September 16, 2013

The Basic Guide to Understanding High Blood Pressure

In the United States of America, it is estimated that high blood pressure afflicts around one in three adults, and to make matters worse, two in three afflicted will never even know they have the disease.

Various researches have shown high blood pressure as being a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, possibly even contributing to the onset of a stroke or a major heart attack.

What is Blood Pressure?


High Blood Pressure Guide
Blood pressure basically refers to the amount of pressure exerted inside your blood vessels, which in turn determines how fast the blood circulates. It is measured in two numbers, one representing the systolic pressure and the other the diastolic one. The former measures the pressure when the heart beats, while the latter measures it in-between beats, when the heart is at rest.

It is considered that for a healthy adult a good blood pressure is about 120/80. If the readings were higher than 140/90 on two separate occasions (at least), then a person is considered to be at risk of developing hypertension. If your pressure is above 180/120, it is recommended that treatment be sought immediately.

Who is at Risk?


The next question to ask revolves around determining who is more likely to develop the disease. Through research and observation, it was determined that the following people are more likely to develop the condition:
  • Those who are genetically pre-disposed to it.
  • Are of African-American descent.
  • Are overweight and physically inactive.
  • Drink alcohol and smoke excessively.
  • Consume foods high in salts and fats.
  • Take various medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin, or illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

What Causes Hypertension?


So what exactly causes this condition to develop? Well, as it happens, scientists and medical experts are still a bit baffled by it, being unable to pin-point the cause with certainty in over 95% of all the cases. For now, all we know is that hypertension affects mostly those who are genetically pre-disposed to it and are not leading healthy lifestyles.

For instance, it is known that people who eat no salt with their food show virtually no traces of hypertension, while the contrary was proven true; inhabitants of the Northern Islands of Japan consume more salt per person than anywhere else in the world, and they also have the highest number of hypertension cases.

Now, it should be added that there is a type of high blood pressure called secondary hypertension, and it refers to situations where a direct cause can be identified. More often than not, it is shown to be the result of some type of kidney disease.

All things considered, the only course of action you can take to shield yourself from hypertension for good would be to start living healthier. Start exercising, drop the excess weight, go easy on the salt, alcohol and cigarettes, and consume foods with plenty of antioxidants (they dilute the blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through freely and effectively lowering your blood pressure). There are even plenty of various natural supplements you can take to increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.



Related articles:


Frequently Asked Questions on Hypertension (or High Blood Pressure)
High Blood Pressure Diet – Fighting Hypertension with Food
How You can Prevent High Blood Pressure
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure – An In-Depth Overview
Controlling your High Blood Pressure with the Help of Foods


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