When as many as one billion people worldwide are affected by high blood pressure, it is reason enough to worry. Anyone, regardless of their age or gender, can develop high blood pressure and, once it develops, this dreaded condition usually lasts a lifetime.
High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke and may cause other problems such as heart failure, kidney disease, and even blindness.
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg. You have pre-hypertension if your blood pressure is in between 120 – 139/ 80 – 89 mmHg, and you have high blood pressure if your blood pressure is more than 140/90 mmHg.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is not called the silent killer for nothing. It often develops without any warning signs or symptoms, so you won’t even know that your heart and arteries are getting damaged. Sometimes hypertension symptoms may include dizziness, headache and nosebleeds, but again, these symptoms may be for any number of reasons.
Narrowing of arteries, increased blood volume and an increase in the force of heart beat are some of the causes of high blood pressure:
You can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure if you have one or more of these risk factors:
Family history of high blood pressure
Advanced age since blood vessels lose flexibility with age
Lack of physical activity
Obesity and overweight
Diet high in sodium and low in nutritional value
Excessive alcohol consumption
Smoking or second hand smoking
The good news is that you can prevent and control high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle and through natural remedies. If lifestyle changes and natural remedies for hypertension are not effective in keeping blood pressure under control you may have to go in for medications.