Do You Know This Before? – The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Hypertension

The human airways allow speech, swallowing and breathing. They are made up of soft muscles and tissues and do not contain any bony structures that allows them to be flexible. When this passage collapses during sleep, it could be due to loss in muscle tone, or a defect in the framework such as fat accumulation around the tongue or soft palate. This causes the person to choke during sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a choking sensation that happens when a lack of oxygen causes the body to repeatedly wake up and gasp to open up the airways. This is a protective mechanism.

How does having OSA cause hypertension?

Many researchers have identified sleep apnea as a factor in high BP. When there are low levels of oxygen in the body, it activates the autonomic nervous and hormonal systems that are responsible for controlling BP. The blood vessels begin to narrow and other bodily changes occur, leading to high BP.

Almost half of OSA sufferers develop hypertension. This link is so strong that it prompted the Joint National Committee on High Blood Pressure to cite sleep apnea as a cause in secondary hypertension.

Empirical Evidence Linking OSA with Hypertension

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that middle age adults who were not treated for obstructive sleep apnea had a 2 to 3 fold higher risk of having high blood pressure within an 8 year period.

A Canadian study found that for each episode of sleep apnea that occurred per hour, the chance of developing hypertension also went up by 1%. In addition, for every ten percent drop in nighttime oxygen levels, the percentage of acquiring hypertension went up by 13%. Further, this Sleep Heart Health Study found that in severe OSA cases, both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings were higher and consequently nighttime blood pressure. The rise in high BP was in proportion to the severity and presence of OSA. These individuals also had higher daytime levels of blood pressure.

How does treating OSA reduce the risk of developing hypertension?

Using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for treating OSA has a positive effect on reducing the risk of developing hypertension. In CPAP therapy, gentle streams of air are pumped into the airways, preventing them from collapsing during sleep. Many research studies have demonstrated that people with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea who are treated with nasal CPAP had lower blood pressure reading during the night and day.

In a HIPARCO trial study conducted in several centres, patients with OSA and high blood pressure who were not responding to conventional treatment, received CPAP therapy for 12 weeks. This caused a reduction in a 24-hour mean as well as diastolic blood pressure. It also improved blood pressure patterns at night. A 4-hour use of the CPAP machine is required each night in order for a significant decrease in BP levels.

What are the benefits of using CPAP in hypertension?

Using CPAP leads to a reduction in BP amongst all patients, regardless of whether they are using antihypertensive medications. Patients who refuse CPAP and are offered supplemental oxygen instead, do not experience the same benefits as those using CPAP.

Using CPAP effectively reduces sleep apnea related symptoms and comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

If you are experiencing high BP levels and are unable to get sound sleep, you should visit a qualified sleep doctor to rule sleep apnea.

You Should Know This – Effective Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Without Medication!

With all of the huge advances in modern technology and modern medicine, you would think that the human race would be fitter and healthier than ever before, with a life expectancy to reflect this. However, unfortunately, that is not the case at all, as life expectancies are actually, for the first time in history, on the decline. This is absurd when you consider how advanced we are, and whilst it should not be happening, sadly, it is happening. Worldwide obesity rates are at record breaking highs, our diets are unhealthier than ever before, and more and more of us are leading increasing sedentary lives. Combine all of the above, and you have a recipe for poor health, leading to all kinds of health complications. Currently, hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is proving to be one of the biggest health risks in the entire world, with the condition contributing to more than 15% of all deaths in the United States alone. The condition is prevalent in countries all over the globe, and as a result, it needs to be stopped sooner, rather than later. Suffering with hypertension will increase your risk of being affected by conditions including:

· Strokes

· Heart attacks

· Renal failure

· Aneurisms

· Cognitive failure

· And more…

The good news however, is that there are a number of ways to lower blood pressure naturally, without the need to rely on drugs and medications. Whilst these medications can indeed prove to be useful ways to lower blood pressure, much of the time, these drugs cause a whole host of harmful side effects, which then need controlling with other medications, which also cause harmful side effects, which need controlling with other drugs, and so on. Because of this, people are instead now looking for natural ways to lower blood pressure and take back their health. If this applies to you, we’ll now be taking a look at some of the most effective methods of naturally lowering blood pressure, so have a read, and see what you think.

