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Hypertension aka High Blood Pressure

Posted Sep 03 2009 10:02am 1 Comment
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood presses against the walls of the blood vessels as it flows through them. The term Systolic blood pressure indicates the first hearing of the pulse, while Diastolic pressure indicates when the pulse can no longer be heard. Normal blood pressure should be around 120/80. Prehypertension ranges from 120–139 over 80–89. Stage 1 Hypertension ranges from 140-159/90-99 and Stage 2 is a blood pressure higher then the previous levels.

High blood pressure is a very common disease and needs to be watched closely. You may suffer from it, but may not know it. Hypertension is also referred to as the 'silent killer', because it does not cause any symptoms in the beginning. In the long run however, it hardens and narrows the blood vessels and prompts the heart to work harder. It can damage several major organs, such as heart, brain, and kidneys, but also affects the small blood vessels in the eyes.

Extremely high blood pressure can manifest itself by the following symptoms: unusually strong headaches, chest pain, and heart failure, especially when you struggle with your breathing and are exhausted after a minimum of physical strain. Should you have any of these symptoms then it is strongly advised to see your doctor on short notice.

Many times the cause for Hypertension can not be determined which is called primary hypertension, but family history, poor diet and exercise habits, as well as certain types of medication like birth control pills, non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), nasal decongestants and other cold remedies, migraine medications, diet pills and antidepressants, can contribute to high blood pressure. A kidney disorder and sleep apnea can contribute or cause it as well.

There are several things you can do yourself to control your blood pressure:
- You can loose weight, since people with obesity are at a higher risk of developing Hypertension.
- Watch your salt intake and lower it if you have to.
- Quit alcohol, it has a substantial negative effect on your blood pressure.
- Quit smoking.
- Get active. Incorporate exercises in your life and do it on a regular base.
- Lower or avoid stress.
- Start the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
- Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. Your sleep may improve due to exercises and weight loss as well.

High blood pressure can not always be avoided; it is also age related. The older we get, the more likely we are to get high blood pressure. Men over 45 and women over 55 of age are more in danger of becoming a potential victims of this disease. When age related, Hypertension can be regulated with medications.

In case you like to exercises, but are in too much pain to do so, then Aquatics (water aerobics) and Tai Chi are good alternatives. They don't put any pressure on your joints, but do strengthen your muscles and provide the so needed physical activity.

Even though our body is only a temporary 'dwelling', we do need to take care of it and try to keep it in tip top shape as much as possible. Letting your body go, is almost like letting go of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
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Here's another wealth of great information from The American Heart Assocation about high blood pressure and how to prevent it.


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