Blood Pressure and Hypertension

blood-pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, has earned the name “the silent killer” because it can damage the body before a person experience any symptoms. About one out of three adult Americans have high blood pressure. Normally, blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. However, if this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways. Reportedly, 31% of all men in the United States have it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Read more about High Blood Pressure at the American Heart Association website.

Your Blood Pressure Rate

High blood pressure (HBP) means high tension in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. One way of evaluating this system is through systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.

Optimal healthy blood pressure is defined as less than 119/79 (systolic/diastolic). Pre-hypertension rates are in a range between 120/80 and 139/89. This is considered the warning stage. A reading of 140/90 and above is defined as hypertension. High blood pressure is defined as repeated measurements of 140/90 or more.

When arterial walls are damaged through prolonged high blood pressure, this invites a complexity of trouble to target organs such as the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys and reproductive organ. When it is determined that you have some level of high blood pressure and you receive recommendations from your doctor, don’t forget to research all of your natural health options to support your road to recovery. The general recommendation is aggressive changes in diet and lifestyle habits with the appropriate medication for hypertension.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: What is High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension and Erectile Dysfunction

All parts of the body depend upon good circulation. Our brain requires an even pressure to sustain itself. Harvard Medical Journal studies indicate a direct correlation between high blood pressure and short-term memory loss. Left untreated, the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s are greatly increased. Additionally, hypertension is also associated with Erectile Dysfunction (ED). When pressure causes damage to peripheral arteries, this may reduce the blood flow to areas of the pelvis and penis that support sexual and reproductive activities. The same factors that contribute to heart disease can cause erectile dysfunction. Thus, ED can be a wake-up call that you’re at risk of heart disease.

Harvard Medical School & Harvard Health Publications Prostate Knowledge:
Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease: What’s the Connection?

What can you do to improve blood pressure levels?

Aggressively changing certain habits are helpful. Food and lifestyle changes are important to get your blood pressure back down to normal.

  1. Eat heart-healthy. Include whole grains, rGH hormone free dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Eat fewer saturated fats, such as french fries and sausage. Eat fish, lean meat and skinless chicken instead. Ask your doctor about DASH, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
  2. Cut the sodium. Eat fewer processed and packaged foods, which often contain a lot of salt. The best kind of salt to take is sea salt. A total daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg is best. This is less than a teaspoon of salt. Take the CDC Sodium Intake Quiz.
  3. Maintain at a healthy weight and create a fitness plan. If you are overweight, losing just ten pounds can help you lower blood pressure. Join a local gym or workout class, or work with a weight trainer to help create structure to your exercise regimen.

CDC: How to Prevent High Blood Pressure

American Heart Association: Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet

American Heart Association: HBP Health Risk Calculator

Downloads:

High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Out of Control, CDC Vital Signs, February 2011