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High Blood Pressure

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Hypertension-The Silent Killer

Hypertension is known more commonly as high blood pressure and is classified as either primary
or secondary high blood pressure depending on the cause. Primary hypertension is the most
common type of high blood pressure and is caused by lifestyle or genetics. Secondary on the
other hand is only present 5-10% of the time and is caused by specific health issues such as
kidney disease.

Hypertension is considered a long-term chronic health condition, during which time blood
pressure continues to elevate until sometimes at dangerous peak levels. This condition is
extremely common. The Center for
Disease Control reports, “High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than
it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart
disease and stroke. About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood
pressure.”

Those who are diagnosed with hypertension are at a greater risk of developing secondary health
issues including peripheral vascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart attack, and
dementia.

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is when the force of your blood, which presses on the arterial walls,
becomes too high. The pressure is caused by systolic and diastolic blood pressure which is
caused by the pumping of the heart contracting to force blood out and relaxing to let blood in.
Your blood pressure reading is a reflection of these two forces, with the systolic pressure reading
above the diastolic pressure reading.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is caused by several things, including gender and age. Men under 55 are more
likely to experience high blood pressure than women under 55, while women undergoing
menopause are more likely to experience high blood pressure than men at the same age. All
adults are at a greater level of risk to develop hypertension as they age. According to the National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute, “There are many risk factors for high blood pressure. Some risk factors,
such as unhealthy lifestyle habits, can be changed. Other risk factors, such as age, family history
and genetics, race and ethnicity, and sex, cannot be changed. Heathy lifestyle changes can
decrease your risk for developing high blood pressure.”

You can control your risk level by maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. Minimizing your
sodium, alcohol and cigarette intake, exercising more, and eating whole fresh foods goes a long
way toward the prevention of hypertension. Reducing stress in your life, getting enough sleep,
and drinking plenty of water also helps. Those who are considered obese by the BMI scale are at
a greater risk of developing hypertension than those with a healthy BMI reading.

What is a Normal Blood Pressure?

For a healthy adult, a blood pressure reading should have a systolic pressure reading under 120
and a diastolic pressure reading over 80. The National Institute of Aging explains, “High blood pressure is now
generally defined as 130 or higher for the first number, or 80 or higher for the second number
(previously it was 140/90)…If your blood pressure is above 130/80, your doctor will evaluate
your health to determine what treatment is needed to balance risks and benefits in your particular
situation.”

Having normal blood pressure means that your heart is beating regularly, expelling just the right
amount of blood and that blood is flowing healthily. Those with normal blood pressure levels are
less likely to develop heart disease, suffer a heart attack, or have a stroke. While hypertension is
considered bad, low blood pressure can be just as dangerous.

If you’re worried about your blood pressure, speak to a physician. You can complete a one on
one online doctor consult and even have an online prescription sent to a local pharmacy to deal
with your hypertension disorder. Using these types of online services reduces time spent in
waiting rooms, money wasted on long drives to clinics, and costs on prescription medication.

You can check your blood pressure yourself with one of the available public testing tools found
in most pharmacies. If your blood pressure falls above or below the healthy range, speak to a
medical professional as soon as possible.