Hypertension is a serious medical condition affecting around 1.3 billion people worldwide. It is the leading preventable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, accounting for roughly 10 million deaths each year. While medication is often required, certain habits can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket, making it more difficult to control your condition.
This article will reveal five unhealthy habits that you should quit now to manage hypertension more effectively.
Eating processed food
What you eat matters when it comes to managing high blood pressure. Processed foods that contain trans or saturated fats can be especially harmful. These fats can raise bad cholesterol while decreasing good cholesterol, increasing the risk of hypertension. Choose whole foods and minimally processed options that are naturally low in these unhealthy fats instead. So, the next time you go grocery shopping, skip the junk food aisle and go straight to the fresh produce section. You can improve your diet and keep your high blood pressure under control by making these simple changes.
Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption can be a health disaster, especially if you have hypertension. Caffeine may hinder the hormone responsible for keeping your arteries open, whereas alcohol can narrow the muscles of your blood vessels, increasing your risk of hypertension, especially if you’re over 35 and a heavy drinker. To help maintain your blood pressure in check, limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption and don’t forget to explore healthier alternatives like herbal tea, fruit-infused water, and other low-sugar beverages.
Self-isolating for a long period of time
Prolonged social isolation can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular health of hypertensive people. Loneliness and isolation have been shown in studies to raise blood pressure and exacerbate hypertension, which can lead to further cardiovascular complications such as stroke and heart disease. Furthermore, chronic stress, a common result of social isolation, can cause inflammation and damage to blood vessel walls, leading to arterial stiffness and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Individuals with hypertension should therefore prioritize maintaining social connections and stress-reduction techniques.
Sleeping too late
Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality can have serious negative consequences for overall health, and this impact can be even more pronounced in hypertensive individuals. In addition to raising blood pressure, poor sleep quality can lead to the adoption of unhealthy habits such as inactivity and poor food choices. Doctors recommend that adults aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night, with the optimal sleep time being between 10 and 11 p.m. Individuals with hypertension should also sleep on their left side, which can help relieve blood vessel tension and lower blood pressure.
Smoking tobacco or using vape
Having hypertension while also smoking cigarettes is just like adding more fuel to the fire. It significantly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in hypertensive individuals due to blood vessel constriction and plaque buildup in the arteries. Quitting smoking is crucial for reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications and improving overall health. Alternatives to smoking, such as nicotine replacement therapy and counseling, can help people quit. It is also important to note that vaping has been linked to hypertension, with studies showing that it can cause a significant increase in blood pressure immediately after use. While more research is needed, people with hypertension should avoid both vaping and smoking cigarettes.