January 26th, 2015
High blood pressure is one of the leading killers on the planet, and millions of people suffer from it. As more and more people battle obesity, high blood pressure has become even more common.
Blood pressure is determined by how much blood pumps through the heart and the amount of resistance experienced through the arteries. The more blood that the heart pumps, and the more narrow that the arteries are, the higher the blood pressure will be.
You can actually live for several years without experiencing any symptoms of high blood pressure. Some symptoms that can present themselves include nose bleeds, dizzy spells and dull headaches. These symptoms usually don’t occur until the blood pressure reaches a stage that is severe. You should have your blood pressure taken at any routine doctor’s appointment as a preventative measure, and at least every 2 years once you reach the age of 18.
There are two types of high blood pressure. The first is primary, which has no identifiable cause. This can develop over many years and is often called hypertension. The other type is secondary and this can be caused by kidney problems, thyroid problems, drugs, alcohol, sleep apnea and certain medications. There can also be congenital defects that you are born with that cause high blood pressure. Risk factors include being obese, a family history of the condition, smoking, too much salt, too little potassium, too little Vitamin D, and too much alcohol or stress.
Treatment for high blood pressure primarily involves changing lifestyle and diet habits. It is recommended to include at least 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine, along with eating a healthy, balanced diet that is low in salt. If a healthier lifestyle does not lower blood pressure, medication may be prescribed to help.
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