The Unforeseen Things That Raise Your Blood Pressure


You've probably heard that you should limit your salt intake, especially if you have high blood pressure. This is because it causes your body to retain water, putting additional strain on your heart and blood vessels. Salt, worry, and anger aren't the only things that can cause your blood pressure to rise. Although temporary "spikes" aren't always a problem, numbers that remain high for an extended period of time can cause serious damage.

Added Sugar        

It may be more important than salt in raising blood pressure, especially in processed forms like high-fructose corn syrup. People who consume more added sugars see a significant increase in both their upper and lower numbers. One 24-ounce soft drink causes a 15-point increase in systolic pressure (the top number, or the pressure during a heartbeat) and a 9-point increase in diastolic pressure (the bottom number, or the pressure between beats).

Loneliness

It's not just about how many friends you have; it's about feeling connected. Furthermore, being stressed or depressed does not fully account for the effect. It also worsens over time: the upper blood pressure of the loneliest people in a study rose by more than 14 points over four years. The researchers believe that having a persistent fear of rejection and disappointment, as well as feeling more concerned about your safety and security, may alter how your body functions.

Apnea (sleep deprivation)

People who have sleep apnea are more likely to develop high blood pressure and other heart problems. When your breathing is interrupted repeatedly while you sleep, your nervous system releases chemicals that raise your blood pressure. Furthermore, you're getting less oxygen, which may damage blood vessel walls and make it more difficult for your body to regulate your blood pressure in the long run.

Potassium Deficiency

To maintain the proper amount of fluid in your blood, your kidneys require a sodium-potassium balance. Even if you eat a low-salt diet, you may still have high blood pressure if you don't eat enough fruits, vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy, or fish. While bananas are commonly thought to be the best source of potassium, broccoli, water chestnuts, spinach, and other leafy greens are better options if you're watching your weight.

Pain

Acute pain stimulates your nervous system and raises your blood pressure. When you put one hand in ice water, press on your cheek or fingernail, or apply an electric shock to your finger, you will notice this effect.

Herbal Supplement

Do you use ginkgo, ginseng, guarana, ephedra, bitter orange, or St. John's wort? These and other factors can cause your blood pressure to rise or alter the way medications, including those used to treat high blood pressure, work.

Thyroid Disorders       

When this gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, your heart rate slows and your arteries become less stretchy. Low hormone levels may also increase LDL "bad" cholesterol, which can stiffen arteries. Blood moves more quickly through hard vessels, pushing against the walls and increasing pressure. Though less common, having too much thyroid hormone can cause your heart to beat harder and faster, raising your numbers.

You Need to Pee

In a study of middle-aged women who hadn't used the restroom in at least 3 hours, systolic pressure rose by about 4 points and diastolic pressure rose by about 3 points. Men and women of various ages experienced similar effects. As you get older, your chances of developing high blood pressure rise, so you must take accurate readings. An empty bladder could be one way to assist with this.

NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen can all raise your blood pressure, whether you're healthy or already have high blood pressure. Even though the average increase is only a few points, there is a wide range, which means it may affect some people much more than others.

The Office of Your Doctor

If you compare readings obtained during an appointment to those obtained at home, you may notice a difference. The "white coat effect," named after the traditional medical uniform, is a rise in blood pressure that can occur simply because of where you are. It can be up to 10 points higher for systolic (the upper number) and 5 points higher for diastolic (the lower number). Nerves or anxiety are most likely to blame for the bump.

Decongestants

Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are ingredients that can cause blood vessels to constrict. This means that the same amount of blood must squeeze through a smaller space, similar to a crowd pushing through a hallway. These medications can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor or pharmacist can assist you in selecting over-the-counter products for sinus problems and colds that are safer for you.

Dehydration

When your body's cells are dehydrated, your blood vessels constrict. This occurs because your brain sends a signal to your pituitary gland, causing it to release a chemical that causes them to shrink. And your kidneys produce less urine in order to conserve the fluid you do have, which causes tiny blood vessels in your heart and brain to constrict more.

Hormonal Contraception

Hormones used in birth control pills, injections, and other devices narrow blood vessels, so your blood pressure may rise. It is more likely to be a problem for women over the age of 35, who are overweight, or who smoke. You should keep an eye on your blood pressure and check it every 6-12 months. A lower estrogen dose may keep your numbers more normal.

Talking

It can happen to anyone, young or old, and wherever they are. The higher your resting blood pressure, the higher the readings when you begin speaking. And the effect only lasts a few minutes. The subject and emotional content of what you're saying appear to be more important than the fact that you're moving your mouth.

Antidepressants

Medications that target brain chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, such as venlafaxine (Effexor), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), can affect not only your mood but also your blood pressure. If you're also taking lithium or other drugs that affect serotonin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may raise it.


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Conclusion

Your arteries should be strong, springy, and smooth in order to easily transport blood from your heart and lungs to your organs and other tissues. High blood pressure, or HBP, puts too much strain on the artery walls. This causes internal damage and the accumulation of fat, or "plaque." Because plaque stiffens?s and narrows your arteries, they can't do their job as well.

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