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...
In one word, potassium. Nearly 95% of the high blood pressure in the world is known as primary, essential, or idiopathic hypertension . It is called this because no clear underlying cause can be identified. Instead, doctors simply treat the high blood pressure, never actually curing it. The underlying mechanism of such high blood pressure involves sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt . Groups of people who eat less than 3 grams of sodium chloride per day rarely have high blood pressure. Although most people who have high blood pressure consume 3 to 6 grams of salt per day, the opposite is not necessarily true. In other words, most people who do consume a large amount of sodium do not have high blood pressure . It thus seems that high sodium intake is necessary but not enough to raise one’s pressure. The missing element is potassium. If one has both a high sodium and a low potassium diet, high blood pressure is likely to result. A Western diet, such as in the United Stat...
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