What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is also known as Hypertension. Over time, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage resulting in heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, among other conditions.
High Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance the blood flows in your arteries. The narrower your arteries are, and the more blood your heart pumps, the higher your blood pressure. Two numbers give a blood pressure reading.
- Systolic pressure: measures the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats.
- Diastolic pressure: measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.
Most people may have high blood pressure without any symptoms. However, if you do not follow up regularly on this condition, you are at higher risk of severe health problems, including heart attack or stroke. Some other people may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, and these signs happen when high blood pressure reaches a life-threatening stage.
Check your blood pressure regularly, at least every two years, starting at age 18. If you ever at high risk of high blood pressure, check it every year.
If you do not regularly see your doctor, you may find machines in some stores that will measure your blood pressure for free.
What causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure occurs if a person is born with genes that cause these conditions or changes in your body that place you at high risk. High blood pressure has many risk factors, including:
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Certain congenital conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly, or pheochromocytoma
- Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some
- Certain chronic conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea.
- High blood pressure increases as you age.
- High blood pressure is prevalent among African heritage
- High blood pressure in family history
- High intake of alcohol
- High fat in the diet
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
- kidney disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet.
- Too little potassium in your diet.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Underactive or overactive thyroid
- Using tobacco (smoking or chewing
How is High Blood Pressure Treated?
The ultimate goal of hypertension treatment is to lower the high blood pressure in your body to protect vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. Studies show treatments improve in reducing the risk of stroke, Heart attack.
It is essential to make lifestyle modifications to prevent high blood pressure. Medications are recommended to lower blood pressure in people older than 65 years old.
You can lower your blood pressure with the following lifestyle changes:
- Loss weight if you are overweight or obese
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy diet (eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat)
- Rede the amount of sodium in your diet
- Getting regular exercise, at least three times a week
- Limiting alcohol intake