If you've been told you have high blood pressure you should be thankful for a timely diagnosis. For many people their high blood pressure goes undiagnosed years, and this can be a very dangerous situation.
Essential or primary hypertension It's thought that more than 9 in 10 people with high blood pressure have 'primary hypertension,' which means that there's no single clear cause of it.
However, it is known that certain factors in your lifestyle can contribute to developing the conditions, including:
Your family history
Being of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin
Being overweight or obese
Having an unhealthy diet
Drinking alcohol - especially if you binge drink
Lack of exercise
Secondary hypertension Around 1 in 20 people with high blood pressure have 'secondary hypertension'. This means it's linked to another cause, for example:
Kidney conditions such as kidney infection or kidney disease
Narrowing of the arteries
There are times it is normal for the heart to beat harder, such as if you are out hiking and encounter a bear. Your blood pressure will jump so larger levels of oxygenated, nutrient rich blood is sent through your system and you are able to react. All part of the flight or fight response.
When you are diagnosed for high blood pressure your blood pressure is not just high for limited periods of time. It is consistently elevated. This means the heart is constantly working harder than it should.
Here are 7 reasons your heart may be dealing with this increased workload:
1. Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) - This may be caused by cholesterol deposits along arterial walls resulting in plaque buildup. Fibrosis or endothelial dysfunction may also result in narrower arteries. When arteries narrow the heart has to pump harder (exert more force) to move blood throughout the system.
2. Overweight and obesity - Fat is a tissue that requires a constant blood s...
<p><strong>What Is Hypertension? </strong></p>
<p>Hypertension (high blood pressure) is characterized by a persistent increase in the force that the blood exerts upon the walls of the arteries. It is normal for this force to increase with stress or physical exertion, but with hypertension, blood pressure is high even at rest.</p>
<p>Because blood pressure in the arteries rises and falls with each heartbeat, it is measured with two numbers: <strong>systolic</strong> (the top number in a reading) and <strong>diastolic</strong> (the bottom number). The systolic number reflects the force of blood against the arterial walls each time the heart contracts. Diastolic pressure refers to the pressure within the arteries as the heart relaxes and refills with blood (which explains why the diastolic number is always lower than the systolic measurement).</p>
<p>Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (abbr...
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