Everyone talks a lot about high blood pressure, but do you really know what does it mean if you have high blood pressure, what can happen if you have high blood pressure, and what surprising everyday health habit may actually make it worse?
What Does It Mean If You Have High Blood Pressure?
According to Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
What Can Happen If You Have High Blood Pressure?
Again, if the force of blood against your artery walls is high enough, it can eventually lead to health problems. Mayo Clinic experts say that just some of the conditions connected to high blood pressure include:
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Failure
- Nerve Damage
- Sexual Dysfunction
According to Mayo Clinic, you can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. However, hypertension can damage various parts of your body, including blood vessels and your heart – all without symptoms.
The Surprising Thing That Can Make Hypertension Worse
According to Mayo Clinic, if you have high blood pressure, you need to re-think the supplements you’re taking.
While supplements may be labelled “natural” and don’t generally need a prescription, they can affect the body in many ways. Supplements can interact with medications, change the body ‘s metabolism and cause side effects.
If you have high blood pressure, supplements on your caution list should include:
- John ‘s wort: Used to treat depression, St. John ‘s wort speeds up the metabolism of a number of medications. The blood pressure medication you take could be metabolized so quickly that it loses its effectiveness. The result could be an increase in blood pressure.
- Echinacea: Although echinacea is considered helpful for reducing cold and flu symptoms, some evidence indicates that it also changes how medications are metabolized and should be avoided.
- Ginseng: Preliminary evidence suggests that ginseng may lower blood sugar, decrease fatigue or boost the immune system. It also may raise or lower blood pressure. Ginseng is best avoided by patients with high or low blood pressure concerns.
- Ephedra: This herb contains certain chemical compounds called ephedrine, which is a type of alkaloid. This herb is known to stimulate both the nervous system and the endocrine system causing blood pressure to rise.
- Licorice: In high doses, licorice has been shown to cause both an increase in blood pressure as well as a decrease in the level of the vital mineral, potassium.
Other spices known to spike high blood pressure include: Aniseed, Capsicum, Parsley, Bayberry and Coltsfoot.
Note that many of these herbs are only a problem if you’re taking blood pressure medications. So, your goal should be to lower your blood pressure naturally, and get off these medications.
Before taking any supplement, it’s always advisable to talk with your doctor about how the supplement may affect you if you have high blood pressure.
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