Reducing Your Salt Intake
The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for adults. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are many painless ways to reduce your sodium intake.
Reduce canned and processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups, convenience meals, and fast food.
Cook more meals at home. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over your sodium intake. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible and cook without salt.
Use spices as alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives, or dried spices such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
Substitute reduced sodium versions. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted.
See Heart-Healthy Diet Tips to learn more.
The effects on your blood pressure
- Adopting the DASH diet, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats can lower your blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg.
- Cutting back on sodium by about 1,000 mg per day can reduce your blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
- Increasing your potassium intake from food to 3,500-5,000 mg can knock 4 to 5 mm Hg off your reading.
- Limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks per day if youre male, or one drink per day if youre female can lower your reading by about 4 mm Hg.
Can Treating Anxiety Lower Blood Pressure
Yes, treating anxiety that causes temporary spikes in blood pressure can be lowered with treatment. Medication and therapy are used to treat anxiety. Anxiety can be diagnosed by a primary care doctor or psychiatrist. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are typical first line medication treatment for anxiety. Can high blood pressure be temporary? Yes, treating anxiety with medication can lower blood pressure by reducing the temporary spike.
The Importance Of Stress Management
In todays fast-paced world filled with increasing demands, stress management is a life skill and a lifesaver. Its also important to note that while the link between stress and high blood pressure is still being studied, stress is known to contribute to risk factors like a poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption.
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So Why Wasnt My Doctor Happy With My Transformation
A visit to my doctor the following week with blood pressure now comfortably in the safe zone was met with disbelief. And, I must say, a little annoyance.
I think she was exasperated and embarrassed, perhaps? that I had chosen my own path. And that it had worked so astonishingly well.
She asked me more than once if Id increased my meds without consulting her.
I told her that I hadnt and that I wanted to come off my meds. A request that she refused.
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Prospective Studies Of Anxiety Predicting Hypertension Risk
Eight prospective studies investigated the association between the baseline anxiety status and incident hypertension with a total sample size of 80,146 and 2,394 hypertension case subjects. Characteristics of the studies are shown in . The pooled adjusted HR by REM was 1.55 , with strong heterogeneity detected . No publication bias was detected .
Random effects meta-analysis of prospective studies of the association between anxiety and risk of hypertension .
Note: Weights are from random effects analysis.
Abbreviations: HR, hazards ratio CI, confidence interval.
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When Does Acute Stress Become Chronic Stress
Because we all handle stress in different ways, it can be hard to look for signs of acute stress turning into chronic stress. If stressors are lasting for weeks on end, then they risk turning into chronic stressors that need to be addressed, Dr. Laffin notes.
It really can come down to how someone perceives stress, he continues. Two people can be in the exact same situation and it can be much more stressful to one than the other. Some people just deal better with stress and have healthier coping strategies or support systems.
What Is The Long
Genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle all impact the development of high stress and anxiety. Typically those with an anxiety disorder have a genetic predisposition towards them or have experienced a traumatic event. There are also medical conditions that can cause high stress levels.
Whatever the cause, treatment is required to lower stress levels and allow you to function in life. Stress is a natural response of the body to prepare us for fight or flight, but when it becomes chronic, it becomes a health problem. Without treatment, your physical and mental well-being are in jeopardy.
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Anxiety And Low Blood Pressure
Occasionally, anxiety works in the opposite way, causing a reduction in blood pressure.
This drop may occur because, during periods of intense anxiety, some people take very shallow breaths. The blood vessels then become wider, reducing blood pressure.
A 2011 study identified an association between the symptoms of anxiety and depression and a decrease in blood pressure, especially in people who have experienced a high level of anxiety symptoms over a prolonged period of decades.
This relationship also seems to work in both directions as low blood pressure, or hypotension, may sometimes cause anxiety and panic. Its symptoms can be similar to those of anxiety and include:
- blurred vision
Difference Between Stress & Anxiety
Your stress response can help you avoid danger and respond to crises.
But if you still feel stressed after the stressful situation has resolved, you may be experiencing anxiety.
The best way to tell them apart is to determine what is causing your stress.
If the situation is tied to something specific, situational, and ongoing, you are probably experiencing stress.
This could mean a current overwhelming work project, or potentially tense family interactions during the holidays.
But if your constant feelings of stress seem nonspecific, or you feel stressed about almost everything, you may be dealing with anxiety.
As many as 31 percent of the U.S. adult population may experience anxiety at some point in their lives.
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Overcome Blood Pressure Anxiety Compulsion To Take Continued Readings
Remind yourself that hypertension if youre ever diagnosed with it is extremely treatable with diet, exercise and stress management + other modifiable factors.
