Hypertension has become so widespread that people often forget how serious the condition really is.
In the United States alone, 70 million adults suffer from the condition. This is equal to roughly 40% of adults over the age of 25.
The number of people living with high blood pressure is predicted to reach 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025.
Additionally, hypertension is responsible for up to 50% of deaths from heart disease and stroke and is a direct cause of kidney disease and kidney failure.
What Is Hypertension ?
The condition occurs when the force of the blood pumping through your arteries is too strong.
Short-term, it’s a normal sign of stress, exertion or illness. However, long-term, it can put a lot of strain on your blood vessels and heart, becoming potentially fatal (3).
Age, race, family history, weight, diet and habits can all play a role in the development of the condition, but the most common cause is the buildup of arterial plaque cause by a high-fat and high-sodium diet.
Other causes include(4):
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Certain defects in blood vessels you’re born with (congenital)
- Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
Over time, hypertension can lead to serious medical conditions such as (5) :
- chronic heart failure
- metabolic syndrome
- eye problems
- heart attack
- memory issues
Early Warning Signs of Hypertension
Often times, people with high blood pressure experience no clear-cut symptoms until the condition has reached a severe or life-threatening stage, even when their blood pressure readings reach excessively high levels.
Unfortunately, the most common symptoms are easily mistaken from other conditions and just plain aging. These include:
- chest pains
- irregular heartbeat
- vision issues
- ear buzzing
More obvious symptoms, like headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping and facial flushing, can actually indicate hypertensive crisis, a severe and sometimes fatal manifestation of the disease (6).
Low Blood Pressure Isn’t Much Better
Low blood pressure may be more rare, but it’s certainly not any healthier. Over time, it can rob the brain, organs and tissues from life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients. The condition is typically caused by old age, inactivity and lack of exercise (7).
Worse of all low blood pressure can often occur without presenting obvious symptoms. Many sufferers don’t even think of measuring their blood pressure and their body is slowly starved and begins to breakdown.
Common symptoms include (8):
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting (syncope)
- Lack of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Cold, clammy, pale skin
- Rapid, shallow breathing
How To Measure Blood Pressure
Since its symptoms can be hard to recognize, the easiest way to diagnose hypertension is to regularly measure your blood pressure at your doctor’s office and at home. This is especially important for people with a family history of the condition or who live an unhealthy lifestyle.
Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries (9).
Here are the guideline set by the National Institute of Health to determine your condition (10):
- Normal: Lower than 120/80
- Prehypertension: 120–139/80–89
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140–159/90–99
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above/100 and above
How To Manage High Blood Pressure
Commonly prescribed medication is used to treat the symptoms of hypertension, but often do little to treat the cause. Because the condition is often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, a healthy diet and regular exercise can effectively prevent and treat high blood pressure.
It’s important to make sure to get plenty of fiber, magnesium, calcium and potassium, folic acid and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can all help reverse the disease and promote cardiovascular health (11).
Lastly, hypertensive patients should avoid avoid sugar, trans fats, high sodium foods, caffeine, stress, inactivity, alcohol and cigarettes, which are all known to contribute to high blood pressure (12).
- Clear Your Lungs And Sinuses In 30 Minutes With These Homemade Shower Disks
No one likes feeling sick. Having a sore throat, puffy eyes, and a stuffy nose is a recipe for sleepless …
- 5 Dangers Associated With Drinking Alcohol You Don’t Know About But Should!
Sipping on a cocktail is an easy way to melt away the stresses of your day, but it comes with a hefty …
- 21 Weird Reasons for Rapid Weight Gain Most People Never Consider
When most people experience rapid weight gain, they tend to look at external factors. Maybe someone is injured and unable …
- 22 Sauce and Vinaigrette Recipes to Boost Your Weight Loss Efforts
Everyone knows that eating more greens and vegetables is good for us. But let’s face it, very few people enjoy …
- 5 Perfectly Good Reasons Why Your Digestive System Isn’t Working Properly (No. 4 Is a No-Brainer!)
It seems nearly everyone has digestive issues these days. Crohn’s, IBS, colitis, celiac, and dozens of other digestive disorders have …
- The Common Habits You Need To Stop Immediately To Cut Your Dementia Risk In Half
For many, it’s their worst nightmare: coming to the twilight years and being unable to function independently, unable to perform …
- Doctor Sells His Practice in New Jersey, Buys Organic Farm & Begins Treating Patients Himself
Let food be thy medicine has never seemed so appropriate. Following the natural food trend, New Jersey doctor Robert Weiss …
- Medical Marijuana Is Legalized Across The Entire Continent Of Australia!
History was made this month for the people Down Under. The Australian parliament passed a bill to amend the current …
- 7 Things You Unknowingly Do That Slow Down Your Metabolism
Want to speed up your metabolism? There are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you do so – …
- Cure for AIDS? Bee Venom Destroys HIV Cells, Finds Washington University Study
Bees are essential for human survival, mainly because of their ability to pollinate our crops. They also produce one of …
- Under Pressure? Use This 2-Minute Trick To Relax!
The habit of meditation is one of the most powerful things you’ll ever learn. Amazingly, it’s also one of the most …
- The Surprising Trick to Keep Cut Avocados FRESH That Most People Don’t Know About
In the last few years, avocados have been popping up everywhere in healthy recipes, food blogs and on health websites. …
- You’re Texting All Wrong and It’s Killing Your Spine
Are you on Facebook surfing right now? Or perhaps texting your friends via cellphone? If you are then stop for a …
- The Exact Herbs You NEED To Heal Anything From Insomnia To Inflammation! (Quick Guide)
Herbs and spice were the first line of medical defense for our ancestors. Long before there were antibiotics and prescription …
- 10 Nutrients To Prevent Liver Damage Caused By Over-The-Counter Drugs
The liver is a very important organ. One of its main tasks is to filter or break down anything you …