Important Things to Know About Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.

When the heart pumps blood through the arteries, the blood puts pressure on the artery.

According to the CDC, 463 million adults worldwide have diabetes. In the United States alone, 34.2 million adults have diabetes, approximately 10.5% of the population.

What is Blood Pressure?

Normal blood pressure is vital to life. Without the pressure that forces our blood to flow around the circulatory system, oxygen and nutrients could not be delivered through our arteries to the tissues and organs

What are the causes of High Blood Pressure?

Two of the most common causes of high blood pressure are stress and lack of movement. Stress increases blood platelet aggregation, one of the most prominent factors in heart disease. Stress also increases inflammation, another heart disease contributor

Family history, especially if your parents or other close relatives have high blood pressure may also play a role. Additionally, carrying extra weight, certain birth control methods and medications, smoking tobacco, and too much alcohol are also risk factors for high blood pressure.

What are the causes of Low Blood Pressure?

One of the biggest contributors to low blood pressure is dehydration. Did you know that over 75% of people in the U.S. are chronically dehydrated? A survey of 3,003 Americans found that 75% had a net fluid loss, resulting in chronic dehydration. This means they are either not drinking enough or absorbing hydration effectively. The best kind of water to use for just good solid hydration is distilled or reverse osmosis water. Do not add anything to it, because it changes how that liquid is utilized by the body, so just plain water is key! 

Low blood pressure might seem desirable, and for some people, low blood pressure does not cause any harm. However, for many people, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

Other causes of low blood pressure are pregnancy, endocrine problems, blood loss, severe infection, severe allergic reaction, and lack of nutrients in your body.

Blood Pressure and Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the human body loses more fluid and electrolytes than it takes in. When you do not get enough water and the proper ratio of electrolytes, your blood pressure can be negatively impacted. This can have long-term implications for the health of your organs.

Water is important to your body, especially in warm weather. It keeps your body from overheating. When you exercise, your muscles generate heat. To keep from burning up, your body needs to get rid of that heat.

When you are very dehydrated, your blood volume can decrease, leading to a drop in blood pressure. When blood pressure drops too low, your organs cannot receive the oxygen and nutrients they need.

What does it mean when blood pressure keeps going up and down?

One of the primary reasons for blood pressure fluctuations is stress and worry. You may be thinking we all experience stress and worry, but do you experience it in such a way that it affects your physical or mental health? Over 70% of the U.S. population experiences stress in a way that impacts their health.

Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Mitigate stress by prioritizing balance! Surround yourself with things that lower your stress levels. For example, the reason a lot of dentists and doctors’ offices have fish tanks in the lobby is because studies show that just watching a swimming fish can calm the central nervous system, ease stress, and lower blood pressure!

What are good foods to eat when concerned about blood pressure?

There are a lot of different types of food that can help with blood pressure. Ultimately, you want to try and stick to alkaline-based foods. All of the fluid in your body (except your stomach acid) is meant to be alkaline – from the fluid behind your eyes to the fluid in your spine to the fluid in your joints. In fact, imbalances that lead to disease can only occur in an acidic environment. Some great alkaline foods to include are: beets, beet greens, celery, carrots, spinach, and pumpkin seeds.

Alkaline diets also tend to be low in fat and calories, naturally promoting a healthy body weight and lowering heart disease risk factors. 

Blood Pressure Vs Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is the energy your cells use and as those levels get out of the norm, they start damaging the blood vessels over time. When this occurs, blood vessels eventually lose the ability to stretch and maintain their elasticity. 2 out 3 people with blood sugar challenges also have issues with blood pressure. 

Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes are both aspects of metabolic syndrome, a condition that contributes to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Both hypertension and diabetes may have some underlying causes in common, and they share some risk factors. They also contribute to a worsening of each other’s symptoms.  

How to Support Healthy Blood Pressure

To recap, it is imperative to maintain a healthy and balanced blood pressure because your blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all your major organs and systems. You can support healthy blood pressure through proper hydration, eating alkaline foods, managing stress, and getting enough daily movement.

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