Common Causes of Hypertension
According to the health website Medicinenet.com, approximately 72 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure also known as hypertension. There are essentially two forms of hypertension: primary and secondary, with primary high blood pressure being the most common form. Though some of the causes are still being studied, one of the major reasons hypertension develops may be from an excessive amount of salt in the diet. Other factors in contracting high blood pressure may include:
- Advancing Age
- African American background
- Kidney Failure
One of the common factors in patients dealing with hypertension is a specific abnormality in their arteries. The arteries are the passageways that bring oxygen to the heart. Patients with hypertension seem to have a lack of elasticity in their arteries, which causes difficulty circulating the blood and oxygen to the heart and lungs. The stiffness in these arteries is exacerbated if there is a genetic predisposition to hypertension in a person's family. Additionally, obesity, lack of exercise, overuse of salt and aging can contribute to the worsening of the condition.
There are certain medications your doctor can prescribe to help lower your blood pressure, but lifestyle changes can help as well. Exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent high blood pressure. And studies have shown that exercise can actually enhance the effectiveness of your blood pressure medication. Exercises that build muscle strength in addition to a cardio workout are especially good for heart health.
Additionally, be sure to eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and avoid adding any excess salt to your food. Losing weight can also help. Studies have shown that losing just 10 pounds can greatly reduce or prevent high blood pressure.