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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 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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