to the American Heart Association, approximately 1 in 3 adults
in the United States suffers from high blood pressure.
exactly is blood pressure?
pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the arterial
walls as the heart pumps blood. This is known as systolic
pressure. When the heart is at rest between beats it is known
as diastolic pressure. When blood pressure is recorded, the
systolic pressure is designated by the top number with the
diastolic being displayed as the bottom number.
pressure is considered to be greater than or equal to 140
mm Hg systolic pressure or 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure. People
are often unaware that they have high blood pressure since
there are no apparent symptoms. This is why high blood pressure,
also known as hypertension, is often referred to as "the
The health risks of high blood pressure
can occur in anyone of any age but is more common in the elderly,
those who are overweight, or those who may have other existing
health conditions. People who suffer from high blood pressure
have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke
important to know your blood pressure and have it checked
periodically. Those with hypertension should have their pressure
monitored on a regular basis. Medication may be prescribed
to control high blood pressure. The type of medication your
physician prescribes may depend upon any accompanying underlying
health conditions and may include diuretics,
beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors or calcium channel
to lower the risk of high blood pressure
who smoke, drink or eat a high
cholesterol diet increase their risk of high blood pressure.
It may be necessary to take steps to lower your blood pressure
by changing some of your long established habits. In some
cases, simple changes in diet
can control high blood pressure.
are overweight and suffering from hypertension, talk to your
physician about creating a healthy weight
loss plan. Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Limit intake of salt,
caffeine and alcohol. Smokers should consider quitting. Smoking
increases blood pressure and the risk of heart
be stressful and people often find themselves living in a
state of chronic stress which adds to the problem of hypertension.
Although we may not be able to totally eliminate stress from
our lives, we can learn helpful stress
At work, learn
time management skills and don't take on more than you can
handle. Meditation techniques can also be helpful in relieving
stress. Although high blood pressure is a problem that afflicts
many people, it is a condition that can be successfully controlled
with lifestyle changes if caught in time.