The Link Between Smoking and High Blood Pressure: Understanding the Risks
The effect is quiet but certain- smoking causes high blood pressure. Before you realise just how serious the situation is, the odds of risks associated with high blood pressure have increased. The good news is that the damage can be reduced with a few lifestyle changes. Read on to learn how.
Every cigarette you smoke hampers the walls of your blood vessels, constricting the arteries. If someone is suffering from high BP, the situation can become worse with smoking. With lesser room for blood to flow, there comes the risk of clots and additional work for the heart. When a smoker with HBP smokes, this entire episode happens more rapidly and dramatically, leading to the possibility of associated risks of high BP like stroke, vision loss, kidney disease etc.
Smoking And High Blood Pressure
Smoking temporarily activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), immediately increasing blood pressure. SNS regulates the body's response to danger or stress. When the nervous system is activated, hormones in the body signal extra blood flow to the muscles. You feel a sense of alertness that pushes the pulse and blood pressure to rise. While this poses no critical threat in the short run, over time, it damages the walls of your arteries.
If left untreated, fatty plaque builds up in the arteries, often leading to strokes and other dangerous diseases. take heart that this is preventable. How? By quitting smoking as soon as you can.
Does Smoking Cause Hypertension?
If you live by the mantra Jo hoga dekha jayega, it's time to prioritise your health. While there is no conclusive evidence that smoking alone causes high blood pressure, it sure does pose a risk to your heart health.
Effects of smoking often show up much later in life. So it is natural for you to believe ek cigarette se kya hi ho jayega. It's great if you don't suffer from high blood pressure right now, but if you are a smoker, keep an eye on high BP symptoms. If you haven't decided to quit just yet, this could be your cue to nip the habit in the bud.
Why Is High Blood Pressure A Silent Killer?
High blood pressure, unlike other medical conditions, is a silent attacker. You don't know when you get it until it's too late to make lifestyle amends. Most smokers may show no symptoms because the pressure tends to stabilise within 20 minutes of smoking. But that doesn't mean you turn a blind eye.
Here are some common symptoms that will help you identify the condition of HBP early:
- Impaired vision
- Headaches and nosebleeds
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Change in time colour ( red or pink)
Whether smoking causes high blood pressure or not lacks substantial evidence. But if you do suffer from HBP, try quitting smoking to stay healthy. This is particularly important for young adults who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Despite the regular BP ki goliyan, managing blood pressure levels as a smoker is difficult. This happens because the chemicals present in the cigarette reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medicines.
Other Lifestyle Changes To Manage High Blood Pressure
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to control your risk of getting high blood pressure. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower the high BP :
- Go for a run
- Reduce salt in your diet
- Indulge in some yoga or meditation
- Manage stress through deep breathing
- Limit the alcohol intake
- Manage body weight
- Taking blood pressure medications
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications. It's tough, no doubt, but it is worth the trouble. Better health, improved immunity, and controlled vitals will improve both your heart and lung health.
Want to know more about quitting smoking and healthy substitutes? Read here.