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
It’s clear that we eat too much salt….and sugar…and the wrong fats ….and food in general. Refined sugars (carbohydrates) in particular, have been linked to a variety of health issues including obesity and diabetes. Hypertension, on the other hand, has consistently been linked to excess salt consumption. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to see new research that links sugar to hypertension.
American scientists recently reviewed a study of 8670 French adults which seemed to find no link between hypertension and salt intake . The study's researchers postulate that instead, consistently high sugar levels cause your heart to beat faster and in turn, cause your blood pressure to rise. A research team, led by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a heart disease specialist at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, believes the French study is on to something. Sugar may indeed be a significant risk factor for...
Blood is carried from the heart to all the body's tissues and organs in pipes, called arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those pipes. The unit for measuring blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). In most people, hypertension , or high blood pressure , is defined as either: a systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher. In some groups, such as those with diabetes or kidney disease , a high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 80 or higher. Each time the heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute at rest) it pumps blood out into the blood vessels. When the heart is pumping the blood, it is called systolic pressure. When the heart is relaxing in between beats, your blood pressure falls; this is the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic). If the...
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