Hypertension can result in severe health problems and potentially increase your risk of stroke, heart complications, and even death. Managing your blood pressure is essential for preserving your overall health and lowering your risk of developing any cardiovascular problems. In this article, we will tell you why you should have your hypertension problems checked out at Family Life Medical.
What are the Common Causes of Hypertension?
The following are some of the factors that can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure:
- Genetics. You are at an increased risk of developing hypertension if your parents or siblings are diagnosed with this condition.
- Age. Older patients are more likely to develop high blood pressure than younger patients.
- Obesity. Being overweight often affects the normal functioning of your kidneys, blood vessels, and other body parts, which can potentially increase your risk of hypertension. High cholesterol levels that are linked with obesity can increase your risk of cardiovascular complications.
- Race. It has been reported that high blood pressure is very common among black people than white people.
- Lack of physical exercise. Physically inactive people are more likely to develop hypertension than physically active people.
- Low potassium levels. Potassium is essential in regulating the amount of salt in your body cells. Low levels of potassium may be caused by eating low-potassium diets and various health problems.
- Excessive tobacco use. Chewing tobacco and smoking regularly can cause damage to the walls of your blood vessels and immediately increase the rate at which blood flows through your veins.
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy can sometimes increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Stress. High-stress levels often lead to a temporary increase in your blood pressure.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
When diagnosing high blood pressure, your healthcare provider will first check your blood pressure. If your blood pressure readings are elevated, your practitioner will require you to come for more blood pressure readings for a few weeks. These readings will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis of whether you have hypertension. If your blood pressure remains elevated, your provider will perform an electrocardiogram, ultrasound of your kidneys or heart, and cholesterol screening. These medical tests will help your practitioner identify any secondary factors that may be causing your high blood pressure.
The following are some of the possible treatments for high blood pressure:
- Medications. Your doctor may prescribe you medications such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics to help reduce the rate at which blood is pumped through your blood vessels with each heartbeat.
- Balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet is essential to lowering your high blood pressure risk. It also helps in managing your hypertension symptoms and preventing you from developing cardiovascular problems.
- Regular physical exercises. Besides helping you get rid of excess weight, being physically active can effectively lower your risk of high blood pressure and boost your cardiovascular system.
- Managing stress. There are various activities such as massage, deep breathing, and meditation that are very effective in managing your stress.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. Cutting down or completely quitting drinking alcoholic drinks and smoking can be very effective in managing your blood pressure.
Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is when the force pushing blood in your veins is abnormally high. High blood pressure often exerts more force on the walls of your blood vessels, which increases the rate at which your heart has to work. During your diagnosis of high blood pressure, your doctor may perform various medical exams to identify any secondary factors that may be causing your hypertension. Your healthcare provider will also suggest various effective ways to help manage your high blood pressure symptoms.