure 6 times you may likely have six different readings? Many factors cause the blood pressure to rise and fall, so the important thing is to find the cause that can be changed to obtain a more stable and acceptable blood pressure reading. Of the major causes of hypertension we can make moderate to significant changes to our gaining process, make life style changes and watch our diet or what we consume. Have a good annual physical and establish the state of your health as the first step. Secondly it is in your power to make lifestyle changes such as learn to take a walk of about 1-5 miles daily and start gradually today. Drop of alcohol consumption, smoking and avoid stress at all cost. Avoid eating intimate dinner meant for two people if you are eating alone. Read your bible and enjoy good gospel music to calm your nerves and reduce stress. Thereby helping your blood pressure. Learn to bring you weight to what is acceptable for your height. If you are diabetic you must act fast to change your lifestyle else you will have double trouble in your hands; diabetes and hypertension.
People can protect themselves from the consequences of hypertension, which are mainly stroke or heart attack, by taking action before such happens. There is no need to fear hypertension if you already have it. Get well informed about the disease, what causes it, the consequences and what can be done to improve and reverse the condition. You definitely need to change your diet, avoid salt, lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, avoid stress, check your blood pressure on a regular basis and take medication to bring control before making adjustments. A combination of these may be necessary to improve quality of life and reduce chances of a stroke or heart attack.
Blood pressure increases at certain times such as during exercise or when afraid but return to normal level in people who are not hypertensive. In people who are hypertensive it remains high. In many cases hypertension does not have any known cause and is often called essential hypertension. Whereas secondary hypertension is often caused by factors such as, lead poisoning, kidney disease, some harmful chemicals, street drugs like crack, cocaine, tumors etc. Early diagnosis, helps control this condition, improve quality and chances of life. The key issue is for people over 18 years old to have their blood pressure checked periodically. It used to be the disease of older people but like diabetes it is now found in younger people. Reasons include processed food intake, sedentary life style, junk foods, soda over weight and modern day stress factors.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your veins and arteries. Every time your heart beats, blood is pushed through these vessels. To help keep, the flow of your blood consistent and normal, the blood vessels contract and dilate in a pattern. The crucial issue then is, if the flow is normal, rhythm consistent and flows normally to every organ in the body.
The elasticity and health (smoothness) of the blood vessels is very essential and magnesium is the most essential mineral for this purpose. It helps maintain normal rhythm and flow consistency. Magnesium is also used to excrete sodium (a culprit in hypertension problems) from the body and helps maintain and promote body water balance. This factor is very important because excess water in the blood brings to bear much pressure on the blood vessels causing the heart to work harder than necessary.
Sources of Magnesium include: brown rice, oats, millets, figs, black eye bean, avocado, banana, plantain, papaya, grape fruit juice, dates, orange, mangoes, watermelon, guava, etc. These have been listed from the greatest source to the least. Dark green vegetables are also a good source. Pumpkin seeds are a very good source for magnesium and zinc. Certain factors determine if a person has high or low pressure and these include, hormones and the functioning of the nervous system. These factors in turn influence output from the heart, resistance of blood vessels to blood flow (atherosclerosis,-plaque build-up) and blood distribution to the cells, etc.
The main issue here is that the kidney is often affected and may result in kidney failure, stroke and heart failure. The reason being, that the heart is forced to work more in order to pump and push enough blood to all parts of the body. High blood pressure if not controlled, in the presence of other related conditions like diabetes, kidney problems, heart diseases, etc., could get out of hand. When your blood pressure is high, begin to think about your kidneys. The Japanese say a person is only as healthy as his kidneys. You need to know about the kidney and how to keep it healthy.
High blood pressure is one of those diseases that do not show any signs and symptoms until danger is reached, often suddenly. “Silent Killer” or “widow maker” they call it.
Watch out for inconclusive signs like, sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, visual disturbances, shortness of breath, fullness of stomach, headaches and in some instances no sign at all.
It is neither practical nor correct for anyone to make a viable or correct diagnosis of hypertension from a single reading or record. It is generally necessary to measure and record the blood pressure readings for a 24 hour-period and also for a couple of weeks to conclude that a person has hypertension. Blood pressure monitoring in a doctor’s office tends to be high, because people get worked-up during the doctor’s visit. Monitoring your blood pressure is best done at home and recorded over a period of days or weeks. This home blood pressure monitoring has several advantages:
(a) It minimizes the number of doctor’s visit a person makes because you monitor yourself, relaxed in your own home or environment.
(b) Anticipation often increases blood pressure and wrong reading may occur.
(c) It often gives a more accurate reading in a convenient environment.
