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High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a potentially serious medical condition that can lead to a variety of diseases or illnesses including coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, and many other cardiovascular problems. Your blood pressure is the measure of force of blood pushing against your artery walls when your heart pumps blood. If the blood pressure rate is high, it can cause damage in a variety of ways.

About High Blood Pressure

In most cases, there won’t be any signs or symptoms for someone with high blood pressure. This makes it especially dangerous since it can be doing damage to your body including your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels and you wouldn’t even know it. Approximately 33% of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, many of which don’t realize it or make steps to lower it. It is vitally important that you know your blood pressure and get it checked on a regular basis, even if you don’t feel ill.

Blood Pressure Numbers

Your blood pressure is measured as systolic and diastolic pressures. The term systolic is referring to the blood pressure when the heart beats to pump blood. The diastolic measurement is for the blood pressure when the heart is at rest in between beats. This is why someone’s blood pressure has two numbers such as 120/80. For most adults, a blood pressure less than 120 over 80 is normal, prehypertension is a blood pressure of 120-139 over 80-89 and high blood pressure is anything over 140 over 90. Stage 2 high blood pressure is the most severe level at 160 over 100 and higher. Your blood pressure won’t alwas stay the same which is why doctors like to measure it multiple times is the first number was unusually high or low. Stress can also rise blood pressure, such as someone nervous about getting it measured or the doctor in general, might always show a high number but then when they’re relaxed it is of a normal rate.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

There is no single cause of high blood pressure, though there are a number of risk factors that may signal to a reason why someone has high blood pressure. This includes smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, adrenal and thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, a family history of high blood pressure and genetics, older age, stress, excessive alcohol use, or eating a diet with too much sodium (salt). Treating high blood pressure typically involves medication along with lifestyle changes such as exercise and eating a healthy diet.
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