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Wednesday, August 24, 2011




What Is Hypertension?


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that will catch up with most people who live into older age. Blood pressure is the force of blood pressing against the walls of your arteries. When it's too high, it raises the heart's workload and can cause serious damage to the arteries. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease




Hypertension Symptoms:




High blood pressure is sometimes called a silent killer because it may have no outward symptoms for years. In fact, one in five people with the condition don't know they have it. Internally, it can quietly damage the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys if left untreated. It's a major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks in the U.S. More....





What Causes Hypertension?


Normal blood pressure readings will fall below 120/80, while higher results over time can indicate hypertension. In most cases, the underlying cause of hypertension is unknown. The top number (systolic) shows the pressure when your heart beats. The lower number (diastolic) measures pressure at rest between heartbeats, when the heart refills with blood. Occasionally, kidney or adrenal gland disease can lead to hypertension. More....




Hypertension and Race:




African-Americans are more likely to develop hypertension -- and to develop it at a younger age. Genetic research suggests that African-Americans seem to be more sensitive to salt. In people who have a gene that makes them salt-sensitive, just a half-teaspoon of salt can raise blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. Diet and excessive weight can play a role, as well. More....




Treatment: The DASH Diet


You may be able to lower your blood pressure by switching to a better diet. The DASH Diet -- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- involves eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, and nuts. You should eat less red meat, saturated fats, and sweets. Reducing sodium in your diet can also have a significant effect. more.......