Have you ever wondered what hypertension is? Hypertension is just another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and sometimes death. Blood pressure is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels. Therefore, it is sometimes called “The silent killer”. You may not feel or think anything is wrong, but high blood pressure could be quietly causing damage that can threaten your health.
Some of the main causes of hypertension include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, heavy alcohol intake and obesity. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg and 129/80 mmHg, you have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is a pressure of 130 systolic or higher, or 80 diastolic or higher, that stays high over time. High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. That’s why it is so dangerous. But it can be managed.
A diet that is too high in sodium and too low in potassium puts you at risk for high blood pressure. Obesity is also a huge risk factor to hypertension. Being overweight also means your heart must work harder to pump blood and oxygen around your body. Over time, this can add extra stress to your heart and blood vessels.
Your family health history is useful in preventing diseases and health risks including hypertension. Both men and women can have high blood pressure but other characteristics such as age, sex or ethnicity can affect your risk for high blood pressure.
- Age. Your blood pressure tends to rise as you get older, and your risk for high blood pressure increases with age.
- Sex. Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure at some point during their lives.
- Race or Ethnicity. African Americans can develop high blood pressure more often than Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, or Alaska Natives do.
You can manage Hypertension by trying to accomplish the following:
- Healthy diet and reduce salt intake
- Limit Alcohol
- Regular physical activity
- Manage Stress and weight
- Take medications properly
- Quit smoking
- Work together with your doctor