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In the case of cardiovascular disease a dietician is essential

It is unbelievable but three weeks of a balanced diet are needed to bring blood pressure down by 2 points.

Blood pressure is the force with which blood presses the walls of the arteries through which it flows. Pressure is never stable but fluctuates over the course of the day. When blood pressure values remain high for a long time period it means that the body is suffering from high blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers which are: a) the contraction pressure (as the heart contracts) and b) the expansion pressure (as the heart expands). Measurements record the contraction pressure first and then the expansion pressure. A normal figure would be 120/80. The unit of measurement is the mmHg. Normal blood pressure has a minimum value of 120 mmHg for contraction pressure and a minimum of 80 mmHg for expansion pressure.



High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. It increases the likelihood of someone getting coronary disease, kidney disease or having a stroke. Anyone can get hypertension irrespective of age, gender or race due to excess weight, unorthodox eating habits and high levels of stress. When someone gets hypertension, it usually remains for the rest of the patients life. It is a very usual condition in todays hectic society. Despite the fact that some people have a genetic predisposition to hypertension there are many signs that a healthy lifestyle and good diet can help. The relationship between hypertension and diet is undisputed. In general terms, making small changes to one's diet is one of the best ways of dealing with hypertension.

A proper diet improves the heart's health and protects the walls of the coronary arteries from arteriosclerosis, with the result that blood can flow more freely without encountering unwanted barriers as it flows through the arteries (atherosclerotic plaques). By eating properly, the risk of heart disease decreases. Experts now agree that the Mediterranean diet is the ideal diet for preventing heart conditions and is also the best aid in treating them when they do occur, in parallel with the course of pharmaceutical treatment.

What are the most common heart diseases?

Coronary disease: This is the most common cause of death in Greece and in many other developed countries too. In individuals who suffer from coronary disease there is a partial or total blockage of the coronary arteries, in other words the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Angina: A permanent pain in the chest due to the reduced flow of blood to the heart, which is therefore forced to work harder.
Myocardial infarction: A sudden cardiac episode which is caused when an artery which has narrowed becomes completely blocked, with the result that the heart can no longer receive the oxygen it needs via the supply of blood.
Arrhythmia: Any change in the normal beat of the heart.
Fibrillation: The rapid and uncoordinated contraction of the heart muscles. It appears after a myocardial infarction and can lead to death if not treated in good time.