Did you know that around 1 billion people on earth suffer from high blood pressure! It is called the Silent Killer and can lead to permanent cardiovascular damage.
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is defined as transitory (short-lived) or chronic elevation of the blood pressure in the arteries
What is hypertension?
Since one-seventh of the world’s population suffers from hypertension, let’s take a deeper look into what it is exactly and how is it caused.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to an unhealthy level. Blood pressure is the amount of force that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as it flows through them.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance from the blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure is.
You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and even stroke.
Types Of Hypertension
After reading the above information, some of you might be thinking, “Oh, I don’t have this!”, but you might want to read this next part because hypertension or high blood pressure has types and doctors have said that almost half of the people who suffer from high blood pressure, don’t even know they have it!
Here are the types of hypertension:
1. Primary Hypertension (also known as Essential Hypertension)
For almost 90% of the patients, the cause of this hypertension is unknown. Your doctor will diagnose this hypertension type after monitoring your blood pressure over three or four visits.
People who suffer from this hypertension type show no significant symptoms. However, these are a few signs you can look out for:
a. Frequent headaches
d. Frequent nose-bleeds
2. Secondary Hypertension
This hypertension type occurs when there is an abnormality in the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Some common causes of this type of hypertension include:
a. Abnormalities or tumors of the adrenal glands
c. Hormonal imbalances
d. Excessive salt or alcohol intake
3. Malignant Hypertension
In this type of hypertension, the blood pressure rises rather quickly and causes a medical emergency where the patient needs to be rushed to the hospital. It is typically observed in a very small fraction of the population compared to the other types. Some common symptoms include:
a. Numbness in arms and legs
b. A headache
c. Chest pain
d. Blurry vision
4. Resistant Hypertension
This type of hypertension is usually observed in people who are aged, obese or are suffering from diabetes or kidney ailments.
Classification Of Hypertension
The silent killer might be really hard to detect but we have broken it down for you, to make it easier. So, here are the five blood pressure ranges/classifications as recognized by the Heart Association:
When your blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg, it is considered within the normal range. If your results fall into this category, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
Elevated blood pressure is when readings of your blood pressure consistently range from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.
3. Hypertension Stage 1
Hypertension Stage 1 is when blood pressure consistently ranges from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic. At this stage of high blood pressure, doctors are likely to prescribe lifestyle changes and may ask you to consider adding blood pressure medication based on your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD), such as heart attack or stroke.
4. Hypertension Stage 2
Hypertension Stage 2 is when blood pressure consistently ranges at 140/90 mm Hg or higher. At this stage of high blood pressure, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes.
5. Hypertensive crisis
This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention. If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and then test your blood pressure again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact a doctor immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
Causes of hypertension
I have read enough about the disease! Tell me how did I even get it in the first place or how can I avoid getting it!
Hypertension or high blood pressure can broadly be classified into two types. Each type has a different cause which we have broken down for you.
1. Primary Hypertension
Primary Hypertension is also known as Essential Hypertension. This kind of hypertension develops over time with no identifiable cause. Most people have this type of high blood pressure.
Researchers are still unclear what mechanisms cause blood pressure to slowly increase. They suggest that a combination of factors may play a role. These factors include:
a. Genes: Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
b. Physical changes: If something in your body changes, you may begin experiencing issues throughout your body. High blood pressure may be one of those issues. For example – it is thought that changes in your kidney function due to aging may upset the body’s natural balance of salts and fluid. This change may cause your body’s blood pressure to increase.
c. Environment: Over time, unhealthy lifestyle choices like lack of physical activity and poor diet can take their toll on your body. Lifestyle choices can lead to weight problems. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of hypertension.
2. Secondary Hypertension
Secondary hypertension often occurs quickly and can become more severe than primary hypertension. Several conditions that may cause secondary hypertension include:
a. Kidney disease
b. Obstructive sleep apnea
c. Congenital heart defects
d. Problems with your thyroid
e. Side effects of medications
f. Use of illegal drugs
g. Alcohol abuse or chronic use
h. Adrenal gland problems
i. Certain endocrine tumors
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several things may play a role, including:
b. Being overweight or obese
c. Lack of physical activity
d. Too much salt in the diet
e. Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
g. Old age
i. Family history of high blood pressure
j. Chronic kidney disease
k. Adrenal and thyroid disorders
l. Sleep apnea
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most people with high blood pressure will not experience any symptoms. This is why people call it the ‘silent killer.’
However, once blood pressure reaches about 180/120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), it becomes a hypertensive crisis, which is a medical emergency. At this stage, the evident symptoms include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Heart palpitations
Children with high blood pressure may experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Bell’s palsy, which is an inability to control the facial muscles on one side of the face.
Newborns and very young babies with high blood pressure may experience the following signs and symptoms:
- A failure to thrive
- Respiratory distress
High blood pressure might be really hard to detect and control but maintaining a healthy diet and using natural remedies can help manage high blood pressure easily.
What are the effects of high blood pressure on the body?
Hypertension might be a silent killer but its effects on your body can be fatal. It can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. If hypertension isn’t treated, you may face serious problems like:
- Damaged arteries
- Damaged heart
- Heart failure
- Sudden cardiac death
- Heart attack
- Damaged brain
Home Remedies To Lower High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a problem that has turned many of us towards modern medicine. For most people who suffer from hypertension, their day starts with a big tablet to control the monster. More often than not, this has us wondering what will happen if I skip the medicine or can diet and pranayama to treat high blood pressure naturally?
