Don’t allow your hypertension problem to continue. It is one of the leading causes of death today. It’s called the silent killer and it kills millions of people every year.
Hypertension is the most important risk factor for death in industrialized countries. It develops hardening of the arteries and predisposes individuals to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and strokes.
Stated more precisely, hypertension is truly one of the most frightening health problems we are up against today. And if we don’t deal with it – fast – we’re likely be seeing the people we love most fall into the clutches of death long before their time. And that is, obviously, if we beat them to the grave first!
What Is Hypertension or High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of blood vessels and the cause of hypertension is when your blood is exerting too much force on your arteries both when your heart is resting and when it pumps blood.
You already know the 2 numbers, like 120/80. The first number (120) represents the pressure when your heart beats, also called systolic pressure. The second number (80) represents the pressure when your heart relaxes, also called diastolic pressure.
The American Heart Association has suggested guidelines to determine normal and high blood pressure.
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80
- Pre-hypertension is 120-139/80-89
- Stage 1 high blood pressure is 140-159/90-99
- Stage 2 high blood pressure is 160 or higher systolic and 100 or higher diastolic
- Hypertensive crisis (an emergency) is when blood pressure is above 180 systolic and above 110 diastolic.
High blood pressure resulting in a diagnosis of hypertension will happen only when readings remain above normal at all times. Having high blood pressure for a brief period of time is normal.
You have a higher risk of hypertension if:
- Your age is 45 and above
- You are African American
- You have a family history
- You’re overweight or obese
- You smoke
- You consume too much salt
- You consume too little potassium
- You drink too much alcohol
- You are always stressed
- You suffer from certain chronic conditions, like kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea
- You are pregnant (some women)
Complications of Hypertension
Over time, uncontrolled hypertension can damage some of your blood vessels and organs. The longer it gets uncontrolled, the greater the damage.
Uncontrolled hypertension (see figure below) can result in:
- Atherosclerosis. Narrowing of the arteries.
- Heart attack or stroke. Atherosclerosis can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
- Aneurysm. Dangerous weakening and bulging of the main artery either in the chest or the abdomen which can rupture.
- Heart failure. Decreased ability to pump blood.
- Thickened or ruptured blood vessels in the eyes. This can lead to vision loss.