Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure, can be defined as the force that the blood exerts on the veins and arteries while it circulates around the body.
How is blood pressure measured? How does one know if he or she has hypertension? Actually, most people know the answers to both these questions. But since hypertension - or high blood pressure - is such a "silent" condition (many people don't even know they have it), people often simply don't care.
A doctor, in ascertaining the blood pressure of a person, takes two readings. The "high" reading represents the systolic pressure, which is the highest pressure the heart is able to produce as it pumps blood into the arteries. The "low" reading, on the other hand, represents the diastolic pressure - the pressure that remains in the blood vessels prior to the taking place of the next heartbeat. The readings indicate the extent of the elevation of the vertical accumulation of mercury (expressed in millimeters) that this much pressure holds up.
For young adults who are healthy, the normal systolic range should be 90 to 140, while it's 60 to 90 for the diastolic. The average normal blood pressure for healthy young adults is 120/80, where 120 is the systolic and 80 the diastolic. Therefore, a systolic reading that persistently goes over 140 and a diastolic reading that continues to exceed 90 are not normal. Such excessively high readings unmistakably point to the condition of hypertension.
Hypertension may be caused by any of these factors: heredity, physical and/or emotional stress, and obesity - the last being the most common cause. Smoking, or the use of any tobacco product, is a factor that can worsen the condition.
Despite any unhealthy habit or the presence of any of the factors mentioned above, the symptoms of hypertension may not be apparent prior to reaching the age of 35. At age 50 and over, a reddish complexion and being overweight are two symptoms that may be evident. Aching head, dizziness, or ringing in the ears are also possible.
Several steps or methods have been suggested by health experts to address high blood pressure, all of which focus on the prevention of the hardening of the arteries. For obese people, it is important to pay special attention to diet and to refrain from smoking. Remember that too much sweets, protein foods, or salt can easily elevate blood pressure. Taking sufficient rest is likewise necessary to avoid stress which, as earlier mentioned, is one of the factors that can cause hypertension.
A number of drugs have been touted as being completely efficient in treating hypertension. Most of these drugs, however, have known side effects and may even harm your health in the long term. The strict supervision of a doctor is required in taking these medications. But there is an alternative solution to addressing hypertension should you opt for a natural treatment.