Preparedness and Your Health Part 1

by Bev Sandlin

 

Staying healthy is a critical part of preparedness. Please share your thoughts and experience with the SCP family!

 

With many prescriptions being filled on a just-in-time basis, and with one third of the population suffering from high blood pressure, a part of preparedness is taking responsibility for your own health. In a grid down situation, you may have to go a couple of days or longer without access to medication.

This is a three part series on high blood pressure with natural remedies that may be useful. I found this at http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsek/a/Hypertension.htm

What is High Blood Pressure?

According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in three adults in theUnited Stateshas high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. But nearly one-third of those people don’t know they have high blood pressure, because it’s a silent disease. People can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing symptoms or knowing they have it.

The upper or first number in a blood pressure reading is the systolic pressure and the lower or second number is called the diastolic pressure. According to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines:

  • Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg.
  • Prehypertension is systolic pressure that’s between 120 to 139 or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89.
  • Stage 1 hypertension is systolic pressure between 140 to 159 or diastolic pressure between 90 and 99.
  • Stage 2 hypertension is systolic pressure higher than 160 or diastolic pressure of 100 or higher.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause any symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms associated with high blood pressure can include:

  • Dizziness or dizzy spells
  • Headache
  • Nosebleeds

Causes of High Blood Pressure

In most cases of high blood pressure, the American Heart Association says there is no one identifiable cause. This kind of high blood pressure is called primary hypertension or essential hypertension. It is usually a combination of factors, such as:

  • Weight. The greater your body mass, the more pressure there is on your artery walls. That’s because more blood is produced to supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues in your body.
  • Activity level. Lack of physical activity tends to increase heart rate, which forces your heart to work harder with each contraction.
  • Tobacco use. Chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco can damage artery walls.
  • Sodium intake. Excessive sodium in the diet can result in fluid retention and high blood pressure, especially in people sensitive to sodium.
  • Potassium intake. Low potassium can result in elevated sodium in cells, because the two balance one another.
  • Stress. Stress can raise blood pressure.
  • Alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol intake can, over time, increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Age. The risk of high blood pressure increases as you get older.
  • Family history. High blood pressure often runs in families.

High blood pressure can also be caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, thyroid disease, adrenal gland disease, and the use of certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives, or herbs such as licorice. This type of high blood pressure is called secondary hypertension.

Herbs and Supplements To Avoid

Herbs that have been found or suspected to cause high blood pressure include:
Licorice
Ephedra
Asian Ginseng
Rosemary essential oil

Part 2 tomorrow

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