High blood pressure and hypertension the silent killer

High blood pressure commonly referred to as hypertension by medical professionals is a function that directly reflects how your heart and blood vessel function. Normally your cardiovascular system is a closed system meaning there are no air openings or holes of any kind to outside world. When you introduce dynamic fundamentals such as the heart and elasticity of the blood vessels you develop a system that can adapt to change. When a doctor does your blood pressure first he/she determines the top number of your blood pressure which is your systolic pressure. This is the pressure the heart exerts on the blood with each and every beat. Next your doctor will determine the lower number which refers to the pressure the blood vessels exert on the blood called your diastolic pressure. Both these numbers combined gives us your blood pressure. A normal blood pressure varies and changes over time for example your blood pressure in the morning could be significantly lower than your pressure after work. So your blood pressure can be different day in and day out without being a problem. If your doctor is concerned about your blood pressure he/she will ask you to take your pressure the same time of day over the next week or so to determine if you have hypertension.That is why the doctors refer to blood pressure in ranges and not a fixed measure based on gender.

Normal ranges from 110/60 to 140/90 where the first number is always the systolic and the second number is the diastolic. Abnormal blood pressure is any value outside these norms. You are not considered to have high blood pressure until you have several readings above the normal for a set number of days then maybe your doctor may put you on a medicine. Your doctor may choose just to watch your blood pressure closely if it is only slightly elevated like 150/95 to 160/100 . However if you have other risk factors and family history of heart disease and present with symptoms he/she may treat you anyways. Some people may not even know they have high blood pressure since it didn’t present with any symptoms. That is why high blood pressure has been also called the “silent killer”. Your blood pressure could be over 200 systolic and not even know it! That is why we ask you to get your physical done yearly so we can check your blood pressure or if you’re at higher risk the doctor may ask you get checked up more frequently.

Hypertension is a disorder that creeps up on us especially those that do not get regular check ups. Therefore it is a chronic problem meaning a problem that has been developing over a period of time. It is common for the blood pressure to sky rocket during exercise. There are critical features that control blood pressure. Firstly the heart beats fast or hard. The faster or harder the heart rate the higher the output of the pump, which leads to more blood in the pipes than normal. If there is too much volume in the pipes then it will lead to a higher pressure. Secondly, if there is too much blood volume like too much water in your blood vessels then that will lead to more pressure in the pipes. This is usually caused by too much salt in the diet. Water will follow salt therefore if there is too much salt in your blood there will be too much water too. Lastly, the blood vessels of the body are usually elastic. If you have rigid walls on the pipe and not be able to get bigger then the pressure inside the pipe rises. By being elastic and being able to expand the blood vessels get bigger and cradle the increased blood or blood flow thereby reducing the pressure. If you have atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries or fat build up on the walls of the blood vessels then your pipe is not able to expand and control blood pressure inside; you have high blood pressure.

By having high blood pressure or hypertension and as you age the body is less able to adapt. Weaknesses in the walls of arteries and veins develop now throw high pressure into the mix and you the makings of a vessel blow out as in a stroke or too much pressure on your kidneys for too long; now you have kidney failure. Each system must work in balance if any system falls out of balance then the chances of failure exponentially increase.

Make positive changes

So maybe your doctor told you have high blood pressure. That doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. There are simple lifestyle changes that can be made that might limit the amount of pills you take or even not take pills at all.

Start by eating a healthy cardiac diet which includes fiber and plenty of water. Follow this sample cardiac diet. The next plan would be to start a nice cardiac exercise for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. A good exercise is walking and it also should be progressive.

If you smoke , quit -- find a program that will help you stop.

Limit how much alcohol you drink -- one drink a day for women, two a day for men. *Based on average sizes.

Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat -- aim for less than 1,500 mg per day.

Reduce stress through meditation or yoga .

Stay at a healthy body weight. Use the BMI calculator to find your body mass index.

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