Natural Treatment For Blood Pressure
Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure typically does not cause symptoms. Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.
- Age: The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. Until about age 64, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65.
- Race: High blood pressure is particularly common among people of African heritage, often developing at an earlier age than it does in whites. Serious complications, such as stroke, heart attack and kidney failure, also are more common in people of African heritage.
- Family history: High blood pressure tends to run in families.
- Being overweight or obese: The more you weigh the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
- Not being physically active: People who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work with each contraction and the stronger the force on your arteries. Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
- Using tobacco: Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. This can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk of heart disease. Secondhand smoke also can increase your heart disease risk.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet: Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
- Too little potassium in your diet: Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells. If you don’t get enough potassium in your diet or retain enough potassium, you may accumulate too much sodium in your blood.
- Drinking too much alcohol: Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart. Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure.
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
- Stress: High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only increase problems with high blood pressure.
- Certain chronic conditions: Certain chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, such as kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
Sometimes pregnancy contributes to high blood pressure, as well.
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There are two types of high blood pressure.
Primary (essential) hypertension
For most adults, there’s no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary (essential) hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.
Some people have high blood pressure caused by an underlying condition. This type of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Adrenal gland tumors
Certain defects you’re born with (congenital) in blood vessels
Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Severe headache
Fatigue or confusion
Blood in the urine
Pounding in chest, neck
- Untreated hypertension causes serious complications, including organ damage. Less commonly, a condition called hypertensive emergency, which may also be called hypertensive crisis or malignant hypertension can occur.
A hypertensive emergency, unlike the similar sounding hypertensive urgency, is characterized by serious, life-threatening complications. A hypertensive emergency means that the blood pressure is >180 mm Hg or the diastolic pressure is >120 mm Hg, and that end-organ damage is occurring. Signs and symptoms can include shortness of breath, anxiety, chest pain, irregular heart rate, confusion, or fainting.
An aneurysm, which is a bulge in the wall of an artery, can form due to a number of causes. Aneurysms can occur in the aorta, brain, and kidneys. Hypertension contributes to aneurysm formation, and sudden elevations of blood pressure can increase the risk of an aneurysm rupture—a serious event that can be fatal.
Hypertension increases the risk of vascular disease, characterized by atherosclerosis (hardening and stiffening of the blood vessels) and narrowing of the arteries. Vascular disease can involve the blood vessels in the legs, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes, causing a range of disabling or life-threatening symptoms.
Hypertension contributes to the development and worsening of coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart failure.
Hypertension can affect the kidneys, as their blood vessels become less able to function effectively; permanent damage is possible.
Respiratory disease can develop as a consequence of heart disease, manifesting as shortness of breath with exertion.
Lifestyle changes can help you control and prevent high blood pressure, even if you’re taking blood pressure medication. Here’s what you can do:
- Eat healthy foods.
Decrease the salt in your diet.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Increase physical activity.
Monitor your blood pressure at home.
Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing.
Control blood pressure during pregnancy.
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