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Many people are not aware what blood pressure is. And that lack of knowledge could potentially lead to serious health complications, stroke, heart attack and even death. The term Silent Killer describes high blood pressure very well. Yet with a little knowledge you can take action to prevent, or reduce, the damage high blood pressure can cause. Blood pressure is quite simply the force of your blood flow pounding against your artery walls. If you imagine a hosepipe, the higher the pressure the more the force on the actual hosepipe itself. Well it is the same with your blood and your arteries. Whenever your doctor or clinician checks your blood pressure there are two readings; two numbers. They are usually shown as 120/80. The first number is called your systolic pressure. When your heart is beating, the force of your blood in your arteries is called your systolic pressure. It is the temporary pressure exerted as the blood is pumped. The second number is your diastolic pressure. As your heart rests in between beasts the force of your blood in your arteries is lower. This is called your diastolic pressure. Normal blood pressure is considered to be about 120/80 or lower. High blood pressure is considered a reading of 140/90 or higher, although doctors in different countries have slightly different views on what constitutes low, normal and high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure then quite simply you are at greater risk of having a stroke, heart and kidney disease and heart attack. It pays to reduce your blood pressure in that case. The list of things that can cause high blood pressure is very long. It includes such things as physical inactivity, tobacco smoking and alcohol use, excessive stress and a poor diet. It is also known that some medical conditions and even some medications can cause or contribute to high blood pressure, also called hypertension. We have already seen that high blood pressure, or hypertension, can cause strokes. The reason is that the high pressure inside your arteries can actually cause blood vessels to break. That, in turn, could allow it to bleed into the brain. That is how strokes occur. The same kind of problem can be seen when hypertension causes a blood vessel in your eyes to burst, or bleed. Your vision will be blurred, as you would expect, but in severe cases it can leave you blind. There is a long list of reasons why it is best to keep control on your blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known to cause heart attacks. Your arteries bring


oxygenated blood to your heart muscle. If your heart does not get sufficient oxygen you would notice chest pains and constriction. If the blood flow is blocked you would suffer a heart attack. And the list goes on. Congestive Heart Failure is also something that occurs in people with high blood pressure. Congestive Heart Failure is a very serious condition and happens when your heart is unable to pump sufficient blood for your body. Although it can be scary reading all the problems associated with high blood pressure, it's never too late to do something about it. And even more importantly, it's never too early to do something about it. Even children can develop high blood pressure so early prevention is ideal. And as you age you are more likely to develop higher blood pressure. But that is not a reason to accept it as a fact of life. Racial and ethnic background can also make a difference to how likely you are to develop high blood pressure. Certain groups are known to be more at risk. Overweight is a significant factor in high blood pressure. As well as all the other problems overweight can cause, you have a much higher risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes. All the nasty stuff. Losing weight generally helps to lower blood pressure and if you are overweight you should certainly have your blood pressure measured. Of course, a healthy diet has much to commend it for many reasons. But it's a great way to control your blood pressure in an easy way. You should certainly be careful with your intake of salt and sodium since that causes blood pressure to increase. If you check what's in the ingredients of your packet foods you may be surprised just how much salt you eat every day. Try also to introduce a greater proportion of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet to establish a healthy routine. Whenever you visit your doctor have your blood pressure checked. It only takes a few seconds and it is an important part of controlling your health. It is also possible to measure your blood pressure at home these days with easy to use blood pressure monitors. You may want to ask your doctor to teach you how to monitor your blood pressure at home, to make sure you get a reliable reading. Consider keeping a journal of your blood pressure readings. You will be able to see when something has affected your blood pressure adversely. That way, you get early warning so you can avoid long term damage. And if lifestyle changes are not proving sufficient, speak to your doctor. You may need to consider blood pressure medication. Your doctor will advise you the best option for your particular situation. Remember that in most cases high blood pressure is caused by changeable factors. If you really want to avoid the Silent Killer, it pays to change them.

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The Silent Killer - High Blood Pressure