Your Heart and Hypertension
Hypertension is the clinical term for high blood pressure. What is high blood pressure (HBP) exactly, and why is it so dangerous for your heart health?
Normal blood pressure is defined as 120/80, so anything higher that than should be dealt with through natural means in the first instance, and medication if the natural means are still not enough to bring it down to normal.
The higher number (systolic) of the blood pressure reading is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating. The lower number (diastolic) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is not beating.
High blood pressure is the result of an increase in the resistance of blood flow through the blood vessels due to the blood vessels being more narrowed and constricted than normal. This can happen for a number of reasons. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress, can all constrict blood flow at various stages. The more often this happens, the more the arteries will begin to harden.
Chronic narrowing is due to arteriosclerosis, that is, a buildup on the artery walls of plaque. The plaque is formed by cholesterol, specifically, the VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein [fatty protein]) and LDL, Low Density Lipoprotein kinds of cholesterol. The narrowing of the blood vessel is called stenosis. The greater degree of stenosis, the harder the heart has to work to pump oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body to keep the tissue healthy. Over time, the heart will become damaged, leading to heart failure, if the HBP is not treated.
HBP can also lead to damage to your blood vessels, kidneys, and eyes. It can also lead to heart attack and stroke.
HBP is caused by a number of factors, including:
* Genetic factors
* Kidney disease
* Overactive thyroid gland
but the good news is that many of the causes are due to lifestyle choices, and as such can be modified. If making healthier choices is still not enough, there are a range of effective medications to help lower blood pressure safely.
Lifestyle choices that can help you lower HBP naturally include:
* Losing weight
* Reducing the salt in your diet
* Steering clear of pre-packaged foods
* Cooking yourself from scratch
* Stopping smoking and
* Exercising more
Work on one or two of these changes, monitor your blood pressure regularly (invest in a cheap home monitor if you have very high blood pressure) and see what a difference it can make to your health.