Is there a relationship between weight loss and blood pressure?
Being overweight or obese impacts your health in a number of ways. It can increase your risk of developing some types of cancer, lead to type 2 diabetes, and cause problems with your heart, such as hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
Research shows that weight loss and blood pressure are connected. Losing weight can go a long way towards lowering your blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, adults aged 20 and older should have a resting blood pressure reading of 120/80 or lower. Anything higher can mean you are at greater risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or other serious health problem.
The Connection Between Obesity and High Blood Pressure
The Framingham Heart Study, a famous health study that followed participants for 44 years, estimated that excess body weight causes at least one-quarter of all cases of hypertension in men and women.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing high blood pressure because the excess fat tissues in your body need oxygen and blood to survive. In order to keep your fat cells alive, your heart needs to work hard to pump blood through all the blood vessels, feeding your fat cells, leading to an increase in your blood pressure.
This extra pressure put on your heart can also place added pressure on the walls of your arteries (the muscular tubes that transport blood from your heart to tissue throughout your body). This added pressure on your artery walls increases your blood pressure, which can make it hard for your body to effectively transport blood and oxygen through your vessels.
The Health Risks of Hypertension
Hypertension is a serious medical condition because it raises the risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Some people with high blood pressure have no symptoms or warning signs, so it's important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis.
How Weight Loss Can Reduce Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure and you are either overweight or obese, the good news is that losing weight is a proven way to help reduce hypertension. Many people who have managed to shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) have been able to achieve blood pressure readings that fall within the normal range.
Weight loss and blood pressure reduction go hand-in-hand. Losing weight helps to control hypertension because when you have less fat in your body, your heart doesn't have to work as hard to feed the blood vessels that supply the fat cells.
Other things that can help both reduce, and prevent, high blood pressure include eating a diet that is low in sodium (salt) and fat, consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
Find Out More About Weight Loss and Blood Pressure
Have questions about how bariatric surgery such as LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve can help you achieve your weight loss goals and control your blood pressure? Contact your bariatric care team here at Olde Del Mar Surgical — we're here to help.