Do You Know What
Causes High Blood Pressure?

The aging population is discovering that their blood pressure is higher than normal without knowing what causes high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is something I never had to worry about, but as I age, my blood pressure is slowing inching higher. Since strokes are a common denominator in my family's DNA, I decided to research the subject. I wanted to know what is causing the fluctuation in my blood pressure.

Basic Info On High Blood Pressure

Blood PressureBlood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of our arteries, and when it is high it causes our heart to work harder. When high blood pressure is uncontrolled, it will lead to heart disease.

About 1/3 of the population of Americans suffer from hypertension which is the most frequent cause of high blood pressure; they do not realize they have it because they feel no symptoms.

It is a major risk for strokes and heart attacks. My mother had high blood pressure and eventually had a huge stroke which left her physically helpless, hence my reason for interest in this topic.

Normal blood pressure is 120/80, and readings between that and 139/89 usually indicate hypertension which can lead to heart disease.

A danger zone occurs when your reading is 140/90 and can become a hypertensive crises when your reading is 180/110. You need to rest immediately, take your blood pressure again and if it doesn't diminish, call 911 immediately!

I found out many reasons in my investigation for what causes high blood pressure, some of which most of us are unaware.

You May Be Surprised
What Causes High Blood Pressure

Here are several reasons for  causes of high blood pressure:

  • Being overweight puts a strain on your heart. Diets with less calories are designed to lower your blood pressure. These diets such as the Dash Diet cuts out fats and sugars and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber.
  • Diet - if you eat too much salt, it retains more fluid in your body which puts a greater burden on your heart. Processed food such as canned soups and lunch meat contain enormous amounts of sodium (salt) so it is important to read all the labels on food containers. the American Heart Association recommends 1,500 milligrams of salt daily which is less than 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 
  • Stress - is is known to cause high blood pressure which is a risk factor in heart disease. Constant stress in your life can led to unhealthy habits such as a poor diet (fast and fatty foods), drinking too much alcohol, and smoking - all leading to high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Drinking too much Alcohol increases blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends two drinks a day for men and one for women. A drink consists of one 12 ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 % proof alcohol. 
  • Caffeine - too much caffeine can cause the jitters and also raise your blood pressure. It is recommended to have 1 to 2 cups of coffee daily. 
  • Prescriptions - medicines for colds and flu containing decongestants can also raise your blood pressure, plus NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are pain relievers for arthritis and inflammation, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills and antidepressants. Some common medicines are Ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin) and Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Migraine headache medicines restrict blood vessels in your body which could raise your blood pressure. Find out from your doctor which drugs you are taking that could affect your blood pressure.

And finally your emotions can play a key role in raising your blood pressure. For example, if you are always angry whereby you hold your emotions inside or yell at others - this too raises your blood pressure and will eventually lead to heart disease.

You can find out more information regarding high blood pressure and hypertension at Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center.

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