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Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure reading
*image credit: https://www.worldkidneyday.org/facts/topics/hypertension*

Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.
  • Top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
  • Bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.

High blood pressure or hypertension, is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke..The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. Measuring your blood pressure is the only way to know whether you have high blood pressure.

Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities.

Ways to manage your pressure:
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity
  • Not smoking or quitting smoking if you are a smoker
  • Eating a healthy diet, including limiting sodium (salt) and alcohol
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Managing and reducing stress
  • Getting enough rest
  • Taking medication as directed
Measure your blood pressure regularly to help your health care team diagnose any health problems early.
Consult your healthcare provider regularly even if you do not show any symptoms of high blood pressure.