The function of heart is to pump blood around your body through blood vessels (arteries), to deliver energy and oxygen. But to flow blood through this vessel (arteries) needs a certain amount of pressure. If this pressure of blood flow is higher than normal pressure, then it puts extra strain on your wall of blood vessels (arteries) which is called high blood pressure or hypertension. This high pressure can lead to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney problem or dementia.
Causes of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
- Eating too much salt
- No exercise
- Not eating enough fruits or vegetables.
- Drinking more coffee or tea
- Age over 60
- Relative with high blood pressure (Family history)
- High fat diet
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
The most dangerous thing about high blood pressure is that you may not know that you are suffering from it until levels reach about 180/110 mmHg. One third of people who have high blood pressure, but they are not aware of it.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure Include
- Severe headache
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
Measuring Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). There are two types of pressure
- Systolic blood pressure – It is the pressure when your heart beats to pump blood out.
- Diastolic blood pressure – It is the pressure when your heart rest between beats.
For example – If your doctor says that your blood pressure is 120/80mmhg, it means your systolic pressure is 120mmhg and diastolic pressure is 80mmhg.
Blood pressure is 120 / 80mmhg – It is considered to be ideal.
Blood pressure over 140 / 90mmhg – Indicates high blood pressure (hypertension).
Blood pressure below 90 / 60mmhg – It is considered to be low blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure is Divided in Two Categories
- Primary high blood pressure (Essential) – This is the most common type of high blood pressure, but there is no exact cause has been identified.
- Secondary high blood pressure – It is caused by using certain medicines or other medical conditions like kidney disorder, thyroid problem, birth control pills, alcohol etc.
How to Prevent High Blood Pressure?
- Reduce amount of salt
- Lose weight
- Regular exercise is necessary
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol
- Reduce intake of tea or coffee
- Regular practice of pranayama