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7 things you do that cause high blood pressure

18 May 2020
2 minute read

Woman feeding cake to boyfriend

We know that poor eating habits and stress can cause high blood pressure, which may cause health problems like heart disease and strokes. But did you know that these things also raise your blood pressure? 

Sleep apnea Constant interruptions in your breathing during sleep causes sudden drops in blood oxygen levels, which puts strain on the cardiovascular system and increases blood pressure. If you have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about what you can do to address it.

DehydrationWhen you’re dehydrated, your body releases a chemical that narrows your blood vessels, affecting blood pressure. Drink eight glasses of water each day to keep your body well hydrated.

Decongestants Some decongestants contain pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which temporarily narrow your blood vessels. If you have high blood pressure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about choosing safer sinus medications.

Too much sugar Consuming too much sugar may be associated with high blood pressure, and with the weight gain that also contributes to the condition. Natural sugar contained in fruits and veggies is fine but cut back on added sugar in processed foods and sweetened drinks.

Talking Your blood pressure rises automatically when you start speaking, and will go higher if you’re angry or emotional. Try to manage anger and stress.

Too little potassium Blood pressure is dependent on keeping your kidneys and blood vessels functioning optimally, and that means getting enough potassium in your diet. Potassium is found in fruits (bananas especially), leafy green vegetables, beans and fish.

Drinking alcohol Alcohol temporarily spikes your blood pressure. Alcohol is also high in sugar and calories which adds on weight, a common cause of high blood pressure. Drink moderately (one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men).

Common causes of high blood pressureAs well as the more surprising contributors to high blood pressure, be aware of these more commonly known causes:

Being overweightExtra weight puts extra pressure on the heart, which has to use more force to pump blood, which in turn causes high blood pressure. Maintain a healthy weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Too much salt Causes your body to retain water in order to "wash" the salt out of your system, which puts pressure on your heart and blood vessels. Stick to no more than about one teaspoon of salt per day and avoid processed foods and snacks which are often highly salted.

StressStress causes a surge of hormones that make the heart beat faster and blood vessels narrow, heightening your blood pressure. Ongoing stress can eventually damage your heart and blood vessels, causing high blood pressure.

just one day after quitting smoking, your blood pressure begins to drop

SmokingCigarette smoking can cause an immediate spike in blood pressure, as nicotine prompts the nervous system to release chemicals that constrict blood vessels. In just one day after quitting smoking, your blood pressure begins to drop.

Outro: High blood pressure is known as the silent killer as there are no obvious telltale signs that you have it. It’s a good idea to get it checked at your pharmacy or doctor and find out how often you should get checked. The best way to ensure your blood pressure stays within normal range is eat healthily, exercise moderately and cut down on bad habits.

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