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What you should know about High blood pressure

What you should know about High blood pressure

You’ve just been for your annual physical exam and your GP informs you that your blood pressure is higher than usual. While it is perfectly natural to be concerned that your blood pressure is high, it is possible to reduce it with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes. Here’s what you need to know...  

1. Understanding blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is very common with 1 in 3 South Africans suffering from this condition. We often hear people speak about their blood pressure and how they should lower it, but do we really understand what it is?

Basically, when your heart beats, it pumps blood through the body to provide it with the oxygen and energy it needs. As the blood flows, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. If the blood begins to push too hard against the blood vessels, then this is high blood pressure.

When your blood pressure is too high, it places extra strain on your heart and arteries which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
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2. How would you know that you have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer” because people are often not aware that they have it. Scary, isn’t it? There are very seldom symptoms or noticeable signs that your blood pressure is high. The only way to really know if you have high blood pressure is to measure it.

In more extreme cases of high blood pressure, headaches, nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, visual disturbances, sleepiness as well as seizures may occur. 
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3. What do the readings mean?

It ‘s important to understand that a single high blood pressure reading DOES NOT MEAN that you now suffer from hypertension or chronic high blood pressure! There are many factors which affect your blood pressure levels throughout the day and that is why your GP will take a number of readings to check if it constantly stays high.

A blood pressure measurement consists of two parts, and is written as two numbers: systolic (first number) and diastolic (second number). Systolic blood pressure is the highest level of your blood pressure when your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure is the lowest level your blood reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
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4. What is a normal reading?

Even if you don’t suffer from high blood pressure, it’s good to know the difference between a normal and high reading.

Normal          120/80 to 129/84
High Normal  130/85 to 139/89

Mild              140/90 to 159/99
Moderate       160/100 to 179/109
Severe          180/110
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5. What causes high blood pressure?

No one knows for sure what causes high blood pressure and a number of different factors may contribute.  There are however factors which can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.  For instance, you are at greater risk if your family members have or had high blood pressure. As you get older and especially if you’ve lived an unhealthy lifestyle, your blood pressure can spike.

You are definitely at a higher risk if you are overweight and inactive, if you smoke,eat too much salt, drink too much alcohol and don’t eat enough fruit and veggies.
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5. If high blood pressure is not treated, what will happen?

High blood pressure levels should not be taken lightly. If your blood pressure levels are not controlled or managed, you are at serious risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and even blindness and glaucoma. People who suffer from high blood pressure may experience shortness of breath, tiredness and swollen ankles.
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6. How to manage high blood pressure?

While high blood pressure is often treated using conventional medications, it can be controlled and lowered by making simple changes to your lifestyle.

  • Start off by eating a healthy, heart friendly diet that consists of lean meat and plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Reduce your salt intake by replacing with fresh and dried herbs to add flavour to your cooking. We are often unaware of the huge quantities of salt and sodium that is used in most things that we eat. Remember to read your food labels which will indicate hidden salt in processed foods such as processed meats, packets of soup, two minute noodles, stock cubes, savoury snacks and even breakfast cereals.
  • Choose good fats such as olive oil and canola oil, fatty fish (salmon, sardines) nuts and seeds and avocado. Limit your nicotine and alcohol intake and cut down on the fizzy drinks too. If you are overweight, now is a perfect time to start being more active. Incorporate a variety of activities such as walking, swimming, dancing or running into your routine – do what it takes to get fit and healthy! Have a look at our EcoSlim herbal remedy that can assist you in your weight loss efforts.
  •  If you smoke, you should definitely quit! Smoking puts so much strain on the heart and will only increase your blood pressure. In the Feelgood Heath range, our Stop Smoking Pack consists of three natural remedies to help you stop smoking naturally and kick this habit. Reducing your stress levels can also help to maintain blood pressure levels. Blood pressure often rises when you are overexcited, stressed or angry. Find alternate ways to deal with your emotions – learn to meditate, try yoga, or practice deep breathing exercises.

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7. Are there natural remedies that I can take to control blood pressure levels?

Depending on the severity of your high blood pressure, your GP will be able to recommend what treatment is best for you. Natural remedies can be safely taken in combination with a healthy diet and certain lifestyle changes to control your blood pressure. Herbal remedies such as HighRite and AllisOne Nat Mur Tissue Salt no. 9 help to balance blood pressure levels and control water retention. HighRite will help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and keep arteries clear and functioning normally.

Use it in combination with AllisOne Nat Mur Tissue Salt no. 9 that supports water balance in cells and systemic vitality as well as assist with water retention, swelling and bloating.

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