High blood pressure, or hypertension, is defined as a sustained increase in optimal/normal blood pressure. A hypertension diagnosis would be given if your systolic blood pressure is over 140mmHg and/or your diastolic blood pressure is over 90mmHg.
Interestingly, high blood pressure typically develops after the age of 20. The prevalence is higher among men until the age of 55. Then as women go through menopause they become at higher risk as they age due to hormonal changes.
signs & symptoms
Hypertension for the most part can go undetected as most people have no signs or symptoms. Some people with unmanaged high blood pressure can experience:
- increased perspiration
- flushed skin complexion
This is just one example of why it is so important to see a medical professional for your annual check-up.
There are several factors that may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure as you age, including:
- Family history i.e. genetics
- Pre-existing cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis or high cholesterol
- Insulin resistance i.e. diabetes
- Excess body weight e.g. obesity
- Low birth weight
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic stress
- Chronic or heavy alcohol use
- Long term use of anti-inflammatories
- Oral contraceptive use
- Taking medications containing pseudoephedrine
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Heavy caffeine use e.g. 5 cups/shots of coffee per day
- Recreational drug use e.g. cocaine
- High salt consumption
- High carbohydrate consumption
- Cadmium and/or lead toxicity
- Food sensitivities
- Low fibre intake
- Age, especially if over 55 years old
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Mood disorders, particularly depression, anxiety, and repressed anger
Some of the best things you can do to prevent high blood pressure come from lifestyle choices, such as:
- Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat e.g. Mediterranean diet
- Stop smoking
- Reduce salt intake
- Focus on stress management. Try yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage, hypnosis, and/or breathing exercises. Seek professional counselling for resolving emotional imbalances and past traumas.
- Move your body daily for at least 30mins
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Lose excess weight and abdominal fat – A healthy waist circumference is below 80cm in women and 90cm in men.
The obvious one being a blood pressure test performed at home with an approved blood pressure monitor or by visiting your preferred health professional. An Omega-3 Index test can also help determine your high blood pressure risk associated with Omega-3 deficiency. As an additional step DNA testing can also help identify specific nutritional requirements that relate to your unique genetics.
Apart from the pharmaceutical treatments that include a variety of blood pressure stabilizers, that should be discussed with your health professional, there is a lot that can be done from a nutritional and lifestyle standpoint.
It is important to note that high blood pressure is actually the body’s natural response to inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, so it is essential that this be addressed for long-term success. In addition to the diet and lifestyle change the supplements that show promise include:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols)
- Vitamin K2
- Activated B vitamins, especially folate and B12
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
If you are ready to get your health under control and need some personalized professional guidance make sure you book your FREE Discovery Chat in our online clinic today. Our wide selection of high-quality professional products are available as part of your free consultation and we express post products Australia-wide.