One of the common causes of high blood pressure not at all related to diet, is the stress factor. Understanding stress and how it affects us is a way of controlling high blood pressure. While other people resort to tranquilizers, smoking, and excessive eating there are other ways we can go about in dealing with stress.
- You begin to experience rapid breathing or have that feeling of wanting to run or fight.
- As a tendency, you tend to use more oxygen and the heart tends to pump more blood to your brains and muscles.
- As your pulse rates quicken, you experience the rush of blood to your brain.
- You tend to sweat profusely as you feel body heat.
- Blood sugar is released to provide energy.
As you go through the feeling of stress, hormones collectively known as adrenaline speed up the heart rate, blood flow, and blood pressure as if sensing the urgency by which it is needed. There is a simultaneous release of cortisol as triggered by emotional stress.
While cortisol is supplied, it releases several sources of energy such as protein, fat and glycogen to be converted into glucose. However, prolonged cortisol activity will lead to the release of stomach acids leading to lean tissue breakdown. If this happens so often, the stress sufferer will develop ulcers, the latter being the only outlet for the emotional stress experienced.
While all these are happening, the kidney will also respond to the siuation by releasing renin, a form of hormone that enables the body to retain or absorb whatever sodium substance it could find. As sodium in the body cells increases and reaches a level no longer in proportion with the other mineral substances, it causes the kidney to close its arterioles to blood supply.