3 Little-Known Contributors to High Blood Pressure

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shutterstock_104158136Keeping track of your blood pressure is a great way to lower your risk of heart disease, and as you probably already know, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise are some of the ways you can control your blood pressure. However, there are many lesser-known contributors to high blood pressure. Here’s a breakdown of three you may not be aware of.

1. PMS

Recent studies have found that moderate to severe PMS symptoms may be a risk factor for high blood pressure, especially in women under 40. Study results found that women who experience moderate to severe PMS symptoms may be 3 times as likely to develop high blood pressure compared to women who experience only mild symptoms or none at all.

2. Sleep Apnea

Because of the pauses in breathing that occur throughout the night in people with sleep apnea, high blood pressure may result from the condition. This is because your body’s response to lower oxygen levels caused by breathing pauses is to tighten blood vessels in order to maximize blood flow to the heart and brain.

3. Sugar Intake

If you’re watching your blood pressure, you’re probably also monitoring your salt intake. But studies have shown that you may want to be paying more attention to your sugar intake if you want to lower your risk of heart disease. Sugar has been shown to increase heart rate, renin secretion and renal sodium retention, which all contribute to elevated blood pressure.

Paying attention to these lesser-known contributors can be beneficial to your overall heart health, as well as ditching any seemingly small habits that may be putting you at risk for heart disease.