There are numerous factors which influence the health of our arteries.
Here are the most important ones:
Fitness of muscles
Let us start with the obvious one. As any other muscle you can train, you can also, believe it or not, train these tiny muscles. When you walk, bicycle or swim, and relax again, the mucles of your arteries are exposed to differing moderate rises and declines of blood pressure. The muscles have to expand and contract accordingly. The more they are exercised the more they keep their elasticity. Consistency is the key!
Another way of exercising these tiny muscles is to change climate zones! When you expose yourself to moderate warm areas and then to moderate colder areas, the muscles of your arteries have to exercise as well, as they contract and expand! Please see more in my seminar!
Our nervous system
Our nerves are our connection to the outside world. They let us know about pleasure or pain, hot or cold, sour or sweet. They also set a whole range of chemicals free in order to respond accordingly. Now, one of the more problematic issues of our nervous system is the concept of DANGER! Whenever danger or another threat to our body is perceived, millions of actions are performed within a split of a second to let us survive. One of the crucial means to do so is to raise instantly our blood pressure to enable an increased amount of oxygen and nutrient to “jumpstart” our rather lazy physical entity. This is good! Imagine you went hiking and all of the sudden some weired 20 feet creature on two legs with a club and a really ugly unwashed face would just come after you to get your cup cake or even you.
Now, in this situation you do not think! You just act! Luckily, your nervous system instantaneously activates your hormones, which in turn activate your blood pressure to rise in order to pump enough nutrients and ogygen to your legmuscles. Thus, your legs get the quickstart to drop the cupcake and RUN!
Unfortunately, our nervous system is already a few thousand years old and at this age easily fooled! Not only that it perceives any kind of problems, pain, or overload as a potential threat, but it also takes images of danger for granted. Yet, the mechanisms are always the same and have not adjusted accordingly. I am afraid to say, that any washing machine has undergone more of a technical update than our danger – response mechnism. This is no good! Especially, if our nervous system is sending out these alarm messages all the time! This translates into constant high blood pressure, which ruins the elasticity of the artery walls.
Not enough, our brain being part of our nervous system, aggrevates the problem by its own activities. How? Mostly, by worrying about things, creating negative images all by itself.
Hormones in general are our message carriers. They flow through our body and send their information as required. Now, there are message carriers for everything. The more common ones you know are our sex hormones. However, there are plenty of other ones, such as growth hormones, thyroid hormones, stress hormones or antidiuretic hormones. Basically, all hormones have an impact in one way or another on our blood pressure!
The troublemakers in regards to hypertension are stress hormones and thyroid hormones.
The action described before (the gruesome creature chasing you) is only possible by sending out a hormone called adrenalin as a message carrier via our blood stream to notify our heart about an alarming situation. This is why it is called “stress hormone”. The more adrenalin there is in our blood, the higher our blood pressure – always!! Only, when adrenalin is filtered out of the blood after the situation is over, will the blood pressure decline and our arteries relax.
In our modern society, however, we are exposed to more real or perceived alarming or “stressful” (a word about this abused term at another point) situations than we can cope with. Adrenalin is sent out, rushes through our blood, and triggers the blood pressure to rise over and over again.
The other troublesome hormone is cortisol, a hormone which has a vital impact on many body functions. It makes us get up in the morning, makes us feel alert, and lets us strive in life. A higher level of cortisol is evident when we are under constant pressure, whether it is anger, fear, or suffer from grief. This hormone in our blood stream also triggers high blood pressure in the long run, and is more difficult to eliminate. As a result, here again, the arteries are constantly overstressed, making them hard and inelastic. High levels are also responsible for a weakened immune system and brittle bones.
The thyroid is mainly responsible for our overall metabolism rate. If thyroid hormones are overproduced they also increase blood pressure. This has to be tested by your physician.
Female sex hormones
Any change in hormones causes a change in our blood pressure. Examples are pregnancy and equally important the stages of menopause!
High blood pressure is also called “Hypertension” for a good reason. The arteries are under extreme tension most of the time. Have you ever clenched your fist because of anger? All your muscles of your arm start to cramp, the muscles of your jaw, your backmuscles. In the same way, the muscles in your arteries cramp and can not relax anymore, when your anger persists for a long time.
Acidity of our body
Have you ever encountered sore muscles from overexercising. Besides micro damages to the muscle tissue the source of the pain is a result of lactic acid. This acidity renders the muscles stiff and inelastic.
We tend to eat food which is converted into acidic composites, also known as metabolic acids. Usually, these are neutralised by minerals and disposed off by our filter system, yet, when they keep accumulating, they damage our structures, including the muscles of our arteries. This is mainly affecting the elasticity of the muscles. Alcohol, nicotine, refined sugar and white flour are the most common acid suppliers.
Any kind of toxins from our environment, eaten or inhaled can damage the structure of our arteries as well. So called free radicals attack the delicate walls of our arteries as they attack other structures of our body. The more nourishing our food and the more protective anti-oxidants it contains the better for our arteries.
This is just an overview as to how arteries basically work and what factors influence them. Now you understand, why it is so important to influence the underlying problems.
Stay tuned! AND
Love thy heart
Wow Ginger. What an informative post. Thank you for all the good information. I’ve never heard of an antidiuretic hormone. What is it and which organ or gland produces it?