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How High Is Your Risk of High Blood Pressure?

Oct 12, 2007
Are you aware of the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension? Do you know how to tell if you're at risk?

Unfortunately, there are many underlying causes of hypertension, or high blood pressure, and it is easy to overlook them in this busy, modern world.

But once you pay attention to high blood pressure you can then find out how to reduce it, or even control it completely.

The normal reading for the average person is usually considered to be 120/80. But it will vary during the day so you cannot take a single reading and base everything on that. You need to have your blood pressure monitored over a number of readings to get a truer picture of the overall state of your helath.

The list of factors which can cause blood pressure to increase is a long list. Just a few of the factors are listed below.

Salt intake
Poor diet
Certain medications
Weight issues
Lack of activity, or exercise
Smoking
Drinking alcohol
Suffering from excessive stress

As you can see from that partial list, there are many things to consider.

We will take a look at each one in turn.

Salt intake:

Take a look at the ingredients list of everything you put in your basket on your next shopping trip. Salt is commonly added to food because it is a cheap way to bulk it out. But that does not mean it is good for you. Often, a single portion of a packet food gives you more salt or sodium than you should have for an entire day.

Poor diet:

Another biggie. With the modern world being so busy how many of us have the luxury of cooking our meals completely from fresh ingredients every day? Well, that group is getting smaller and smaller every day. And the additives and salt and basic lack of vitality that you sometimes get in those foods just does not suit the body the way fresh food does. Now, it may be impossible to eat fresh food all the time, but you should try to increase the proportion of fresh food you do eat. Every little helps.

Certain medications:

Take a look at the medication information sheet that comes with your medications. Look for adverse or side effects. Discuss alternatives with your doctor. It may not be possible to change your medication, but at least you will know whether you have to take extra care with the other factors.

Weight issues:

This is simple. If you are overweight you have a much higher risk of high blood pressure. Losing even a few pounds can help you reduce your blood pressure somewhat.

Lack of activity, or exercise:

Again, this is simple. The more you exercise, or take part in regular activity, the more you will be doing to control your blood pressure. And the exercise can be gentle. A walk 3 or 4 times a week is a good start. You do not have to become a gym freak to get the benefits of regular exercise.

Just 30 minutes a day can have a profound impact on the quality of your life, not to mention your blood pressure. And really, who does not have 30 minutes a day?

Smoking:

This can cause your arteries to restrict, which increases your blood pressure. If possible, cut down. If you can quit smoking completely that is even better, but remember that every little helps. There is help available if you want to give up, but find that you cannot. Discuss it with your doctor, or local pharmacy. You might even want to try nicotine replacement patches.

Drinking alcohol:

Glass of wine with your evening meal? Occasional beer with the guys? Do not sweat it. Life is too short. But if you drink a lot you might want to consider whether you can cut back and still have fun. Again, doing something is better than doing nothing.

Suffering from excessive stress:

This is a tough one. You may not be able to stop your boss from causing you stress, but you can look for activities and ways to reduce the stress. Consider yoga, exercise, meditation or stress management classes if stress is a major factor for you. By stress we mean repetitive, systemic stress. Not the occasional bad day we all get from time to time.

As you can see there are lots of factors that might cause to increase your blood pressure. The list might seem overwhelming, but you do not have to tackle everything at once. The first thing is to get your blood pressure checked by your doctor and then start making small changes. As you get used to one change you can introduce another, until finally you have control of your own health. And finally, remember that you do not have to have perfect blood pressure to do better than having terrible blood pressure. Every little helps.
About the Author
Amin Motin writes about health and weight loss issues. For more info on high blood pressure visit High Blood Pressure Symptoms?
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