What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a common condition where the pressure in your arteries is high enough to cause health problems, such as heart disease. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension.
A blood pressure reading has two numbers. The first number is called systolic pressure. It is the higher number and measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The lower number, called diastolic pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries between each heartbeat.
What causes High Blood Pressure?
There are two types of high blood pressure, Primary and Secondary. Primary blood pressure tends to develop gradually over time. There is no specific cause for this type of blood pressure.
Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another underlying condition. Some of the medical conditions that can lead to this type of high blood pressure include the following:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Birth defects in the blood vessels
There are a number of lifestyle choices that can also significantly increase the risk of high blood pressure. Some of these include the following:
Too much sodium in your diet
Drinking too much alcohol
High levels of stress
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure has often been called the silent killer within the healthcare industry.
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms – even at dangerously high levels.
What are the complications of high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your body as well as your vital organs. The longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater damage will occur. Ultimately, high blood pressure can lead to a Heart attack, aneurysm or stroke. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening. High blood pressure can also cause the heart to work harder than it needs to. This will cause the walls of the heart to thicken and perform less efficiently. Eventually, it will be difficult for your heart to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. High blood pressure can also damage the blood vessels in your kidneys, eyes, and brain further complicating things.
Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading regularly. It is generally recommended that you test it every year if you are over 40 years old and every two or three years if you are younger. Since this disease slowly progresses, it is very important to address this condition early, before it can seriously damage the body. At our clinic, you have access to tests and physicians that can evaluate your medical condition and make a customized medical plan to meet your family’s needs.
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