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Hypertension Physical and Environmental Factors

Posted by on Thursday, December 24, 2009, 15:02
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Habits And Hypertension
An increased risk of high blood pressure, especially the malignant variety, is incurred by smoking and tobacco use. Nicotine from tobacco chewed or smoked is a vasoconstrictive agent, aggravating the blood vessel narrowing that is the immediate cause of the hypertension .

Alcohol in modest or great amounts is strongly related to the risk for high blood pressure, and coffee and caffeine lead to mild elevations in some but not all studies. Overweight persons have a higher risk of developing hypertension. Increased demands on the heart and changes in hormone chemistry are thought to explain the risk.

Genetic Hypertension
Familial susceptibility makes offspring significantly more vulnerable to influences of excess sodium and loss of potassium. The genetic factor is relatively small compared to learning experiences and other lifestyle factors.

Diet And Hypertension
Since vegetarians have consistently lower blood pressures than carnivores who also eat meat, the latter practice probably contributes to hypertension. Even utilizing the balance of foods in the government food pyramid nudges people toward a more vegetarian diet.

The better forms of animal protein are deep-sea, cold water fish, consumed at up to three to five meals per week. Sugar. In laboratory rats, groups consuming 10, 15, and 20 percent of total calories as sucrose for 14 weeks had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than rats consuming no sucrose. Sucrose in western diets averages more than 20 percent of calories.

It is also important to avoid high glycemic index foods. Studies in humans also suggest that increased salt retention and elevated blood pressure occur with higher intake of sugars. Nutrient deficiencies. Deficiency in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc from the diet is known to contribute to high blood pressure.

Excess sodium, chiefly from salt, raises blood pressure in the one person out of six who is sodium sensitive. Dehydration, as with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, increases risk.
In hypertension there tends to be a deficiency of taurine, a nonessential amino acid obtained in small amounts in food and also synthesized in the body. Food sensitizing agents.

High blood pressure can be a response to food sensitivities. The probability that food sensitivities will play a role is greater in persons with a family history of allergies, those with food cravings or habitual ingestion of great amounts of a few foods, and those whose hypertension seems to come and go.

Careful history taking and food elimination and reexposure trials can identify offending sensitizingfoods. The most common food offenders include chocolate, corn, nuts (especially peanuts), pork, coffee, milk, wheat, rice, beef, shrimp, seafood, chicken, and apples. Caffeine is known to elevate blood pressure and should be avoided by anyone who has even occasional elevated readings.

Environmental Hypertension
Hypertensive patients have higher blood levels of lead (gasoline, paint, drinking water) and three times higher amounts of cadmium (batteries and cigarettes) than nonhypertensive persons. All toxins, including these heavy metals, provoke increased levels of free radicals in the body, and hypertension is on the long list of diseases linked to this problem. Hypertension is more common in persons exposed to inhalant sensitizing agents, including chemical odors (natural gas, gasoline fumes, chlorine), air pollution, auto exhaust,, soft plastic, cleaning chemicals (Lysol, phenol), perfume, polyurethane, tobacco smoke, polyesters, fiberglass, Naugahyde, new carpeting, formaldehyde, pesticides, pest strips, and foam rubber.

The probability that inhalant sensitivities will play a role in hypertension is greater in persons with a personal or family history of allergies and those whose hypertension varies by the season or geographical location. Careful history taking can often identify offending sensitizing agents.

Exercise And Hypertension
If you are sedentary, you increase your risks of hypertension about 50 percent. Since tension accruing from stressful experiences is dissipated during physical exercise, you may simply miss the opportunity to wind yourself down.

The elevated blood pressure that occurs with athletic or vigorous physical exertion is much less damaging because it does not remain sustained after the exertion is terminated. The gradual rise in blood pressures that accompanies aging occurs much less often in people who remain physically fit.

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