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Blood pressure depends on the amount of blood pumped from the heart and the resistance it encounters when it flows into the arteries. As these factors increase, an increase in blood pressure is noted. In more than 90% of cases hypertension occurs without any apparent cause (idiopathic or essential), while in the remaining percentage of cases there are predisposing factors, such as renal and endocrine disorders.
High blood pressure causes
In most cases (90%), it is not easy to establish with certainty the real causes of hypertensive disease. For this reason we are talking about a set of predisposing factors that, together, favor the onset of the disease.
Therefore, only hypotheses can be made on the causes of essential arterial hypertension. Of course, when considering the underlying causes of hypertension, one should not discard such factors as increased tone of the sympathetic nervous system, diminished kidney capacity to eliminate sodium, genetic factors, food, conditions of social stress, sedentary, and aging. Secondary hypertension, that kind of hypertension that comes as a result of other illnesses, has causes of well-defined origin. This pathology that accounts for only 5-10% of all cases of hypertension can be caused by: bileminal bilateral nephropathy (glomerulonephritis or chronic pyelonephritis, kidney disease, etc.)
Other possible causes of high blood pressure include rheno-vascular disease (occlusion of a renal artery), aorta coarctation, pheochromocytoma, cushing’s syndrome, primary hyperaldosteronism, hyperthyroidism, symaticomimetic amines (used for cold therapy), cortisone, cyclosporine, NSAIDs.
Heredity or familiarity of the disease affects about 30% of the possibility of onset of hypertension. For this reason, a subject with hypertensive family members will have a greater risk (but not absolute certainty) to develop the disease. In these cases, it is very important to follow the primary prevention rules strictly, to avoid as far as possible the possible occurrence of the disease.
The black race is experiencing hypertension more frequently than the Caucasian one, probably due to a particular gene encoding for an enzyme called ACE. It is also interesting to note that black Americans have an incidence of hypertension higher than African blacks probably due to the predisposing lifestyle (smoking, obesity, sedentary, alcohol, etc.).
High blood pressure symptoms
Tinnitus, arrhythmia, redness of the face, small child for gestational age, reduction of sexual desire, cardiomegaly, coma, erectile dysfunction, time and space disorientation, premature postpartum placenta, cerebral edema, papaya edema, erythromelalgia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, hydrocephalus, insulin resistance, headache, nervousness, nocturia, oligohydramnios, itching to the legs, itching to the hands, urinary retention, nosebleeds, blood in the ejaculate, suffocation, nephrotic syndrome, night sweats, pleural effusion, dizziness.
In many cases hypertension persists for a long time without giving any particular symptom, even when it reaches rather high values. Nevertheless, if high blood pressure is not adequately treated, it will – in the long run – cause a significant increase in the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks, aneurysms, stroke, heart and kidney failure. Fortunately, unlike many diseases, hypertension is very easy to diagnose and keep under control, avoiding the onset of symptoms and pathologies. For this reason it is a good idea to check your pressure values every two years from the second decade of life.
Normally, at the outset, hypertension is completely asymptomatic and does not cause any discomfort to the patient suffering from it. For this reason, there are occasionally occasional cases of hypertension, perhaps during a routine medical check-up when the problem has existed for several months. It is no coincidence that hypertension, just because you can have it for years without realizing it, is described as a ‘silent killer.’
Fortunately, the consequences of hypertension are not immediate but arise after a few years after its occurrence and are, of course, related to the extent of excess pressure. It is estimated that damage to the cardiovascular system may occur approximately after ten years, whereas those related to brain damage, a much more dangerous complication, usually occur after 20 years from the onset of the disease.
