According to NHS, there are rather few indicators of hypertension and people can know if their blood pressure is high by measuring it. Conversely, there are some symptoms mentioned by NHS which could tell if you have this condition:
- Double vision
- Trouble breathing
The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute doesn’t acknowledge these above symptoms as reliable indicators of hypertension, since they could be linked to other afflictions. Moreover, it states that high blood pressure symptoms can only be recognized when complications appear. So, if you suddenly have an aneurysm or a heart stroke, chances are your blood pressure is also high.
- Limit your alcohol consumption and smoking habits.
There is no hard evidence to suggest that people with hypertension should quit drinking alcohol or smoking just for the sake of lowering their BP. In fact, that a moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the chances of you becoming hypertensive. In contrast, some scientists suggest that high BP is correlated with excessive alcohol intake. Not even smoking can be considered a direct cause of hypertension. However, the combination of smoking and alcohol is what makes you more susceptible to hypertension.
You can’t have a healthy heart if you don’t get enough physical activity. The recommended amount of exercise would be at least 30 minutes per day, to keep your heart functioning at proper levels and pumping blood easier, thus lowering the chances of you becoming hypertensive. You can also lower your blood pressure with some form of aerobic exercise of your choosing, which also ends up exercising your heart. You can opt between walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging, whatever you find more appealing. Strength training also has important benefits on regulating blood pressure, as well as yoga and stretching. Remember always to consult your doctor before going for one routine or another.
- Eat less salt.
If you like salty foods and have a high blood pressure, you may want to cut back on that. The reason is that salt blocks your arteries, making it harder for the blood to reach your heart. That means your heart won’t be in running order anymore, and your blood pressure levels will rise. The maximum amount of salt allowed for an adult should never be above 6 grams daily. Even if you don’t reach this maximum in a day, but still have high BP, try reducing your salt intake. You can also consider low-sodium alternatives.
- Eat your fruits and veggies.
We all know that fruits and vegetables are very healthy, and everyone should get at least 5 portions per day. But studies have shown that a moderate increase of high dietary fiber, which fruits and veggies abound in, lowered the BP levels in test subjects. Another good reason to include more healthy food in your diet is that you will feel fuller and won’t feel tempted to eat junk food. Junk food is especially bad for your heart, since it’s high in fat and will eventually clog your arteries.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
If your weight is higher than it should be, your heart will have to work more to sustain you at a larger size, thus elevating your blood pressure. Plus, you may also have more body fat, which is a bad sign for those blood vessels, which will become clogged. Many specialists have argued for a strong causation between high weight and hypertension, proving that overweight and obese people have a higher BP. They also demonstrated that weight-loss helps normalize BP levels. Nevertheless, if you already decided to follow the previous steps and eat healthier, exercise more and cut back on salt, chances are you will reach a normal weight and thus decrease your elevated blood pressure even more.
- Take advantage of sunlight.
Research from Southampton University indicates that exposure to sunlight loosens blood vessels by transferring nitric oxide from skin to the circulatory system. Thus, the heart has to work less hard to pump blood, and that reduces blood pressure. If you are hypertensive, make sure to spend about 20 minutes every day in direct sunlight. You shouldn’t just sit in front of a window because that doesn’t have the same effect. On the other hand, if your doctor tells you that you are at risk for skin cancer, maybe you’ll be better off by skipping this step or by using an adequate sun protection lotion.
- Relax more.
Make sure you get enough sleep every day and that you avoid stressful situations. If you get too excited often, you are putting a strain on your heart. That also happens if you don’t maintain a regular sleep pattern, which is in its turn frequently triggered by stress. So, if you haven’t already, try finding new ways to manage stress. It could be as easy as taking a walk before bedtime or listening to calming music half an hour every day. However, everyone is different in that respect; that’s why you should do what makes you feel good.
All that being said, remember to nurture your mind and body, give up harmful behaviors, and always listen to your GP’s advice. Being calmer, fitter and happier will surely help with your hypertension.
Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines under eyes, weight loss and fitness news. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook, and Pinterest.