Hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. It is based on how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping.

Hypertension develops over the course of several years caused by narrow arteries increase resistance. High blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes and kidneys.

### Health Risks of High Blood Pressure

Untreated high hypertension can cause heart disease and related complications such as

Vision loss                                                                    Kidney damage                                                              Erectile dysfunction (ED)                                                  Fluid buildup in the lungs                                          Memory loss

### The Secondary Risk Factors of High Blood Pressure

Age

Risks increases as a person becomes older because the blood vessels become less flexible.

Poor diet

Diet high in fats and salt leads to a high risk of hypertension. However, the problem is the type of fat rather than the amount you consume matters.

Obesity and being overweight

Overweight or have obesity are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Physical inactivity

Lack of exercise and having a sedentary lifestyle raise the risk of hypertension.

Smoking

It causes the blood vessels to narrow, resulting in higher blood pressure. Smoking causes the heart pumps faster to compensate, causing an increase in blood pressure.

Alcohol intake

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart failure, stroke and irregular heartbeat.

Family history

Close family members with hypertension have a significantly higher risk of developing it themselves.

Diabetes

Diabetes patients have a higher risk of developing hypertension. However, prescribed use of insulin and consistent blood sugar control can reduce the long-term risk of people with type 1 diabetes developing hypertension.

Pregnancy

Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing hypertension after 20 weeks, than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

### Treatments for Blood pressure

Dietary changes

Consume foods which are low in sodium, salt but high in potassium. Fruits are apples, bananas and oranges; vegetables broccoli, carrots; whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. Fish rich in omega-3 and fatty oils.                                                            Foods to limit are:

Foods and drinks, high in sugar                                                                                      Red meat                                                                                                                      Fats and sweets

Exercise

Doing aerobics and cardio for 30 minutes with a goal of five times a week is a simple way to add to a healthy heart routine. Proper weight management helps lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Medication

Medications that can be used to treat, if lifestyle changes alone aren’t helping.

You should see a doctor if you have the following signs

Blurry vision                                                                                                          Headaches                                                                                                                    Fatigue                                                                                                                     Nausea                                                                                                                    Confusion                                                                                                              Shortness of breath                                                                                                      Chest pain

These can also be the symptoms of something else or a side effect of the medication.

Once you have high blood pressure, you are expected to monitor and treat it for the rest of your life. Both lifestyle changes and medicine are typically needed in order to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

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