High blood pressure is very common nowadays, but unfortunately few people are fully aware of the risks associated with high diastolic blood pressure. In a nutshell, hypertension can increase the risk of developing a stroke, heart disease and other potentially fatal diseases: the higher the pressure, the higher the risk. Fortunately, modern treatments and meds allow patients to lower their blood pressure quickly and relatively effortlessly. Here you will find all the FAQ´s about high blood pressure, its causes and how to prevent it.
To put it simple, the blood pressure refers to the pressure in the arteries, when your heart rests in-between every heart beat. The pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, and it refers to systolic (when the heart beats) and diastolic pressure (between heartbeats). The normal blood pressure should be lower than or equal to 80. Everything that is above 80 indicates hypertension, and patients who experience high blood pressure are strongly advised to seek medical attention right away.
How Can You Measure Your Blood Pressure?
There are several ways in which one can measure his tension nowadays, but the fastest, easiest and most convenient way to do it is by using a special electronic device that involves a blood pressure cuff. This is a simple, effortless and painless way to measure your hypertension: all you need to do is to wrap the cuff around your upper arm and turn on the device. The cuff will start to inflate and the device will start to calculate both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The first pressure is the systolic one, followed by the diastolic pressure.
The other way to measure your blood pressure, on the other hand, is by using astethoscope: this is a rather traditional method that was widely used by doctors to measure the pressure before the electronic pressure cuffs have emerged on the market.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
It often happens that the causes of hypertension are unknown in most cases, but the narrowing of the arteries can be one of them: as the arteries narrow, the blood pressure slightly increases and this can lead to the damage of the arteries, veins and capillaries in the long term, if no measure is taken.
Hormonal imbalances or kidney dysfunctions can also trigger hypertension in some individuals, and other factors that might contribute to this condition include stress, older age, smoking, increased salt consumption or increased alcohol consumption. It is believed that genetics also plays a pivotal role here: if you have a family history of hypertension, then you are predisposed to developing high blood pressure as well, at a certain point in your life.
How Can Hypertension Be Treated?
If you suffer from high blood pressure and you want to do something about it, then you should know that you basically have two options: you can either use prescribed anti-hypertension medications or you can change your lifestyle. The last option is usually the most common one, as it is natural and it has many other health benefits. One of the most notable lifestyle changes one can make is to lose weight, as it is a known fact that most overweight people suffer from high blood pressure: you can lose up to 1.5 mm Hg for every two pounds of weight you lose.
Physical exercises, on the other hand, can also help you lower your blood pressure: basically, all you need to do is to consider some cardiovascular exercises that will stimulate the blood flow, such as swimming, walking or cycling. Half an hour of exercise a day for three to four times a week can make a big difference.
Lowering your salt intake and eating a healthy diet can also help you lower blood pressure: eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid consuming fatty meats and eat at least two servings of fish per week. In addition to helping you manage your hypertension, a healthy diet will also help you lower your cholesterol and deliver all the fiber, vitamins and nutrients your body needs. At the same time, try not to consume more than six grams of salt on a daily basis: rather than doing that, you can opt for alternative herbs and spices to flavor your food. Generally speaking, doctors firstly advise their patients to change their lifestyle before prescribing any anti-hypertension drugs.