High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is dangerous,
because it requires the heart to work harder and because it puts extra stress on the blood vessels. Since
there are no early symptoms or warning signs of high blood pressure, regular screening is important.
There are multiple causes of hypertension. Sometimes, the solution to the problem
is identifying and addressing the cause. Here are some suggestions that can help you normalize your blood pressure
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Too much sodium in the diet is by far the most common cause of primary
hypertension. Primary hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that is not caused by an underlying medical
condition such as kidney disease.
The maximum sodium intake for good health for adults is 2300 milligrams per day.
The average intake among US citizens is closer to 3500 milligrams. Men tend to consume more sodium than women,
according to USDA surveys. The average daily intake for men in the US is closer to 4000 milligrams.
The “recommended” sodium intake is less than 1500 milligrams per day for adults
under the age of 50, 1300 milligrams per day for adults from 51 – 70 years of age and 1200 milligrams or less for
adults over the age of 70.
This sodium recommendation correlates to a recommended daily intake for salt of
5600 milligrams or about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day, although salt is not the only source of sodium in the
diet. The best way to reduce your sodium intake is to avoid adding salt at the table, avoid cooking with salt and
avoid processed foods which are often very high in sodium.
Sodium raises your blood pressure by pulling water into your
Avoid Some Common Over-the-Counter
In the US and other countries, many medications are available without a doctor’s
prescription. They are commonly called “over-the-counter” or OTC drugs. Since they are sold in this manner, lots of
people think the drugs are completely safe, that they can take them without worries of health damage.
If an OTC medication is taken only occasionally and for a very short period of
time, they may be safe. But some of the drugs will raise your blood pressure significantly. If you know you have
high or borderline-high blood pressure, you should avoid:
· Ibuprofen (Advil is an
· Naproxen (Aleve is an
· Ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine
(Sudafed is an example) and other nasal decongestants
Preparations designed to relieve the symptoms
of cold or flu usually contain a decongestant. Practically all of them raise your blood pressure. Other
OTCs are high in sodium and sodium always raises your blood pressure. For example, many products for indigestion or
heartburn contain sodium bicarbonate. Alka Seltzer also contains that ingredient.
Stimulants raise blood pressure and increase heart rate. Both of
those things are bad for your cardiovascular health. Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant in the US and
probably the rest of the world. While a cup of coffee might be fine, a lot of people drink caffeinated beverages
throughout the day. You have to remember that caffeine is a drug that has specific, known health
Some OTC weight loss aids (diet pills) contain large amounts of caffeine,
enough to cause heart problems for some people. Caffeine is also an ingredient in some pain relievers,
especially those for headache. Other appetite suppressants can also raise blood pressure. It is best to avoid any
OTC, unless you know that it is unaccompanied by a high blood pressure side effect.
Change Your Diet
A number of eating plans have been created to help people naturally lower their
blood pressure. The DASH diet is one that has proven to be beneficial for many people. The focus
of the diet is natural foods you prepare at home. 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day are recommended,
along with assorted lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Fat servings are kept to three per
day and alcohol is eliminated.
One alcoholic beverage has the effect of lowering blood pressure.
The second drink causes blood pressure to rise.
Drinking lots of water is a recommendation, because water is a natural diuretic.
It keeps you hydrated but prevents excess fluids from accumulating in the body. Diuretics are among the medications
used to treat high blood pressure.
Changing your diet and exercising can result in weight loss. Even a modest weight
loss is beneficial for high blood pressure. Regular exercise also improves circulation and cardiovascular health.
Exercising reduces stress, which is another benefit, as stress raises blood pressure.
With regular physical activity and a healthy diet, you can lower your blood
pressure naturally. That’s important, because the medications for high blood pressure are not without side
A person who is being medically treated for high blood pressure actually has a
higher risk of heart disease than someone who doesn’t get treatment.
Lower your risks by lowering your blood pressure naturally.
BLOOD PRESSURE SOLUTIONS