Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is consistently too high, that is, over some time.

In recent times, a good number of the population globally are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is because of several reasons I would be highlighting as we go further.

Stress

This is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. The economy of many countries is going down and many people have to go look for alternative means of livelihood to survive. Having one source of income alone doesn’t suffice in the present-day world.

This is worse in developing countries also known as low-middle income countries where many do menial jobs for survival. As a result of all these, stress levels are skyrocketing such that the body and mind become so tired and weary, consequently increasing heart rate and blood pressure.

Sometime last year, I was engaged in too many activities, I started feeling funny at a point and I had my blood pressure checked at the pharmacy. My blood pressure had increased a bit above the normal levels. I had to take precautionary steps and cut down on the number of activities I was engaged in. You too can do the same.

Anxiety
A stressed man

Many individuals think and worry about the slightest of issues. In as much as you have to ensure things are working fine, you need to take it easy. Problems are not solved by worrying and being anxious.

Take time to relax and sleep. Engaging in various activities during the day and the throwing sleep aside could be quite detrimental to one’s health as well.

Asides from increasing your blood pressure, anxiety, worry, and lack of sleep reduces your productivity during the day. Your attention span is reduced and efficiency drops.

Genes

Genetics play a huge role in hypertension. If you have a family history of hypertension, the chances of you developing it are high. By family history, I mean someone in your bloodline. It could be your parents, uncle, sister, niece, grandparents, etc. For people with a family history of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, it is advised that they watch their lifestyle and diet as they are prone to coming down with the disease.

Unhealthy Diets

Another important cause of hypertension is eating the wrong kinds of food. Example of unhealthy diets are:

salt has always being a major culprit in causing hypertension
  • Consuming excess salt
  •  A diet high in saturated fats like coconut and coconut cream, full-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, milk and cream processed meat such as sausages, burgers, and bacon, fatty meat such as lamb chops, butter, and lard
  • A diet high in trans-fat like cookies, cakes, pies, and other baked goods, french-fries, doughnuts, and other fried foods, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza and stick margarine.

Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don’t realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from this high-fat eating

Jack LaLanne
  • Low intake of fruits and vegetables like carrots, apple, strawberries, spinach, lettuce, etc
Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle simply means a lifestyle of physical inactivity. Here, people engage in behaviors that expend very little energy. Regularly sitting down doing nothing, lying down while watching television, staying indoors discussing, sitting or lying down to read, study, or work on a computer, using a car to get around anywhere are examples of common sedentary lifestyles.

If you observe one or more of these behaviors, try to fix them by going on strolls and walks more frequently, using the stairs instead of elevators, sometimes leave the car at home and get to do some house chores yourself. 

Though correcting a sedentary lifestyle takes conscious effort and may seem time-consuming at first, the result makes an individual healthier and reduces high blood pressure.

Alcohol Consumption
consuming high levels of alcohol would increase your blood pressure levels

Excessive consumption of alcohol can increase your risk of hypertension. If you must take alcohol, do so in small amounts.

Cigarette and Tobacco Smoking
smoking increases risk of hypertension

Excessive smoking of cigarettes and tobacco-containing products predisposes an individual to an increase in blood pressure. The high nicotine content of tobacco is deleterious to health. Though “smokers are liable to die young” is written on some cigarettes, many people still indulge in the death-causing habit.

This is a result of the addictive nature of nicotine. The more you smoke, the more you want to smoke.  Hence, the need to educate society especially young ones. With proper guidance, counseling, and therapy, smokers can quit this habit and prolong their lives.

Consumption of Excess Coffee
consumption of excessive coffee may increase your blood pressure

Caffeine, the major constituent of coffee drinks is a culprit in causing hypertension. Though there are many health benefits of taking coffee, excessive consumption of it can result in rising levels of blood pressure especially in those with a family history of hypertension. Students and workaholics that drink coffee very often to stay awake at night should take caution and try out other safer alternatives.

Pregnancy
pregnancy may cause high blood pressure in some women

Some women come down with hypertension during pregnancy. Sometimes, the cause of this is unknown. High blood pressure in pregnancy is known as preeclampsia, which is a fatal condition that can affect a woman and her unborn child.

Some symptoms of preeclampsia are swelling due to fluid retention in the body, constant headaches, vision changes, and abdominal pain. Hence, women should follow necessary guidelines and protocols for screening and attend health check clinics known as ante-natal during pregnancy.

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