Understanding High Blood Pressure

December 16, 2014Comments Off on Understanding High Blood Pressure

Also known as hypertension, High Blood Pressure is generally considered as the most common of all cardiovascular diseases. Although it is quite infamous, there are still very few people who have come to understand its implication as well as how one gets to have it. That being the case, it comes as no surprise that hypertension can affect even those who are still young. If you are one of those who think you might be at risk for hypertension, you might want to keep a few things in mind first.

What is Hypertension?

In order to understand hypertension, you first have to realize that blood pressure refers not to the amount of force used by the heart in order to get blood circulating but to the amount of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the artery. Having said that, it is now easy to see that too much blood pressure can cause blood vessels to weaken and, later on, rupture.

Generally, medical professionals consider normal blood pressure to be around 120/80. Having said that, if your blood pressure is anywhere between 121 and 139 over 81 to 89, you are already considered to be on the throes of hypertension. Now, if your blood pressure is between 140-159 over 90-99, then you are considered to be  already at Stage 1 of hypertension. On the other hand, you are considered to be under Stage II Hypertension if your blood pressure is consistently more than 160 and above over 100 and above.

Causes of Hypertension

While hypertension can be hereditary in nature, there are still other factors at play. Some of these factors would include:

  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Sedentary Living
  •  Stress
  • Too much alcohol
  • Too much salt intake

There have also been situation where the cause of the hypertension could not be determined by the doctors. This is what medical professionals would generally call as an essential hypertension. A number of studies, however, have shown that essential hypertension is made worse by one’s diet as well as lifestyle. The risk for hypertension is also higher in the following situations:

  1. African-Americans
  2. Pregnant Women
  3. Adults more than 35 years of age
  4. Women who take birth control pills

Dealing with High Blood Pressure

There are actually two ways you can deal with hypertension, depending on how serious your condition is. If it is still in its early stage, making a lifestyle change can help you better control your blood pressure. On the other hand, if yours is already interfering with your normal, day-to-day activities, you should consider getting a prescription from your doctor.

In the case of a lifestyle change, medical professionals recommend not only watching what you eat but also indulging in a more active lifestyle. This would mean exercising on a regular basis in order to control your weight, slowing down or quitting smoking, and limiting your alcohol intake. You would also need to make sure that your diet does not call for a lot of sodium or salt, and that you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. You might also need to make sure that you cut back on your meat and pork intake.

Since, hypertension is one of the causes of heart attack, it is a good idea to get to know how an AED works as well as to have one on hand especially if you are at risk for heart attack.