No scientific study says being married makes one prone to high blood pressure. Lifestyle, genetic factors, and other things are usually responsible for the development of this devastating health condition.
Now the question is, are married couples more susceptible to this health condition? Take a look at this. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has it on record that over 75 million Americans suffer high blood pressure issues annually. And if you do the math carefully, that’s about one in every three adults. And this implies that people who are married or either ripe for marriage come under this group.
But let’s not quickly conclude that being married give rise to this condition because marriage is a beautiful thing. In this article, we will discuss how married people can handle blood pressure issues to enjoy a healthy and happy married life.
1. Get more potassium and reduce sodium intake
The point is sodium intake doesn’t increase when people become married. The only thing that changes might be one’s priority. It may be that before you got married, things like sodium intake use to be a top priority for you, but not anymore.
Once kids come into the picture, your responsibility as a married woman would change. You will probably be more concerned about your kids and husband and not things like watching your sodium intake. And because there is never enough time always to prepare your meals at home as you did when you were single, you will find yourself consuming more processed and fast foods to avoid starvation. Gradually, sodium intake would start increasing.
Surprisingly, it’s not the salt in home-cooked foods or the ones you add from the salt shaker that increases sodium levels. According to the FDA, 75 percent of salt intake by Americans comes from processed foods.
So, how does excess salt intake lead to high blood pressure?
The kidney is one vital organ that needs utmost protection to function optimally. And the organ won’t perform too well when there is excess sodium in your system. The kidney filters about 120 quarts of blood each day, removing toxins and equally preventing their buildup in the body. That’s to tell you how vital the organ is.
However, excess sodium makes it hard for the kidney to perform its regular duties. And this can affect the heart and blood pressure adversely. Potassium, on the other hand, can prevent this from happening. Potassium can remove excess sodium from the body and provide other health benefits.
An ideal thing you can start doing is to consume more potassium-rich foods to enhance your health. They include: water chestnut, nectarines, spinach, banana, and broccoli. You can have them every day, even if you don’t have excess sodium in your system. They are good for your general wellbeing.
How to tackle excess sodium intake
- Don’t leave the saltshaker on the table while eating
- Limit daily salt intake to the recommended 2300mg
- Increase consumption of potassium-rich foods
- Avoid consuming more processed and fast food as much as possible. You should also check the labels of any food to know the salt levels before eating
2. Interact with people that care about you
It is good to be secretive when it comes to issues regarding your marriage. But when it comes to health issues, you don’t need to keep them to yourself. Share your worries with family members and close friends. No one is going to laugh at you for divulging issues about your health. Instead, you may receive support or suggestions that may save your life.
Even as a married woman, you need to open up to the people around you. You don’t necessarily need to tell them things that are going on in your marriage. Only share issues regarding your health. In most cases, friends or family members that care about you will offer to drive you to the hospital or caution you to take a break if they discover you are not looking too well.
3. Create more time for yourself
Most people have this mentality that once a person gets married, they will no longer have time for themselves or engage in activities that make them happy. But that’s not the case. It’s called marriage and not bondage. So, thinking that time will stop counting once you get married is out of place. You can still devote time to yourself and family members too.
Visit your favorite locations and eat healthily. Learn to avoid food that can cause you to gain more weight or develop high blood pressure, especially foods with a high glycemic index value. You can use the glycemic index chart to know more about high GI foods and how they impact one’s health. Also, go for checkups to know your blood pressure levels and take action once you discover any irregularities.
Enjoying the benefits of eco-therapy
You can try eco-therapy also known as forest bathing to the Japanese, which became a national health program in the country in 1982. Interestingly, this therapy which involves being in the presence of trees is said to lower heart rate, reduce stress hormone production, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.
4. Don’t work yourself out
Your priorities and life will take a new shape once you get married. And you will have more responsibilities to handle when kids start coming into the scene. But no matter what, work with the mindset that you are equal to the task. Also, do not over labor yourself.
However, stress can lead to high blood pressure in ways you cannot even imagine. Most individuals turn to unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking, and overeating to handle stress, which can lead to blood pressure and other health issues that can be very devastating.
So how can one handle stress effectively?
Your first approach should be to analyze the problem and identify the causes of your stress. Is it money, your child’s academic performance, husband’s behavior towards you, in-laws, work or something else? If you can discover the source of the problem, then that issue is half solved.
Other ways you can handle or avoid stress is to make critical plans and learn to tackle complex tasks by splitting them into smaller units. You might not accomplish much if you are thinking of doing everything at once.
You can also overcome stress by addressing issues immediately. Don’t wait for them to escalate or become more complicated than they are. And work with the mindset that every problem has a solution.
You can maintain healthy blood pressure levels as a married woman. It is possible and easy to achieve. You need to make up your mind and follow the right steps to get your health on the right track. However, blood pressure issues still affect people that are single. So there is no proof anywhere that says one becomes hypertensive once married. So irrespective of your status, always do things that will ensure healthy blood pressure levels.
This article was written by Otega Clement Okperigho, a prolific writer and someone who likes to discuss health issues. He also enjoys meeting positive people, sharing ideas and learning new things. And when he is not reading, Otega spends most of his time researching and creating articles on various health issues. You can read some of his published articles on this platform.