Understanding Blood Pressure

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Blood Pressure
how high blood pressure affects the human body.

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force or pressure of your blood against your artery walls. When you have your blood pressure checked the reading has two numbers; one on top and the other one at the bottom.

The number at the top is your systolic pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart beats. The number at the bottom is your diastolic pressure. This is the force of your blood in your arteries when your heart relaxes in-between beats.

Usually a normal blood pressure is believed to be a reading of 120/80 or lower. High blood pressure or hypertension happens when the reading is 140/90 or higher. If you have high blood pressure you are at a greater risk of a stroke or heart or kidney disease.

Many factors can cause high blood pressure including physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress, unhealthy diet and many other factors. Even some certain medical conditions and medications can cause high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can affect your body in certain ways. For instance it can cause a stroke. When high blood pressure causes your blood vessel to weaken, the blood vessel breaks causing it to bleed into the brain; thus leaving you with a stroke.

High blood pressure can also sometimes cause the blood vessels in your eyes to bleed or burst. If this happens your vision will be blurred or impaired and might even result in blindness. Another reason it is best to keep control on your blood pressure.

Along with a stroke or kidney disease high blood pressure can also 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 health starting with your blood pressure.

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, even children. It is more common for Africans or African Americans to develop it.

Obesity plays a role in high blood pressure. If you are overweight you are at a higher risk of having high blood pressure as well as a stroke or heart disease.

Eating a healthy diet 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.

Most times people with high blood pressure do not experience any noticeable symptoms which has given high blood pressure the nickname “the silent killer.”

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 from home. If you do this you want to have your doctor look at your home monitoring device to help ensure it is effective and you are operating it correctly.

Keep track of your blood pressure readings so you can see what is helping and what isn’t.

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