Over 70 million Americans have high blood pressure and only one-third of them don’t know they have it. That is why HTN called “the silent killer”. If your blood pressure is over 140/90, you are labeled to “have HTN” . For every 20 mm rise systolic,, or 10 mm rise in diastolic, your risk doubles for heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
YOUR HTN RISK
Your lifestyle, your health status, advanced age, race, family history, or premature heart disease, family genetic history, or medications you are taking--all put you at risk of HTN.
If you are sedentary, obese, eat a lot of high-fat foods, smoke, have a low HDL ( less than 40), and a high LDL, have a family history of HTN, your lifestyle must change.
If your shirt collar size is over 17 inches, and your waist is over 40 inches,( women over 36 inches), you must lose weight. If you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or symptomatic carotid disease, or are on cortisone, heart disease is not far behind.
If you take OTC (over-the-counter drugs) or herbs, your BP can rise. If you are a daily user of NSAID (as Morton,Tylenol), take oral contraceptives, amphetamine, diet pills, Sudafed, or herbs composed of Ma Huang, Ephedra, or Bitter Orange, your risk for HTN goes up.
.Smoking is the single most avoidable cause of death from heart attacks. 20% of Americans still smoke. The smoke immediately raises the blood pressure and heart rate (by increasing heart oxygen consumption and sympathetic nerve activity). The tobacco damages the linings of the arteries, making them stiff and narrowed.
Over 30% percent of us Americans are obese--and another 10% of us are overweight. Belly fat is linked to heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and stroke. Being overweight, you need more blood to oxygenate your heart, and this results in increased pressure on all your artery walls.
Leading a sedentary life also increases your heart rate, and also makes the heartwork harder.( it creates a stronger force on the arteries, raising your blood pressure). Increase your exercise, buy a pet, and your feelings of loneliness and stress will disappear,
Not getting enough sleep can also increase your risk of a heart attack. Your metabolism and Earl and the current system is affected by lack of sleep. Sleep maintains your physical and psychological health, and a lack of sound sleep makes you fat. The longer you sleep, the lower your risk of HBP, (especially in men over 65). (San Diego VA study). Your cognitive skills and sugar metabolism improve, and your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
If you don’t eat enough potassium, or you take in too much salt, salt accumulates and body potassium becomes deficient-- leading to an increased risk for heart attacks and stroke. Eating foods with excess sodium (very common if you eat in restaurants a lot), causes your body to keep fluid and increases the water movement in your arteries ( raising your pressure).
Our American diet, high in processed foods, makes it more difficult for the blood pressure pills to work and makes you resistant to HTN. If you are taking three or more blood pressure pills and your blood pressure is still high , you are BP resistant. Limit the sweets, stop eating high fructose corn syrup foods and sodas, stop table sugar, and you can reverse HTN and and metabolic syndrome.
If you take more than two drinks a day, the alcohol will interfere with your blood flow by taking the rich blood away from the heart. It also reduces the effect of the antihypertensives your doctor gives you. If you rapidly consume four drinks consecutively (a Friday night binge), your blood pressure will skyrocket.
Because of the polyphenol content, a small amount of dark chocolate can drop your blood pressure by 3 mm.A German study showed that eating daily around 8 g of dark chocolate lowers your risk of stroke and heart attacks by 40%.by releasing nitric oxide which lowers blood pressure.
Beware, however, chocolate contains a lot of calories and sugar- Only small amounts are beneficial (take one square a day)-- more is not better. Remember chocolate also has a huge amount of calories and saturated fat, all risk factors for heart disease.(100 g of dark chocolate equals 500 calories). White chocolate, unfortunately, has no effect on HTN.
A recent study in the Netherlands, showed people who had a high dairy intake and lower rates of HTN. Lowf fat dairy products may prevent HTN and older people.
Lower your risks for HTN by altering your lifestyle. It may also prevent and treat HTN and decrease your need for medications. Changing two or more lifestyle problems concurrently can lower your blood pressure to normal goals. You must reverse your obesity to decrease insulin resistance. Acupuncture has also been shown to reverse HTN, as well as smoking, stress, and obesity. 11.06.11