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Hypertension and its Causes
The amount of force blood exerts on the walls of the arteries and veins determines blood pressure. Hypertension or high blood pressure happens when tension or pressure in the arteries is chronically elevated. It can lead to fatal diseases like heart attack, stroke, renal disease, congestive heart failure, and hardening of the arteries. Meanwhile, arteries are elastic blood vessels transporting blood away from the heart to all organs of the body. Normal blood pressure must be below 120/80, pre-hypertension is between 120/80 and 139/89, and hypertension is 140/90 or higher. Click on image to enlarge.
Below are several factors that cause the disease:
• Consuming a lot of salt (sodium)
• High alcohol intake
• A low intake of magnesium, potassium, and calcium
• Reluctance to exercise
• Insulin resistance
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Several Effective Ways to Treat Hypertension
If you suffer from this disease and want to know how to cure high blood pressure, keep in mind that it is a lifelong disease. The American Heart Association reveals that it cannot be cured, but only controlled. There are several effective ways to treat and keep hypertension under control:
Practice some workouts regularly
This is the cheapest and easiest way to decrease your blood pressure. Taking a stroll for at least 30 to 60 minutes two or three times a week enables you to reduce your blood pressure to low levels. Training at a gym is recommended, but taking strenuous exercise must be avoided as it can cause problems to your health.
Take frequent pressure readings
It is recommended taking a blood pressure reading at least every two years when you are 20 years old. You need to take frequent readings if you are diagnosed with this disease. Trying to monitor your blood pressure at home is a good idea, but having it controlled is a better suggestion.
Take the DASH diet
One excellent diet plan is the DASH (the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) in which you are encouraged to consume foods rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods, and low-fat dairy foods. This eating plan also recommends you eat foods containing calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Consuming fatty fish like salmon, herring, and trout twice a week is advised because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
The DASH diet also recommends limiting foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat and avoiding foods that contain trans-fats. With that said, you need to limit/avoid junk foods and red meats.
In addition to junk foods and red meats, you have to reduce sodium intake in your diet. Under ideal conditions, recommended sodium intake is approximately 1,500 to 2,400 mg of sodium each day, but if you suffer from hypertension, you should eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Read food labels closely (some processed foods are loaded with salt) and, instead of adding salt to flavor foods, add spices or herbs.
Shed extra pounds
It is important to maintain a healthy weight when controlling high blood pressure. A man is susceptible to the disease if his waistline is bigger than 40 inches and a woman is vulnerable if her waistline is bigger than 35 inches.
Reduce alcohol intake
The American Heart Association recommends that a man take no more than two drinks each day and a woman take no more than one drink each day. If you drink more than those recommended, alcohol can trigger hypertension significantly.
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The American Heart Association: Prevention & Treatment of High Blood Pressure - http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Prevention-Treatment-of-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002054_Article.jsp
MayoClinic.com: High Blood Pressure - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027
WebMD.com: Hypertension – High Blood Pressure - http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/natural-7/exercise
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Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.
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