Only in some situations, high blood pressure gives signs of itself. This is the case, for example, of the so-called hypertensive crisis, an abrupt and excessive rise in blood pressure whose symptoms are:
In the event that hypertension is ignored at its beginnings, a worsening of the illness might suspend the patient and lead him to spontaneously carry out a medical checkup. Among the most serious and exacerbating symptoms of the disease there can be named nervous headache, often on awakening, asthenia, cardiopalm, angina pectoris and dyspnea, as well as dizziness. Visual manifestations of hypertension are sparkling phosphenes, amauros points and tinnitus. Impotene can be caused by the onset of chronic hypertension.
The damage induced by the persistence of hypertension causes rather serious consequences for the body such as:
- At the heart level, high blood pressure may cause thickening of the cardiac walls until it reaches a condition of heart failure or ischemia. This condition initially manifests itself with exhaustion and lack of breath during the night or during physical exertion. The evolution of the problem can facilitate the transition from angina to infarction.
- Not only the heart but also the entire cardiovascular apparatus can be seriously damaged. In particular, vessels because of the high pressure on the internal walls, undergo micro-lances on which fat deposits (arteriosclerotic plaques) are formed. As a result, the vascular caliber is reduced, the muscle layer thickens, elasticity decreases and increases fragility. This weakness, associated with high blood pressure, favors the breakage of vessels that, depending on the sprayed structures, can cause very serious damage.
- Hypertension and kidney disease are closely related. The functions of kidneys are seriously compromised by hypertension that causes accumulation or loss of urine of particular substances (signs may be swelling in the eyes and legs in the morning). In more severe cases hypertension can lead to renal failure (occlusion of a kidney vessel).
- Brain-related disorders can be related to hypoxia (reduction of oxygen arriving at the cells) that correlates with a slow and gradual brain function impairment (reduced concentration, memory loss to dementia). Even more serious are the consequences of a vascular breakdown (stroke).
- Before passing on the possible treatment of hypertension, let’s conclude this second part with an important observation: each subject responds differently to hypertension. Some people live together for years with the disease without developing obvious organ damage; Others with slightly higher levels than the standard can not tolerate the slight excess pressure and also cause damage in the short term.
Depending on the extent of pressure rise and its consequences, hypertensive crises are divided into two categories, one with urgency and one with emergencies. In the latter case, unlike the former, there is an objective suspicion that the hypertensive crisis has caused acute and progressive organ damage; In addition, the pressure values are generally higher (equal to or greater than 220/140 mm Hg).
Signs and symptoms of a hypertensive, therefore uncomplicated, urinary urgency may include severe headache, dyspnea (air hunger, shortness of breath), anxiety and anxiety. In hypertensive emergencies, however, severe and potentially lethal complications, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, cerebral haemorrhage, mental confusion, coma, chest pain (angina pectoris), aortic dissection (tinnitus of the aorta intact tones), eclampsia (during pregnancy), acute renal failure and fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema) for left ventricular failure.
Luckily, hypertensive emergencies are rare and most affect hypertensive patients who do not undergo adequate therapy to maintain pressurized values. They can sometimes be caused by an un-diagnosed pheochromocytoma, therefore without pharmacological control. The diagnosis of hypertensive emergence is provided, in addition to the patient’s history and examination, by controlling blood pressure, blood pressure (electrolytes, renal and cardiac damage markers), urinary sediment and electrocardiographic trace.
Hypertensive emergencies are clinical events in which the patient is in danger of life and therefore requires a rapid reduction of pressure values; Relief therefore provides for intensive care and a quick intravenous injection of hypotensive drugs to limit organ damage. The choice of the drug is obviously done based on the characteristics of the actual emergency and the associated organ damage. If hypertensive crises are merely urgent, pressure values are generally reduced by the administration of oral drugs, without the need for hospitalization, but only of outpatient follow-up.
The patient can contribute to the prevention of hypertensive depression by careful pressure control (regular monitoring of blood pressure and drug intake according to prescribed doses and procedures). Under medical indication, maintaining a healthy weight, a sober and balanced diet, along with regular exercise and optimum stress management, can help reduce the pressure and risk of high blood pressure.
