Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HealthHypertension

Exploring the Fundamentals of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Hypertension can have severe implications for your health–learn what it is and what you need to know about it.

There are many typical medical conditions that can develop throughout our lifetimes. These conditions can be brought on by our family history, our lifestyle, or even the products we use and ingest. Hypertension is a condition that affects over 100,000,000 people in the United States alone.

In this guide, we will discuss hypertension and the factors that surround it.

What is Hypertension?

All around the world, people experience hypertension, but not everyone knows it by this name. Hypertension is the medical term used to describe chronic high blood pressure, and this condition can come with several other health risks.

When you experience high blood pressure, it means that your blood, which travels through your arteries, is experiencing elevated pressure levels. This pressure will cause strains on the walls of your arteries and other parts of the body, leading to several health concerns.

Stage 1 vs. Stage 2 Hypertension

Stage 1 and Stage 2 hypertension are also commonly called primary and secondary hypertension. These two stages cover key factors surrounding your condition and its severity. Stage 1 hypertension is generally applied when blood pressure exceeds 130 on top or 80 on the bottom. Stage 2 is applied when blood pressure surpasses 140 on top or 90 on the bottom.

With Stage 1 hypertension, the condition tends to be more gradual. It will build over time, increasing in severity throughout the years. Stage 2 hypertension, on the other hand, can be brought on by a specific cause–medication, medical complications, or even drugs.

Stress Influences High Blood Pressure
Stress Influences High Blood Pressure – Pexels

How Hypertension Influences Health

Any time that our bodies are out of balance, we run the risk of experiencing medical complications. These are the ways that hypertension influences the health of those who experience it.

Heart Risks

One of the biggest concerns that come with experiencing high blood pressure is that it can have several traumatic effects on your heart health. In general, ongoing hypertension strains the heart, and this can lead to many unpleasant side effects.

Due to high blood pressure, you can develop extreme heart conditions. Stroke, heart attack, and heart failure can all be caused by having higher-than-normal blood pressure. This can vary based on the cause of your high blood pressure and whether or not you manage it. Heart attacks and strokes are caused by artery blockages, as well as the development of blood clots.

Physical Pain

Although many people experience hypertension with very few regular symptoms, long-term cases can lead to additional problems for the body. When left unchecked, it is possible for hypertension to cause chest pain and general body aches. Not only is this unpleasant, but it can also be a warning sign of what is to come. Pain is often more prominent when individuals participate in physical movement or exercise.

Organ Damage

High blood pressure impacts the heart primarily, but this is not the only part of your body that it places at risk. Hypertension has the ability to negatively affect your organs, possibly leading to severe and life-threatening complications. Most commonly, hypertension will impact your kidneys, but it can impact organs throughout the entire body. This is even more common when blood pressure spikes. It can lead to additional physical risks and problems.

Exercise Impacts Hypertension
Exercise Impacts Hypertension – Pexels

Important Factors That May Affect Hypertension

High blood pressure may be common, but that does not mean it is always inevitable. There are many relevant factors that can influence whether or not a person is likely to experience higher-than-average blood pressure levels.

Diet, Weight, and Exercise Habits

Hypertension is often influenced by personal habits, and the way you eat and exercise can have a big impact on whether or not you will develop this condition. Poor diets that are high in fat and sodium can have negative effects on your health, particularly your blood pressure.

Combining a poor diet with minimal exercise habits is often a recipe for weight gain. Unfortunately, weight is another important factor to consider with this condition. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience high blood pressure and may also suffer more extreme consequences from it.

Getting daily exercise, focusing on a healthy diet, and keeping your weight at normal levels can help you to push back against this condition. In fact, many doctors recommend improving your diet and getting regular exercise to assist with high blood pressure. This can vary based on the severity of the condition and other individual factors.

Age

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to certain diseases–and hypertension is one of them. Starting around your mid-sixties, you are naturally more likely to develop high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle can lessen your chances in some cases.

Sodium and Potassium Levels

The pressure of our blood is dependent upon certain levels in the body, particularly sodium and potassium.

Sodium is known to elevate our blood pressure, making it dangerous at high levels in some cases. If you have high blood pressure, it is likely that your doctor will recommend reducing your sodium intake.

Potassium is responsible for managing the sodium levels in your blood. If you do not have enough potassium in your system, sodium levels may grow out of control and lead to hypertension.

Diet Impacts Hypertension
Diet Impacts Hypertension – Pexels

Medical Factors

In some cases, hypertension develops due to underlying medical conditions. This can happen as a direct response to conditions, like diabetes, or it may develop in response to the medications you take. If you have concerns, ask your doctor about medical factors that may impact your blood pressure.

Lifestyle Factors

In addition to diet and exercise, there are many lifestyle factors that may influence your risk of developing high blood pressure. The use of certain drugs or substances can impact your blood pressure, especially over time. Tobacco, beer and liquor, and other high-risk substances may impact your blood pressure for the worst.

Manage and Prevent Hypertension Through Healthy Habits and Medical Care

From our family history to what we have for dinner every day, high blood pressure can find its way into our lives. If you are experiencing high blood pressure, it is important to discuss this condition and the risks that come with it with your doctor. The sooner you begin treating hypertension through healthy habits, as well as medication, the better!

This is not professional medical advice.