This article is intended to provide you with new knowledge, there is no medical advice, the opinion of your doctor is always to be preferred for everything that is diagnosis, treatment, prevention of disease, a new diet, a sports activity fitness as well as any prescription of drugs.
Hypertension, the silent killer: 10 ways to avoid this disease
by Dr. Mariangel Leota
Do you know what hypertension is? Do you know the factors that increase the risk of suffering it? Do you know why it is called the “silent enemy”?
Knowing what hypertension is and how to avoid risk is deeply necessary, because hypertension does not show characteristic symptoms until the damage is irreversible.
High blood pressure is one of the most important health problems in the world. Its incidence has increased in recent years, increasing the percentage of people with cardiovascular diseases.
This condition is closely related to lifestyles, these lifestyles must be taken into account and modified to avoid this irreversible damage. High blood pressure can not be cured, but it can be treated to live a quiet life.
Why is considered the “silent killer”?
There are many systemic damages that occur caused by high blood pressure, this is usually silent and has symptoms already when the damage is advanced, so it is important to always have medical checkups constantly during the year. Keeping track of blood pressure in the morning before daily activities and at night before sleep contributes greatly to the surveillance of this systemic pathology.
A chronic condition of blood pressure without treatment can systemically affect all important organs and tissues, such as liver, brain, kidneys, intestines, eyes, among others. All these organs are receive blood from the main arteries and by increasing the pressure their functions can be altered
When is hypertension considered?
Hypertension is considered as the elevation of blood pressure above the levels of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) of systolic pressure and above 80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) of diastolic pressure. Systolic refers to the pressure exerted when the heart muscles contract during the heartbeat and diastolic muscle when the heart muscle is in relaxation.
Why is hypertension dangerous?
By increasing and sustaining blood pressure, more damage to organs. High blood pressure can cause significant damage to the heart causing cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, kidney damage and cardiovascular accidents. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of stroke. (ACV)
The damage caused by high blood pressure can also be enhanced by other factors that should be avoided. Smoking, alcoholism, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle increase the chances of suffering serious consequences.
Main causes and risk factors
The causes of arterial hypertension are still under constant studies, but it is known that certain factors are the triggers of this pathology. Many of these factors are part of human nature and can not be changed, but others correspond to our habits, which is why they are perfectly modifiable.
Non-modifiable risk factors
These factors, as their name indicates, can not be modified because they are part of our nature. The incidence of arterial hypertension can vary according to these criteria:
The advanced age
The increase in blood pressure is normal as we get older. But in turn it also increases the risk of hypertension and this factor can not be modified. The risk varies according to sex, for example, the risk increases in men older than 45 years and in women older than 50 years. The age over 60 years increases the risk of hypertension even more so the medical checkup should be continuous.
Race or ethnic group
The risk may increase according to race due to related genetic factors. Within the most affected group that has a higher risk is the African-American population, with a risk of up to 60% over other groups.
In relation to these groups, it can be observed that
- Hypertension appears at an earlier age
- The consequences of high tension are serious
- The risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure is much higher.
The difference in the condition of hypertension also varies according to sex, adult men have a higher risk of hypertension and younger age than women.
Modifiable risk factors
Associated with habits and lifestyles, these factors can be modified and it is necessary to have the knowledge to know how to identify them and be able to change them for better health.
Body weight directly influences the amount of blood needed and the effort the heart must make to distribute it throughout the body. The greater amount of blood needed results in the over exertion of the heart and the increase in blood pressure.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main factors associated with high blood pressure. Physical exercise especially cardio exercises such as running, jogging, dancing, among others, helps increase blood circulation and produce the vasodilation necessary to lower blood pressure.
Smoking seriously affects the health of the heart. Its negative effect is related to the amount of nicotine. This compound has negative effects on the health of the heart, in addition to reducing the volume of oxygen in the lungs, resulting in an increase in the necessary effort of the heart to supply blood to all arteries, increasing blood pressure.
When the amount of cholesterol in the blood is elevated, they accumulate inside the arteries forming atheromatous plaques. These plaques decrease the passage of blood through the space of the arteries, increasing blood pressure.
Excess sodium (salt)
Excess sodium is a deadly enemy and in the current type of food it is very common to get food with excessive amounts of salt. Salt increases fluid retention, causing narrowing of the arteries causing an increase in blood pressure.
Excess alcohol increases blood pressure because it increases heart rate. The constant consumption of alcohol is totally detrimental to cardiovascular health.
During the stress states, a hormone called cortisol is released, which when kept constant in the body, can have very serious consequences, one of which is to increase blood pressure.
Accompanied by this disease, hypertension comes almost immediately. It is not a modifiable factor per se, but type 2 diabetes can be avoided. Therefore, a change in habits and lifestyle can avoid this factor by decreasing the risk.
Main symptoms of high blood pressure
The symptoms are often confused with the discomforts of other diseases, these symptoms should be taken into account at the time of the check-up with your trusted doctor.
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Difficulty breathing (hyperventilation)
- Tingling or loss of sensation in arms and legs
- Vision loss
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Garlic, with vasodilator effect
It is one of the foods with the most therapeutic properties. It helps to purify the blood and is antibacterial and antifungal.
In the case of hypertension, it acts as a vasodilator of the capillaries and arteries. Do not stop taking 1 a day, raw or cooked, in sauces, sautéed or creams.
Onion, indispensable daily
It has properties similar to those of garlic. It favors the dilation of the blood vessels and good circulation. It is essential to incorporate it into the diet on a daily basis.
Consume 1 onion a day, raw or cooked. If it is consumed raw, better marinated with apple cider vinegar.
Extra virgin olive oil, accompanied by vegetables and salads
Very rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E. It is known that excess free radicals inactivates nitric oxide, one with vasodilatory effects.
Dress vegetables and salads with 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day.
Vegetables, 4 or 5 times a week
They are regulating foods at different levels, since they provide a lot of fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Take vegetables 4-5 times a week in the form of hummus, salad, stew or soups.
Cinnamon to control bloody sugar
It helps control blood sugar levels. The high glycemia causes an inflammatory state that affects the malfunction of the vascular and circulatory system.
Each day adds a pinch to any dish, such as fruit juice
Pure depurative and diuretic
It favors the elimination of sodium in the urine and helps to reduce the volume of blood in the arteries.
Consume 4 stems a day in fruit juices, vegetable juices, salads, creams or cooked.
Pear, rich in potassium
It is very rich in water and is virtually fat free. One of the fruits that more potassium (and less sodium) contains. Steamed pears with cinnamon powder and hemp seed sauce. It exerts a diuretic function and regulates tension.
Enjoy it 4 times each week.
Hemp seeds, with a high content of Omega-3
Along with flax, chia and walnuts, they have a high omega-3 content, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and is preventive of cardiovascular disease. In the case of nuts, they can recover the arterial wall. Take 2 tablespoons per day of hemp seeds in creams, sauces or shakes.
Rich in potassium and with diuretic properties: favors the elimination of liquids from the body and, as a result, lowers blood pressure. In addition, it benefits the liver function.
2-3 artichokes, 2-3 days a week
With cardioprotective effect for its richness in potassium and magnesium. In addition, due to its chemical composition it resembles blood plasma and helps correct hydration of the body. Take 1 cup of coconut water daily.