What is This Silent Killer?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a medical condition in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and is expressed in two numbers, such as 120/80 mm Hg. The first number, systolic pressure, measures the pressure when the heart beats and pumps blood. The second number, diastolic pressure, measures the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms, but it can lead to serious health problems over time, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss. High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, lifestyle, stress, and certain medical conditions.
Treatment for high blood pressure may include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, increasing physical activity, reducing salt intake, and quitting smoking, as well as medications such as diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications.
Effects of BP
High blood pressure can have several negative effects on the body over time. These include:
Increased risk of heart disease
High blood pressure can cause the heart to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to damage of the arteries and an increased risk of heart disease.
Increased risk of stroke
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the brain, leading to an increased risk of stroke.
High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease or kidney failure.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems or even blindness.
High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the genital area, leading to erectile dysfunction or reduced sexual desire.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the brain, leading to memory problems or even dementia.
High blood pressure can cause weakened blood vessels to bulge and possibly rupture, leading to a life-threatening condition called an aneurysm.
These are just a few of the many negative effects of high blood pressure on the body. It’s important to manage high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and/or medication to reduce the risk of these and other complications.
How to cure high blood pressure
High blood pressure cannot be “cured” in the traditional sense, but it can be managed and controlled with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Here are some ways to manage high blood pressure:
Maintain a healthy weight
Losing weight can help lower blood pressure.
Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Eat a healthy diet
A diet that is low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help lower blood pressure.
Reduce sodium intake
Eating too much sodium can raise blood pressure, so it’s important to limit intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
Smoking can raise blood pressure, so quitting can help lower blood pressure and improve overall health.
Chronic stress can raise blood pressure, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or counseling.
Take medication as prescribed
If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control high blood pressure, medication may be needed. It’s important to take medications as prescribed and to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the best treatment plan.
Overall, managing high blood pressure requires a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. Working with a healthcare provider can help ensure that blood pressure is properly managed and controlled.
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