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4 Sneaky Causes of High Blood Pressure

You’ve removed the salt shaker from the table and you're trying to lose some unhealthy pounds — both of which are great steps for lowering your blood pressure. But you might be missing a few less obvious culprits that are keeping your blood pressure numbers higher than is good for you.

Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, which is the medical name for high blood pressure, and most people arrived at this common cardiovascular condition through a combination of factors.

While steps like losing weight and reducing salt are common advice for lowering blood pressure, there are some sneakier culprits that Dr. Madaiah Revana and the team here at Humble Cardiology Associates want to highlight here.

1. Hidden sodium

We’ve established that reducing salt is key for lowering blood pressure, as too much salt (or sodium) can tax your kidneys and cause fluid buildup in your system. That means your heart has to move more blood, creating additional pressure on your arterial walls.

While ditching your salt shaker is a great step, high levels of sodium also lurk in many common foods, such as:

Many processed foods, like frozen pizzas, and canned foods, such as ravioli and soup, may also be loaded with sodium.

2. Sleep apnea

Around 39 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which soft tissues at the back of the throat collapse while a person sleeps.

This sleep disruption prevents you from getting the restful sleep you need — a period during which your blood pressure and heart rate lower. Instead, with sleep apnea, you don’t get restful sleep and your blood pressure becomes elevated during the night.

3. Lack of exercise

If you have high blood pressure, you might assume that getting your heart pumping and your blood flowing would be a bad thing. Quite the contrary. 

Exercise is one of the keys to a healthy cardiovascular system, which includes a sustainable blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure, it’s important to move throughout your day — at least 30 minutes of dedicated exercise, walking, or house or yard work can all do the trick.

4. Certain medications

Spring rolls around and you find yourself taking allergy medications and decongestants so you can breathe freely. Well, these medications might be raising your blood pressure.

In addition to decongestants, other medications that may increase your blood pressure include:

A great way to figure out what might be behind your high blood pressure is to come see us. We can perform an extensive evaluation of your lifestyle, dietary habits, and health issues to determine where we might take steps to improve your cardiovascular health.

To get started, please schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Humble or Houston, Texas, by clicking here.

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