Overweight children compared to high blood pressure have a high chance of becoming hypertensive and obese in post-natal age. For this reason prevention has to start at a young age, starting the kid to practice sports and controlling the eating habits. In children in 80-90% of cases hypertension, is secondary i.e. linked to hormone, renal or cardiac anomalies.
The age-old binomial hypertension, though widespread in the population, is no longer considered an inevitable and harmless event. If a slight maximum pressure increase, between 10 and 20 mmhg, is all too tolerated, so can not be said for higher pressure values. In the elderly, hypertension is mainly related to an increase in maximal or systolic pressure, while in the age range of 20 to 50-55 years an increase of both the maximum and the minimum is usually observed. Man has a high risk of developing the disease around 30-40 years. In women this risk, lower until menopause, spikes up after 45-50 years up to 50% and then increases further after 65 years.
High blood pressure diet
The ideal diet for the prevention and / or cure of hypertension has as its main goals the weight loss and the restriction of sodium and alcohol. At the initial stage of the disease, called pre-hypertension, the simple correction of dietary habits is often enough to diminish the pressure values. On the other hand, it has been shown that, in general, every lost pound reduces the maximum or minimum pressure of 1 mmhg. For this reason, it is recommended to follow a diet rich in fiber and low in fat, combining it if possible with some physical activity.
Reduced physical activity among individuals affected with high blood pressure is probably the most important risk factor.
To reduce high blood pressure, it is essential to follow a diet that is specially structured and rich in:
Are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They play a protective role in all disease diseases, including high blood pressure. The first two are biologically very active and are mainly found in: sardines, mackerel, palamitas, shrubs, herring, lentils, tuna, aguglia, seaweed, krill etc. The third, however, is less active but a precursor of EPA; it is principally contained in the fat fraction of certain foods of plant origin and in its oils of: soya, flax seeds, kiwi seeds, grape seeds and so on.
Increasing its intake in the diet decreases blood pressure and increases urinary sodium excretion. Reaching a dose of 4000 mg / day can reduce blood pressure up to 4 mmHg. It is contained in all foods, except for seasoning fat. However, the foods most likely to increase the diet intake are fresh vegetables and raw fruits.
Like the former element, it promotes lowering blood pressure. Doses of 120-973mg / day (over 200% of the need) have been shown to be effective in reducing hypertension. It is mainly contained in foods of plant origin; In particular: whole grains and bran, oilseeds, cocoa, vegetables, etc.
Alongside with positive changes in your nutrition, you should closely monitor your diet for certain foods that should not make it on your menu:
Consumption of extra virgin olive oil is inversely proportional to high blood pressure, and not only thanks to the oleic acid (omega 9). In fact, this seasoning fat is also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols, and so on. For those suffering from other metabolic pathologies or metabolic syndrome, it may be helpful to increase the intake of omega 6 fatty acids, omega 9 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as lecithins, polyphenols and phytosterols.
Correlated directly and indirectly to high blood pressure, should be eliminated from the diet. We are talking about the added sodium, the one in the kitchen salt (sodium chloride) and used as a means of conservation for: sausages, salami, canned meat, canned fish, pickled or cured foods, and so on. The majority of unhealthy store-bought snacks, fast food and junk food in general are also rich in sodium.
Saturated and hydrogenated fats, the latter mostly in trans formation, are related to an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol and systemic inflammation. Saturated fats are especially present in: fat cheeses, cream, cuts of fresh meat, sausages and salami, burgers, wurstel, palm and palm oil, other bifurcated oils and so on. Hydrogenated fats, which may have a high percentage of trans in chains, are mainly contained in: hydrogenated oils, margarine, sweet snacks, salty snacks, baked goods etc.
It is a molecule directly involved in the pathological increase in blood pressure. However, one or two glasses of red wine per day are not considered cardiovascular risk factors, on the contrary. Due to the concentration of polyphenols seem to have a preventive function.
