The Causes of High Blood Pressure

Elvis Elvis

The causes of high blood pressure can be scary and serious, but the great news is that you can usually control high blood pressure with simple lifestyle changes. It’s staggering to realize nearly one in three adults has high blood pressure. Though some forms of high blood pressure have no cause, there are many cases where high blood pressure occurs as a symptom of another problem, such as diabetes, alcohol abuse or kidney disease. Besides genetics, a stressful job, smoking, alcohol drinking, and high salt intake all play their role in creeping blood pressure numbers.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Have you ever wondered what the blood pressure numbers mean? The blood pressure reading is given as two numbers such as 110/70, with the top number hopefully higher than the bottom. The top number represents the systolic blood pressure, or the number that reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts and pumps the blood. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, or the number that reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart isn’t contracting.

The Causes of High Blood Pressure Normal blood pressure is a reading below 120/80. High blood pressure is considered to be a reading of 140/90 or higher. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89, you’re in the warning zone. Your blood pressure is on its way to becoming an issue if you don’t do something about it now.

The Danger in High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure causes heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage and death if left untreated. However, it can be prevented and controlled pretty easily. Depending on your most likely causes of high blood pressure, besides any medication your doctor might prescribe, controlling weight and stress, watching your salt intake and giving up smoking and excess alcohol consumption will help. Losing weight and cutting salt from your diet are easy ways you can control or lower your blood pressure.

Make Weight Loss a Top Ten—Percent, That Is!

A weight loss of 10% of your body mass goes a long way toward reducing health risk. To find out what 10% of your body’s mass is, simply take the first two numbers of your weight—that is the amount you’ll need to loose. A person that weighs 190 pounds needs to loose 19 pounds to realize a 10% loss.

Reducing salt intake is also important. Pre-packaged, canned and prepared foods are often high sources of sodium. You’ll want to grill or bake low-fat meats, using herbs to season—read any marinades you use to see if they’re full of sugar and fat! Turn to herbs and spices to give your food a no-salt kick of flavor. Finally, read labels to see how much salt a food has in it. You only need .05 grams of salt a day, a fraction of the 6-18 grams of salt the normal American consumes!

Get On The Exercise Bandwagon

You know it’s good for you, but many Americans still don’t want to hear that a mere thirty minutes of moderate exercise several days a week can reduce blood pressure by controlling weight and giving an outlet for stress. You can walk, bicycle or play a game of tennis with family or friends to get a jumpstart on blood pressure control.

Don’t like to walk? A lot of health clubs are offering low monthly fees without a contract to entice people to use their facilities. If the thought of working out is mind-boggling, you might want to look into a hiring a personal trainer. Once considered a service for only the rich and famous, a personal trainer is actually very affordable and can help keep you on track with a fitness program developed for your needs.

High Blood Pressure Round-up

If you’re unsure of your blood pressure numbers, get yourself checked! If you do have high blood pressure, look into a weight loss and fitness program to help get it under control. With a little work, you can control or prevent high blood pressure and keep yourself safe for many years to come.