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High blood pressure
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– High blood pressure is closely linked to lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and is one of the biggest health problems in the Western world, says health counselor at the National Association for Cardiovascular Disease (LHL), Inger Elling.
She tells that about 10 percent of the population in Norway has treatment-threatening blood pressure.
This means that one in ten Norwegians need medication to regulate blood pressure, but the number of high blood pressure is probably far higher.
It is assumed that at least one fourth of the population in the Nordic countries has high blood pressure.
Some people already take medication, but for those who do not, there are also other ways to reduce the pressure.
– If you smoke, the most important thing you can do is stop smoking. As you smoke, your blood vessels get more leakage, you get easier blood clots and the risk of cardiovascular disease increases, “she says..
Do not stress
In addition, one should ensure a moderate intake of alcohol.
Factors that can increase the risk of high blood pressure
- Usunt Diet
- Type 2 diabetes
- You are a man over 55 or a woman over 65 years old
- That mother, father or both have high blood pressure
- Little physical activity
- High alcohol consumption
- Too high sodium intake (salt)
- Insufficient potassium intake
- Too little vitamin D
- Too little vitamin K
- High LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
Source: Fedon Lindberg and LHL
For women, this can also contribute to increased blood pressure
- Hormone treatment with synthetic estrogens
For women it’s a good point of not to eat more than one glass of wine or beer daily, and for men the limit should be two.
– Stress is another factor that increases the risk of high blood pressure. It does not mean you have to have a very relaxed everyday life, but the feeling of not having control over your life is not good for you, says Elling.
She says it is not uncommon that no concrete reason for high blood pressure can be found.
If you are overweight, it is also recommended to lose weight. A few kilogram weight reduction will often reduce blood pressure measurably.
– By the way, a low salt diet lowers blood pressure, avoiding any pre-food, which contains a lot of salt, salty foods and extra salt on the food, she says.
After the salty meal, you may want to go for a quick trip, cut the grass, play with the kids, take a bike ride or find something else that keeps you busy.
– The general recommendation is 30 minutes of physical activity every day, and then you talk about activity that is equivalent to fast time, “said Elling..
Get enough potassium
Dr. Fedon Lindberg confirms that blood pressure is affected by a variety of factors and that what you eat and how much you move have a lot to say.
– Increased intake of salt can lead to increased blood pressure in those genetically disposed, so ideally do not eat more than 2.45 grams of sodium daily. This corresponds to six grams of salt. However, in order to keep blood pressure stable, it is less important with enough potassium, which is found in vegetables and fruit. The ideal intake here is 4.7 grams daily, he says.
Lindberg says that a good balance between sodium and potassium is more important than the absolute intake of sodium.
Further, little magnesium can contribute to high blood pressure, as does vitamin K and vitamin D.
– And if you are overweight and have a sedentary life, the risk is further increased, he adds.
Lindberg states that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is classified as primary and secondary based on the underlying causes.
This affects the high blood pressure body
The heart needs to work harder, and the heart muscle can then be enlarged.
Over time, the cardiac muscles may weaken and this may cause swollen bones and breathlessness during physical activity.
Ear narrowing develops faster if you have high blood pressure.
This causes a risk of heart rhythm and blood clots in the heart.
High blood pressure is a major cause of blood clot in the brain and brain bleeding.
Every year around 16,000 Norwegians are affected.
Too high blood pressure can damage the kidneys.
– Primary hypertension is the most common type, and this can be prevented and treated in full or in part with diet and lifestyle changes, “says Lindberg..
For example, insufficient intake of nutrients may play a role.
– However, not every risk factor is real, he says.
Getting older that you are a woman and your genes can lead to increased risk.
This is not possible to change, although we can influence the genes expression through diet and lifestyle.
Can be cured
– Secondary hypertension accounts for only five to ten percent of the cases, and this is the result of an underlying condition. Usually it is associated with diseases of the kidneys, hormone-producing glands, veins or in the central nervous system, he says.
Lindberg says that even high blood pressure medications can sometimes contribute to secondary hypertension.
– In these cases, hypertension can often be cured if you correct the underlying cause. It is therefore important to always be carefully investigated for such reasons, and that you are not just put directly on blood pressure medications. This happens unfortunately often, he says.
Your blood pressure level
Measures related to diet and lifestyle can therefore help you if you start to get high blood pressure, but if you have already received medication from your doctor, it is important to take these.
Never stop medicines you have been prescribed without first talking to your doctor.
– For many, it is necessary to take several types of blood pressure medications to get your blood pressure well treated, “said Elling..
She adds that it’s important for everyone to know the level of her own blood pressure, and remember that you do not actually do it until you’ve measured it.
Pressure in the heart
But what is the actual blood pressure?
– Blood pressure is the pressure that the heart and pulmonary veins make to pump the blood around the body. This pressure is usually highest when the heart pulls together and pumps blood into the body, so this is called high or systolic blood pressure, says Elling.
When the heart soaks between the contraction, the pressure drops and this is called the low or diastolic pressure.
For example, if you have 120/20 blood pressure, 120 is systolic pressure and 60 diastolic.
Increases with age
– It is normal for blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day. When you exercise, get excited or work hard, blood pressure rises, and when you relax, it falls. The lowest blood pressure you have while you sleep, she says.
We share high blood pressure into two groups
High blood pressure that you do not know the reason for.
This is about 90 percent of those who have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure caused by disease in another body, such as the kidneys.
It is also common for blood pressure to increase with age and if one of your parents has high blood pressure, you also have an increased risk of getting it.
– And if both of your parents have, risk is even bigger, she adds.
According to Elling, it’s not uncommon to have high blood pressure for several years without notice anything, so it’s important to get your doctor to measure your blood pressure when you’re in control.
There is no clear indication of how high blood pressure should be.
This depends, among other things, on whether you have other risk factors for heart disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or kidney disease.
– But if you’re healthy and do not have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, your blood pressure should be 140/90 or less than your doctor’s dose, “she says..
The reason you do not want high blood pressure is simply that high blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
– And if you smoke at the same time have high cholesterol or have diabetes multiply the risk, Elling adds.