High blood pressure does more than put stress on our arteries, it allows our arteries to collect plaque on the inner walls. Layer upon layer of plaque can collect in our arterial inner walls. This layering makes the inside of our arteries narrow. As a result, blood flow to the heart slows down. When this happens we feel chest pain (angina). If ignored, the plaque will continue to build until it completely shuts off blood flow in that artery to the heart. And then, it’s happened. You’re having a genuine heart attack.
When our heart pumps, it pumps in two moves. “lub dub”, “lub dub”. The “Lub” is our heart pumping. The “Dub” is our heart relaxing between beats. Our blood pressure is measured in systolic and diastolic pressure. Our top number is our systolic pressure and our bottom number is our diastolic pressure. A blood pressure of 120/80 is a systolic pressure of 120 (“lub”)and a diastolic pressure of 80 (“dub”). Now we don’t want those numbers to get too high. If our systolic pressure is too high (our top number) we are working our heart too hard. Beating our heart up a high systolic pressure does. If our diastolic pressure (bottom number) is too high, that means that our heart is not relaxing enough. How long do you think you would last working too hard combined with not resting enough? That’s exactly the state of many people today as far as their blood pressure goes. Their heart is over worked and under rested. High blood pressure can KILL you.
High blood pressure also puts a lot of stress on our kidneys. Our kidneys serve as filters for our blood. Think of our kidneys like a coffee filter. If we were to pour a pitcher of water with grains of sand slowly through the coffee filter, the water would run through the filter but the sand would collect inside the filter. Your kidneys work the same way. Blood runs through them and your kidneys filter out the stuff your body doesn’t need and send it to your bladder to be expelled as urine. Now what if you took that water and used it with high water pressure against that coffee filter? It would likely destroy the filter. If your blood pressure is high, the blood going through your kidneys is going though at a much harder rate. That in turn, puts stress on your kidneys.
The two main causes for high blood pressure are too much sodium in your diet (salt) and/or obesity. These are all things that we have control over in most cases. We can loose weight and get in shape and we can cut down our salt intake.
Doctors treat high blood pressure with medications and advising their patient on the foods to eat and the foods to eliminate or cut back on.
The USA sadly has one of the highest rates of obesity and heart disease in the world. The sad thing is that high blood pressure is one of the easiest things to treat. It’s up to us to follow our doctor’s orders, cut back on salt, and loose weight. Once our heart is damaged, it’s permanent. Once our kidneys are damaged, it’s permanent. Let’s make these changes in our eating habits and exercise routine BEFORE irreversible damage is done.