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The hypertension is high blood pressure that makes blood go faster through the vessels than normal, as National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute stated. The CDC states that 70 million Americans have it and that means 1 of 3 adults.

Mayo Clinic further explains that hypertension is caused by blood in the heart pumps and the resistance in the arteries. The more the heart pumps the narrower the arteries and the higher the pressure.
Reasons for this and risks

The hypertension is due to many factors and a lot of people have this issue.

Age– pressure increases as we get older, but teens and kids get it too.

Race– hypertension is more common in African Americans. The NHLBI states how this ethnic group has it more and earlier and the number increases by the day.

Overweight- if you are obese or overweight you have higher chances of hypertension as NHLBI states.

Gender– men have high pressure more than women before age 55 and women more after 55, as NHLBI says.

Lifestyle and habits– the unhealthy habits are a cause for this problem. Too much salt, no workouts, not enough potassium, alcohol and stress increase the risk.

Family history– if you have the genes for it, the risk is bigger.

Kidney/salt levels and balance– if the kidneys do not work as they should, the body’s salts are imbalanced and thus pressure is higher.

Meds– some prescribed meds like hormones or those for asthma cause this issue. Even regular flu and cold meds cause it.

Other health issues– some problems like kidney disease, thyroid and sleep apnea problems are the reasons too. NHLBI says that these issues impact the hormones, sodium and fluids.

Blood vessels structures– some people with defects are more prone to hypertension.

Symptoms:

Usually, these people have no signs of hypertension, even when the pressure is too high.

Sometimes, they feel headaches, short breaths and nosebleed but as Mayo Clinic says these are too vague and hard to pinpoint so sometimes it is a life risk situation.

Good thing is that tests for this problem are available at every doctor’s office. Also, check the pressure as often as you can since it can cause these issues:

  • Stroke and heart attack
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Weak blood vessels
  • Thick, and torn blood vessels in eyes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Memory problems


Treating and preventing:

To change the unhealthy lifestyle is the first step. Eat healthy foods, stop smoking, have workouts – all advised by Mayo Clinic.

The doctor can also give you meds for lowering the pressure.

To prevent it you can try several things.  If you have the genes for it be especially careful.

1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.

Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.

Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

In general:

Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask your doctor about a healthy waist measurement for you.

2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.

If you have slightly high blood pressure (prehypertension), exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

It isn’t easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet:

Keep a food diary. Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that’s best for you.
Be a smart shopper. Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you’re dining out, too.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.

The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including:
To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:

Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
Eat fewer processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
Ease into it. If you don’t feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.

But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and for men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

6. Quit smoking

Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, have substantial increases in life expectancy.

7. Cut back on caffeine

The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it, but there is little to no strong effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers.

Although the effects of chronic caffeine ingestion on blood pressure aren’t clear, the possibility of a slight increase in blood pressure exists.

To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure.

8. Reduce your stress

Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.

Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what’s causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

If you can’t eliminate all of your stressors, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way. Try to:

Change your expectations. Give yourself time to get things done. Learn to say no and to live within manageable limits. Try to learn to accept things you can’t change.
Think about problems under your control and make a plan to solve them. You could talk to your boss about difficulties at work or to family members about problems at home.
Know your stress triggers. Avoid whatever triggers you can. For example, spend less time with people who bother you or avoid driving in rush-hour traffic.
Make time to relax and to do activities you enjoy. Take 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Try to intentionally enjoy what you do rather than hurrying through your “relaxing activities” at a stressful pace.
Practice gratitude. Expressing gratitude to others can help reduce stressful thoughts.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly

Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started.

Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is under control, you might need to visit your doctor only every six to 12 months, depending on other conditions you might have. If your blood pressure isn’t well-controlled, your doctor will likely want to see you more frequently.

10. Get support

Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor’s office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low.

If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.

Source: www.mayoclinic.org

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The hypertension is high blood pressure that makes blood go faster through the vessels than normal, as National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute stated. The CDC states that 70 million Americans have it and that means 1 of 3 adults. Mayo Clinic further explains that hypertension is caused by blood...