Woman Getting Her Blood Pressure TakenIt has been said that not being aware of your blood pressure numbers is like not knowing how much gas you have in your car. Everything seems fine until you find yourself broken down by the side of the road.

Like many things in life, recognizing that there is a problem is the first step to a solution. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure then you already know there is an issue; what you may need now is tips for managing hypertension.

Causes of Hypertension

To understand hypertension, you should first recognize what is being measured. When you visit the doctor to have your blood pressure taken, the test is actually determining how constricted your arteries are and how hard your heart has to work to pump enough blood through them.

If your arteries are tightened and your heart works harder than normal to move the blood through, that causes the readings on the monitor to be higher. There are several factors that can create this dilemma.

People who are significantly overweight are at an increased risk to develop hypertension. Additionally, if the food you consume contains an excessive amount of salt, this can lead to high blood pressure because getting too much sodium is one of the reasons that your body holds onto extra water.  Not having enough potassium is related to this problem since potassium helps your body to manage sodium, so you need the right amount of both nutrients to stay uniform. Of course, all this also goes hand in hand with not getting enough exercise.

Family history is also closely examined so it is imperative that you talk with your doctor about any immediate blood relatives―such as parents, grandparents, and first cousins―who have suffered from high blood pressure or related heart problems. In addition to having a hereditary link to high blood pressure, a family connection to other illnesses such as diabetes or high cholesterol can also put you at greater risk.

High blood pressure can also occur as an after-effect of other medical concerns like malfunctioning kidneys and abnormal growths. Sometimes, a medication that you take for one ailment can have the unwanted consequence of raising your blood pressure as well.

Evidence of drug use, especially unlawful substances that increase your heart rate, can also be discovered through high blood pressure. Even legal products like cigarettes and alcohol can also boost your heart rate and ultimately lead to high blood pressure. Those who are overly stressed are also in danger of getting hypertension.

A variety of health problems are simply the outcome of getting older, and hypertension can fall into this category also. High blood pressure is one of the many things we have to look forward to as we age. Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans, are also at an increased risk of acquiring hypertension, often during mid-life or even younger.

Nevertheless, hypertension can happen to anyone. Even children, especially those who are obese or inactive, can develop a blood pressure problem.

Treatment for Hypertension

Since hypertension quietly progresses over an extended period of time, it is often called the silent killer. Unlike other health issues, with hypertension there are usually no warning signs that you have it, until it is too late. Although some people may suffer from ailments such as dizziness or headaches, you don’t really want to wait until there is a problem. Therefore, it is important to have your blood pressure checked periodically.

High blood pressure creates undue stress on your heart and and can significantly damage it. You may find it helpful to learn that there are numerous treatment options for people with high blood pressure.

Ways to Manage Hypertension

People now recognize all the health problems that can arise as a product of hypertension. As a result, you can get your blood pressure checked almost anywhere, like your local pharmacy, during neighborhood events, and in mobile clinics. These tests are very inexpensive or often free.

You can even purchase machines to be used at home so you can do it yourself. This cuts down on the excuses that people have for not knowing their blood pressure numbers.

Physicians recommend that all adults have their blood pressure checked at least every other year. If heart disease runs in your family, or your readings are unusually high, your doctor might suggest that you come in for testing at shorter intervals.

Your doctor may also choose to prescribe a variety of medicines currently available to help get your blood pressure under control. These could include pills to help with water retention or those designed to open or relax your blood vessels.

It is important to look at all the potential causes for high blood pressure and try to remove these risk factors from your life. Eating better, exercising more, and decreasing your alcohol consumption can all go a long way toward reducing and managing your high blood pressure.