Yusuf Abdulbasit Hozaifah writes,
Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than the normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day, based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).
When you have hypertension (high blood pressure), it means the pressure against the blood vessel walls in your body is consistently too high. High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer”, because you may not be aware that anything is wrong, but the damage keeps occurring within your body.
Hypertension, and its complications, are now responsible for about the commonest cause of sudden unexpected natural death in the country.
The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
Your blood pressure reading has two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on the blood vessel walls when your heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure on your blood vessels between beats when your heart is relaxing.
Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. New guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) published in November 2017 consider blood pressure elevated between 120/80 and 129/80.
High blood pressure or hypertension is now classified as stage 1, if your systolic reading falls between 130 and 139 or your diastolic reading is between 80 and 89. A measure of 140/90 or higher is now considered stage 2 hypertension.
According to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 70 percent of adults age 65 or older have hypertension. The risk of prehypertension and high blood pressure has been increasing in recent years in young people, too, including children and teens, possibly because of the rise of obesity in these populations.
There are two main types of high blood pressure, namely: primary and secondary high blood pressure.
Primary, or essential high blood pressure, is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Remedies for High Blood Pressure
Treatments for high blood pressure include heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.
You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective. But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure, so you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines. Some people need to take more than one type.
If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.
Choose healthy meal and snack options to help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Talk with your health care team about eating a variety of foods rich in potassium, fibre, and protein and lower in salt (sodium) and saturated fat.
For many people, making these healthy changes can help keep blood pressure low and protect against heart disease and stroke.
Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit it.
Getting enough sleep is important to your overall health, and enough sleep is part of keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Visit CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders website for resources on how to get better sleep.
Stay healthy and stay safe. Your health is very vital. Health is wealth.