May is National High Blood Pressure Month
May is National High Blood Pressure Month. This is the month that is set aside to remind us that high blood pressure can be fatal. Even though it is common, healthcare professionals, however, are quick to point out that just because it is common it is still a serious condition and can lead to heart attack, sexual dysfunction or stroke.
Therefore, springtime seems to be a particularly good time to call attention to the very often overlooked subject of high blood pressure just when new life is abounding all around us. High blood pressure causes the heart to work less efficiently and more forcefully which can lead to artery wall damage. The artery walls are then susceptible to LDL (bad) cholesterol plaques adhering to the walls causing narrowing of the artery and further increasing blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80 mmHg, high blood pressure stage 1 is 130/80 mmHg, and high blood pressure stage 2 is 140/90 mmHg or higher.
It seems to be an oversimplification to say that lifestyle is the biggest cause of high blood pressure. However, that seems to be the most common answer. Lifestyle factors contributing to high blood pressure may include: high salt intake, poor diet (consumption of high levels of cholesterol, fats and sugar), binge alcohol drinking, smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, medical conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, kidney disease, and medication side effects as indicated with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
The truth is that there is no one easy answer to questions about the cause of high blood pressure because there are so many different possible causes. High blood pressure affects every part of our body so it is important to try to put a finger on what is going on.
Because high blood pressure is so much more complicated than we at first thought and has so many possible causes, the first step is to find a knowledgeable health care professional who has experience dealing with high blood pressure and it’s causes and the results of untreated high blood pressure.
Please find a trusted health care professional to guide you through what are the causes and effects of your particular blood pressure problems. That’s what this month of blood pressure awareness is about – helping to save lives by becoming more aware of such a serious health concern.
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