High blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is too high. Your pressure is as a result of two forces, the systolic pressure which occurs as the blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries, and the second force called the diastolic pressure occurs when the heart rests between each heartbeat. These two numbers, the systolic over the diastolic represent your blood pressure.
High blood pressure over time can cause damage to the heart and other circulatory vessels by tiring the heart and causing it to work with less efficiency, this alone can increase a man or woman’s probability of heart attack, stroke, loss of vision, kidney failure and sexual dysfunction.
There are two kinds of hypertension:
- Primary Hypertension: Usually develops slowly over time and has no cause that can be identified.
- Secondary hypertension: Identifying causes include, adrenal gland problems, kidney problems, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, medications such as cold remedies, birth control pills can elevate your blood pressure, along with some drugs such as cocaine and other stimulates.
If you have high blood pressure and wish to make some changes in your life to decrease your numbers, the best place to start is to identify the risk factors, they include smoking, drinking, high salt intake, lack of exercise, obesity, and stress.
Studies show there is a higher prevalence of high blood pressure in people of African origin, as well as people over the age of 60. While you don’t have control over your race, gender or age, the good news is you do have control of those things that affect your lifestyle. Why not make choices that cause you to live your best life.