Causes of High Diastolic Blood Pressure Readings and What to Do About Them

You’re probably familiar with the blood pressure cuff your doctor uses but do you really understand what he is measuring?

Blood pressure is the force that the heart places on the walls of your blood vessels when it pumps and relaxes. When the heart pumps the pressure goes up and this is called systolic pressure. When the heart relaxes, the pressure goes down and this is know as diastolic pressure.

A normal blood pressure reading is considered to be 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. If your diastolic is between 80 and 100 you are pre-hypertensive. If it is over 100 you have hypertension and will probably be placed on medications.

If you have a high diastolic reading you probably have a high systolic reading as well. It really doesn’t matter though because high diastolic pressure carries the same life threatening conditions as systolic.

High diastolic blood pressure is more common in young adults, teens and even children. It’s been suggested that birth weight may have a direct connection to this condition.

The three principal cause of high diastolic pressure are:

  • Obesity: Overweight people with a high Body Mass Index place additional pressure on the arterial system creating higher blood pressure. Excess fat and cholesterol can stiffen the arteries and clog them with plaque causing the heart to have to pump harder.
  • Diet: One of the biggest contributors to HBP and the principal cause of obesity, is an unhealthy diet rich in salt, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. A diet with these characteristics can damage blood vessels at the cell level. This diet encourages oxidation which weakens cells, hardens arteries, and creates plaque.
  • Smoking: Putting nicotine in your body is not a good idea. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels increasing blood pressure and also causes the heart to beat faster.

So if you are an overweight smoker who thinks Burger King is gourmet food, you are probably in real danger.

The obvious solution is to set aside time to exercise. Thirty minutes of walking or cycling will have an immediate impact on your blood pressure ading as well as exercise the heart muscle and arteries.

Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and vasodilators. Antioxidants fight free radicals which cause oxidation. Vasodilators allow the blood vessels to dilate and handle the pressure more efficiently. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources for both these characteristics.

Just say no to tobacco.

The more our society tries to make life convenient the further we get from the natural fuels that our body requires. Unfortunately, convenience and automation have a cost. That cost is nearly 70 million Americans with high blood pressure. Now is the time to take responsibility for your health and make the changes you need to avoid stroke, kidney failure and heart attack and ensure a longer healthier life.

Your heart will thank you.

Source by Rachel Willson

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