Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the condition wherein the blood pressure is constantly too high. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. The tissues and organs in the body need the oxygenated blood that the circulatory system carries throughout the body in order to survive and function properly. The main cause of high blood pressure is the increased workload of the heart and blood vessels, which makes them work harder and less efficiently.
Gradually, the force and friction of high blood pressure impair the delicate tissues inside the arteries. As a result, the LDL or bad cholesterol forms plaque along tiny tears in the artery walls, indicating the start of atherosclerosis. As the plaque and damage increase, the insides of the arteries become narrower. In turn, this increases blood pressure and starts a dangerous cycle that further harms the arteries, heart, and the rest of the body. Ultimately, this can lead to other conditions, such as arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke.
Factors that increase the risk of developing high blood pressure include age, family history, a high amount of salt in food, lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, regularly drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and long-term sleep deprivation. Moreover, high blood pressure can occur as a result of an underlying condition, medication, or drug.
Conditions that can cause high blood pressure include kidney disease, diabetes, chronic kidney infections, obstructive sleep apnea, glomerulnephritis, narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys, hormone problems, lupus, and scleroderma. When high blood pressure has no known cause, it is called essential hypertension, primary hypertension, or idiopathic hypertension. When another condition causes high blood pressure, it is sometimes called secondary hypertension.
High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because most people with this condition will not experience any symptoms. However, when the blood pressure reaches 180/110 mmHg, it is considered a medical emergency known as a hypertensive crisis. At this stage, side effects will show, such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred or double vision, nosebleeds, palpitations, and breathlessness. High blood pressure can also lead to other complications, such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure, blood clots, aneurysm, kidney disease, thickened, narrow, or torn blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, and brain function and memory problems.
The body systems harmed by high blood pressure include the cardiovascular system, as it affects the arteries, blood, and heart; the nervous system, as it can lead to brain damage or stroke; the ocular system, as it causes eye damage; and the excretory system, as it can result in kidney disease.
Foods that lower blood pressure, or prevent high blood pressure, include white beans, pork tenderloin, fat-free plain yogurt, tilapia, kiwifruit, peaches and nectarines, banana, kale, red bell pepper, broccoli, sweet potato, quinoa, and avocado. Herbs that prevent high blood pressure or lower blood pressure include basil, cinnamon, cardamom, flax seed, garlic, ginger, hawthorn, celery seed, French lavender, and cat’s claw.
Treatment plans for high blood pressure include lifelong lifestyle changes and medicines to manage high blood pressure, depending on whether you were diagnosed with primary or secondary high blood pressure and if there is a suspected or known cause.
Treatment plans for people with secondary high blood pressure include treatments for the other condition or change in the medicine that causes high blood pressure. Treatment plans for people with primary high blood pressure include lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, and engaging in activities that help you manage and cope with stress. Medications to treat the disease may be needed if lifestyle changes alone do not control or lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the condition when the blood pressure is constantly too high.
High blood pressure causes headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred or double vision, nosebleeds, palpitations, and breathlessness.
High blood pressure can lead to other complications, including stroke, heart attack and heart failure, blood clots, aneurysm, kidney disease, thickened, narrow, or torn blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, and brain function and memory problems.
Treatments for high blood pressure include healthy lifestyle changes and medications.
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