How to Identify Triggers for Spikes in Blood Pressure

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Hypertension affects more than 75 million Americans every year.
Hypertension affects more than 75 million Americans every year. (Image: Image Courtesy: Rancoma)

Many factors can cause your blood pressure to spike. Some of the reasons are genetic and the majority are factors within human control. This article will list and explain the most common triggers for blood pressure spike.

Know that age is an irreversible, uncontrollable cause of hypertension. As people get older, blood vessels naturally shrink and it becomes harder for the heart to pump blood to your organs. Diets plentiful in whole grain, bran, potassium, cranberries, omega-3 and other antioxidants can help control blood pressure as you age.

Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol can erode the lining of your liver during the body's processing of it. Your heart pumps platelet-containing blood to the scarred areas of the liver in attempt to repair the scarred areas; the more a person drinks, the more a person's heart has to work to get the blood to the liver. This in turn can cause the blood to travel through the vessels at a higher than normal pressures resulting in hypertension. However, if you must have a cold one, men should drink no more than 24-36 oz of alcohol per day and women no more than 12-24 oz per day.

Don't smoke. The nicotine in cigarette smoke can constrict the blood vessels making it harder for your heart to pump blood to your organs. This can eventually wear out the lining of your vessels resulting in hypertension and heart disease.

Lose weight and keep it under control. The larger a human is, the more the individual's heart has to work to pump blood to your organs. When the heart has to work harder, blood is pumped through your vessels at higher than normal pressures. The excess work by the heart can eventually cause hypertension and later heart disease.

Don't add salt to your food. Sodium in excess can cause scarring in your blood vessels. The heart rate will increase in this case, pumping more blood to the scarred areas of your blood vessels. Over time, this scarring can wear away your vessel lining resulting in hypertension.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember, more than 70% of what usually causes hypertension is within human control. This means that you can do more to prevent hypertension than you may think.

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