Causes of High Blood Pressure and Its Risk Factors
Ever seen a pipe burst from having too much water rush through it? That’s exactly what happens when high blood pressure does its worst. Unlike PVC pipes, our blood vessels cannot handle too much blood pressure as it channels blood between the heart and the rest of the body. Thus, the system in place to measure when blood pressure is high enough to be detrimental to our health are the standard values used to check if there is high blood pressure.
Why is my blood pressure high?
Blood pressure is considered to be high when it exceeds the normal or standard values for blood pressure. For a normal blood vessel, the standard blood pressure is measured at 120/80, where the first figure is the number of systolic beats per minute (The systole is a rhythmic contraction of the heart, which occurs so that blood can be pushed through the arteries), and the latter is the diastolic (which measures the moments during which blood is pumped into the heart as it dilates in between contractions).
If the blood pressure is checked and it exceeds that value, it’s no longer a good thing, but to different degrees.
If the blood pressure reads between 120-129 for the systolic and less than 80 for the diastolic, then it is a mild elevation, that should still be looked at with all seriousness. However, If the blood pressure is measured at 130-139 for the systolic and 80-89 for the diastolic, then the person is having stage one high blood pressure.
Of course, it can get worse, and the blood pressure could be reading above 140 for the systolic and above 90 for the diastolic. At that point, the person has proceeded to stage two high blood pressure and is already fatal enough to claim lives. In the worst situations, the blood pressure could even be above 180 for the systolic, which is termed ‘hypertension crisis’, and for good reason, since the person is like a dead man walking, but reachable if he/she can get medical attention in time.
How do you get high blood pressure?
There is a long list of what causes high blood pressure. Out of those factors, here are a few notable influencers:
African Heritage and Hereditary traits
Studies have shown that a remarkable number of people with ties with the African race have been found to be at risk of high blood pressure. Unfortunately, even the consequences of high blood pressure like kidney and heart failure, as well as stroke are also just probable with people of African heritage.
Also, the risk of high blood pressure depends on what your genes say at that moment since high blood pressure can be passed along with other hereditary traits.
Age and Gender
Age is just a number that increases the risk of a person getting high blood pressure. Males are predominantly susceptible to high blood pressure until their mid-sixties. After then, females are more likely to get hypertension.
Weight and high blood pressure are related by direct proportionality, as each increase in weight towards obesity causes a greater need for more force in supplying the blood to the rest of the body. this increase in the force of supply means the walls of the arteries are under increasing pressure.
Keeping yourself in good shape eases system processes like the circulation of blood. The ease with which blood is pumped throughout your body helps you to have lighter heart rates since your heart works less on every contraction, especially compared to people that are physically inactive. Keeping a good shape also has the added advantage of having weight under control.
Tobacco and your heart health
It is already public knowledge that smoking is bad for your heart health, as it can temporarily induce hypertension, but even chewing on tobacco has terrible effects on your health too. The chemical composition of tobacco is harsh on the wall lining of the artery, which causes the thinning of the artery walls and the improved risks of heart disease occurring.
Too much Sodium, too little Potassium
Excess intake of salt affects the body by increasing fluid retention, and therefore, the force needed to get blood passed to the entire body.
On the other hand, potassium helps to keep sodium from salt in the balance. Too little, and sodium will be free to wreak havoc through your blood.
One of the more common harbingers of high blood pressure is stress. Elevated levels of blood pressure due to stress should not be calmed by alcohol or tobacco. Instead, exercises like yoga or techniques like massages can be exploited to get mental and physical relief from stress.
What does high blood pressure mean?
High blood pressure is the phrase used to describe the situation when the blood pushed through the arteries is done with great force, which affects the artery walls. The nature of this ailment allows the possibility that a person can behave hypertension for years without knowing since the symptoms might not be as pronounced as expected with something of its magnitude.
On that note, it is important to know that high blood pressure is a leading precursor to health problems like stroke and heart attack if left uncontrolled. High blood pressure is of two types:
This is a common thing among adults, raring its head after years on end of accumulation, but without any identifiable information on what causes high blood pressure and is also known as primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension hits fast, hard, and usually for an obvious reason. The implicit condition behind the high blood pressure tends to cause high values for the blood pressure than can be seen with cases of primary hypertension. Some notable underlying conditions that precede secondary hypertension are
Tumors in the Adrenal gland
Congenital defects in the blood vessels
Obstructive sleep apnea
Some drugs like drugs for cold, decongestants, heavy pain relievers and birth control pills
Hard drugs like amphetamine and cocaine.
The good news is that high blood pressure can be effectively contained if you consult your doctor for the best steps to take in controlling hypertension.