High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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It is estimated around a third of adults globally have high blood pressure, putting them at a daily peril of stroke. Symptoms seldom appear in the initial stages, but progressive damage to blood vessels could eventually produce symptoms. At this stage, three distinctive feelings may arise in the legs.
According to the World Health Organisation, the first symptoms of high blood pressure are early morning headaches, nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, vision changes and buzzing in the ears.
In severe cases, symptoms can intensify, leading to fatigue, vomiting, nausea, confusion, anxiety, chest pain and muscle tremors.
WebMD explains: “Normally, the vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body have a smooth inner lining.
“They’re strong and flexible enough to push blood through your body.
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“High blood pressure changes this. The extra force of blood can damage the cells on the inside walls of your arteries.”
Since there is rarely a way for this pressure to let up, it can cause tears to the smooth inner lining.
This in turn may roughen the inner lining of the vessel, enabling fatty molecules travelling in the blood stream to latch onto it.
Arterial walls that become padded with fatty plaque can decrease circulation to the extremities.
As blood flow to the muscles starts to hinder, individuals will likely experience pain, aching and cramping.
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According to the Kansas City Foot Specialists’ website, people with suspected high blood pressure should also inspect their lower legs for changes in temperature or skin tone.
Occasionally, a weakened pulse in the feet could cause a burning sensation, or numbness and tingling.
Cramping after exercise is also likely to occur, as the heightened demand for oxygen isn’t met.
The health body warns: “While it may not seem that these are serious problems by themselves, they are precursors to potentially fatal circulatory diseases.
“If your legs and feet are frequently swelling, then your high blood pressure may have already started contributing to heart disease.
“Take these symptoms seriously and have your legs and feet checked by a podiatrist.”
How to lower high blood pressure
High blood pressure isn’t a death sentence, but failure to act could have dire consequences.
Fortunately, there is evidence that adhering to a healthy lifestyle can reverse the condition completely.
One non-negotiable rule is limiting the intake of sodium-containing foods, as these promote water retention.
“The extra fluid in your body can raise your blood pressure and force your heart to work harder,” explains MyHealth.Alberta.ca.
Nitrate-containing foods, on the other hand, have the opposite effect.
In fact, several studies have demonstrated that nitrates offer an effective and long-lasting reduction in blood pressure.
Vegetables particularly rich in nitrates include leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, rocket, radishes, and parsley.
Coupled with a regular exercise routine, eating such foods can significantly lower the risk of hypertension-related complications.
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