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...
Earlier this month (February 2012), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing that nine out of ten adults eat too much salt daily.
This excess salt is not the salt you are adding with the salt shaker. The high salt diet comes from processed foods and restaurant meals.
A diet high in sodium (salt) leads to high blood pressure. This equals an increased risk for developing heart disease and having a stroke.
According to CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden, heart disease and strokes are responsible for the deaths of more than 800,000 Americans annually and add approximately $273 BILLION dollars to health care costs.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend salt be limited to no more than 2300 milligrams per day. This recommendation may be even lower (no more than 1500 milligrams per day) depending on your ethnicity, age, and medical history.
The average adult in the U.S. consumes more than 3300 milligrams of salt each day.
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