Unlike some dangerous medical conditions, high blood pressure has little to no symptoms, making it the “silent killer.” If you have a family history of high blood pressure, it’s essential to get tested to avoid serious complications.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the heart has to work harder than usual to pump blood through your body. This significantly strains your heart, leading to a variety of heart-related ailments.
There are two types of hypertension: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. The main difference between the two stems from their cause.
Primary hypertension hasn’t been linked to an identifiable cause and develops over many years. Secondary hypertension usually emerges from an underlying condition, such as a thyroid problem.
Conditions Caused By High Blood Pressure
Suffering from high blood pressure over an extended period without making necessary changes to your lifestyle leads to several potentially dangerous conditions, including:
- Hardening of the arteries
- Kidney disease
- Heart failure
Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure
You might be at higher risk for high blood pressure if you possess one or more of the following risk factors:
- Being over the age of 45 if male, or over the age of 65 if female
- Family history of hypertension
- Obesity or a lack of physical exercise
- Regular tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Imbalance of specific dietary nutrients, such as too much salt, too little potassium, or too little vitamin D
- Chronic conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes
High Blood Pressure Treatment
You can best treat high blood pressure through a healthier lifestyle and cutting out any poor habits that contribute to high blood pressure, such as smoking. Your doctor may recommend discussing a weight-loss program if you’re overweight or eating poorly.
In some cases, your provider may also prescribe medication to control your blood pressure. Medications, such as diuretics or beta blockers, help reduce blood volume and relieve the workload on your heart.