Blood pressure is the pressure of blood that pushes against the walls of the arteries (Arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body). It simply takes into account how much blood is passing through the blood vessels. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day.
Blood pressure can either be high (which is referred to as hypertension) or low (hypotension).
Today, we will be focusing on high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension arises when the force of blood pushing through the vessels is invariably too high.
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers called systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
Systolic blood pressure:(the top number) indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pumps out blood.
Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is the reading of the pressure in the arteries between beats of the heart.
In measurement of blood pressure, when it reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, one would say it is, “120 over 80,” or write, “120/80 mmHg.”
Generally, there are five categories of blood pressure readings for which are the normal/healthy, elevated, stage 1 hypertension, stage 2 hypertension and hypertensive crisis.
1️⃣ Normal/Healthy: A healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). However, it is no longer healthy when the blood pressure reads less than 90/60.
2️⃣ Elevated: The systolic number reads between 120 and 129 mm Hg, and the diastolic number is less than 80 mm Hg. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.
3️⃣ Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg. At this stage, doctors are likely to prescribe lifestyle changes and may consider adding blood pressure medication based on the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), such as heart attack or stroke.
4️⃣ Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
5️⃣ Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. Blood pressure in this range requires urgent medical attention.
CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
✝️ Genes: Some people are genetically inclined to hypertension. Hypertension runs in some families. This may be as a result of gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited passed down to children.
✝️ Age: Individuals over 65 years old are more at risk to suffer hypertension.
✝️ Race: High blood pressure is majorly common among Africans.
✝️ Obesity: The more one weighs, the more harder the heart needs to supply blood to the tissues.
And as the amount of blood that flows through the blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on the artery walls increases too.
✝️ High alcohol consumption: Those that consume alcohol are at an increased risk for hypertension.
✝️ Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
✝️ High sodium intake: Sodium can elevate blood pressure. Many people eat too much sodium without realizing it. Too much sodium in one diet can cause you body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
✝️ Insufficient potassium intake: Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in the cells. If one does not get enough potassium in diet or lose too much potassium due to dehydration or other health conditions, sodium can build up in the blood.
✝️ Stress: High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. If the stress persists, it can degenerate. It is essential to avoid stress and rest as much as possible.
✝️ Certain chronic conditions: Some health conditions kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea also increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Complications that comes with hypertension:
High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing a number of health problems which include stroke, heart attack, vision problems sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, circulatory problems and heart health issues.
Studies have shown that diet has a big influence on blood pressure. Therefore, it is essential to know the foods to totally avoid or eat more as an hypertensive patient.
Foods to avoid when suffering from hypertension:
☸️ Processed and fast foods: These foods usually contain excessive amounts of sodium, often more than the 2,300mg (which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon) that a person should consume per day. It is advisable to check nutrition labels and be aware that even foods people tend to consider healthy, such as vegetable juice, may be high in sodium.
☸️ Salty foods: When you eat salt your body retains more fluids, raising your blood volume and pressure.
☸️ Sugary foods and foods high in saturated fats can also increase blood pressure.
☸️ Butter and margarine.
☸️ Regular salad dressings.
☸️ Fatty meats and saturated fats.
☸️ Fried foods.
☸️️ Salted snacks.
☸️ Canned soups.
Foods to eat as an hypertensive patient:
🛑 fruits, such as apples, bananas, and strawberries. The goal is 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
🛑 vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, and carrots. Richly colored green, orange, and red items are high in potassium and minerals that help lower blood pressure.
🛑 nuts, such as almonds and walnuts.
🛑 legumes and seeds, such as kidney beans, lentils, and sunflower seeds.
🛑 whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal.
🛑 low fat dairy, such as fat-free milk and reduced fat cheese. Skim milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt, lower blood pressure).
🛑 lean protein, such as skinless chicken or fish.
🛑 Foods lower in fat, salt, and calories.
🛑 Spices and herbs like ginger, basil and garlic.
Eating diets full of rich in nutrients can help a person reduce high blood pressure.