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Hypertension: What Causes It?

Apr 12, 2008
High blood pressure (hypertension) is often referred to as the silent killer because it rarely exhibits any symptoms until significant damage is already done to a person's body. A routine physical is the most common method of finding out that one has the disease. However, the lack of symptoms should not lead to taking this disease lightly. The vast majority of patients who suffer heart attacks and congestive heart failure have hypertension first. High blood pressure is the top cause of heart disease. One in three people in the United States has high blood pressure.

Standard preliminary procedures will include a blood pressure check with every physical. This is usually done prior to even seeing the doctor and often before being taken to an examination room. Be alert to a common syndrome in which a patient's blood pressure increases significantly due to nervousness about visiting the doctor. This is often referred to as White Coat Syndrome. I react that way personally, and it has often lead to attempts to send m to the emergency room. The solution was to buy a home blood pressure monitoring unit to check blood pressure every day. These units are cheap and actually very accurate. Do not stop doctor visits just because you are following your blood pressure at home.

Although hypertension is a major causative factor in strokes and coronary heart disease, the sad truth is that 90% or more of cases have unknown or uncertain causes. For this reason, there is no simple answer to the question of what causes high blood pressure and there is no simple solution to the problem. The problem is best approached in a holistic fashion.

Ordinarily, a person's body keeps blood pressure under control naturally. In a non-hypertensive person blood pressure stays within strict limits. When blood pressure falls, the body automatically constricts the arteries and increases blood pressure. When blood pressure is high, this process occurs in reverse. For some reason, this process malfunctions in people with long term high blood pressure. When this happens the disease must be controlled by diet, drugs and lifestyle changes.

Here are some of the factors doctors think cause high blood pressure:

* Excess consumption of alcohol

* Smoking

* Obesity

* Too much sodium intake

* High stress levels

* Too much caffeine

* Genetics

Most of the factors listed are well within our individual control. We can make great progress toward controlling blood pressure with natural techniques. Switching to a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables and less fat can make a huge difference. Losing just a few pounds of excess fat can work wonders in lowering blood pressure. Easy exercise such as walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week has beneficial effects on blood pressure. Switching to the low sodium DASH diet has been proven in studies to lower blood pressure. These actions will have greater effects when combined. Be sure to consult your medical doctor before beginning any new exercise program or making major changes in your diet.
About the Author
Controlling hypertension is crucial to avoiding heart disease lby going toer in life. Learn more about how to treby going to hypertension by going to http://bloodpressuredanger.blogspot.com
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