Tag Archives: Reducing

Ready to Burst a Blood Vessel? Five Pointers to Reducing High Blood Pressure

Are you liable to hypertension? You know, the high blood pressure thing, with “headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, facial flushing, transient insomnia or difficulty sleeping due to feeling hot or flushed…” as the Wikipedia article reports. One in five of us could be facing hypertension, with no reliable way of knowing who’s at risk till a blood pressure test says you’ve got it. Worried? Then there’s some good advice for you just released.

At a recent medical conference on hypertension, the results of a medical trial were explained. A group of patients with ‘treatment-resistant’ hypertension (ie, they couldn’t get rid of it) were put alternately on high salt and low salt diets. The results were remarkable. Just by reducing their salt intake, they achieved almost immediate seriously good reductions in the all-important systolic blood pressure reading.

Good Advice

So what ought we to learn from this? First, if you know that you’re not one of the 1 in 5 liable to hypertension, you can stop reading here. But how do you know that? No-one’s invented a reliable predictive test yet! So you’d better assume that you might get hypertension some time in the future, if you don’t have it already.

To lessen your risk, the hypertension study shows that even with chronic sufferers, the most sensible precaution is to reduce your salt intake.

Here are five pointers to reducing salt intake reliably and painlessly:

Salt is addictive. So you might have found that over the years, you’ve added more and more to your food. There’s no need, though. It’s just a dangerous indulgence. Don’t forget that, and wean yourself off added salt
Your actual need for salt is very low. On any usual Western or Eastern diet, it’s impossible to get too little salt. So you can reduce your salt intake even to silly low limits without any health risk. The only exception is a temporary one — when you’re sweating gallons (eg, steam engine coal stoker, marathon runner), in which case you should add a pinch to each extra litre of water you drink.
ANY added salt is unneccessary. So don’t. Just eat the salt that’s already in your food.
Almost all commercial meals, snacks and drinks have way too much added salt . As far as hypertension is concerned, you’ll have to avoid them all, unless the salt/sodium content on the label says ‘trace’ or under 0.2%.
You excrete salt very quickly. So an occasional meal with a salty ingredient is OK unless your doctor says otherwise. Say, twice a week at most. I’m thinking here of salt meat and fish (including bacon and ham), salty sauces and condiments like soy sauce, and any ready meal.

Painlessly? Well, you will have to re-educate your palate to regard low-salt foods as normal — which it is. You can either choose to do it right off, or wean yourself off salt addiction slowly. Of course, you may be happy to be addicted — in which case, why are you reading this article?

I took the quick way, and it worked fine. Now I eat salty food only on occasion, and I don’t get any craving to eat more. In fact, really salty food now gags me. As it should.

My previous article on Salt and Health will give you more help. The Reuters story (http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSCOL97079020080919) that prompted me to write can also tell you more. The link to the conference site is now removed, but a web trawl should find it.

Reducing High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a condition that afflicts much of the older generation. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to avoid high blood pressure and to reduce it if you already have a problem.

Your blood pressure should be under 140/90 mm Hg. However, if your blood pressure is over this number you may have a serious problem.

It is best to visit with your doctor to discuss what can be done to resolve it. This condition can lead to a variety of negative side effects that could affect your health for the worst.

For example, this condition may result in high risk for a stroke or heart attack. It could also result in other serious heart conditions that may lead to death.

If your doctor says that you are at risk for these things, he or she will probably give you a prescription medicine which will help you reduce your blood pressure. Be sure to take this medicine as prescribed.

Sometimes some medicines can make you experience some of the negative side effects. If this is the case you will need to visit your doctor again to see if there is an alternative to the medicine he or she first gave you.

Your doctor should also be able to answer any other questions that you may have at this point. Another thing that can negatively affect blood pressure is your weight.

Obese people are at a much higher risk for problematic blood pressure and the other serious heart conditions. In addition, these conditions can be much more difficult to treat when you are overweight.

Your body mass index number will be able to tell you whether or not you need to lose weight. If your body mass index number is 25 or greater you could probably stand to lose several pounds.

Another indicator of whether you should lose weight or not is your waist size. Women should generally have a waist size smaller than 35 inches and men should usually have a waist size smaller than 40 inches.

Your doctor will also be able to tell you whether or not you need to lose weight. One of the best ways to lose weight and to keep it under control is to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.

Running can help you lose the most calories, but it also has other negative side effects. The key to exercising to lose weight is to find an activity you enjoy and feel motivated enough to do on a consistent basis.

In addition, you do not have to exercise for 30 minutes straight. Instead you can work out for shorter segments that add up to 30 minutes.

Even if you do not need to lose weight, exercise can help you keep your blood pressure normal. Likewise, it offers hundreds of other benefits that you can enjoy.

What you eat will also obviously affect your weight and your blood pressure. Foods that are high in salt or sodium are generally bad for you and will make your condition much worst.

The general rule is that Americans should not eat any more than 2.4 grams of sodium in a given day. This is about six grams or one teaspoon of salt a day.

If you are already suffering from high blood pressure you probably will want to eat even less salt than this during a day. As always it is also a good idea to stay away from high cholesterol foods and to focus on fruits and vegetables.

It can help you to make wise decisions if you read the nutrition labels on the foods you eat. When you go shopping be sure to examine the labels and pick the variety of food that has the least sodium and fat and the most nutrient.

As you practice reading these labels you will be able to know about how much sodium you are eating every meals quite easily. Keeping track of your sodium intake is important if you are going to reduce how much salt you eat.

You may even want to write down how much sodium you ate every day. This will help you review how much salt you ate and which foods contribute the most to your problem.

You will then be able to reduce the problem foods and increase the foods you like that help alleviate your problem. If you miss the flavor, try to replace the salt with other seasonings whenever possible and you may find that removing salt from your diet is not such a huge problem.

Jack R. Landry has worked as a nurse practitioner for the last 16 years. He has worked in local clinics and the ER and recommends looking into high blood pressure cure to avoid a fatal heart attack.

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Jack R. Landry

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