You must have heard people talking about how their blood pressure is high and how it causes them a lot of problems. However, you may not know exactly what hypertension is and why it can be so dangerous.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently elevated pressure. This can cause damage to the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.
Let us try to understand the roots of this problem. By taking a look at what causes hypertension, its symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What causes hypertension?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to hypertension, including:
One of the biggest contributors to hypertension is obesity. When you are obese, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body, which can lead to high blood pressure. Having a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater is one of the biggest risk factors for developing hypertension.
A sedentary lifestyle
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, meaning you don’t get much exercise, this can also lead to hypertension. Exercise is important because it helps to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. When you don’t get enough exercise, your heart muscle can become weaker and less efficient, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Smoking and vaping have become huge problems in recent years, and it’s no surprise that they can lead to hypertension. Smoking damages your blood vessels and makes them less elastic, which can cause high blood pressure. People start smoking from a very young age just to “fit in” and feel like they are a part of something, but they often overlook the fact that it is incredibly detrimental to their health.
Too much salt in the diet
Eating foods that are high in salt can also cause hypertension. When you eat too much salt, it causes your body to retain water, which increases blood volume and leads to high blood pressure. It’s important to limit the amount of salt you consume each day to help keep your blood pressure under control.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Another thing that people do to “fit in” and feel that they are having fun is to drink alcohol excessively. Just like smoking, drinking too much alcohol can damage your blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure. To keep your blood pressure in check, it’s best to practice moderation when it comes to drinking alcohol.
Family history of hypertension
Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, you may be at risk for hypertension if it runs in your family. If your parents or grandparents had hypertension, you may be more likely to develop it as well. This can not be changed, but it’s important to be aware of your risk so that you can take steps to prevent it.
Age (it is more common in adults over the age of 40)
One thing that you don’t have control over is your age. As you get older, your blood vessels become less elastic and more rigid, which can lead to high blood pressure. If you are above the age of 40, it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly so that you can catch any problems early.
How do you know if you have hypertension?
In many cases, hypertension doesn’t cause any symptoms. This is why it’s often called the “silent killer.” However, some people with high blood pressure may experience:
- Blurred vision
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so that you can get your blood pressure checked.
How high blood pressure can affect your day-to-day life?
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, there is no need to freak out. There are several treatments available that can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. However, this does not mean that you should take it lightly. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to a number of serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Eye problems
- Memory loss
High blood pressure is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, it’s important to work with your doctor to create a treatment plan.
How is hypertension treated?
Now, let’s talk about the most important of it all – your habits. What are your options if you have been diagnosed with hypertension?
There are a number of habits that you can change, and the best one for you will depend on your individual situation. Some of the most common changes include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing stress
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking
In addition to making lifestyle changes, your doctor may also decide to prescribe medication in order to bring down your blood pressure levels.
Getting your blood pressure under control is essential to living a healthy life. It’s important to talk to your doctor so that you can come up with an individualized treatment plan that works for you. With the right lifestyle changes, medication, and regular checkups, hypertension can be managed effectively.