Blood pressure is the amount of force that pushes against artery walls to get blood through the body. If the force is too strong for too long, arteries weaken over time.
In the United States, 70 million people—that’s almost 1 of every 3—have high blood pressure. In Canada, it’s 1 in 6. Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease, artheriosclerosis, stroke, and kidney failure. Managing this condition is therefore critical not just for all-around health and feeling good but to prevent life-threatening illness.
Meds Increase Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that taking the most commonly prescribed type of drug—calcium channel blockers—for an extended period puts you at risk for developing cancer 2½ times that of someone who doesn’t and the odds increase as you age.(1)
Two Types of Hypertension
Hypertension can be hereditary or acquired through a high-risk lifestyle. There are 2 types: essential (primary) and secondary.
In the case of essential hypertension, there’s no apparent cause and it gradually develops over many years. Secondary hypertension is usually associated with another condition(s):(2)
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Certain congenital blood defects
There are several risk factors for high blood pressure:
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs of any kind
- Race – high blood pressure is more common in African Americans than white Americans
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
- Chronic vitamin D and/or potassium deficiency over time
- Too much salt
- Other chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease
If you have high blood pressure and the medication may kill you faster than the hypertension itself, what can you do?