Blood Pressure (Hypertension) - The "silent killer"!
Hypertension is particularly scary because it has no physical symptoms. That’s why it’s often called the “silent killer”.
Hypertension – or elevated blood pressure – is a serious medical condition that significantly increases the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. According to the World Health Organisation – an estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide had hypertension in 2015.
Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide. High systolic blood pressure was the leading risk factor in the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, accounting for 10.4 M deaths that year.
According to the study, hypertension is a higher risk factor than smoking, high fasting glucose and high body mass index.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high.
Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.
Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥ 140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥ 90 mmHg.
The importance of blood pressure
It is an important force because oxygen and nutrients would not be pushed around our circulatory system to nourish tissues and organs without blood pressure. Blood pressure is also vital because it delivers white blood cells and antibodies for immunity, and hormones such as insulin.
Just as important as providing oxygen and nutrients, the fresh blood that gets delivered is able to pick up the toxic waste products of metabolism, including the carbon dioxide we exhale with every breath, and the toxins we clear through our liver and kidneys.
Blood itself carries a number of other properties, including its temperature. It also carries one of our defenses against tissue damage, the clotting platelets that prevent blood loos following injury.
Risk factors for high blood pressure:
Being overweight or obese
The more you weigh the more blood flow 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 inside your arteries.
Too much salt (sodium) in your diet
To much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, and also causes the arteries in your body to constrict. Both factors increase blood pressure.
Not being physically active
Exercise increases blood flow through all arteries of the body, which leads to release of natural hormones and cytokines that relax blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure.
Drinking too much alcohol
Having more than two drinks per day can cause hypertension, probably by activating your adrenergic nervous system, causing constriction of blood vessels and simultaneous increase in blood flow.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen) can cause marked worsening of existing hypertension or development of new high blood pressure. It can also damage kidneys.
Cough and Cold Medication
Cough and cold medicine frequently contain decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. These medications cause your blood pressure and heart rate to rise, by constricting all your arteries, not just those in your nose.
Certain chronic conditions
Certain chronic conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea, also may increase your risk of high blood pressure.
High levels of stress can lead to a temporary, but dramatic, increase in blood pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol, you may only exacerbate the problems with high blood pressure.
What are common symptoms of hypertension?
Most people with hypertension are unaware of the problem because it may have no warning signs or symptoms. For this reason, it is essential that blood pressure is measured regularly.
When symptoms do occur, they can include morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes, and bussing in the ears. Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain and muscle tremors.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have a health professional measure blood pressure.
What are the complications of uncontrolled hypertension?
Among other complications, hypertension can cause serious damage to the heart. Excessive pressure can harden arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. this elevated pressure and reduced blood flow can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina
- Heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and the heart muscle cells die from lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, which occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to other vital body organs.
- Irregular heart beat which can lead to sudden death.
Ways to lower your blood pressure
- Increase activity and exercise more
- Lose weight if you’re overweight
- Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Decrease your sodium (salt) intake
- Eat less processed food
- Stop smoking
- Reduce excess stress
- Make sure to get good, restful sleep
- Eat healthy high-protein foods
- Eating more fruit and vegetables
How will Chaya help you?
In our everyday hectic world, it is not always possible to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Chaya “Cnidoscolus Aconitifolius” contains minerals like Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium that is important for the control of Blood Pressure.
Normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function, including relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping.
Magnesium helps regulate hundreds of body systems, including blood pressure, blood sugar and muscle and nerve function. We need magnesium to help blood vessels relax, and for energy production and bone development.
Calcium is important for healthy blood pressure because it helps blood vessels tighten and relax when they need to.