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Some notes on Blood Pressure

February 9, 2012

Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, and is presented normally as:

HBP Reading With Systolic And Diastolic Graphic Reading SystolicThe top number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
DiastolicThe bottom number, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

The American Heart Association categorises Blood pressure as follows:

The ranges in the table apply to most adults (aged 18 and older) who don’t have serious illnesses.

Blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you’re excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you’re at risk for health problems.

All levels above 120/80 mmHg raise your risk, and the risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. “Prehypertension” means you’re likely to end up with High Blood pressure….

unless you take steps to prevent it!

Recent research suggests that different readings in the right and left arms could be a sign of heart disease or blood vessel problems. If the two readings of systolic blood pressure – the pressure of blood in arteries when the heart is contracting – differ by 15 or more, it could indicate a narrowing of arteries to the legs, decreased blood flow to the brain, heart disease and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from either heart attack or stroke. At InnOrbit we are wondering if this will change the health procedures we normally get when we go to a doctor for a wellness check.

People whose blood pressure is above the normal range should consult their doctor about methods for lowering it.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

The exact causes of high blood pressure are not fully understood but several factors and conditions play a role in its development, including:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders

 How to bring Blood Pressure into the normal range:

We are not going to play doctors on this…if you have abnormal Blood pressure readings then a doctor is going to be your best help BUT the following are going to help (and your doctor would probably agree!)

Smoking and High Blood Pressure: 

Smokers are more likely to develop hypertension and heart disease.

Blood Pressure and Exercise:

You don’t need to run a marathon every week but a little daily exercise (walking, cycling, swimming) can help blood pressure .

High Blood Pressure and Weight

High blood pressure is more common in people who are overweight or obese. But studies show that losing weight has benefits in lowering high blood pressure.

Studies show a high-sodium diet increases blood pressure in some people.  Research has also shown that potassium, magnesium, and fiber may also affect blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber and low in sodium. Also, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, and poultry are good sources of magnesium.  Some of the recent data is also indicating that phytonutrients in herbs and spices can also help.

Hypertension and Stress

Stress can lead to coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.

Other Treatments for Hypertension

There are many types of complementary and alternative treatments believed to be effective for treating hypertension. Again, a good well balanced diet will also help which is high in fruit and vegetables.

Meditation

Meditation not medication! n the past 30 years some 600 studies have been conducted worldwide on the effects of transcendental meditation (TM) on blood pressure. TM is a simple mind-body technique that allows you to gain a unique state of restful awareness or alertness, and studies have shown it to be effective in easing stress, one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

Can a ‘Pet’ Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Owning a pet can ward off depression, lower blood pressure, and boost immunity.

Useful Reading:

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