Hypertension and stress

Hypertension and stress

Mention hypertension and the first thought most have is too much salt. This is only partially true. More important risk factors are obesity, diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and family history.
You may add stress to this list of predictive factors. Young Swedish conscripts that were categorized as 'easily stressed', had a far higher chance to get hypertension later in life, especially when they were already overweight as a young adult and also developed diabetes.

Fortunately, blood pressure changes due to anxiety are short-term and quite simply a fact of life. Even just communicating with other people, leads to temporary higher blood pressure. Only when stress levels are chronically high because of factors you can't control, chronic hypertension can be the result. Stress will also exacerbate existing heart conditions as it leads to an overproduction of white blood cells that inflame arteries and joints.

When you suffer from hypertension, avoiding salt seems like a logical solution, but reduced salt intake is only effective when your intake was excessive or when hypertension runs in the family. Increasing potassium or magnesium intake and avoiding stress is more effective.

Good methods to de-stress are : sleep more, meditate or do yoga, socialize, learn to manage your work better, so you won't get in a time crunch as often.
Pamper yourself with a massage or manicure.
Lead a healthy life: eat your veggies, make sure to get in enough protein and omega-3 rich foods, don't overindulge in sodium-rich foods, don't smoke, don't drink too much and exercise! Just don't let your perfectionist self ruin it by trying to get everything right all the time!

 

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