Get plenty of regular exercise – In terms of lowering blood pressure, you don’t get more natural than good old fashioned exercise, and if you’re guilty of being a couch potato that gets little exercise other than getting up and walking to the fridge, you will need to change this as soon as you possibly can. Experts have revealed that around 30 minutes of moderate exercise performed 3 – 5 times per week, could actually reduce your blood pressure by as much as 9 mm Hg (Millimetres of Mercury). For best results, it is low/moderate intensity forms of exercise that are the most beneficial, with cardiovascular movements and activities proving especially popular. Activities such as walking, jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, and even dancing, are all very effective at helping to get your blood pressure down, in a relatively quick amount of time. Not only is exercise a great way of battling hypertension, exercise is also a great way of avoiding the condition altogether. If you are suffering from pre-hypertension, where you are dangerously close to suffering from hypertension, regular physical exercise can actually get your numbers down to safe and healthy levels. Be careful of extreme exercises and workouts however, because if you push yourself too hard, you could actually put your blood pressure up.

Lose weight – As mentioned, obesity levels all across the globe, are higher than ever before, and that is obviously having a knock-on effect when it comes to people’s blood pressure levels. As your weight begins to increase, so too will your blood pressure, as the body and major organs are having to work harder to deal with the added weight that you are carrying. As if that wasn’t bad enough however, being overweight can lead to sleep apnea, which is another condition that has been found to nudge blood pressure levels up even further. If you’re looking for safe and natural ways to lower blood pressure, a great place to begin is with your weight. Providing you are overweight, losing weight will very quickly help get your blood pressure levels down. You should lose your weight in a safe and controlled manner, so make sure you do it through exercise and healthy eating, rather than crash dieting, or any other extreme measures. Studies have found that individuals who carry a lot of abdominal body fat, are most at risk of suffering from hypertension.

Reduce salt intakes – Whilst salt is indeed a very tasty food seasoning, too much sodium (salt) has been proven to cause a dramatic spike in blood pressure levels, which is why you should cut back on your salt intakes if you’re worried about your blood pressure. Ideally, you should limit the amount of sodium you consume to less than around 2,300mg each day. If however, you are sensitive to salt, this should be reduced to just 1500mg each day. Individuals that are generally considered sensitive to salt are: people aged 51 or over, people suffering with hypertension, kidney disease, or diabetes, as well as African Americans. Whilst it may seem difficult, once you get the hang of things, reducing sodium intakes is actually very simple. To begin with, if you do cook and season your food, use less salt. On top of that, you can purchase low sodium salts, you can read salt/sodium contents on food packaging, you can avoid processed meals, and you can avoid junk food. It may be tough, but of you ease into things and make small changes, you will see big results.

Clean up your diet – In terms of how to naturally lower blood pressure, cleaning up your diet is another great place to begin, for a number of reasons. If you cut out processed and unhealthy junk food, and replace it with fresh, healthy, and natural foods instead, you will be giving your body what it needs. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables as they are full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the body thrives upon. On top of that, get your protein from lean and natural sources, ensure your fats are also healthy, and get the majority of your carbohydrates from complex sources. Experts have found that diets rich in healthy produce, and low in unhealthy ingredients, can get your blood pressure down by as much as 14 mm Hg. In particular, think about consuming foods rich in Potassium, such as Kale, Spinach, and Bananas, as Potassium has been found to help suppress the effects of sodium on a person’s blood pressure levels.

If you smoke – quit – Smoking is one of the unhealthiest and damaging habits that a person could ever take up, yet sadly, millions of people all across the globe are smoking cigarettes on a daily basis. Not only does smoking make you smell bad, it also stains your teeth and hands, it ages the skin, it costs a fortune, oh, and it causes a number of different forms of cancer. The damaging effects of smoking don’t stop there however, as smoking also increases your blood pressure each time you have a cigarette. The more you smoke, the more your blood pressure will increase. Cigarettes are packed full of harmful chemicals that have incredibly damaging effects on the body, and because they are addictive, quitting smoking can be tough. However, it can be done, and if you do happen to quit smoking, your life expectancy and your health will both improve drastically.

