High blood pressure or what is medically known as hypertension affect millions of Americans. In fact, about 80 million people in the US have high blood pressure and what is more terrifying is the fact that some of these people are not even aware that they have high blood pressures. This is why hypertension has become known as the silent killer because unless you have your blood pressures checked regularly, you have no way of knowing that you already have it until it is already much too high up the scale.
High blood pressure will often manifests itself through headaches, dizziness and nose bleeds. Some people will also feel pain at the back of their necks when they wake up in the morning. Hypertension is not really life-threatening per se as it is not a disease. The level of blood pressure, however, is a risk factor to heart disease and will increase one’s predisposition to heart attacks. This is especially true with people who are over 35 years old and those who are much much older.
Because it is a condition and not a disease, people can do a lot to prevent hypertension from settling in. Most doctors recommend a change in the diet and a major lifestyle change.
Diet is perhaps the primary lifestyle change that people should look into when dealing with high blood pressure. Excessive eating of fatty foods that cannot be easily digested can cause a lot of problems. Obese individuals are also more likely to develop hypertension not only because of the fat content in their bodies but also the constriction that these fats produce in the body. This constriction can affect blood circulation and heart function, which may lead to a full-blown heart attack.
Another advice that doctors give to individuals concerned with their blood pressure is to have regular exercise regimen that would help lower their blood pressure. Activities such as running and jogging, cycling and swimming as well as other sports can decrease blood pressure. Doctors recommend that people exercise and do these sports activities for about 30 to 45 minutes a day and they will find their blood pressures significantly lowered.
Alcohol, for instance, increase the prevalence of hypertension when it is taken in excess. The term excess here will refer to over two drinks per day. Studies have actually shown a direct relationship between these two factors when the drinking exceeds five glasses each day. A drink here refers to a can of beer, a glass of wine or a jigger of liquor. There are people however who have low tolerance with alcohol. It is best to stop drinking if you find your blood pressure going up or if you feel nauseous already.
Smoking is also one of the things that a person should avoid when trying to either lower blood pressure or to prevent it from going up. Besides the complications that it poses to the lungs and the vascular system, smoking also increases the risk for heart disease. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes and tobaccos can constrict one’s blood vessels, causing the heart to beat faster.
Elderly people are also asked to avoid excessive coffee drinking. In a study conducted, it was found that five cups of coffee per day can mildly increase the blood pressure. The combination of coffee drinking with smoking increases the risk all the more.