(d) It does not help to determine whether your blood pressure is high, only when taken during a medical visit.
Sometimes reading blood pressure could be tricky, that is why several readings over several days at same times is a good idea. Digital blood pressure machines are very dependable and accurate to use anywhere by anybody. To be more exact it is good to check at set times daily.
A single blood pressure reading, no matter by whom, cannot confirm, that a person is hypertensive. You need several readings throughout the day to be a little accurate. Readings recorded over several days to weeks will be the best indicator, especially taken in a home, relaxed setting, away from a doctor’s office. Sustained elevation of blood pressure (BP) is generally and usually considered as hypertension.
Generally the upper reading called Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) if higher than 140 mm Hg or the lower one called Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) is greater than or equal to 90mm Hg over several weeks of BP readings is considered hypertensive. Recently, some experts lowered these reading to 130/80 as high limits. But the optimal reading or the desired is less than 120 over less than 80.
These conditions are more common in men than women until the age fifties; then women begin to equal men and even overtake men in BP incidences.
Several factors are attributed to the cause of Hypertension:
(a) Excess Sodium in the body which leads to water retention. Certain studies show that people in very rural areas where salt consumption is low or non-existent, BP issues relating to hypertension are non -existent or very negligible. Also there are several cases or studies where salt was either restricted or removed from people’s diet and there was a drop in the BP.
(b) Some people believe BP is genetic, whereas others believe it is an issue of food choices over the years that have caused the blood vessels to be narrowed by plaque and thereby restricting or cutting off blood flow to cells.
These are risk factors:-
(a) Smoking: nicotine contained in tobacco causes vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels) and increases BP in hypertensive people.
(b) Alcohol is connected to hypertension. The risk is not worth the alcohol in the final analysis, when organs like the kidney begin to fail in their functions.
(c) Diabetes is to be avoided, it is deadly and often goes along with hypertension. Whatever you do, lose weight, eat the right and natural food, to keep diabetes away because when it arrives, hypertension is on its way. They form a formidable team. Do not let it happen, exercise, eat right and keep your weight down.
(d) Increased fat intake that leads to hyperlipidemia (high fat in your blood), is often connected to high cholesterol, etc.
(e) Blood pressure is very common as age progresses, especially in the late 40’s to 50’s and on.
(f) High salt intake can lead to it and may even affect the potency of some BP medicine (anti-hypertensive).
(g) It is more common in men, and women over fifty years of age or a little more.
(h) Weight gain and in particular obesity is associated with both hypertension and diabetes – lose weight please.
(i) Stress: people who are often stressed out from work, business or emotional issues may find themselves hypertensive.
People need to control their stress by doing the following
(1) Control of negatively impacting thoughts, stop them dead on their tracks be positive.
(2) Read materials that have strength, healing and power – the Bible.
(3) Find humor in everything that comes your way with lots of laughter.
(4) Listen to calm and inspiring music.
(5) Share your concerns with people you trust, talk your problems out.
(6) Pray always especially when stress appears.
(7) Engage in regular exercises to improve circulation and wash out the destructive chemicals that go with stress and anger.
(j) Lack of Exercise: a sedentary lifestyle often leads to poor metabolism and generally health problems begin to arise e.g. hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, etc. It is important to know that moderate physical activity for about 30 to 60 minutes a day will be very vital in decreasing high blood pressure and may even improve low blood pressure. Such exercises include brisk working, swimming, little jogging. All these help reduce body weight, improve metabolism decrease high blood pressure, enhance relaxation and improve overall health conditions. Start your exercises gradually for instance start with walking , a half mile for 2 – 3 days then increase to 1 mile for the next 3 to 5 days and increase to 2 miles for another few days and so on. Let exercise be gradual and always start with body, stretching.
Remember if you do not exercise you may be adding on weight, when weight increases, conditions for diseases begin to arise and these diseases are hard to beat such as, diabetes, hypertension, etc.
My sincere admonition to anyone with this condition is to be proactive about their health. First is to change your life style, reduce stress change diet, know the condition and consult doctor. Please seriously adjust every factor that may be a culprit before going into medication, except if it is an emergency. In form all your family members about the diagnosis and if possible let everyone participate in the lifestyle and diet change. It could be genetic factor like obesity. Let me make it clear, if you are overweight, eat lots of fat and fried foods, living a stressful life, have a family history of hypertension, smoke consume alcohol, have salt intake lack of exercise, then you situation is precarious, it is a time bomb waiting to go off. You need to take action quickly to prevent stroke or heart attack.