Try not to get stressed – Obviously, telling somebody to not get stressed is far easier said than done, because we all know how stressful life can be, and how certain situations can cause us to feel stressed and anxious. Some people however, get stressed over things that truthfully, should not cause them to feel stressed at all. If you are one of those people, if you feel yourself getting wound up, stop, take some deep breaths, and remind yourself that it really is not worth it. For example, if you are driving and you get stuck behind a slow driver – so what? Unless you are late for something, your day will not be affected at all, and screaming and shouting will just make you feel even worse, and will gradually bump up your blood pressure. Obviously some things may be out of your control, but if things that are in your control are causing you to feel stressed, then stop, take a few moments, and try to calm yourself down. To help you better cope and deal with your stressors, try changing the way you think, know what your triggers are, look for solutions instead of complaining, and truthfully unless it really is serious, just don’t sweat it. You can also try various relaxation techniques in your free time, which will not only help to reduce your stress, but may even prove to be effective ways of naturally lowering blood pressure.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly – Finally, whether you suffer from hypertension, pre-hypertension, or you just want to ensure that your blood pressure levels remain stable, you should make sure that you have your blood pressure levels checked on a regular basis. For best results, rather than purchasing a tester yourself, you should have it done by a professional, who will have the best equipment and expertise, and will be able to provide you with an accurate reading. By having your blood pressure checked regularly, you will not only be able to get an accurate reading of your blood pressure levels, but you will also be able to get an idea as to whether or not, your various techniques for naturally lowering your blood pressure levels are working. If you have been doing more exercise for the last few weeks, and you see that your blood pressure has dropped compared to your last test, you know that the exercise is working, which may then spur you on and motivate you to keep going. Providing you are able to get your blood pressure levels into safe readings, you may only need to see a doctor 1 – 2 times per year, although if your levels are high, your doctor will wish to see you on a more frequent basis, in order to monitor your blood pressure levels.

Important – Fruits That Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, which is more commonly known as high blood pressure (BP), is one of the primary health problems that a lot of persons are scared to come across. Consuming more fruits and vegetables has been seen to help lower blood pressure. This article would like to apprise us of the easy to find fruits that can help to reduce and prevent hypertension.

Apples

Eating an apple a day may not effectively keep the physician away, but it may help to lower high BP. Apples contain potent antioxidants that decrease the body’s blood pressure and shield blood vessels from damage, which plays a role in maintaining healthy BP.

Banana

An average-size banana holds more than 400 mg potassium and only 1 mg of sodium. Potassium is one of the essential electrolytes in the body and works with sodium to help control heart function and fluid balance; an important factor in controlling hypertension.

Strawberries

Strawberries are a great ally in treating and preventing hypertension. At least, 8 strawberries contain 240 mg of potassium and 1.44 mg of sodium, a great proportion to sustain a blood pressure.

Papaya

A papaya comprises 781 mg of potassium, a mineral, and electrolyte that helps to regulate hypertension. In fact, the American Heart Association suggests we get 4,700 mg of potassium a day to control our blood pressure. Consume fresh papaya on an empty stomach for about one month, will lower the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, and is an efficient remedy for hypertension.

Blueberries

Blueberries are relatively low in sugar while being high in fibre and heart-healthy antioxidants. Previous studies have revealed that ladies who consumed more than three servings per week of blueberries (and strawberries) had a 32 percent lower chance of having a heart attack. The benefit was due to flavonoids in the berries recognised as anthocyanin, which are antioxidants that give these fruits their characteristic red and purple hues.

Spinach

Fresh and leafy spinach, is low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate, and magnesium – essential components for reducing and controlling blood levels. Want an easy way of consuming more of this excellent green? Try mixing fresh spinach leaves into salads or adding them to sandwiches.

Watermelon

Watermelon significantly reduces blood pressure in overweight individuals. The pressure on the aorta and on the heart decreased after consuming watermelon extract. That means lesser overloads to the heart, so the heart is going to work easily during a stressful situation such as cold exposure.