High blood pressure: One simple way to lower your reading
High blood pressure is silent but potentially deadly. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means the pressure of the blood in the arteries is consistently too high, causing the heart to work harder and more inefficiently to pump blood around the body. If ignored, it can lead to a serious heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. It is therefore imperative to keep bp readings in check.
The condition is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight and smoking.
Addressing these triggers normally does the trick. However, there is one simpler way to lower blood sugar levels.
According to Dr Stephen Sinatra, drinking water is a natural way to lower a surging bp. How does drinking water raise lower high blood pressure? Dr Sinatra explained: “Water intake affects blood pressure in two ways. First, when you don’t drink enough water your body attempts to secure its fluid supply by retaining sodium. Sodium is your body’s “water-insurance mechanism”.
“At the same time, dehydration forces your body to gradually and systematically close down some of its capillary beds. When some capillary beds shut down, it puts more pressure in the “pipes”— your capillaries and arteries — elevating your blood pressure. So, one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure naturally is by staying well-hydrated.”
To get the maximum health benefits of drinking water, a person should drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day, said Dr Sinatra.
Drinking too much water can overwork the kidneys and digestive system
Don’t overdo it, however, warned Dr Sinatra. It will take some time for the body to absorb the increased intake. Drinking too much water can overwork the kidneys and digestive system.
Hypertension, diabetes, and stress all leave the kidneys in a weakened state, so be careful, he added.
He added: “If you have congestive heart failure, kidney issues, or are taking diuretics and/or are on fluid restrictions, consult your physician before increasing your water intake.
“That’s because hypertension, diabetes, and stress all leave the kidneys in a weakened state.”
Exercising regularly – an effective remedy for high bp – will require more fluid intake, however, said Dr Sinatra. “You lose water through sweat and evaporation. So, to get the full benefits of drinking water you want to hydrate well before, during, and after exercise.”
According to the NHS, making the following lifestyle changes should also reduce a spike in bp:
- Cut your salt intake to less than 6g (0.2oz) a day, which is about a teaspoonful
- Eat a low-fat, balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – get tips on eating more healthily
- Be active – read some tips about getting more exercise
- Cut down on alcohol – get tips on cutting down, including downloading a drinks diary and keeping track of your drinking
- Lose weight – find out what your ideal weight is using the BMI healthy weight calculator and read advice about losing weight if you’re overweight
- Drink less caffeine which can be found in coffee, tea and cola
- Stop smoking and make sure you get help quitting
- Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night – read some tips for getting to sleep
The only way to assess whether your bp is in the red is have a blood pressure test, said the health body. This can be conducted a number of places, such as a local GP clinic. It can be conducted at home too – this can offer a more accurate reflection of your bp reading, it said, as you can monitor real-time fluctuations.
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