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Build Your Knowledge On Hypertension

Jun 16, 2008
One-third of the Americans with hypertension don't even know they have it. To test for high blood pressure, as it's commonly called, the doctor will place a cuff around your arm and gently tighten it through a pump so it feels a bit like a python hugging your bicep. Yet most people don't continue with annual check-ups after their childhood due to the rising costs of medical care.

You may get severe headaches, have difficulty breathing at times, feel tired or confused, and suffer vision problems or chest pains. Before the condition progresses into something more serious, like congestive heart failure, you'd better get it checked out!

If you are hypertensive, then it can be caused by many lifestyle choices. For instance, a 2005 study found that women who took 500 mg of Tylenol each day for headaches or pains were more likely to develop high blood pressure than women who did not. Users of cocaine and amphetamines, as well as smokers, were also more at risk.

High body fat, high salt intake, low potassium intake, high cholesterol levels, inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption and high stress are often linked to hypertension as well. Health experts say that this condition isn't so cut-and-dry, that poor lifestyle choices aren't always the culprit. Some people are just at risk because they're aging, pregnant or born into a family with a history of high blood pressure.

People with hypertension may have to undergo several tests to determine the severity of their situation. The most basic test of heart health is the old inflatable arm cuff we've been seeing at every check up for our entire lives, no big deal.

A urinalysis where you pee into a cup is a very non-invasive way of checking the blood for abnormalities. In rare cases, an electrocardiogram will measure your heart's electrical activity, but generally, the little tests are enough to determine whether your cardiovascular health is poor or not.

What are the dangers of high blood pressure, you may ask? If left unchecked over a long period of time, hypertension will inevitably take its toll on your internal organs. Blocked or ruptured blood vessels leading to the brain can cause a stroke and weakened or narrowed blood vessels can cause kidney failure.

Some people develop glaucoma from narrowed or torn blood vessels leading to the eyes, while others develop a thickened heart muscle from too much exertion, resulting in heart failure. Atherosclerosis or aneurysms happen when the arteries sustain damage and diabetes or heart disease are the result of metabolic failure. The good news is that, unlike cancer or other conditions, simply changing one's lifestyle can go a long way for the person with high blood pressure.
About the Author
Learn more about hypertension at Mike Selvon portal. While you are there leave is a comment at our nutrition blog, and receive your FREE gift.
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