High blood pressure can increase your chances of having a heart attack, kidney disease, heart failures, stroke or dementia, yet it is something that rarely goes noticed since it does not have any symptoms. Approximately 1 in 4 adults are going to suffer from high blood pressure. The only way to determine if you do have issues is to ensure that you are regularly having your blood pressure checked.
High Blood Pressure: What is it?
The heart pumps blood throughout the body delivering energy and oxygen. In order to do this, the blood vessels need to have some pressure in them to reach the areas of the body. When there is too much pressure in the vessels then your arteries and heart become damaged. This can lead to heart attack, failure of the heart, stroke and other issues.
Who it at risk?
As a person gets older, they become more likely to have high blood pressure. However, as far as what causes this, there is no clear cause. But your risk for high blood pressure can be increased if you:
- Over the age of 65 years old
- Are overweight
- Have a relative that has high blood pressure
- Have African or Caribbean descent
- You eat too much salt
- Do not have enough fruits or vegetables in your diet
- Do not exercise
- Drink too much alcohol or caffeine
- If you smoke
For those who have these types of lifestyles, they will need to be checked more often for high blood pressure. In addition, they are going to want to make moves to get their lives back into control.
High Blood Pressure Complications
Due to the high blood pressure, the blood vessels are putting extra pressure on the body. In particular, the heart is having to work harder, the arteries are becoming damaged, and the person may be making their kidneys work harder.
As stated, the high blood pressure is putting strain on the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is referring to numerous issues that can arise with high blood pressure. These issues include:
- Stroke: Where the blood is cut off to the brain
- Heart attack: the blood supply to the heart is cut off
- Embolism: this is when a blood clot or bubble of air forms in a vessel
- Aneurysm: this is when a blood vessel bursts causing bleeding internally
- Vascular dementia: part of the brain becomes damaged due to a reduction of blood to the brain
Preventing and Treatment of High Blood Pressure
When high blood pressure is an issue, there are several things you can do to help treat and prevent this from becoming worse:
- If necessary, lose weight
- Reduce the amount of salt that is eaten
- Start eating a healthy diet
- Cut back on your alcohol intake
- Cut down on caffeine
- Stop smoking
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