When you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension, this means that your heart needs to work harder to move blood through your blood vessels.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are many contributing factors to high blood pressure, Dr. Pacquette says, including:

  • Stress
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Too much salt in your diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Sleep apnea
  • Kidney disease

Why should I be concerned about high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because there are often no symptoms until something bad occurs like a stroke or heart attack. Hypertension can cause great damage to your arteries and heart. When your blood flows too rapidly through your arteries, this causes small tears or little niches where plaque can build up. This leads to the narrowing and hardening of your arteries and can go undetected for quite a while. Your heart will have to work harder to pump blood through your body. Eventually your arteries can become blocked and serious damage can occur to your heart, leading to heart disease or a heart attack.

What can I do to prevent high blood pressure?

Start with a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. Avoid excess salt and fatty foods as well. It’s wise to limit your alcohol consumption and lead an active lifestyle to maintaining a healthy weight. Do not forget it’s important to stop smoking and have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you are over 35. These factors are in your control and will ultimately help you live a healthier and happier life!

Have diabetes? Then you need to check your blood pressure regularly.

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