What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which the blood pressure is greater than acceptable limits on at least two different measurements taken on two separate occassions or office visits. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) defines high blood pressure as > 130/80 mmHg for some patients, the goal blood pressure may be different. For example, patients with congestive heart failure are often treated with blood pressure medications that may results in a much lower blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are many factors that scientists have found to be associated with high blood pressure, but the true cause of most cases is not always known. We know the age and genetics play a large role even in the healthiest of patients. Other factors known to be associated with hypertension include:
What are the risks of high blood pressure?
Hypertension is often termed the "silent killer" because it can cause little symptoms until serious problems develop. Long-term, hypertension is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, aneurysms, and blockages in the blood vessels of the legs and aorta.
Does salt affect blood pressure?
Many studies have shown that sodium (the chemical that makes up salt) is associated with higher blood pressure, however not all adults are sensitive to the effects of sodium. In addition to table salt, sodium tends to be hidden in many common foods, including:
What can be done to lower blood pressure naturally?
Fortunately, if you do have high blood pressure, there are many steps you can take to help lower it. The first step involves a careful discussion with your doctor about potential factors that may be contributing to your high blood pressure. Once you have been evaluated, the following "lifestyle interventions" have been shown to improve blood pressure:
What medications are used to lower blood pressure?
There are many medications your doctor may prescribe to lower blood pressure. Because each patient imay have differences in body composition, underlying medical conditions and other factors, medications may vary widely from patient to patient. The following are potential blood pressure medications