All About Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against your artery walls. When you have it checked, the reading has two numbers; one on top and one on bottom.

BP Readings

The top number is your systolic pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart relaxes in-between beats.

Normal pressure would be a reading of 120/80 or lower. hypertension would be a reading of 140/90 or higher. If you have hypertension, you are at a greater risk of a stroke or heart and kidney disease.

What Causes hypertension?
Many things can cause hypertension including physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress and your diet. These are only a few things. Certain medical conditions and medications can also increase your blood pressure.

What Are The Effects of hypertension?

Hypertension can cause your body to have certain effects. For instance it can cause a stroke. The high pressure can cause a weakened blood vessel to break causing it to bleed into the brain; thus leaving you with a stroke.

Hypertension can also sometimes cause your blood vessels in your eyes to bleed or burst. If this happens your vision will be blurred or impaired and might even result in blindness. Just one more reason to keep control on your hypertension.

Along with a stroke or kidney disease, hypertension can also cause a heart attack. Your arteries are what bring blood carrying oxygen to your heart muscle. If your heart is not getting enough oxygen you will experience chest pain. If the blood flow is blocked as well you will experience a heart attack.

Congestive heart failure is very common among people with elevated pressure. This is a very serious condition where your heart cannot pump enough blood to supply the needs of your body. It is never too late to start taking control of your health, starting with your blood pressure!

Who Develops Hypertension?

Anyone can develop hypertension, even children. It is more common for African-Americans to develop it. Many Americans will develop hypertension as they age but that doesn't mean it is healthy.

What Can I Do To reduce my risk of getting Hypertension?

Eating a healthy diet is a great way to lower or control hypertension. Limit your intake of salt and sodium and introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Once you establish your healthy diet you will have less worry of developing hypertension.

Obesity plays a role in hypertension, so if you are overweight, this puts you at a higher risk of having hypertension as well as having a stroke or developing heart disease. Try to lose at least 10 lb. and this will help lower your blood pressure significantly!

You should always have your blood pressure checked at your regular doctor visits. If you have hypertension and are concerned, you can easily monitor your blood pressure from home. If you do this, you want to have your doctor look at your home monitoring device to help ensure it is effective and you are operating it correctly.

Keep track of your blood pressure readings so you can see what is helping and what isn't. Sometimes regular lifestyle changes alone won't help as much as they would combined with blood pressure medication. Your doctor will be able to tell you what the best option for your needs are.

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For more health related articles read these pages

Cut down on sodium
Changing your eating habits


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