High Blood Pressure: A threat to life! The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. High blood pressure means high pressure in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all the tissues and organs of the body. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called “pre-hypertension”, and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high.
It quite normal for blood to go up and down but high blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to hardening of the arteries. It increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also result in other conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. High blood pressure is called a “silent killer”, because it doesn’t usually cause symptoms while it is causing this damage. These complications of hypertension are often referred to as end-organ damage because damage to these organs is the end result of chronic high blood pressure. It does not have a symptom that is why it’s quite important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Most people don’t know they have it until they go to the doctor for some other reason. It is usually measured by putting a blood pressure cuff around your arm, inflating the cuff and listening for the flow of blood. It will be measured more than one visit to see if you really have high blood pressure.
When you do not treat it, it can damage the heart, brain, kidneys, or eyes. This damage causes problems like coronary artery disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Very high blood pressure can cause headaches, vision problems, nausea, and vomiting. Malignant high blood pressure, that is hypertensive crises which is blood pressure that rises very fast, can also cause these symptoms.
Combination of factors that causes High Blood Pressure includes
Age as the risk of high blood pressure increases as you grow older.
Stress can raise blood pressure.
Inherited, High blood pressure often runs in families therefore transfer from histroy.
Excessive sodium in the diet can result in fluid retention and high blood pressure, especially in people sensitive to sodium.
Lack of physical activity tends to increase heart rate, which forces your heart to work harder with each contraction. Regular exercise is a good way to lose weight, its lower high blood pressure by itself.
The nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products causes your blood vessels to constrict and your heart to beat faster, which temporarily raises your blood pressure.
Excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of heart disease.
Excessive intake of tea or any stimulant should be limited.
Secondary causes includes:
Kidney infection or kidney disease
Hormonal conditions ( condition where the body produces an excess of steroid hormones)
Conditions affecting the tissue of the body ( condition where the immune system attacks healthy tissue),
Medicines, such as the oral contraceptive pill, or the type of painkillers known as nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen,
Illegal stimulants, such as cocaine, amphetamine and crystal meth
Lowering Blood Pressure
You can consume meat and other dairy products but salt intake should be reduced. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole wheat grain products and fishes combined with natural supplements like lemon, garlic, gooseberry etc can.
Folic acid helps to lower high blood pressure in some people, possibly by reducing elevated homocysteine levels.
Get 3,500 mg of potassium in your diet everyday. Fresh unprocessed whole foods have the most potassium.