One of the key indicators of health is your Blood pressure range. This is determined by reading the physical force your blood places on the inside walls of your arteries. Arterial pressure consists of two readings known as systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the maximum blood pressure, and is a measure of the force present while your heart is pumping blood. Diastolic pressure is the minimum reading and consists of the force exerted during rest intervals between each heartbeat.
A healthy adult has a systolic and diastolic pressure reading of 120 and 80 respectively. When your resting Blood Pressure Rises above this, it is referred to as elevate. This can be due to many factors, acute or chronic such as stress, illness age or genetics. When the pressure readings rise more than 10 units above the healthy normal, you are said to be experiencing hypertension, a scale of elevated blood pressure that indicates or can cause serious health complications.
Hypertension is firstly a symptom of something potentially very wrong with your health. If detected and left untreated, the root cause of hypertension can manifest and spiral out of control. A few serious conditions can lead to the development of hypertension and pin pointing them can be a matter of first diagnosing the presence and severity of your elevated blood pressure.
Chronic kidney disease is one of the major causes of hypertension. The kidneys are responsible for the water filtration system in the body, relying on pressure gradients and osmosis to regulate the balance of the good stuff your body requires while also removing the bad stuff in the form of urine excretion. When your kidneys are compromised, one effect is an elevation in blood pressure. That is because your kidneys are no longer fully capable at effectively regulating the fluid pressure in your blood, leading to more water and higher pressure. Because it is sometimes hard to detect kidney problems on a symptomatic level, the first thing to check for when experiencing abnormally high blood pressure is kidney health.
It’s also worth pointing out that kidney disease is as much a cause of hypertension as it is something caused by hypertension. The excess elevation in renal circulatory pressure can cause a deadly shutdown in kidneys if unchecked. Keep hypertension managed to avoid this vicious cycle.
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Recognized as the leading cause of death associated with hypertension, hypertensive heart disease is truly one to avoid. It can lead to heart failure, ventricular hypertrophy and ischemic heart disease. Heart failure is, simply put, the inability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood to meet the healthy demands of the body, it is failing at its task. Left ventricular hypertrophy means the enlargement of the left ventricle heart muscle. This makes it too stiff and rigid to effectively pump and relax, thereby leading to chronic hypertension and eventual failure. Ischemic heart disease is the result of blockages in the arteries caused by deposits such as plaque or a narrowing of the arteries. This can lead to a heart attack and possibly death.
Making sure your heart is healthy is an important part of determining the cause of hypertension.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health risk with a plethora of complications that result from it. One of the main ones is High blood pressure. This is because the resultant complication of diabetes leads to an elevation in pressure. Narrowing of arteries, insulin resistance and an increase in fluid all lead to an excess blood pressure level and in most cases, hypertension.
The other reason why hypertension could be an indicator of diabetes is because many of the factors that cause type 2 diabetes are the same risk factor that lead to hypertension.
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Being overweight or obese has direct and indirect ramifications on your blood pressure.
In a direct sense, obesity causes an increased demand on the circulatory system due to an increase in fat tissue. This tissue needs nourishment just like the rest of your body, so the extra workload required leads to an increase in pressure. Being overweight and especially obese also leads to an uptick in heart rate. Higher heart rate translates into a net increase in pressure and eventual hypertension.
In an indirect sense, obesity causes several conditions that are known factors in hypertension. The aforementioned diabetes and heart disease are both caused by obesity, and they in turn, cause hypertension.
Managing weight and body fat composition is one of the key factors in combating or treating hypertension.
Aging is natural and unavoidable. Unlike the other underlying causes of hypertension mentioned, you can’t avoid getting old. When you age many healthy functions lose their peak efficiency or effective condition. This includes the circulatory system and cardiovascular health. When you grow older, your arteries will naturally narrow, causing an increase in blood pressure which can eventually become hypertensive. Other factors such as an increase in body fat, a weakening of the heart and kidneys and a general decrease in physical activity also contribute to age related hypertension.
In as much as hypertension can be seen as a symptom of a greater problem, on its own, it is a great risk to health. As is the case with kidney health, hypertension can be a major cause of poor health and even death. Stroke, heart attack, organ failure, blindness and neurodegenerative diseases are all common results of unchecked hypertension.
There are fortunately ways you can curb the onset of hypertension. By being mindful with your lifestyle and analysis of your health, hypertension can be safely managed or eliminated.
By knowing your blood pressure, you can quickly pinpoint and deal with elevated blood pressure and its causes before they become a major health risk. Nowadays, you can own a home heart monitor that measures your blood pressure and heart rate. Modern versions of these home kits are very accurate and come integrated with sophisticated technology. This allows you not only to get a good reading of your blood pressure range, but also readily share the stats with your qualified healthcare professional such as a GP.
By improving your diet, you’ve probably taken the biggest possible step towards decreasing blood pressure to a healthy normal. Most conditions that cause hypertension and hypertension itself are as a result of poor diet. For example, a high cholesterol diet, or one high in LDL can lead to atherosclerosis, a narrowing of arteries due to plaque deposits. Excess sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes, both which cause hypertension. A diet rich in sodium can lead to kidney complications, one of the leading causes of hypertension.
Aside from what foods to avoid, it is also helpful to know what foods optimize a healthy blood pressure. Foods such as turmeric, ginger and other spices can cause vasodilation, or a relaxation of the arteries. This inevitably leads to a decrease in overall pressure. Other foods such as unsaturated plant and fish oils help eliminate LDL cholesterol which leads to a build up of arterial plaque. An antioxidant rich diet will also help slow down age related hypertension. Certain fruits, vegetables and Spices are potent antioxidant sources, known for their age defying qualities.
Working out can improve your ability to ward off hypertension. Lack of good quality physical activity is a known cause of elevated Blood pressure. Suffice to say that working out will do the opposite.
This is because exercise leads to mechanical conditioning of the cardiovascular system. By training your heart and arteries, you are equipping them with the ability to be more responsive and efficient with circulation management. This improves blood pressure.
Regular exercise also boost your metabolism, which decreases the prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Hypertension is without a doubt, one of the greatest health risks of modern times. It can not only decrease the quality of life, but could end it altogether. Recognizing it as a danger is only half the job. You also need to recognize what it may be a sign of as this may be an even greater danger to your health. Knowledge is your main treatment. Knowing how to pick up on hypertension and ways to reduce it will help you maintain a normal standard of health.
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