Often, high blood pressure can be attributed to diet and lifestyle issues.
The renin-angiotensin system consists of hormones and enzymes that regulate blood pressure. Imbalances can be triggered in various ways.
The kidneys regulate minerals including sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Too much sodium (salt) can lead to water retention (as sodium attracts water).
What are the dangers of high blood pressure?
An imbalance of fluid or minerals in the renin-angiotensin system can increase blood pressure. If not addressed, high blood pressure will cause inflammation that can lead to issues such as:
- heart disease
- heart attack
- aneurysms (blood pushing against weakened or damaged artery walls that can lead to a rupture and cause internal bleeding
- atherosclerosis (increased high blood pressure from narrowing of the arteries via LDL cholesterol build-up)
- embolisms (when blood flow in an artery is blocked by a foreign body, such as a blood clot or an air bubble)
Are there any particular signs to look out for?
Although many do not experience obvious symptoms, there are some that you should be aware of and seek medical advice for if applicable:
- regular headaches
- bouts of dizziness
- frequent shortness of breath
- episodes of blurred vision
- swollen feet and ankles
How can I lower my blood pressure?
My top tips are:
- eat lots of fruit and vegetables to top up antioxidant levels
- look to include good levels of fibre and unsaturated fats in your daily meals and snacks
- eat oily fish, nuts and seeds for their anti-inflammatory omega-3 content and circulation system boosting effect
- drink 1.5 to 2 litres of hydrating fluids per day (e.g. water, fruit teas, herbal teas, juice diluted in water, coconut water, green tea) to support fluid balance and the kidneys
- if overweight – make a conscious effort to lose weight sensibly and gradually
- exercise – even regular short walks can help a lot
- cut back on processed and refined foods like ready meals, white bread, white pasta, biscuits, crisps, etc.
- reduce levels of salt, sugar, caffeine, smoking and alcohol