Hypertension or high blood pressure, with all its complications including diabetes, is also a silent killer. On the lighter side of things though, anyone who has it can manage the disease with proper diet and lifestyle modification. Note the word ‘manage.’ A medicine that will eliminate high blood pressure does not exist. You can only control it.
In that case, what I think would interest most individuals about this condition, besides what it is, are the treatments.
The CDC or Center for Disease Control classify hypertension or high blood pressure as a health threat. It comes second in the list of diseases that threatens US citizens. One in three Americans suffers from hypertension.
The rise in the body’s insulin and leptin levels causes hypertension. Insulin, which our pancreas produces, is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. Leptin is a type of protein that regulates fat.
We look at our blood pressure status by determining the systolic and diastolic measurement. Systolic is the above number and diastolic is the below number. The normal blood pressure reading would be 120/80.
There are drugs and medicines that can help in maintaining proper blood pressure level. Recent research though shows that some prescription drugs like vasodilators cause AMD. AMD stands for age-related macular degeneration. Researchers also found oral beta blockers as a cause of neovascular AMD or wet AMD.
So how do you treat hypertension without compromising your vision, kidney, and heart?
Norwegian researchers say that one characteristic of hypertension is the stiffness of the arteries. This is better known as atherosclerosis. For this, you will need an arterial muscle relaxant like vitamin D.
Our body produces vitamin D but we need sunlight for synthesis. So go out on a fine weather and bask under the sun to protect your heart. If you live in a place where efficient sunlight is almost just a dream, take vitamin D3 supplements. Vitamin D deficiency will increase parthyroid hormone level leading to high blood pressure. It means you should get your vitamin D supply in check now.
Magnesium is also a muscle relaxant. Not having enough magnesium will cause your arterial muscles to constrict, which leads to a rise in blood pressure. Make sure your magnesium level lives up to your body’s needs by correcting your insulin production. Why? Insulin and magnesium are a joint force as calcium and vitamin D3 are. Insulin is magnesium’s storage house. If you are insulin resistant, the magnesium in your body will only go to waste.
Avoid trans fat
Trans fat, which is a food additive to increase shelf life, hardens the arteries. We call the hardening of the arteries as atherosclerosis. Keep away from margarine, butter, vegetable oil, fried or battered foods. It is also advisable to avoid foods containing hydrogenated oil (check the labels).
Not because it says ‘0g’ on hydrogenated oil or trans fat means there’s none. The FDA allows companies to place 0g on the label if the trans fat content is less .5g. So, if you use a lot of them, you still are in danger. Avoid ice cream, too. It produces natural trans fat even if the label marks it 0. Plus, they are high in calories.
Avoid processed foods
Stay away from processed foods. If you leave your diet in the hands of food manufacturing “Davids and Goliaths,” do not expect to live a long life. The foods you buy from groceries and fast food chains contain high amounts of calories, sugar, and trans fat. Go for raw or organic dishes. They’re clean, safe, and won’t let you down.
Enjoy a balanced diet
Keep a close watch on your diet. Mind your insulin and leptin levels. As much as possible, avoid non-starchy carbohydrates and try to include more protein in your diet. You should also load up on health fats that come from avocado, raw dairy, lean, grass-fed meat, coconut oil, raw nuts, and more.
Watch your sodium intake
You should be as mindful with your sodium intake as you are with sugar. Sodium causes fluid retention. This fluid accumulates in the tissues in your body causing hypertension. Most often, it also leads to other major health problems including hypertension. Doctors recommended people with hypertension to stay away from processed salt (table sugar).
Going vegan? Don’t!
Planning on going vegan? Not a good idea. Studies have indeed shown a vegetarian diet to be a potential solution to high blood pressure. Problem is, eliminating all meat, dairy, fish, and egg from your meals can cause other health conditions. It can cause malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and digestive damage, among others. So, going vegan might be an overreaction. But anything that has something to do with your health should go to your doctor first. Read your consulting physician in first before making dietary decisions.
Some people though swear by the effectiveness of DASH diet in managing high blood pressure. It seems that most people with hypertension and diabetes have switched from Paleo to DASH diet. Nutrition experts say that eliminating meat from your plate is not advisable. This is because there are nutrients that only meat can provide, which is what DASH diet is all about. I will discuss more about DASH diet soon.
Diet works much better at helping you lose weight when you integrate it with regular exercise. Set aside a time of the day for workout at home or at the gym. Remember to breathe through the nostrils instead of the mouth. Breathing through the mouth elevates heart rate and blood pressure.
A major lifestyle modification can change the way your body functions. Going healthy will improve your condition and make you a better person. If you should treat your hypertension, you better start as soon as possible. It is never easy in the beginning but everything starts with small steps.