|High Blood Pressure Can Be An Extremely Dangerous Condition For Which There Is Generally A quite Simple Solution by Donald Saunders
In the last few years changes in diet and lifestyle in the majority of western societies have led to an increase in the number of people suffering from high blood pressure.
High blood pressure (which is otherwise called hypertension, or more properly arterial hypertension) can be a serious condition that seldom carries any symptoms and that, if not detected and treated, can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, arterial aneurysm or renal failure � any one of which is a serious life-threatening condition.
So precisely what is hypertension and precisely what causes it?
The arteries of the body are continuously filled with blood that exerts a normal 'background' pressure against the artery walls. When the heart pumps newly oxygenated blood around the body it pushes this blood into the arteries which briefly raises the pressure exerted on the artery walls with every heartbeat. These two pressures are refrred to as the systolic pressure (the higher pressure as the heart is pumping) and the diastolic pressure (the reduced 'background' pressure).
Normal blood pressure varies from individual to individual but, in general, systolic pressure ought to be about 120mm and diastolic pressure ought to be in the region of 80mm. This is generally shown as a blood pressure of 120/80.
If your blood pressure starts to rise and stays at a level above 120/80 then you are said to be 'prehypertensive' and, despite the fact that this is not serious in itself, it is a sign that you could be at risk of developing hypertension and all of the problems associated with it. As soon as your blood pressure reaches, and maintains, a level of 140/90 or higher you are suffering from hypertension and steps need to be taken to lower your blood pressure.
So what causes your blood pressure to rise and remain elevated?
Well, there are several factors at play here and to start there is a group over which you have little, if any, control. This group includes a low birth weight, various genetic factors, certain types of diabetes (particularly type 2 diabetes) and your age (as we grow older the arteries tend to become fibrous and lose their elasticity, resulting in a smaller cross-sectional area through which the blood can flow).
The second group of factors is much more controllable and includes being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, smoking, alcohol abuse, high quantities of salt and saturated fats in the diet and employment in specific occupations like flying or motorway maintenance.
The majority of these factors are of course treatable and, in many cases, a simple adjustment to your diet and the addition of a bit of exercise into your daily routine is all that is necessary to cure the problem. The difficulty however is that, with few symptoms, most people do not know that they are suffering from hypertension to start with.
So how do you solve the problem?
Luckily the answer to this question is quite simple. All you have to do is to drop by your physician's office on a regular basis (for most of us about twice a year will be sufficient) and ask him or her to check your blood pressure for you. The whole procedure is painless, easy and fast and will provide you with peace of mind and might save your doctor a lot of work, time and expense down the road when you are forced to drop by his office once high blood pressure sets in.
If you are not so keen on visiting your doctor then an excellent alternative today is to check your own blood pressure. A wide range of easy to operate and reasonably inexpensive monitors are available nowadays, allowing you to check your health, as well as the health of of your entire family, in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
TheBloodPressureCenter.com provides information on a variety of topics including high blood pressure and exercise, the importance of blood pressure monitoring and finding the best home blood pressure monitor
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