High Blood Pressure - Lifestyle Disorder
Each time the heart beats, it pushes blood carrying oxygen and nutrients
through the arteries and veins. Blood Pressure is the amount of force exerted by
the blood against the walls of the arteries. Everyone has to have some blood
pressure so that blood can get to the body's organs and muscles.
High blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle diseases. Sure, everyone
knows about the blood pressure. It is quite another issue that many of us do not
know what it actually stands for. Most medical examinations now-a-days have a
mandatory blood pressure check-up.
You could have high blood pressure:
- if you are overweight
- if you do not exercise regularly.
- if you take more salt than normal (your diet is high in sodium).
- if you are a smoker
- if your cholesterol levels are high.
- if your diet does not include enough calcium or potassium.
- if you have more than three alcoholic drinks a day.
- if you have diabetes.
- if you have more than three cups of coffee a day.
- if your food has more of fat and cholesterol than vegetables and fruits.
High blood pressure joins smoking and high cholesterol as one of the most
important risk factors for coronary artery disease. High blood pressure is the
most important risk factor for a stroke.
Possible complications due to high blood pressure:
- Coronary heart disease
- Left ventricular hypertrophy:The wall of the major pumping chamber
of the heart thickens as a result of the increased work by the heart. This can
damage the normal functioning of the heart.
- Congestive heart failure: When the weakened heart cannot pump
enough blood to meet the body's needs.
- Kidney failure: Almost one-third of all cases of kidney failures
are caused by high blood pressure.
- Bones: High blood pressure causes more calcium to be excreted in
the urine, leading to a loss of bone mineral density called osteoporosis,
which increases the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women.
- Legs and feet: Could lead to impaired blood flow to the legs and
feet (peripheral vascular disease), causing leg pain, numbness, open sores on
the legs, feet and toes and difficulty walking.
- Eyes: Damage to blood vessel in the eyes, leading to a disease of
- Brain: Decreased short-term memory and attention, Alzheimer's
disease and dementia.