Diet, sedentary life style and stress are the major causes. It is important to start checking blood pressure in early adulthood, as to identify the condition early and act fast to control it. This is a major key and will help prevent any damages that may occur to the organs. Avoid salt in all that you eat and be aware that all processed foods have salt added to them. Read the labels on processed items and see the salt content. As much as possible learn to prepare you own meals. This helps you control salt consumption.
Diet for hypertension
The first thing you want to do is ask yourself and be honest about it, how do you want to live, on the edge or upright and safe. You may have dreams, you may have a new wife or husband or young children; all these can be cut short because of our eating habits.
Imagine the uncertainties of today, nobody is sure of the drugs we have today. The manufacturers are not always telling the truth about these drugs. Greed propels various human activities, but no matter what happens your life is to some extent in your hand.
Treat your God-given life and body the way you like, but know for sure if you feed the human body the right nutrients it would heal and take care of itself. Do not blame anyone for your ignorance but yourself. After reading this book, search other books and make your judgement.
For every health condition, find out the facts, what causes it, what can be done, what are alternative ways. Only the maker of man (God) – Jesus Christ, can take care of it. Remember He created the natural raw foods for man to get his or her organic nutrients. Think about it.
Now for hypertension, consider foods and food preparation, (natural not processed).
(a) Vegetables of all types that are edible including the herbs like parsley, etc. Eat 4 – 6 servings each day.
(b) Eat lots of different fruits 4- 5 servings daily. These vegetables and fruits, contain magnesium, potassium, fiber and several minerals and trace element that help improve your health and control hypertension or even banish it.
(c) Grains (not processed ones) are sources of fiber and energy. 6 – 8 servings daily in small doses.
(d) Meat, fats, oils and sweets should be reduced to a very minimal level, perhaps only weekly, except Olive oil, which can be used any time.
Certain issues like, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and often chronic kidney disease increase the risk for stroke and heart disease. It is generally a good idea to always check all the levels related to these factors as and when due. It is a good idea to do an annual complete physical examination when over 45 years old. That would help you track every aspect of your life and take necessary action, especially dietary changes. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure; it is very important to watch your kidneys. They are prone to damage. It is important to treat underlying conditions that damage kidneys; such as uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure to mention a few.
People who take hypertension medications such as diuretics must watch out for dehydration that, may affect the kidneys.
If you are diabetic and you notice a decline in kidney function Metformin (glucophage) may not be a good medication to take. Glipizide (glucotrol) may be better because the former (metformin) is broken down by the kidneys.
When taking diuretics for HTN it is important to eat foods that contain potassium, calcium and magnesium which may be lost during urination and need to be replaced. One good way of reducing your high blood pressure is making celery a part of your daily raw fresh vegetable consumption. It relaxes the blood vessels thereby reducing the flow pressure. There are no side effects and celery contains, potassium and magnesium.
Potassium and blood pressure
Potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium are major players in issues of blood pressure. In most cases people with high blood pressure have low potassium and generally because they consume food low or absent in potassium. Processed foods cannot guarantee these organic elements.
Nature has an abundance of potassium in avocados; bananas, broccoli, potatoes, guava, papaya, oranges, etc., if and only if eaten in their raw state can this be certain. Potassium cuts cholesterol, brings down high blood pressure, also vitamin C helps reduce blood pressure. Go for raw vitamin C daily.
Some important food items that help keep high blood pressure down by cleaning out veins, arteries, dissolve cholesterol and increase circulation include – lecithin, an unsaturated fatty acid from soy beans. This substance in capsules or liquids reduces high blood pressure over time. Mangoes and papayas are good for heart conditions.
Finally, everyone with a high blood pressure should consume garlic on a daily basis, it is germicidal, contain potassium and reduces blood pressure. It is impossible to overdose on garlic. It helps unclog arteries and lowers blood pressure, as it thins out the blood and improves blood flow. It is also important to consume essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins A and C. To help lower blood pressure, consume high potassium and lower sodium diets. It is important to remember, that the side effects of high blood pressure medications are terrible and need to be avoided or reduced these include swelling, nausea, fatigue, dizziness sexual dysfunction, headaches and dehydration due to water pills.
Hypertension / diabetes consequences
Hypertension and diabetes are deadly disease conditions that require early diagnosis, intervention and control. It could be bad when both occur together in the same person. Diabetes consequences include: (a) kidney failure (b) stroke (c) heart attack (d) blindness and (e) amputations. Hypertension consequences include: (a) strokes (b) heart failure (c) kidney failure (d) heart attacks. The best way to avoid these consequences is to control the risks and have regular medical check-ups. It is important to use ibuprofen with some caution because it can cause kidney failure.