Before you are able to control your blood pressure on your own, you need to know what those readings on the meter actually mean. Blood pressure readings consist of two components, systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
Systolic pressure, which reads as the top number on the instrument, is the measurement of the force that heart is using to pump blood throughout the body.
Diastolic pressure which reads as the bottom number, is the measurement of the blood pressure when the heart is at rest.
Both of these readings are important, however in most individuals the greater variation is seen in the systolic readings, so in a sense that is more important to keep an eye on that your resting blood pressure.
When an individual has high blood pressure, it puts more stress on the heart as well as the blood vessels themselves which can cause them to become warped and distorted. High blood pressure over a long period of time can lead to stroke, diabetes and heart attack.
There are no specific symptoms that we can use to definitely tell whether or not we have high blood pressure, because they are very general. They can include headaches, chest pain, fatigue or slight changes in hearing or vision.
Most people who have blood pressure don’t even know it because again the symptoms are so general. With that being said, there are some things you can do, and other habits you can avoid to help reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.
One of the major causes of high blood pressure is inflammation in the body, which affects our blood vessels. Inflamed blood vessels reduces the surface area of the blood vessels, which allows less blood flow. This can stress the heart because it has to work harder to push with more force to move that blood through those vessels.
Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body, which reduces high blood pressure and all the negative effects that come with it.
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Many food items that contain grains are a cause of concern when trying to reduce inflammation, and not just for those who have a gluten allergy or celiac disease. This has a lot to do with many of the grains we eat being processed, so especially be aware of breads, cereals and other prepared foods that contain gluten.
Get your carbohydrates mainly from green vegetables when possible, and throw in some seeds and nuts for extra calories from healthy fats.
Another problem regarding high blood pressure that many people face is that their diets are high in sodium. It seems that sodium is in everything now, if it is prepared chances are it has some because table salt is a great preservative.
It can be easy to say just avoid sodium, which you should do whenever possible; however for some people they just can’t avoid it. Another approach to regulate high blood pressure is to eat more potassium.
The levels of sodium in our blood is directly related to the potassium, in that the more potassium we have, the less sodium in the blood.
Eating foods high in potassium like bananas, yogurt, cheese, milk, and sweet potatoes can help balance the sodium levels in the blood, reducing blood pressure.
When attempting to measure blood pressure on your own by taking your pulse, there are some things you should, or shouldn’t do beforehand in order to get the most accurate readings.
You shouldn’t be consuming anything at least 30 minutes beforehand, smoke or exercise either. You should also wait at least one minute in between readings before doing so again.
If you plan on monitoring your blood pressure long term, you are better off buying an automatic monitor that wraps around the arm for more precision and accuracy. You should also keep a journal or use some other method to record the data to track your progress over time.
Also you must make sure to be completely at rest while taking your blood pressure for accurate readings.