When you hear someone say, Ive tried exercise and diet but my high blood pressure wont budge, realize that their assessment of what would be effective diet and exercise could be quite subjective.
- Crack down on a plant-based diet and keep daily sodium intake under 2,000 mg.
- Eat five to seven servings a day of raw vegetables and fruits .
- Adopt a strength training and cardio exercise program.
- If you smoke, QUIT.
Take your BP only once a day, when you are most relaxed, never when you have anxiety.
Write down the reading in a special log. When data is written down, you wont be as inclined to keep taking more readings on that same day.
Remind yourself that blood pressure is a highly fluctuating function. You cant be continuously taking readings that can be easily influenced by anxiety.
Remind yourself that high blood pressure is highly treatable. This isnt cancer!
The fitter, faster and stronger your body, the less likely youll worry about acquiring an ailment that mostly affects people who do not take proper care of their bodies .
Focus on THAT number, not the one on your blood pressure machine.
Excessive Salt Raises Blood Pressure
Too much sodium can cause water retention that puts increased pressure on your heart and blood vessels. People with high blood pressure and those at a high risk for developing hypertension, including adults over 50 and black men and women, should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily of salt.
Even people with normal levels should eat salt in moderation. Stick to no more than 2,300 mg of sodium , per day.
Most dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Rules of thumb are to choose foods with 5% or less of the daily value of sodium per serving and opt for fresh poultry, fish and lean meats, rather than canned, smoked or processed. Similarly, fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of heart disease per year by up to 120,000.
Further, potassium found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges, low-fat milk and halibut can counterbalance the pressure-increasing effects of sodium by helping to rid the body of excess sodium.
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Factors That Can Exaggerate Blood Pressure Readings
When you go to the doctors office, measuring blood pressure is one ofthe ways doctors can check up on your heart health. The only way to diagnosehigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is by a blood pressure test.
A healthy blood pressure reading is anywhere between 90/60 and 120/80.Anything 140/90 or above is considered a highblood pressure reading, which couldbe a diagnosis of hypertension, one of the leading causes of heart disease thatcan lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and even dementia. If yourblood pressure measures below 90/60, that could be an indicator of hypotension,or low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, fainting, and long-termdamage to the heart and brain.
Because of the associated risks, a higher or lower than normal blood pressurereading in a healthy adult can be alarming. But did you know there are a numberof factors that can cause a temporary spike or drop in your blood pressure,leading to a false reading? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to preparefor your test to ensure an accurate reading.
How Does Stress Impact Your Blood Pressure
Volume I, Issue II
April is National Stress Awareness Month, an initiative to increase awareness about the causes of the modern day stress epidemic. And this is an initiative we seem to sorely need: according to recent studies, 52 percent of us feel stress has a detrimental effect on our health.
And while the evidence seems clear that too much stress is a bad thing, quantifying stress and its direct impact on aspects of our health such as our blood pressure levels is something researchers are still working to define.
What we do know is that when we experience high levels of stress, our blood pressure temporarily goes up .
So why does your blood pressure go up in stressful situations? Your body produces a surge of hormones when youre in a stressful situation. These hormones cause the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. All this means higher blood pressure, at least temporarily, until the stress hormones go back to a normal level.
And, though theres no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure, temporary spikes in blood pressure if they occur often enough can still damage your blood vessels, heart and kidneys in a way that is similar to long-term high blood pressure.
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How Much Does Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure
The exact amount that anxiety raises blood pressure varies with each individual. Normal blood pressure is defined as 120/80 mmHg. Anxiety-induced blood pressure can be any blood pressure measuring above this level.
Anxiety triggers the release of brain chemicals called norepinephrine and epinephrine which raise blood pressure. In a medical setting, epinephrine or norepinephrine can be given intravenously to increase blood pressure in patients who are critically ill. This is a proven event that these chemicals increase blood pressure, so it is assumed that it also does so in a normal setting.
Evidence of anxiety-induced blood pressure is also apparent in a condition called white-coat syndrome, which is a condition where people have high blood pressure around medical professionals but have normal blood pressure at home. This effect is usually caused by anxiety provoked during doctor office visits.
How Does Anxiety Affect Blood Pressure
As weve covered, high levels of stress and anxiety can increase blood pressure in the short term. However, its important to note that this is only in certain people and in some circumstances.
If you have a healthy body weight, normal blood pressure, and eat a healthy diet, stress and anxiety cant raise your long-term blood pressure. This is why anxiety is also known as the worried well syndrome.
