Obesity and high blood pressure
Being overweight and obese puts you at great risk of developing many health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. There is a relationship between obesity and high blood pressure and if you can even lose a small weight you can prevent high blood pressure. Generally, people with body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above are at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure.
Overweight or obese people need more oxygen and nutrients in order to live because of the additional fat tissue in their bodies. In this condition their blood vessels need to circulate more blood to the fat tissue so, their heart must pump more blood through additional blood vessels. More addition more circulating blood means more pressure on the artery walls and consequently increasing blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure also known as HBP or hypertension is a health condition when the blood pressure is consistently too high because of the force of flowing blood through the blood vessels. If high blood pressure left untreated it can cause serious health conditions such as heart failure, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease. Hypertension is associated with some symptoms such as headache, vomiting, breathlessness, dizziness, nausea, nosebleeds, blurred or double vision, and heart palpitations.
High blood pressure causes and risk factors
The causes of high blood pressure divide into two categories. Essential high blood pressure that has no establish cause and secondary high blood pressure is causing increased blood pressure. Although there is no identified cause for essential high blood pressure, there is strong evidence that specific factors developing essential high blood pressure as well as secondary high blood pressure such as:
- Age. As a person get older the risk of high blood pressure will increase because the blood vessels become less flexible.
- Obesity and being overweight. It is one of the main factors that developing high blood pressure.
- Smoking. Tobacco intake narrows the blood vessels and reduces the blood’s oxygen content, so causes the heart pumps faster to compensate and consequently increase blood pressure.
- Alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol in excessive amount can increase the blood pressure and put you at a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat.
- Family history. If you have a close family member who suffers from hypertension, you are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Sex. Hypertension is more common among adult men although the risk of high blood pressure among women will increase after 55 years.
- High cholesterol. According to statistic, more than 50 percent of all people with high blood pressure have high cholesterol.
- Pregnancy. The risk of developing high blood pressure is more among pregnant woman.
- Diabetes. It is another factor that increases the risk of hypertension.
- Sleep apnea. Because of stop breathing while asleep, blood pressure may increase.
- Poor diet. Food diet containing much fat and salt, increase the risk of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure treatment
Treatment of hypertension depends on different factors such as the severity and associated risks of developing other health condition like stroke and cardiovascular disease. But there are some treatment methods for high blood pressure such as:
People with high blood pressure should change their lifestyle through regular exercise and losing weight. According to researches walking for 30 minutes on 3-4 days of the week decrease the blood pressure by 4 mm Hg. Studies have shown that even moderate weight loss (between 5 to 10 pounds) can decrease blood pressure. For losing weight you should follow a healthy diet and doing regular exercise. But if you couldn’t lose weight by diet and exercise you can undertake bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery is an effective way for obese people to improve their high blood pressure. There are different types of bariatric surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy surgery and bypass surgery that help you to decrease your blood pressure.
According to different studies, certain relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and guided breathing can affect to decrease blood pressure, although it is a low effect.
There is a strong relationship between poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation with high blood pressure.
There are also some common medications for high blood pressure that your doctor may prescribe for you including Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers, Thiazide diuretics, Beta-blockers, and Renin inhibitors.
Following a healthy diet is an effective way to control high blood pressure. Your food diet should include fruits and vegetables, omega oils and unrefined carbohydrates. Your diet should also contain low salt. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also recommend a special diet for people with high blood pressure called DASH which emphasized on vegetables, fruits, seeds, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.