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Can Salt Impact My Blood Pressure?

About the Author

Pranam Shetty
I am the founder and CEO of Evolve Medical Systems. We are a Digital Health Company that specializes in mobile health apps. Some of our apps include SmartBP - a mobile based blood pressure management tool and Glucobyte a diabetes management app. I am an engineer by trade and love to build stuff. I have built various medical devices over 20 years. I live in Minneapolis - The coldest city with the warmest people!
I am the founder and CEO of Evolve Medical Systems. We are a Digital Health Company that specializes in mobile health apps. Some of our apps include SmartBP - a mobile based blood pressure management tool and Glucobyte a diabetes management app. I am an engineer by trade and love to build stuff. I have built various medical devices over 20 years. I live in Minneapolis - The coldest city with the warmest people!

You have likely heard that Americans consume high levels of salt; with our daily consumption averaging well over what our bodies need. The reasons for this can vary from person to person, but are likely attributed to the access we have to fast food and preserved meals. This is why simply just putting down the salt shaker may not help in controlling your sodium levels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research has shown a strong correlation between the amount of salt a person consumes and blood pressure changes.  

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood your heart is pumping and also by the amount of resistance it experiences from the artery walls. If you have ever taken your blood pressure by using a blood pressure cuff, you will be familiar with getting a reading back that features two different numbers. The top number is the systolic and the bottom number is the diastolic.  

The systolic number is measuring the pressure that is within your arteries every time your heart beats. The diastolic number measures the pressure between those beats. According to the  National Institute on Aging, most healthy adults have a systolic pressure of 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.

Many factors can influence your blood pressure or cause it to rise. The most common factors include stress, obesity, lack of exercise, age, and a high-salt diet.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Many people may have high blood pressure, but may not experience or notice the symptoms until years later. As you age, it is important to regularly receive a physical exam where vitals are tested or you can test your blood pressure at home using a blood pressure cuff. Any noticeable changes or concerning numbers should be presented to your primary doctor or trusted medical professional.

Symptoms of high blood pressure can vary per individual. Typically, there are no warning signs. The only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to get tested.  

How Does Salt Impact Blood Pressure?

Salt is mostly sodium, which can be found naturally in a majority of foods. However, there are many foods that are high in sodium which could have negative effects on our health. These foods include processed foods, canned soups, snack foods, and pickled foods. Many food products contain a list of ingredients on the back of their containers. The sodium content will also be available near this list. The daily recommended value of sodium for individuals is listed to be no greater than 2,300 milligrams.

Salt affects different people in different ways. Generally, an increase in salt intake can start to cause damage overtime. An increase in salt in your body can make it hard for your body, specifically your kidneys, to remove water properly. Over time, this increase in salt can lead to hypertension at varying degrees. Once the body begins experiencing hypertension, a domino effect might start. Blood pressure that is elevated continues to put stress on the kidneys, as well as the artery walls. This can increase a person's likelihood of experiencing a stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.

How Can I Reduce My Sodium Intake?

Before you make any adjustments to your diet, it is important to consult with your primary physician or healthcare provider, as they can best assist you since they are aware of your medical history or current conditions.

There are a few ways that you can manage and lower your sodium intake. The most important thing is to be aware of how much you are consuming. You can also stay away from table salt and choose foods that are low in sodium. It is important to note that your blood pressure may not lower right away after lowering your salt intake. Sometimes, this change will take time. Other times, you may need to combine this initiative with other measures to lower your blood pressure.

I Feel Fine, So Why Do I Have To Worry About My Blood Pressure?  

A person who experiences changes in their blood pressure, specifically high blood pressure, can be susceptible to more illness, disease, and even fatal circumstances. Raises in your blood pressure puts extra strain on your heart and artery walls, causing your heart to pump blood harder. However, this rise also narrows your arteries. This leaves you at an increased risk for stroke and a heart attack. Consistently high blood pressure is what is known as hypertension.

If your doctor or medical care professional diagnoses you with high blood pressure, or hypertension, then you should follow their care guide in order to lower your blood pressure. This will usually include several different measures, which may include medication. One of the most common advice given to patients with high blood pressure is to considerably lower their salt intake. Many people, however, experience high blood pressure for many years without symptoms.

What is a Normal Blood Pressure?

You might be wondering, "What is normal blood pressure measurement?". A blood pressure that is considered to be a normal blood pressure will depend on a variety of different factors, including your age, weight, and any history of prior medical conditions. However, normal ranges for adults fall around numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg.

SmartBP: A Smarter Way to ManageYour Blood Pressure

SmartBP, an innovative blood pressure measurement tracker, is compatible with Google Fit and Apple Health to allow individuals access to a means to record their blood pressure measurements. Gone are the ways of writing down your measurements in a notebook. Instead, lean into technology to take control of your health and make it easier for you to notice trends. Record, track, and analyze your blood pressure information conveniently from your smartphone or mobile device. Results of your measurements will be visually displayed in front of you, allowing you to quickly and easily understand what is and isn't working. SmartBP puts the power of your health directly into your own hands, giving you a tool to be proactive in your health. SmartBP is available both in the Apple App Store and Google Android Play Store.

Important: The information provided is NOT a substitute for a doctor or professional healthcare or advice. Any health related information provided in SmartBP® app and this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.

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