Inflammation And Hypertension: What You Need To Know
Have you ever wondered how your body responds to an accident or disease? The immune system is activated when your body fights an invading agent (such as viruses, bacteria, or poisonous substances) or when you are injured. Your immune system’s first responders are inflammatory cells and cytokines (substances that stimulate more inflammatory cells). These cells either fight bacteria or repair damaged tissue. However, researchers believe the findings confirm emerging evidence that inflammation plays a significant role in the development of heart disease, potentially increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack by eight times. To make things easier, let’s look at how inflammation and hypertension are related.
Hypertension: Causes and Blood Pressure levels
High blood pressure, generally known as hypertension, is characterised by blood pressure that is higher than usual. Your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day as a result of your activity. Having blood pressure readings that are regularly higher than normal may lead to a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).
Sleep Apnea is more common in men and older adults but can happen at any age. In India, 4 out of 10 hypertensive youth have sleep apnea. In people with sleep apnea, the muscles in their throat relax during sleep and partially block their airway. This causes them to stop breathing for short periods — sometimes tens of seconds at a time.
There are three stages of hypertension.
- Stage 1
Stage 1 hypertension occurs when blood pressure continuously ranges between 130 and 139 mm Hg systolic or 80 and 89 mm Hg diastolic. Doctors will likely advise lifestyle adjustments and may consider adding blood pressure medication. The medications are based on your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD), such as heart attack or stroke.
- Stage 2
Stage 2 hypertension occurs when blood pressure is continuously 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Doctors are likely to prescribe a mix of blood pressure drugs and lifestyle adjustments at this stage of high blood pressure.
- Hypertensive crisis
This stage of hypertension necessitates medical treatment. If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you have symptoms of organ damage such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, or difficulty speaking, you might be in a hypertensive crisis. You require immediate medical assistance at this point.
You are likely to have high blood pressure because of
- Being overweight
- Excessive salt consumption and lack of fruits and vegetables
- Lack of exercise.
- Consume excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
- Insufficient sleep
- Older than 65
- Family history of hypertension
Connection Between Inflammation and Hypertension
It has been discovered that inflammation can help regulate or even cause hypertension in some situations. Inflammation can reduce nitric oxide synthase activity and increase the formation of reactive oxygen species, which contribute to endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress, respectively, and are known risk factors for hypertension development.
Researchers have discovered that patients with hypertension had higher amounts of inflammatory markers than those who do not have the ailment. In some circumstances, they’ve found that reducing inflammation can drop blood pressure.
Importance of Diet
Many health issues cause inflammation, and some foods appear to aggravate it. Eating less processed food, alcohol, red meat, and more plant-based foods may help control inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet should include foods that:
- Are rich in nutrients
- Offer a variety of antioxidants
- Contains beneficial fats
Inflammation-fighting foods include:
- Oily fish, like tuna and salmon
- Fruits, like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
- Vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli
- Seeds and nuts
- Olive oil and olives
In summary, having high blood pressure is a concern for both body and mind. Lifestyle changes, diet, and proper treatment are essential to improving and reducing the risk of hypertension. The BPinControl portal is a first-of-its-kind resource for all things hypertension-related in India, and it allows you to connect with top medical professionals for advice. Visit BPinControl today, and avoid the risks of severe hypertension.