Hypertension is a term used to refer to high blood pressure. Millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, including many children. Blood pressure is defined as the amount of force that is placed on the walls of blood vessels while blood is passing through. The human circulatory system is incredibly complex and is the infrastructure through which the heart is able to pump blood throughout the body. When the flow of that blood is reduced, the heart has to work harder, and damage can occur to the walls of various blood vessels. People who suffer from hypertension have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
A number of different factors are believed to contribute to the development of high blood pressure. It is well-known that people who are overweight or obese and lack the appropriate levels of physical activity are at increased risk of high blood pressure. Genetics also play a role, and many people who have hypertension have a close family member with the same condition. Other factors include stress, excessive consumption of alcohol and a diet high in sodium. It should be noted that it is nearly impossible to determine the exact cause of a patient's hypertension.
The good news is that patients have a high degree of control over their blood pressure. By working with a physician, patients can create a treatment plan that combines various medications with lifestyle modification. Improving one's diet, increasing physical activity and reducing sodium intake are all important tools in fighting hypertension. There are numerous diet plans that are specifically developed to help lower a person’s blood pressure, many of which include high fiber foods and an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many people can also reduce their blood pressure readings by addressing various other health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and alcohol abuse.
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