Vasospasm - what is it?

Vasospasm - what is it?

Each day, your body sends five litres of blood approximately three times a minute throughout your body. 

The blood is circulated through arteries and veins. Consider them to be your plumbing or pipes. Sometimes these pipes can squeeze tightly, making it hard for the blood to flow smoothly. This squeezing is known as vasospasm.

Many factors can cause vasospasm. Some of the reasons for vasospasm include smoking, physical and emotional stress, a change in temperature, and hypertension. 

Why does vasospasm matter?

Consider the consequences of clogged or squeezed pipes in your home. Water can’t flow properly, right?

Similarly, vasospasm in blood vessels can reduce blood flow to vital body parts like your brain or heart. This can lead to serious problems, like a stroke or a heart attack.

So what can you do to prevent this from happening? 

While you cant directly intervene to "fix" your plumbling, like you might have done in your home, you can indirectly prevent this from happening. 

Keeping yourself hydrated is the easiest solution. Water helps your blood flow better. Drink enough so that the color of your urine is neutral. 

Consuming foods, especially vegetables rich in Nitric Oxide like kale, arugula, spinach help relax the muscles of your arteries. 

Reduing stress, especially physical stress through breathing and meditation has been shown to help.

If you are in the habit of smoking, give it up. There is more than adequate research that has shown the ill effects of smoking. 

Walk. As much as you can. As I have learned and shared more recently, there is no such thing as too much walking.

I know we are in the middle of a heat crisis. Thailand recently recorded 52C and Kolkata where I am 41C. Yet, if you are in a cold environment, stay warm. Exposure to extreme cold can cause vasospasm. 

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