Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood against the arterial walls is higher than is healthy and can lead to health problems such as heart failure, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, heart attack and stroke.
If you have high blood pressure, it is imperative you address the condition immediately for your health.
The longer that hypertension goes without proper management, the greater the amount of damage on your cardiovascular system.
The risk factors for hypertension include:
- Body Weight – People who are overweight require more blood to transport oxygen and nutrients to all of the body’s tissues. The downside is that when blood flow is increased to excessive levels, the pressure on the artery walls is also increased leading to high blood pressure.
- Lack of Physical Activity – People who are active tend to have lower heart rates. On the other side of that coin, individuals who live sedentary lifestyles tend to have higher heart rates and force their hearts to work harder placing excessive force on the arteries.
- Too Much Dietary Salt or or Too Little Dietary Potassium – Too much salt can cause fluid retention, which ultimately increases blood pressure. Potassium aids in balancing your body’s sodium levels. Without enough dietary potassium, your risk of excess sodium in your blood increases.
- Stress – High stress levels cause significant, although temporary, increases in blood pressure. Managing your stress levels can make a big difference in alleviating hypertension.
- Genetics – Hypertension often runs in families. In addition, individuals of certain races, such as African Americans, tend to develop high blood pressure at an earlier age than other races.
- Age – According to the Mayo Clinic, women have an increased risk of hypertension after menopause. Men are more at risk through early middle age. In general, the risk for hypertension increases with age.
If you would like to adopt a healthier diet to help manage hypertension, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.