This herb is very useful for gastric problems (e.g. gastritis and reflux), however, has the side effect of increasing blood pressure a lot.
What you can to about high pressure yourself
Smoking is a powerful vasoconstrictor, it reduces tissue oxygenation and facilitates the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Alcohol, in small doses, has a beneficial effect due to its vasodilating properties. It is unnecessary to recall the negative effects of this substance when it is taken at high doses. In many cases psychological stress affects so much the occurrence of hypertension to be considered the main causal factor. Among the most endangered conditions are: retarded anger, anger, intense emotions, work responsibilities or excessive engagement in study and / or work.
Especially in the presence of a family predisposition, keep constantly monitored the blood pressure values. In case of high blood pressure or hypertension, the first-line defence is to contact a dietician. It is proven that with every 10 lbs of disposed fat (especially the abdominal fat), pressure tends to drop by 2.5 – 10 mmHg.
Reduction of harmful nutritional factors will help you both go down in weight and improve your hypertensive condition. Increase your physical activity level, but make sure you do it gradually and only as approved by your doctor. Stop smoking and avoid alcohol. Assess the relevance of remedies, supplements and natural therapies (we will speak of those at length further down).
Reduce other risk factors for cardiovascular events: obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, oxidative stress. If nutritional and behavioral therapy has no effect, your doctor will evaluate the relevance of a drug treatment.
Natural cures and remedies for high blood pressure
Some natural remedies, and simple protocols to follow can help you lower the pressure. We have already told you about food advice to lower your blood pressure and unacceptable foods to avoid with high blood pressure because of salt, now we present some useful remedies to rediscover to try to lower your blood pressure, maybe before you need to use drugs (this, however, should be determined by your doctor).
A recent study has shown that probiotics, good bacteria in fermented foods, can help keep blood pressure under control. Experts have found that consuming an appropriate amount of probiotics for at least two months is able to lower blood pressure. The new research was published in the Hypertension magazine and combines the results of nine studies that required part of the participants to take regularity of probiotics. However, researchers say they do not substitute high-pressure medicines with probiotics, but if they do, they will not be able to replace both remedies, waiting to know more.
A research conducted by a team of experts at Tufts University in Medford in the United States revealed that drinking 3 daily 240 kcal infusions per day can help lower blood pressure and return it to optimal values. The herb tea on the karkadè (hibiscus flowers) can be useful in preventing the progression of high blood pressure toward a more severe hypertension condition.
A research has been monitoring for 10 years a group of people to check the effect of caffeine containing drinks on blood pressure. It was established that consuming tea and coffee helps to lower blood pressure, given that the amount of cups does not exceed 4 per day. Tea was proved to have an edge over coffee in this regard, helping to lower the pressure by slowing down the heart rate as well.
Since garlic is an excellent blood-purifying agent, its use can help lower blood pressure and help keep it within the normal range. Raw garlic has more benefits than processed. Taken daily, garlic will be an optimal anti-hypertensive of purely natural origin, helping your heart and cardiovascular system in general.
For those suffering from hypertension associated with digestive problems and insomnia, it is recommended to take 2-3 cups of lime flower infusion per day. The lime has a vasodilating action, which fluidizes the blood and helps in this way to prevent venous stasis. Taking flowers of linden can cause drowsiness. Ask for more advice from your trusted herbalist.
Ylang-ylang essential oil
Among the many essential oils used as herbal remedies for the problem of hypertension, the essential oil of ylang-ylang stands out. Denièle Festy, a French pharmacist expert in essential oil, suggests using ylang-ylang’s essential oil in hypertension, palpitations and tachycardia by applying a drop on the inside of his wrists and deeply inhaling its aroma.
As we have already pointed out in this article, good circulation also depends on the diet. Coconut water would be a useful aid in improving blood circulation and regularizing heart rate due to its fiber, protein and vitamin C content. This is beneficial to blood pressure. Coconut water could be a natural aid to make it more stable if taken regularly. It might be useful to have a glass in the morning.
