4 Strange Things That RAISE Blood Pressure

Doctor examining a female patients neck in the hospital

Almost everybody knows that a high-sodium diet will raise your blood pressure, but what about everything else? We’re here to let you know what else you have to look out for that you might not know about in your diet or lifestyle that can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at an added risk for heart disease and stroke, which have the potential to be fatal. So read on, and you’ll be healthier for it!

  1. Sugar

    • These days, sugar is everywhere, and you really have to be careful about reading labels to avoid it. But, did you know that even one 24-ounce soda can raise your systolic blood pressure by a whopping 15 points, and your bottom number, the diastolic pressure, by an average of nine points? That’s like dropping a hammer on your toe or being temporarily terrified! So, be sure to be vigilant about label-reading when you are snacking—it could save your life.
  2. Loneliness

    • In one study that spanned four years, the systolic blood pressure of the very lonely increased by over 14 points during that time. Researchers surmised that constant disappointment, the fear of rejection, and being hypervigilant about your own safety changes how the body works over time for the worse. So, stay deeply connected to at least a few people in your life, and your body will thank you!
  3. Thyroid Problems

    • Hypothyroidism, or when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone (thyroxine), it slows down your heart rate and stiffens your arteries. This stiffening of the arteries, called sclerosis, makes your blood move through your blood vessels faster, which causes more pressure. Low thyroxine can also contribute to raising your “bad (LDL)” cholesterol. Both of these factors make you more susceptible to heart disease, so get your thyroid checked on a regular basis.
  4. Holding in Your Urine

    • This is not common knowledge, but having to pee has been shown in studies to raise both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure by four and three points, respectively. This gets worse as you age in both women and men, so if you have to the bathroom, stop what you are doing and go right away to benefit your heart health.

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