With constant worries, however, there are several cardiovascular effects that you can experience. It can relevant the blood pressure in the short term and also affect the muscles of the heart among other body systems.
Dont Be Too Concerned
High blood pressure spikes can be a concern in those with heart disease, but are generally harmless in those without. Still, you never want to deal with too much high blood pressure. Hypertension can put stress on your heart and possibly damage your blood vessels. Thats why even though there isnt necessarily any danger to experiencing these blood pressure spikes, you should still make reducing your anxiety a priority.
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High Blood Pressure Ruins Lives
You know this. I know this. Without an effective remedy we run serious risks of heart disease, heart failure, strokes, kidney disease, vascular dementia
High blood pressure had been the death of my father and my grandfather before him.
Popping pills didnt do anything for either of them. Same for me. And undoubtedly the same for you.
Pills did not lower the chances of me contracting serious fatal illnesses.
And pills didnt do anything for the thousands of people who, in the end, turned to Christians The Blood Pressure Program for relief.
For me, for them and for you too using chemical drugs that arent solving this health problem is a one-way ticket to serious illness.
Continuing to rely on treatments that have been shown to let patients grow steadily more ill is a recipe for worry, ill-health and disaster.
Dont do this to yourself.
Today, you have choices. Either chemical treatments with nasty side-effects and a very poor record for success.
Or a natural approach that addresses your high blood pressure at its cause and sends blood pressure into freefall.
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Blood Pressure Changes Or Anxiety
Its not always easy to tell the difference between changes in blood pressure and anxiety. In most cases, hypertension does not result in symptoms.
This indicates that a persons blood pressure should be tested on a frequent basis.
Low blood pressure can cause symptoms that are comparable to when you experience anxiety. If a person isnt sure if their symptoms are caused by low blood pressure or anxiety, they should consult a physician.
People with severe or repeated symptoms of both changes in blood pressure and anxiety should immediately contact their doctor.
A doctor will be able to determine the basic cause of the symptoms and prescribe any therapies that are required.
How To Manage Your Stress Levels
Some forms of stress cannot be managed, especially if they are not frequent in nature such as a one-time traumatic event or an accidental injury. Other types of stress, such as taking care of family, work stressors, or any other day-to-day stressful situations, will likely be there permanently or semipermanently. These types of stressful events are the ones that need to be managed as best you can.
To do this, you can proactively plan ahead. This means being prepared for the regular stressors of life and managing your time, reading self-help books, or minimizing the source of stress as much as possible. Calming exercises such as yoga and meditation have also been proven to reduce stress levels. You will also want to avoid indulging in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating. It may seem comforting at the time, but it will not help to relieve the stress you are experiencing.
Setting realistic and manageable goals is also a big stress reducer for those with diabetes. Instead of focusing on a large and vague goal such as losing weight, setting a goal of walking for at least a half-hour every day on specific days of the week will be much more achievable.
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Can High Blood Pressure Cause Anxiety
In some cases, people who are diagnosed with hypertension worry about their health and overall wellness more often than regular people. With constant worry, it can result in anxiety and result in symptoms of hypertension.
Here are some of the symptoms that you may notice:
- Vision changes
- Irregular heart rhythm
Anxiety can also be a side effect of severe hypertension. If a person has severe anxiety and other symptoms like shortness of breath or headache, they should seek medical help right away.
Research shows that people with pulmonary arterial hypertension have a higher chance of experiencing panic and stress disorders. Individuals experiencing both of these are often untreated.
High Blood Pressure Is A Choice
I learned how to give my brain a vital focused break through following Christians The Blood Pressure Program.
And it gave me something I hadnt had before: genuine, meaningful choice.
I could choose to do the exercises every day or most days and be well and healthy.
Or I could take medicines for the rest of my life, put up with side-effects and hope to goodness the problem doesnt get worse over time.
Choice one is the winner for me.
For a little input, I get to live a full life, free of risk and worry.
And all those lifestyle warnings that were told will worsen our condition?
Not a problem.
Because now it doesnt matter if my weight fluctuates a bit The Blood Pressure Program keeps my blood pressure at normal levels anyway.
If I eat something salty or tuck into foods that are on the naughty list so be it. Itll have no effect.
Nor does it matter if I have a few too many alcoholic beverages at a celebration I know Im going to be okay.
And if Im a bit lazy and dont do much exercise? No sweat my blood pressure isnt going to leave the safe zone.
The peace of mind Im enjoying now is incredible. Whatever else life throws at me, I dont ever expect high blood pressure to ever rear its ugly head ever again.
And thatll do for me!
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