A study conducted in December 2009 on the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics had the cardamom powder in the center, which was administered in the amount of 1 teaspoon a day for volunteers for a few weeks. The results showed a significant reduction in blood pressure. Try regularly drinking a cardamom and ginger tea, as Everyday Roots suggests.
Hawthorn is one of the best known herbal remedies for high blood pressure sufferers. It is a source of beneficial antioxidants for blood vessels and heart, It is used to improve cardiac function and irregular beats. The hawthorn lowers blood pressure by relaxing and dilating the walls of the arteries. To be effective, a hawthorn cure may take a few weeks. Ask your herbalist for advice.
The practice of Tai Chi helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Some studies have been carried out at the University of Taiwan, a place where par excellence people practice this discipline. Over the years, science has begun to confirm the many benefits of psycho-physical health that this ancient practice can make in our daily lives.
Beet juice can contribute significantly to fighting hypertension. Taking a single cup of precious nectar every day would lower blood pressure by about 7%, all due to the presence of nitrate. The beet juice donated to the volunteers contained about 0.2 g of nitrate (which a previous search also associated with an improvement in physical and athletic performance), the equivalent of the content of two beet. But how does lowering pressure? The body converts the nitrate of a chemical called nitrite, and then into nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide extends the blood vessels and promotes the natural flow of blood. The problem is that in order to receive the same benefits, one should consume it in very large amounts, or alternatively opt for beetroot concentrate available at a herbalist’s.
Recent studies conducted by the University of Louisiana have highlighted the ability of the Eucommia bark to reduce arterial pressure and not less: about 7 mmHg for max and 4 for the lowest! The Chinese believe that the decoction of the bark and the dry extract are more effective in regulating the pressure than the herbal cut or extracted in hydroalcoholic tincture.
In this part of the world, Eucommia bark is available in herbal medicine, in capsules containing the dry extract or powder. Recommended doses range from 0.5 to 1 mg per day in case of high blood pressure. Avoid use by children and pregnant women or during breastfeeding. Even if it is not a highly toxic product, it is always advisable not to use self-care, it is best to be followed by a good physiotherapist.
Other tips on how to treat high blood pressure in a natural way
Motor activity, especially for sedentary subjects, prolonged aerobic activity (fast walking, cycling, rowing, swimming, racing, etc.) helps lowering the high blood pressure. Food supplements, such as omega 3, based on oils obtained from fishery products and seeds can be of great use in hypertension. Introduce into your ration such elements as cod liver oil, rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 (EPA and DHA), vitamin D and vitamin A. Krill oil is part of zooplankton and is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 (EPA and DHA). Seaweed oil is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 (EPA and DHA) and therefore can help you decongest your blood vessels. Wheat, flaxseed, sesame oil, etc. will also make a great addition to your anti-hypertension menu. They contain ALA and vitamin E.
A great help against high blood pressure are foods as well as dietary supplements containing arginine: this is a nitric oxide precursor amino acid, essential molecule for the maintenance of vascular endothelial function. As little as a few grams of dietary arginine can go a long way in bringing relief in your condition.
Diuretics are products that can increase renal filtration. Favoring the production of urine reduces the volume of blood plasma and pressure. It is advisable not to exaggerate and avoid them in the presence of a drug therapy. Some are: pineapple, birch, artichoke, cucumber, walnut leaves, onion, horsetail, fennel, apple, nettle, elderberry flowers, maize sticks and dandelion.
Extract of hypotensive plants: they seem to act differently from diuretics, but still have a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. Some are: garlic, onion, rauwolfia, birch, hawthorn, cardiac, ginkgo biloba, blueberry, orthosiphon, mistletoe, red vine, olive, pernicious, uncurable, lily of the valley, lilac, hibiscus, evodia and Iranian achillea.