Many Ways to Reduce Risk of High Blood
Hypertension (greater than
140/90 mm Hg) is a condition of continuing abnormally high pressure in the
arteries. This high pressure can be the result of constricted, obstructed or
"hardened" arteries; the heart pumping too fast or with too much force; or a
high volume of blood in the system.
For most people (90 percent), the
cause of high blood pressure is unknown. This type of high blood pressure is
called primary or essential hypertension.
When the "cause" of a disease
is not fully understood, it is likely that a definitive cure or effective
preventive measures will not be known either.
However, while not enough
is known about hypertension to prevent or cure it completely, we do know enough
to identify and control it.
Fortunately, high blood pressure is easy to
detect and identify - just by having one's blood pressure checked
We know that changing the lifestyle behaviors for the better
can help control hypertension in some people. And sometimes we can guess why.
For example, high salt intake can cause retention of water, which may expand
blood volume, which may increase blood pressure.
lifestyle, stress, excessive alcohol and salt, etc. can contribute to or
increase the risk of hypertension development in some people, but again the
reasons are not known. Other risk factors include age, sex, race and smoking
Everyone - regardless of race, age, sex or heredity - can help
lower the chance of developing high blood pressure by:
--Becoming more physically active on a regular
--Choosing foods lower in salt and sodium.
Recent medical research has shown that other activities
might reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. These
--Eating foods rich in potassium such as fruits, vegetables,
dairy foods and fish.
--Getting at least the recommend amount of calcium
(about 1,000 milligrams).
--Having a balanced diet with whole grains, green
leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and dried beans to get enough
--Eating fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. (Fish oil pills can
cause unpleasant side effects and both are high in fat and
High blood pressure drugs work in various ways. They can
affect how hard the heart pumps, how much the blood vessels widen and narrow,
or how much fluid is in the body.
The types of medications prescribed
for high blood pressure include:
--Diuretics: They work on the kidney
and flush excess water and sodium from the body through urine. Fluid loss
lowers blood pressure initially and keeps it lowered through unknown
--Beta blockers: They reduce nerve impulses to the heart and
blood vessels, which makes the heart beat less often and with less
--Angiotensin antagonists: These medications are a newer type of high
blood pressure drugs They shield blood vessels from a hormone called
angiotensin II, which normally causes vessels to narrow. As a result, the
vessels are wider and pressure lowers.
--Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)
inhibitors: They prevent angiotensin II from being formed. They relax blood
vessels and pressure goes down.
--Calcium channel blockers (CCBs): They keep
calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, causing
blood vessels to relax.
--Alpha blockers: They work on the nervous system to
relax blood vessels, which allows blood to pass more easily.
blockers: They work The same way as alpha blockers but also slow the heartbeat,
as beta- blockers do.
If you are taking hypertension medication, be sure
to find out which type of medication has been recommend and why. www.primarymedicalcare.comPrimary Medical Care Website Medical Disclaimer Information
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