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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 naturally.

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 vessels.

Avoid Some Common Over-the-Counter Medications

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 example)

· Naproxen (Aleve is an example)

· 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 effects.

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.

Exercise

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 effects.

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