Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure (hypertension) has been referred to as the "silent
killer" because it most commonly occurs without any symptoms. Uncomplicated high
blood pressure can persist for years, even decades, without causing symptoms. However, when complications of
hypertension begin to develop, symptoms can occur.
Symptoms of complicated high blood pressure can include
- shortness of breath,
Quick GuideHigh Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Warning Signs, Risks, Medications
What is the DASH diet?
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the diet was developed for a research study in the early 1990s.1 The purpose of the
study was to identify a food-based strategy to lower blood pressure. Even though the original research was quite a long time ago, scientists recently conducted a
meta-analysis for a DASH diet review to summarize how much blood pressure can be
reduced by the DASH diet. The study found, on average, people reduce their blood
pressure by 6.7 mmHg systolic and 3.5 mmHg diastolic in just two weeks. The more
sodium is restricted, the lower blood pressure goes.
Or more simply stated, the DASH diet plan includes eating more
- fruits and vegetables,
- low-fat or nonfat dairy,
- beans, and
And eating less
Since the original
research, scientists also have found that they could apply the DASH diet plan
for weight loss.2 When people follow the Dash diet in
addition to increasing exercise, they lose weight and improve metabolic measures
such as insulin sensitivity. However, in comparison to low-carbohydrate diets,
the DASH diet alone was not as effective a strategy for weight loss. When the
DASH diet is followed along with exercise and caloric reduction, people improved
their blood pressure even more; lowering it by 16 mmHg systolic and 9mmHg
diastolic; plus, they lost some weight.2 As people adopt the DASH diet and
lower their blood pressure, they may have a reduced need for medication. Discuss
the diet-based changes you are making with your health-care professional, and if
your blood pressure is at or below goal (<140/80), you can discuss reducing your
medications and maintaining your blood pressure with diet alone.
What is the recommended daily allowance of sodium?
The National Institutes of Health's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for
Americans recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of salt each day as part of a
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2016