High blood pressure can contribute to damaged arteries, aneurysms, heart failure, dementia and stroke.
But there is new research suggesting that not only is high blood pressure an indicator of poor health, but fluctuations in blood pressure – high to low and vice versa – could also be a sigh of higher heart disease risk or even early death.
Changes in blood pressure signal heart disease
The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, where researchers examined data of a major trial that used medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. For the study, 26,000 people had their blood pressure readings recorded at five, six or seven visits between six to 28 months after the study began.
In comparison to individuals whose blood pressure remained stable during the course of the study, those whose blood pressure varied by 15 mmHg saw a 30 percent increase in risk of heart attack or heart disease. Additionally, they saw a 46 percent increase in risk of stroke. Lastly, early death was increased by 58 percent.
Although the researchers found that swings in blood pressure may increase a person’s risk of various ailments, they do not suggest that changing medication or curbing blood pressure swings will lower one’s risk. The goal, whether a person has high blood pressure or not, is to keep blood pressure in a healthy range and below 140/90 mmHg, and there are natural ways to do so.
Natural ways to regulate blood pressure
The older you are the more blood pressure becomes a concern, so regulating blood pressure through natural means is a useful and helpful way to combat it. If you are on medications as per guidance of your doctor, it is important you stick to their regimen as well as practice healthy lifestyle habits.
Below are some natural ways to regulate and control blood pressure.
- Reduce stress
- Eat potassium-rich foods
- Watch and cut down on your salt intake
- Enjoy dark chocolate – in moderation!
- Stick to one alcoholic beverage a day
- Drink decaf coffee instead of caffeinated
- Drink more tea
- Try to work less – this means around 40 hours a week, not more
- Listen to music
- Treat sleep problems, especially sleep apnea
- Consume soy – with proper guidance from your doctor, of course
- Check your numbers daily
Don’t let blood pressure sneak up on you before it’s too late. With proper monitoring and healthy lifestyle choices your blood pressure can easily stay in the healthy range.