With more Americans than ever suffering from the disease known as "The Silent Killer", it's important to know the risk factors associated with this disease and what you can do to prevent it. Having high blood pressure means that the heart is working harder to get blood circulated through your body.
This can cause many other health issues including hardening of the treaties and erectile
dysfunction, as well as increasing your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
So what can cause high blood pressure?
Well, high blood pressure can be caused by a variety of things, most of these are lifestyle
choices that you can control. Things like smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity are some
of the most common culprits for high blood pressure. All three can cause your heart to beat
harder to push blood through your body even without having high blood pressure. The problem
is exacerbated if the heart is already working harder to do its job. Additionally, those three
factors can also contribute to other serious health problems like heart attack and stroke.
Another risk factor associated with high blood pressure is having too much salt in the diet.
Consuming too much salt has been shown to have a negative effect on blood pressure, conversely
lowering ones salt intake has been show to have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Also, some people are "salt-sensitive", which means that the effects of too much salt are increased. And for all you baby boomers out there, salt sensitivity tends to increase with age. So reducing the amount of salt in your diet becomes more important as you age. Not just for your blood pressure either.
Another high blood pressure risk factor is consuming too much alcohol, which is defined as more
than 1 or 2 drinks a day. Heavy drinking in general puts a lot of strain on the body and should be
avoided, not just if you have or are worried about, high blood pressure.
Having too much stress in your life is also commonly attributed to having high blood pressure. This
probably does not come as a surprise to anyone reading this. I'm sure all of us have "felt our blood
pressure rise "when we were unusually stressed or frustrated.
stress levels and practicing relaxation techniques to aid in this. If you currently suffer from high
blood pressure or are just being proactive (good for you!), then give yoga a try. Yoga is a great
way to unwind and get in shape. It's not as easy as you may think.
Old age and genetics are two high blood pressure risk factors that you can not control. Talk with
your doctor if people in your family currently have or have had high blood pressure in the past.
As a general rule, have your blood pressure checked once a year. This disease is called the
silent killer for a reason. There are not any reliable symptoms and it can contribute to so
many serious health problems, without any warning. Having your blood pressure checked
regularly is the only sure way to catch high blood pressure before it's too late.
Working to control the risk factors mentioned above along with leading a healthy lifestyle
can help reduce the risk for getting high blood pressure. And again have your blood
pressure checked by your physician regularly.
Here's to your health!