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Hypertension - Risk Factors and Prevention

Hypertension - Risk Factors and Prevention

Blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted to the blood with each heartbeat on the blood vessels. If it is too high, the vessel walls are damaged. Since high blood pressure initially causes no pain, it is often treated too late or not at all and this can have serious implications.

High blood pressure - a risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Hypertension is a major risk factor for diseases of the cardiovascular system, which, with 43% in Germany, is the most common cause of death. With increasing age, the risk of hypertension increases significantly. Almost half of adults in Germany and already 80% of over 65s suffer from it. Heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis, heart failure, renal insufficiency and peripheral circulatory disorders are common consequences of high blood pressure. A few lifestyle changes can significantly lower high blood pressure.

Definition of hypertension according to the WHO

Ideal blood pressure levels for an adult are 80 mm/Hg (diastolic) and 120 mm/Hg (systolic) . A value of 85 mm/Hg to 130 mm/Hg is still considered to be normal. If the value is over 140 to 90 mm/Hg then this would be considered hypertension according to the World Health Organization.

If the pressure in the blood vessels are temporarily high, for example, when taking certain medications during an acute illness or during pregnancy, then hypertension doesn’t exist.

Groups at risk for hypertension

Medical history and weight can be a dangerous combination for hypertension. In addition, an unhealthy lifestyle leads to hypertension and increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Psychological stress in turn increases the risk of coronary heart disease. If you can lower high blood pressure early there is a reduced his risk of stroke. Hence, there are strong links between lifestyle, medical history and the risk of strokes.

Kidney disease

High pressure of the blood is a risk factor for kidney disease, and vice versa. Once the kidney function declines, the amount of hormones that increases the blood pressure go up. Nerves signal the constriction of blood vessels, which causes the increase. The permanent high pressure of the blood produces a thickening of the vessel walls.

Psycho- stress

Hypertension as a result of stress is particularly dangerous because it is often ignored. Anything that can reduce stress can help to lower blood pressure in the long term. Caffeine and salty foods should be avoided and you should also make time for exercise in your leisure time. Sufficient recovery through sleep or rest is equally important.

Alcohol and nicotine

Alcohol is a cell poison and has a negative effect on all organs in the body. Even small amounts of alcohol can significantly increase the pressure in the blood vessels. Alcohol increases the excitability of the heart muscle and can cause cardiac arrhythmias. The higher the consumption the more intense the increase in blood pressure will be. Since alcohol is also high in calories, it quickly leads to obesity, another risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels and is a major risk factor for hypertension.

Obesity and diabetes

Even in children, obesity increases will increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. Increased blood sugar levels in diabetes damages the blood vessel walls and can accelerate atherosclerosis. The earlier you can detect diabetes, the lower the risk of stroke. Similarly, the lower the level of obesity, the less chance there is of getting heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine - natural blood pressure medicines

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers successful strategies for a natural decrease in high blood pressure. The traditional Chinese medicine assumes that hypertension is a result of stress and strain, creating a stagnation of the qi of the liver and gall bladder. Depending on the type of hypertension you have, it can be lowered by choosing the appropriate foods. Western medicine also recommends the traditional Chinese medicine to dispense high blood pressure with hot spices, black tea, coffee, alcohol and fatty meat to be avoided. Instead lots of fruits, vegetables, healthy oils and omega- 3 fatty acids are better for hypertension.

Isolated systolic hypertension

Isolated systolic hypertension occurs when only the upper systolic value is increased. This usually occurs in people over 65 years old. The cause is largely an age-related atherosclerosis of the large arteries. Calcification makes the vessel walls more rigid and more susceptible to damage.

Primary and secondary hypertension

The causes for the primary or secondary hypertension are unclear in 90% of cases. In secondary hypertension, high blood pressure occurs as a result of another illness. However, out of the total number of blood pressure disorders, secondary hypertension has only a small proportion and almost all can be assigned to primary hypertension. This leads to serious side effects such as diabetes, kidney disease and/or vascular disease. There are also medical and genetic causes of secondary hypertension.

What you can do to prevent hypertension?

The right diet can significantly reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. People who suffer from obesity, should avoid salt. Sausages and meat contain a lot of hidden salts, which can be reduced. Instead, the diet should be rich in vegetables and fruit. The abundant potassium in fruit is the natural opponent of sodium. In addition, the food must contain reinforced polyunsaturated fatty acids. Proven things include linseed oil, wheat germ oil, hemp oil and rapeseed oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring can all help to reduce high blood pressure. Sport is a "stress killer" and will also help with hypertension.