Risk factor for cardiovascular diseases: This is how high blood pressure can be reduced
Health experts say around 30 percent of the adult population in the western world suffers from high blood pressure. Hypertension is also a common disease in this country. Too high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for dangerous cardiovascular diseases. While the disease is often treated with medication, there are also gentler methods to lower blood pressure.
Number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases
According to the German Hypertension League (DHL), around 20 to 30 million people in this country suffer from high blood pressure. Untreated hypertension is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and therefore responsible for many deaths from heart attacks or strokes. Those affected are often advised to take medication quickly, but it is not necessary to resort to medication to lower blood pressure. Often, gentler methods also lead to success.
Obesity and poor nutrition as causes
Hypertension is not felt by patients for a long time and often only becomes noticeable when it has caused organ damage. He is therefore - like other diseases - referred to as a "silent killer".
Hypertension is defined by a systolic blood pressure of over 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure of more than 90 mmHg. Meanwhile, however, the voices are increasing that think that 120 instead of 140 should be the new blood pressure target.
In addition to being overweight or obese, risk factors include too little exercise, an unhealthy, too salty diet, tobacco and increased alcohol consumption and stress.
Although almost every third German citizen is affected, many have no idea of their high blood pressure. Some people think that high blood pressure is an “age-related illness”. But this assumption is wrong.
More and more children with high blood pressure
Older people in particular fall ill, but younger people are also increasingly affected. Even more and more children and adolescents have high blood pressure because they are overweight, reports the German Hypertension League (DHL) in a message.
"Every fourth child with obesity suffers from high blood pressure," explained Professor Wühl from DHL. In overweight children, the proportion is around seven percent. Children of normal weight can also develop high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is lower in children and adolescents than in adults. Professor Wühl explained: “A value of 120 to 80 mm Hg, which is optimal for adults, is just normal for a 12-year-old, too high for a 6-year-old, for a 3-year-old it is severe hypertension and an emergency to a newborn. "
In overweight children, treatment is initially carried out by changing the lifestyle. "When the children lose weight and play sports, the blood pressure usually normalizes," says Professor Wühl.
A quarter of the patients are not treated
If this does not work, medication can sometimes be used. This also applies to adults who cannot lower their high blood pressure naturally.
"In the meantime, the proportion of hypertension patients who are being treated to lower their blood pressure has risen to around 75 percent; after all, 50 percent are receiving controlled treatment," explained Professor Dr. med. Bernhard Krämer, Chairman of DHL, in an older press release.
However, this still means that around a quarter of people with high blood pressure are not treated at all and the other half are not adequately treated.
Lower blood pressure naturally
Hypertension can often be reduced without medication. In addition to weight loss, regular exercise and abstaining from smoking, a balanced, healthy diet can also help to reduce blood pressure.
It is very important here: salt only in moderation. A high-salt diet can raise blood pressure. No more than four to six grams of salt should be consumed per day. It should be noted that large quantities of salt are often contained in most finished products.
The menu should generally contain a lot of fruits and vegetables. Garlic, beetroot juices and hawthorn are particularly recommended.
Mediterranean food with olive oil and vegetables is also recommended, as British researchers have shown.
According to scientific research, hot chilies and natural yoghurt can also help to relieve high blood pressure.
A magnesium supplement also helps in many cases. Alcohol should be avoided as far as possible.
Furthermore, relaxation exercises for stress relief such as yoga or autogenic training can be very effective and positively influence high blood pressure values.
Some home remedies for high blood pressure, such as Kneipp treatments, can offer good support. (ad)