Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is very common across the US. With over 3 million people being diagnosed each year. Hypertension is deadly and can certainly impact your life if it goes unaddressed. However, there are many ways to help manage hypertension and to reduce your blood pressure. Here we will go over the role that Maitake mushrooms play in modulating blood pressure. Along with tips to help you back to normal blood pressure levels.
- Common Tips for Reducing Hypertension
- Studies on Maitake and Hypertension
- Current Medications for Hypertension
High blood pressure is a common condition that occurs when the force of the blood that is being pushed through your arteries passes a certain threshold. Passing into the threshold of hypertension suggests that you might be at risk for heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Usually, this condition develops over a series of years and it can increase the likelihood of suffering from a heart complication or a stroke.
Symptoms of Hypertension
When it comes to identifiable symptoms of hypertension, they are very hard to identify other than a high reading with a blood pressure cuff. Readings should be taken at least twice every year to keep track of any changes that might occur.
Two Types of Hypertension
Primary (or essential) hypertension tends to develop over the years. Usually, a result of aging and there is no real identifiable cause
Secondary hypertension is when there is another underlying cause that is triggering the rise in blood pressure. This type of rising pressure usually occurs suddenly, not gradually as primary hypertension tends to do.
Some common types of causes to rising pressure are:
- Thyroid Problems
- Congenital vascular malformations
- Stimulants (such as caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines)
- Kidney Problems
- Sleep Apnea
- Adrenal Gland Tumors
Having unaddressed hypertension can lead to more issues down the line. We recommend that you visit a physician if you suspect that your blood pressure is abnormally high. Monitoring your blood pressure over time will be more useful than a one time visit.
Complications of Hypertension
Hypertension is known to increase the pressure exerted on your arteries and can cause significant damage to your blood vessels if not addressed. The sooner a treatment to manage your high blood pressure is put in place, the less likely the following complications are of arising.
- Heart Failure
- Heart Attack or Stroke
- Trouble with memory or understanding
Common Tips for Reducing Hypertension
Managing your blood pressure can be seen as a combination of interventions and lifestyle changes. Here is a list of tips for reducing and managing your hypertension.
Having the habit of exercising regularly will pay dividends in the long run. Exercising for about 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure from 5-8 mmHg. Consistency is key to achieving a sustained decrease in blood pressure. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, jogging, and cycling are good choices. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is also a great alternative, but the main thing is developing a workout program that you can stick to.
Chronic stress can also contribute to high blood pressure. Finding healthy methods to deal with stress such as exercise and meditation might be good techniques to temporarily alleviate the feeling of stress. Addressing the cause of chronic stress is of paramount importance, as coping methods such as binge drinking, binge eating, or smoking will only cause more damage in the long run. Ideally, one should aim to eliminate the stressful situation if possible.
Limiting the amount of Caffeine
The role caffeine plays in increasing blood pressure is still debatable. For regular coffee drinkers, blood pressure levels should not be affected with their regular caffiene intake.
Reducing Alcoholic Drinks
Drinking too much alcohol can be detrimental for your health, leading to an increase in blood pressure, liver failure, and damage to some structures of the brain. However, a drink a day can be beneficial to some people by helping reduce stress. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
One obvious contributor to increases in blood pressure is smoking. Smoking marijuana, tobacco, e-cigs, or shisha can increase your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking can provide great health benefits. Decreasing your blood pressure and the likelihood of heart disease would be benefits of quitting a smoking habit.
These are all reasonable approaches to live a healthy lifestyle. If you want to learn more about the details of these suggestions, this article from the Mayo Clinic outlines the exact details of proactive suggestions for hypertension.
The Hen of the Woods mushroom, or Grifola frondosa, is known for growing on the base of oak trees. Many of the uses for Maitake mushrooms are not well understood. It is mainly believed to be useful for managing hypertension, diabetes, and for having immune-boosting properties. This mushroom is common in many Japanese dishes, however there are many benefits to Maitake that have yet to be fully understood.
Studies on Maitake and Hypertension
Maitake has been used for many years by Chinese and Japanese cultures to treat diabetes and hypertension. It seems that beta-glucan, a complex sugar found in many mushrooms, is responsible for reducing the amount of bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, known as Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDLs), which can be found in all cells of your body.
A study conducted at Georgetown Medical Center looked at the effects of Maitake mushroom extract in rats. In this experiment, there were two models of rats so as to test the effects of Maitake on hypertension and on diabetes. Finally, the researchers concluded that Maitake mushrooms do have antihypertensive and anti-diabetic properties.
Another study done in 2010, looks at the effects of Maitake mushroom extract on aging female rats. These rats were split into five groups, with variations receiving Maitake in their diet. The effects for the groups that had Maiatke incorporated in their diet found a decrease in their systolic blood pressure, inflammation, and increased sensitivity to insulin changes. This suggests that the use of Maitake lessen age-related hypertension and its incorporation to live a healthier lifestyle should not be overlooked.
Current Medications for Hypertension
The most common way to deal with hypertension is through the use of prescription drugs. There are a variety of high blood pressure medications out there.
Here is a list of the most common blood pressure medications with their mechanisms outlined.
These medications are usually prescribed by your doctor. Maitake, on the other hand, can serve as a preventative step or additional supplementation to lower high blood pressure. We advise that you talk to your physician if you are planning on taking Maitake along with one of the above prescription drugs. With a little bit of work, you might just be on your way to shedding some numbers off that blood pressure reading and adding more happy years to your life.