High Blood Pressure is also known as
Hypertension. It is a serious health
condition that affects at least one out of
three adults in the United States. It is
even more serious because it hardly ever
gives a warning sign or symptoms,
thereby making it difficult for people who
are affected to know until it is too late. In
some cases, it leads to sudden death.
High Blood Pressure can however be
managed or prevented but to do so, it is
important to understand what high blood
pressure really is, and what causes high
blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High Blood Pressure is when the force of
blood pushing the artery walls is
increased and as a result, causes the
heart to work harder than it really should.
The heart is responsible for pumping
blood into the arteries, from where it is
circulated throughout the whole body. But
when a person suffers from high blood
pressure, the heart has to work harder to
circulate blood and this may eventually
lead to other problems like hardening of
the arteries or heart failure. How to Detect High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is
usually referred to as a silent killer. This
is because of its lack of symptoms unlike
other health problems where there are
usually several tell-tale signs to help
patients detect or suspect that there
might be a problem somewhere. Patients
with high blood pressure hardly know that
they are suffering from the disease until it
becomes too late.
However, you can prevent sudden death
caused by hypertension through early
detection and constant monitoring. A
regular blood pressure reading can help
you detect high blood pressure early.
A Blood pressure reading would usually
contain two numbers, a numerator and a
denominator. The numerator (the top
number) is known as the Systolic, while
the denominator (the bottom number) is
known as the Diastolic.
A person with a blood pressure reading of
120/80 can be said to have a normal
pressure while a blood pressure reading of
between 120-130 /80-89 indicates that
the person is in a pre-hypertensive stage
and may eventually suffer from
hypertension if serious measures are not
immediately taken. Any blood pressure
reading above that may be an indication
that a person is suffering from
Hypertension.
However, for older people a blood
pressure reading of over 140/90 indicates
high blood pressure. What Causes High Blood Pressure?
1. Primary Hypertension: This is also
called essential hypertension. This
type of hypertension has no
specific, identifiable cause and is
sometimes said to be caused by
environmental, genetics and age
factors. Majority of people who
suffer from hypertension suffer
from this type of hypertension.
2. Secondary Hypertension :
Secondary hypertension is usually
caused by another medical
condition which the patient may
already be suffering from. For
instance, some women develop
secondary hypertension during
pregnancy. Secondary
hypertension would usually go
away when the underlying
condition is treated.
Other causes of hypertension include:
Alcohol Abuse : Excessive drinking
of alcohol can raise the blood
pressure to unhealthy levels
overtime and cause hypertension.
The calories in alcohol can also
lead to excessive weight gain,
which is another common cause of
hypertension.
Illegal Drugs : Some illegal drugs
like Cocaine, Amphetamines and
Acetaminophen can also affect the
blood pressure.
Medications: Taking of some
medications such as anti-
depressants, caffeine, birth control
pills, migraine medications, anti-
inflammatory drugs and nasal
decongestants can also increase
blood pressure.
Birth Defects: Sometimes, a person
may suffer from high blood
pressure due to defects in their
blood vessels. This type of
hypertension is can be traced to a
person’s genes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Another
major cause of secondary
hypertension is a health condition
known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
It is a sleeping disorder that
causes shortness/cessation of
breath during sleep.
Obesity: Being Overweight or
Obese can also cause a person to
develop Hypertension. Excess fat
in the body would require extra
oxygen and nutrients and since it
is the heart’s job to supply these
nutrients, it has to overwork itself
to achieve this, thereby leading to
increase in blood pressure.
Poor Diet : High Blood Pressure
may also be caused by a poor
diet. When a person consumes too
much sodium, caffeinated drinks or
fatty foods, there are risks of
developing high blood pressure.
Sedentary Lifestyle : Another major
cause of high blood pressure is
living a sedentary lifestyle
characterized by low levels of
physical activity or no physical
activities at all.
Age: A person may also develop
hypertension as they age. The
risks of a person developing
hypertension would actually
increase as they grow older.
Smoking: People who smoke are
also at a risk of developing high
blood pressure. The nicotine
contents in cigarettes may cause
the arteries to become narrow and
hardened. This stresses the heart
out and eventually leads to
hypertension.
Vitamin Deficiencies: Vitamin D
deficiency is yet another factor
that may lead to hypertension.
Researchers have discovered that
people with lower levels of Vitamin
D are at a higher risk of developing
hypertension.
Chronic Kidney diseases as well as
thyroid and adrenal problems may also
cause hypertension. How to Control Hypertension without
Drugs
Hypertension can be controlled or even
cured by taking some measures to reduce
the causative factors. Some of the steps
that you can take in order to cure
hypertension without necessarily taking
medications include:
1. Lose Weight: If you are overweight
or obese, shedding a few pounds
might go a very long way in
helping you cure high blood
pressure.
2. Increase Physical Activity: One of
the major causes of high blood
pressure is living a sedentary
lifestyle therefore increasing your
levels of physical activity can go a
long way in decreasing your blood
pressure. You should make it a
goal to try to get at least 30
minutes of exercise daily.
3. Improve on Your diet: Another step
to take is to improve on your
eating habits. Focus on eating
foods that are high in fibre,
vegetables and potassium and
avoid foods that have high
cholesterol or sodium levels.
4. Reduce Consumption of Alcohol:
Excessive consumption of alcohol
also has negative impact on your
blood pressure therefore you
should try to reduce or completely
avoid consumption of alcohol.
5. Quit Smoking: Lastly, if you are a
smoker, you should try to quit your
smoking habits to avoid ingestion
of high amounts of nicotine, which
affects the arteries and causes
hypertension.

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