High blood pressure
In healthy individuals, the pressure of the blood in our arteries rises and falls throughout the day in order to meet the changing demands of the environment. Physical activity, stress and excitement, for example, cause the blood pressure to rise so that more oxygen and nutrients are available to the brain and muscles to deal with such challenges. Blood pressure falls again once the body and mind return to a more restful state.
But if such environmental challenges remain throughout the coming weeks, months and years, blood pressure levels may stay elevated. Eventually, over the long term, the brain interprets this as the new normal meaning that even when we think we are relaxing, blood pressure levels may remain too high for optimal health.
Sadly this adaptation to the environment long term can have devastating effects on many different organs, including the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. High blood pressure (hypertension) causes atherosclerosis, in which plaques accumulate on artery walls, causing blood vessels to narrow and inhibiting vital oxygen and nutrient to the brain and the heart. Persistent hypertension is a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia.
Unfortunately, there are rarely any noticeable symptoms. You need to monitor with a blood pressure machine.
Consistent blood pressure readings higher than 140/90 indicate the existence of this condition. High blood pressure may be associated with headaches, light headedness, ringing in the ears, and nose bleeds or no obvious symptoms at all.
The risk factors of high blood pressure include:
- excess weight
- sedentary life style
- nutritional deficiencies
- poorly managed stress
- excessive use of stimulants, caffeine, high sodium intake
- contraceptive pills
There are a number of lifestyle measures that can help to prevent the onset of high blood pressure or assist in the management of hypertension.
- Manage stress and support adrenal gland function.
- Get to a healthy weight
- stick well within the government guidelines for alcohol intake
- get regular exercise
- stop smoking
- reduce caffeine
- get at least 7 hours quality sleep
There are a number of nutritional supplements that can help you as well. Why not take the time now to have a Naturopathic Consultation to look at where the stresses are upon your body and to identify the areas where change could make a dramatic different to your optimal wellbeing.
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