Various Causes That Can Increase Your Blood Pressure
Every time your heart beats, it pushes blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your arteries to reach the rest of your body. But when your blood pressure is high, it’s a sign that your heart has to work too hard to push that blood where it needs to go. The result is damaged arteries, a worn-out heart, and an increased risk of heart disease, which is also responsible for the deaths of one in three women each year.
Here are some causes of high blood pressure that you should be aware:
Sitting on Your Butt
While the most visible way that sitting all day results in high blood pressure is by promoting fat storage and weight gain, it’s also true that the less you get your heart pumping and working throughout the day, the less effective it will become at doing its job over time. And most women don’t enough work out to work against the effects of sitting disease.
By putting the pedal your nervous system to the metal, stress causes your adrenal glands to pump out blood pressure-increasing hormones. Plus, your body’s normal fight-or-flight response causes your blood vessels to contract. That’s a good way to avoid blood loss if you’re a cavewoman who just had a close call with a lion. But it’s less than helpful when you’re keyed up at work over a cruel boss and looming deadlines. The longer you spend in this stressed-out condition, the more strain you put on your heart.
Overdoing It on Alcohol
Alcohol use in moderation is really associated with lower cardiac mortality, possibly because alcohol increases good cholesterol levels and dilates the blood vessels of the body. But overload alcohol tends to jazz up the sensitive nervous system and increase blood pressure. Moreover overdoing it at happy hour can pack on the pounds, which will increase your blood pressure.
Eating Too Much Salt
You maybe hate the way a bag of chips or, more especially, its sodium that makes you bloat. But there’s a whole other cause to hate salt’s water-retaining ways. When your kidneys react to excess sodium intake by retaining water, you end up with too many fluids running through your bloodstream, which can increase the pressure on your blood vessels.
Taking Certain Medications
There is no end to the number of medications that list increases blood pressure as a possible side effect. Among the most commonly used ones are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, certain antidepressants, decongestants, and hormonal birth control. Some medications raise blood pressure by causing you to retain water, while others just cause your blood vessels to tighten.
Smoking (Even Occasionally)
Even if you don’t think yourself a smoker, the rare cigarette every now and then can add up to high blood pressure. The nicotine from just one cigarette can cause your blood vessels to provisionally narrow, and tobacco smoke itself physically damages the cells that make up your blood vessels. As a result, inflexible, stiff blood vessels, and an ever-increasing risk of high blood pressure.
If you already have high blood pressure, then it is necessary to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should regularly get medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will consist of healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.