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...
It is estimated that one in four adults (approximately 50 million) in the United States has elevated blood pressure – and more than 30 percent of them are unaware of it. Since people with hypertension may not exhibit any symptoms, their high blood pressure is often undiagnosed until complications occur. It has been proven that blood pressure screening facilitates early diagnosis and treatment. Proper treatment clearly reduces the risk of the complications associated with hypertension. Blood pressure Blood pressure is the force exerted against artery walls as blood is carried through the circulatory system. The measurement of force is made in relation to the heart's pumping activity, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher number, or systolic pressure, is the measurement of pressure that occurs when the ventricle of the heart contracts or beats. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, is the measurement recorded between beats, while the heart is ...
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