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Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

Effects Of High Blood Pressure On Your Body That You Need To Be Aware Of

Did you just find out that you, someone in your family, or a close friend has high blood pressure? Or maybe you’ve known for a while but want to understand more about the diagnosis? First of all, don’t worry. While high blood pressure can certainly cause a number of risky health problems, it can be controlled.

The key is to learn as much as possible about the related health issues that can be caused by high blood pressure so you feel comfortable with the diagnosis. Awareness about the issue gives you control over the situation, which will help you prevent some of the more serious health problems that sometimes accompany high blood pressure.

Health Issues That Can Be Caused By High Blood Pressure

Several serious health issues brought by high blood pressure could happen if you don’t work to control the problem. Here are some of the common health problems linked to high blood pressure:

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Kidney Disease

The high pressure that your pumping blood creates against your artery walls and between heartbeats can damage blood vessels throughout your body, including in your kidneys. This damage can extend to the kidney’s filters, which means they can no longer properly rid your body of built up toxins. [1]

Heart Disease

Once again, the increased pressure of your blood flow can have severe effects on your heart. First of all, it can cause heart failure. This happens when your heart cannot pump enough blood through your body. The high blood pressure scars the artery walls which forces your heart to work harder. [2]  Another health issue that can be brought by high blood pressure on your heart is ischemic heart disease. This happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood.

Atherosclerosis

This disease occurs when fat and plaque build up along the inside of the heart’s artery walls. Plaque is able to do this because the arteries have been weakened by the high blood pressure. [3] Too much plaque can lead to a more serious health problem, like:

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Stroke

If atherosclerosis advances too much, it can lead to complete blockage of the artery walls. Your brain does not receive the oxygen that it needs when blood cannot reach it. The lack of oxygen results in damaged or dead brain cells. This is a stroke. [4]

Eye Disease

Just as high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels around your kidney and the arteries around your heart, it can also damage the vessels in the retina of your eyes. The retina is what turns the light and images you see into nerve signals that the brain can understand. With eye disease, you can experience vision loss, double vision, or even headaches. [5]

3 Tips To Prevent These Health Issues

The related health issues of high blood pressure sound pretty scary, but try not to stress too much about it (which could make it worse!). You can work to prevent them from happening by following some of these tips:

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1. Lose Some Weight

Carrying around too many pounds can make it even harder for your blood to pump and circulate, leading to increased blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight keeps you from breathing correctly at night, which also increases your blood pressure. Try losing just 10 pounds or so to help reduce your blood pressure. [6]

2. Get Out and Exercise

Getting exercise helps strengthen your heart and you need a strong heart to pump more blood against the increased pressure of your arteries and blood vessels. If your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, it decreases the pressure in your arteries and lowers your blood pressure reading. Start off slowly by taking short walks near your house. Gradually work your way up to doing more. [7]

3. Eat Healthy Food

Saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt work to increase your blood pressure. Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help counter the effects of high blood pressure. Following the DASH diet is a great way to get control of your daily diet and make sure your body gets the necessary vitamins and nutrients. [8]

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Myths About High Blood Pressure

Many people believe that high blood pressure causes difficulty sleeping, nose bleeds, redness in the face, dizziness, nervousness, and sweating. These symptoms do not, however, indicate high blood pressure. Not checking your blood pressure because you don’t have these symptoms is a bad idea. What makes high blood pressure such a dangerous health condition is that it does not have noticeable symptoms. Too many people go for far too long with undetected and untreated high blood pressure.

Make sure to share this information with other people who may have high blood pressure to help them prevent more serious health problems in the future. As always, check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via vectoropenstock.com

Reference

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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