We have some good news! There are a number of home remedies to lower blood pressure naturally, even without medication!
So, here are a few easy and simple home remedies or natural ways to combat high blood pressure:
1. Walk and exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best home remedies to lower high blood pressure naturally. Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries. In fact, 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, per week can help lower blood pressure and improve your heart health significantly. So put on your work out clothes, if you wanna give the silent killer the silent treatment!
2. Reduce your sodium intake
Salt intake is high around the world. In large part, this is due to processed and prepared foods. Studies have shown that a high amount of sodium can quickly jack-up your blood pressure. For this reason, many public health efforts are aimed at lowering salt in the food industry.
3. Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure. In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. While some research has suggested that low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. Hence, the bottom line is drinking alcohol in any quantity may raise your blood pressure. Limit your drinking to one drink a day.
4. Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium is an important mineral and acts as a natural home remedy to lower blood pressure, it helps your body get rid of sodium and eases pressure on your blood vessels. Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake. To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods. Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
- Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
- Dairy products, such as milk and yogurt
- Tuna and salmon
- Nuts and seeds
5. Learn to manage stress
Stress is a key driver of high blood pressure. When you’re chronically stressed, your body is in a constant fight-or-flight mode. On a physical level, that means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels. When you experience stress, you might also be more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy food, that can negatively affect blood pressure. Several studies have explored how reducing stress can help lower blood pressure naturally.
Here are two evidence-based home remedies to lower blood pressure by managing stress:
- Listen to soothing music: Calming music can help relax your nervous system. Research has shown it’s an effective complement to other blood pressure therapies.
- Work less: Working a lot, and stressful work situations in general, are linked to high blood pressure.
6. Eat dark chocolate or cocoa
Listen up, you chocolate loving folks! Eating chocolate while suffering from hypertension, can actually help control it. While eating massive amounts of chocolate probably won’t help your heart, but small amounts may. That’s because dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate.
7. Lose weight
If you’re overweight, losing weight can make a big difference for your heart’s health. According to a 2016 study, losing 5% of your body mass could significantly lower high blood pressure. In previous studies, losing 7.7 kg was linked to lowering systolic blood pressure by 8.5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 6.5 mm Hg. To put that in perspective, a healthy reading should be less than 120/80 mm Hg.
The effect is even greater when weight loss is paired with exercise, both these act as the most natural home remedies to lower blood pressure. Losing weight can help your blood vessels do a better job of expanding and contracting, making it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood.
8. Quit smoking
One of the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels. Since both smoking and high blood pressure raise the risk of heart disease, quitting smoking can help reverse that risk.
9. Cut added sugar and refined carbs
There’s a growing body of research showing a link between added sugar and high blood pressure. In the Framingham Women’s Health Study, women who drank even one soda per day had higher levels than those who drank less than one soda per day.
Another study found that having one less sugar-sweetened beverage per day was linked to lower blood pressure. And it’s not just sugar – all refined carbs, such as the kind found in white flour, convert rapidly to sugar in your bloodstream and may cause problems. Some studies have shown that low-carb diets may also help reduce blood pressure.
10. Try meditation or deep breathing
While these two behaviors could also fall under “stress reduction techniques,” meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention as they are two of the most natural ways to lower blood pressure. Both meditation and deep breathing are thought to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
There’s quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure. Deep breathing techniques can also be quite effective. In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or to simply sit still for 30 seconds. Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat.
If all this sounds too much to you or if you want to kickstart your Ayurvedic/natural journey against High blood pressure you can get Nirogam’s Mukta Vati for hypertension which is a dietary supplement to ease your battle against high blood pressure.
Ayurvedic Herbal Remedies for High Blood Pressure
The best proven Ayurvedic remedy for high blood pressure is Mukta Vati. If you don’t know what Mukta Vati is here is a guide to all its components:
- Brahmi (Centella asiatica)
- Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricalis)
- Arjuna Ghana (Terminalia arjuna)
- Gazoban (Onosma bracteatum)
- Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus)
- Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa)
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Prawal Pishti (Corallium rubrum)
- Mukta Pishti (Calcinated shell of Pinctada margaritifera/Pearl Powder)
All of these above-mentioned herbs are great to pacify hypertension. You must be wondering, these are just names of various herbs; how do I know it works? So here are the benefits of Mukta Vati.
Mukta Vati is a fast-acting and safe herbal treatment to regulate High Blood Pressure. It helps to:
- Reduce Inflammation in the Body
- Protect the Heart
- Improve Memory
- Protect the Liver
- Purify Blood
- Relieve Stress and Anxiety
- Treat Insomnia
- Recharge the Mind
Ayurvedic Treatment For Hypertension
Intrigued and wondering where to get it? You don’t have to go from shop to shop looking for it because now you can order it online from Nirogam.
Nirogram’s Hypershun is the ultimate Ayurvedic Medicine for high blood pressure and it is specifically designed to treat all types of blood pressure.
Here is a dosage guide to make things a little easier:
- If your BP is greater than 160/100 mmHg, you should take 2 tabs twice a day
- If your BP is 150/90 mmHg, take 2 tabs twice a day
- You can take 1 tab twice a day if your BP is 140/90 mmHg or your blood pressure rises occasionally.
What natural ways have you tried to keep your hypertension at bay? Let us know in the comment section below!
Consult with our ayurvedic doctor for treatment related to high blood pressure.