Last year right around the time I left for a big trip with World Vision Canada I got a high blood pressure reading. It was the first time ever and I figured it was a one off. Away I went on the amazing trip, and when I returned, I had another reading done a few months later. Still, it was high.
Fast forward two months after that high blood pressure reading. As I often do, I tackled the issue with diet and exercise and it came down a bit. I thought I was managing beautifully. But tackling this health issue was harder than I ever imagined and so I set about trying to uncover all the high blood pressure facts I could find.
I am continuing with my diet and exercise approach, hoping also to lose a few pounds and see if that will help. At the same time, I am researching more information about high blood pressure so that I can tackle this and advocate with my doctor if need be.
High blood pressure impacts a lot of people so here are the high blood pressure facts you should know.
5 High Blood Pressure Facts You Should Know
High blood pressure can be a killer. It directly affects a variety of deadly diseases, so it’s important to know high blood pressure facts to educate yourself. I’ve put together a list of high blood pressure facts that can help you get a better understanding of this deadly condition.
Know These High Blood Pressure Facts
High blood pressure is no joke. And since we don’t know the exact cause of it, it’s important to know all of the facts, so you can better guard against it and/or treat it with a doctor’s supervision.
One of the most important high blood pressure facts to know is what causes it. Although, as I said, the exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown, there are several things that have been clinically shown to drastically increase the risk of high blood pressure including:
- Lack of exercise
- High salt intake
- High alcohol consumption
- Family history
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
While you can’t really guard against genetics or a family history of high blood pressure, all of the other known risk factors can certainly be remedied. (I have the family history. I also am 45 so I guess that’s the aging part and I had high salt intake, but I eliminated that back in October. As for the other factors, I have none of them. I rarely drink and I exercise a lot, but have a sedentary job.)
Signs and Symptoms
This is a sobering addition to my high blood pressure facts list. By and large, high blood pressure has no warning signs or symptoms. Most people don’t even realize they have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s so important to go for yearly physicals. This is the time when your blood pressure will be checked, and you may find that you have high blood pressure.
What Makes it so Important
It’s important to know your high blood pressure facts, because it is associated with so many terrible, organ crippling diseases. High blood pressure has been strongly linked with a number of potentially deadly conditions such as:
- Heart Attack: 70% of people who have their first heart attack also have high blood pressure.
- Stroke: 80% of people who have their first stroke also have high blood pressure.
- Chronic Heart Failure: 70% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.
- Kidney Disease: High blood pressure is a major, major risk factor in developing kidney disease.
Age and Ethnicity
Age and ethnicity play a major role in the development of high blood pressure. That’s why it’s so important to know high blood pressure facts. High blood pressure can vary significantly across age ranges and ethnic backgrounds.
- Age: Starting around 45, both men and women see a significantly higher percentage of high blood pressure in the population. The highest instance is in those 75 and older.
- Ethnicity: Across all ethnicities, black people have by far the highest percentage of high blood pressure, followed by hispanics, and then whites.
Perhaps the most important of my high blood pressure facts is prevention. Almost all of the risk factors for high blood pressure can either be avoided or mitigated by us.
Eat a healthy diet full of whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Keep your salt intake reasonable, don’t drink to excess, and exercise. In addition, limit read meat, and increase your intake of healthy fats from sources such as nuts, avocados, and cold water fish.
Protect You and Your Family with These High Blood Pressure Facts
High blood pressure shouldn’t be taken lightly, so it’s important to know your high blood pressure facts. Knowing these facts will help you avoid or mitigate your high blood pressure risk factors. If you’re already on a high blood pressure medication, reducing the contributing factors to high blood pressure can only help you. So know your high blood pressure facts, and keep yourself healthy and happy!