Research shows common causes of high diastolic blood pressure

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Diastolic blood pressure, the lower number in a blood pressure reading, measures the force exerted on the walls of the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats.

A diastolic reading above 80 mmHg is typically considered high and can be a cause for concern.

High diastolic blood pressure is less discussed than high systolic pressure but is equally important in assessing cardiovascular health risks.

Understanding the causes of high diastolic blood pressure is essential for effective prevention and management.

The diastolic blood pressure increases when the arteries become resistant to blood flow. Several factors can contribute to this condition, ranging from lifestyle choices to underlying medical issues.

  1. Age and Genetics: Unlike systolic blood pressure, which increases steadily with age due to the stiffening of large arteries, diastolic blood pressure tends to rise until about age 55 and then declines.

Genetic factors also play a significant role in determining blood pressure levels, including diastolic pressure. If high blood pressure runs in your family, you may be at a higher risk.

  1. Obesity: Carrying excess body weight can lead to high diastolic blood pressure. Obesity increases the risk of developing other conditions like type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, which further complicate blood pressure management.

Fat tissue, particularly around the abdomen, also produces hormones and substances that can increase blood pressure.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity is linked to higher diastolic pressure. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn’t work as hard to pump blood.

Regular physical activity can help keep arteries elastic, which can help maintain healthy diastolic pressure levels.

  1. Diet: A diet high in salt, trans fats, and saturated fats can raise blood pressure. Salt intake is particularly impactful because it affects fluid balance in the blood.

Diets low in potassium can also contribute to elevated diastolic blood pressure because potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in cells, and not having enough potassium can lead to high blood pressure.

  1. Alcohol and Tobacco Use: Excessive drinking and smoking are significant risk factors for high blood pressure. Alcohol can damage the heart over time, and smoking contributes to the hardening of arteries, both of which can elevate diastolic pressure.
  2. Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to high diastolic blood pressure by activating the nervous system to produce hormones that increase blood pressure. This constant stimulation can lead to sustained high pressure.
  3. Medical Conditions: Certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea are known to affect diastolic blood pressure.

These conditions can cause changes in the body that make the arteries less compliant or increase the fluid volume in the body, both of which can raise blood pressure.

  1. Medications: Some medications, such as certain pain relievers, cold remedies, decongestants, and some prescription drugs, can raise diastolic blood pressure.

It’s important to manage any chronic conditions with the guidance of a healthcare provider, who can adjust medication as necessary.

To manage or prevent high diastolic blood pressure, lifestyle modifications are often recommended.

These include maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, following a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and managing stress effectively.

Regular monitoring and medical check-ups are crucial, as they help track blood pressure changes and modify treatment plans as needed.

In conclusion, high diastolic blood pressure can have serious implications for cardiovascular health but managing it effectively involves a comprehensive understanding of its causes and proactive engagement with lifestyle choices and medical care.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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