We worry about our blood pressure, but what the heck is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is not really that complicated. It is simply a measurement of the force your blood exerts against your artery walls. However, when the pressure is too high, there can be grave problems as a result. It is an important indicator of certain health factors. This is why your doctor will almost always want to take a look at your blood pressure when you come in for a check-up.
When you check your blood pressure, the reading has two numbers; one on top and one on bottom, similar to a fraction, without the line.
The top number of your blood pressure reading is the systolic
pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart beats... pumps blood through your arteries and veins. The bottom number is your diastolic pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart is relaxing between beats.
Normal blood pressure would be a reading of 120/80 or lower. High blood pressure, or hypertension, would
be a reading of 140/90 or higher. If you have high blood pressure you are at a greater risk of a stroke or heart and kidney disease.
Many things can cause high blood pressure including physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress
and your diet. These are only a few things which may be at the root of the problem. Certain medical conditions and medications can also
cause high blood pressure. Some people are simply genetically predisposed for the condition.
It also appears that race could possibly be a factor as high blood pressure seems to be more common in African Americans than Caucasians. However, that link is not firmly established, but should
encourage African-Americans to pay close attention to their blood pressure.
High blood pressure can cause your body to have certain effects. For
instance it can cause a stroke.
This high pressure can cause a weakened blood vessel to break causing it to bleed into the brain; thus causing a stroke.
In extreme cases, high blood pressure can sometimes cause blood vessels in your eyes to bleed or burst. If this happens your vision will be blurred or impaired and this may even result in blindness. Just one more reason it is best to control high blood pressure in any rational manner you can.
Not only stroke or kidney disease, are the potential results of high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also increase the risk of, or potentially cause a heart attack. Your arteries are what bring blood carrying oxygen to your heart muscle. If your heart is not getting enough oxygen you will experience chest pain. If the blood flow is blocked as well you will experience a heart attack.
Congestive Heart Failure is very common among people with high blood
pressure. This is a very serious condition where your heart cannot pump
enough blood to supply the needs of your body. It is never too late to
start taking control of your heart health
starting with your blood pressure.
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, even children. It is common for many Americans to develop
high blood pressure as they age but that doesn't mean it is healthy. The high level of childhood obesity in America is
linked to an increasing number of children with high blood pressure.
Obesity plays a role in high blood pressure. Weight management is important
because if you are overweight you are at a higher risk of having high blood pressure as well as a stroke
or heart disease. Even losing as little as ten pounds will help lower your blood pressure significantly.
Healthy eating is a great way to lower or control your blood pressure. Limit your intake of salt and sodium and introduce more fresh
fruits and vegetables into your diet. Once you establish your healthy
diet you will have less worry of developing high blood pressure.
Check Your Blood Pressure
You should always have your blood pressure checked at your regular
doctor visits. If you have high blood pressure and are concerned you
can easily monitor it at home. If you do this you will want to have
your doctor take a look at your home blood pressure monitoring device to help ensure it is
effective and you are operating it correctly.
What to Do When Blood Pressure is High
One blood pressure reading really doesn't tell you, or your doctor, very much. Keep track of your blood pressure readings taken over time so you can see what is happening, what is helping and what isn't. Sometimes, lifestyle changes alone won't help as much as they would combined with blood pressure medication or a blood pressure support supplement such as an herbal blood pressure support formula.
Your doctor will be able to tell you what the best option for your
needs would be.