We all know how dangerous high blood pressure can be.
Or do we?
After all, when you think of high blood pressure, what comes to mind?
Well, for most people the answer would be something like heart disease, stroke, heart attack, or maybe even an aneurysm.
And they would be right. But they’d also be missing something. That’s because not all of the dangers of out of control blood pressure are so well known.
Here are four health problems that could result from high blood pressure.
#1 – Kidney failure
High blood pressure has a serious and often deadly effect on your blood vessels that extends far beyond your heart. In fact, if you’re blood pressure is in the red zone, it can result in hardening and narrowing of the vessels that supply your kidneys and play a vital role in ridding your body of waste and fluid buildup.
When this happens, the tiny structures in your kidneys called nephrons that work as your body’s filtration system are starved of the nutrients and oxygen-bearing blood they need to function properly. The longer this goes on, the more likely you are to suffer complete kidney failure.
#2 – Eye problems
Just like high blood pressure affects the blood flow to your kidneys, leading to long-term damage, your pressure problems can also reduce flow to both your eyes — specifically your retina and optic nerves.
This can result in blurred vision at the lesser end of the spectrum or even total vision loss at the extreme end. Thanks to high blood pressure you can even experience a buildup of fluid beneath your retina, leading to scarring and increased vision problems.
#3 – Sexual problems for both men and women
No matter what your sex, high blood pressure can lead to problems in the bedroom.
For men, the lower blood flow that comes with high blood pressure, includes the blood flow your penis needs to not only get but keep a strong, healthy erection. High blood pressure problems in women can mean a reduced sex drive, lack of arousal and even difficulty climaxing.
#4 – Bone loss
Finally, high blood pressure can even weaken your bones over time, leaving you at risk for fractures from even otherwise small falls or injuries. That’s because people with high blood pressure actually excrete more calcium in their urine than those with normal pressure, depriving their bones of the mineral they need to remain strong.
Keeping your blood pressure healthy for life
Clearly, high blood pressure is dangerous to far more than just your heart.
This means that if you want to stay total body wellness, maintaining a healthy pressure is the way to go.
Here’s what the experts recommend to keep your blood pressure in the green zone:
#1 – Exercise regularly
Exercise is so important to keep your blood vessels and your blood pressure healthy that the Mayo Clinic dubs it “A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure.”
Just by becoming more active, you can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number in your reading) by an average of four to nine mm Hg. That makes exercise just as effective as some blood pressure medications.
The key is to do a combination of aerobic activity and flexibility and strengthening exercises each week. For aerobics, you can choose anything from household chores and walking to swimming, jogging, and playing tennis. For stretching and strengthening, add in yoga or hit the weight machines.
#2 – Diet wisely
While the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is widely recommended for controlling high blood pressure, it is possible to maintain healthy blood pressure with small, simple changes to your daily eating habits.
And one of those options is to add more prebiotic fiber to your diet, like:
- Chicory root
- Dandelion greens
- Konjac root
Adding more beets or beetroot to your meals is another way to keep your blood pressure healthy. Beets are a great way to amp us the nitric oxide production in your blood vessels, helping them to relax. And when that happens, blood flows more smoothly and your heart doesn’t have to pump so hard, which equals lower blood pressure.
#3 – Supplement strategically
Finally, certain supplements can help you support healthy blood pressure for life, including:
- Omega-3s — Studies have backed up the power of the omega 3s found in fish oil to keep blood pressure optimal. I recommend choosing a cold-water fish oil supplement, like krill oil, which delivers high levels of these essential fatty acids, without the worry of the toxins found in other fish sources.
- Vitamin D3 — 5,000 IU per day of D3 is recommended to keep your blood pressure on track.
- CoQ10 — Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is credited with reducing blood pressure an average of 12 to 25 points. The magic number for dosing? 55- 60 mg of CoQ10 per day.
- Beet powder — This goes back to what we said under the diet section. Beets are key to nitric oxide production to keep your blood vessels relaxed. But if you don’t see yourself eating the root veggies daily, a fermented beetroot powder is a great way to go.
Keeping your blood pressure healthy keeps your whole body healthy. So use the tips above and start working toward better blood pressure today.
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